Many of our clients want to know how to get on Google's good side. Not a surprise, considering 3.5 billion searches are done per day through Google -- and counting!
There are several ways to make sure you are in Google's good graces. We "preach" about these Essentials often, such as having a responsive and mobile-friendly website, top-notch SEO coding, relevant keyword-rich content, branded blog with daily posts, and active social media accounts.
In addition to the Essentials, there is one more thing you can do to help land your website on Google's radar -- and that is asking for Google reviews.
Why Are Reviews on Google so Important?
Well, because Google says so. Google's algorithm -- or way of ranking which websites are going to show up for online search -- pays close attention to online reviews. You see, Google caters to the consumer or searcher. They want to make search as easy and efficient as possible. Google knows that people want to see reviews when searching for products or services, so a review goes a long ways in your local SEO results.
And besides pleasing Google, having good reviews of your firm helps attract potential clients who are trying to decide if they want to work with you. Think about it -- if you are searching for a dentist online and notice one that has several good reviews (and lots of "gold stars"), would you consider that dentist over one that doesn't have any feedback online? Probably so.
Asking for Google Reviews
So, how do you get more reviews on Google? It's simple. You ASK.
Some attorneys aren't sure how to do this, so I found a great article from Foster Web Marketing that offers some tips. Here are a few to try:
The Do's and Don'ts of Asking for Online Reviews
- Do politely ask for reviews in person when you are finishing up a case. Make it part of your protocol at signing.
- Don't offer an incentive or gift in exchange for a review. You want real reviews with no strings attached -- no fluff!
- Do include a suggestion in all newsletters that clients review your practice.
- Do set up an account for your business on the most used review sites in your area. So it's not just Google -- think Bing, Yelp, Avvo, Lawyers.com, Facebook, LinkedIn and other review sites.
- Don't set up a computer in your office for people to use to review your firm. This puts too much pressure on the client and doesn't give them time to really think about what they want to say in their review -- which could result in generic reviews that don't give potential clients enough information.
- Do encourage potential reviewers to use the review format they like the best. Give them options, but let them choose the one they are most familiar with. You want to make this process as easy as possible because clients are doing this on their own time.
As an example of the last "Do" above, I received an email from my realtor last week asking for a Google review. It was a very nice email with simple instructions and even a link I could click on to add my own review for the realtor online. And even though we sold our home last year, I was happy to provide the review for our realtor! Don't feel like you can only ask your most recent clients for reviews, reach out to your entire database and just ask. You'd be surprised at how many clients are happy to help! Afterall, you have already helped them with their own estate planning or elder law issues and many clients are forever grateful for your assistance.
So whether it's an email to clients, part of your signing protocol, a request on your email and/or print newsletter (or ALL of the above) -- start asking for reviews and you'll be sure to add more muscle to your local SEO results.
Reference: Foster Web Marketing - "Why Your Local SEO Efforts Better Include an Online Review Strategy"