You may have recently received an e-mail from Avvo inviting you to consider a location-based Sponsored listing. Are you wondering if you are missing out on potential clients if you pass up this opportunity?
According to a FindLaw Survey, those potential clients are probably going to use online resources to learn more about you before they call.
However, most consumers rely on Bing or the powerhouse Google to find facts fast. In the spring of 2014, Software Advice found that among the few people who did utilize review sites, Avvo had tough competition in Martindale-Hubbel, Super Lawyers and Yelp!
“But, wait, as an Essential Attorney™, my account manager helped me update my Avvo profile and added my excellent rating badge to my website – is this a waste of time?”
As Blumenthal’s local search survey confirms, “a website and online reviews play a critical role,” in your marketing program.
IMS CEO Jennifer Campbell Goddard commented on the customer journey:
If you were to invest in paid advertising, you would expect the ad to help you generate leads because paid advertising captures potential clients that are searching. These consumers are in the “awareness” stage of the customer journey. Paid advertising will be most effective where it can be seen by the most people, which is on platforms where the most searchers go. Think search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Once a potential client is aware of you and your company, and maybe a few others, they are looking for a reason to choose one attorney over another or confirm the choice they have tentatively made. This is the “evaluation” stage of the customer journey. It is at this point that online reviews are most helpful. The online reviews give them reassurance and build credibility. Paid advertisements now are of little use: the consumer is already looking at you so you don’t need to advertise to them. Consumers tend to be skeptical of paid advertising during the “evaluation” stage, but highly value the experience of your previous clients with your practice.
Avvo creates a (free) profile page for members of each state’s bar association. It is very important to, at a minimum, claim your profile and make sure the information provided is up-to-date. This will validate credibility for you and your firm.
Since consumers place a high value on the experiences of others in their intent to purchase, having as many peer and client reviews available online as possible is very important to your marketing strategy. Your account manager will help you set up the platforms to host reviews, including Facebook, Google+ (Google Plus) and Avvo.
To confirm, your marketing plan will perform at its best with a good balance of organic and paid advertising.
FindLaw (April 17, 2014) "Internet is Now the Most Popular Way to Find and Research a Lawyer, Says FindLaw Survey"
Software Advice (May 28, 2014) "How Clients Use Online Legal Reviews"
Blumenthals.com (December 4, 2012) "Consumer Survey - Where do Consumers find Specialty Lawyers? Not on Facebook"