Your website reputation should be one of your most prized business possessions when you work in a law firm. Having a great reputation can get you new clients on a consistent basis—but if you lose that reputation, the clients will dry up. It's no longer enough to sit back and take a passive approach. Website reputation management services work with you to make sure your website is working and looking great for everyone who uses it. Here are seven reasons that website reputation management services can be great for lawyers and legal marketing professionals.
#1: Keep Bad Reviews From Killing Your Business
One of the ways that a website reputation management service can help you is by keeping an eye on review websites. Client reviews are a big way for people to find attorneys today, and you'll do well to make sure that you're listed on several different review websites. Studies have shown, however, that consumers tend to pay significantly more attention to negative reviews than positive reviews—perhaps due to the perception that a complaint is generally honest while a compliment could be from a biased source.
Website reputation management services know that bad reviews aren't always a sign that you're doing poorly. In some cases, they may be planted by your competition to drive more clients toward their offices. Depending on what state you live in, this may or may not violate ethical rules for attorneys. If you do find that a review has been posted fraudulently, your website reputation management company can help by requesting that it be taken down. Most websites with client reviews are sensitive to these issues and can make sure that negative reviews are removed promptly.
#2: Manage Your Social Media Presence
Another way that a website reputation management company can make your life easier is by taking the reins on your social media strategy. Many reputation management companies specialize in making social content for businesses. Your website reputation managers can help you design a strategy for your social media websites that takes into account your unique brand image and your performance goals.
Many attorneys don't want to spend a lot of their day posting to Facebook, making connections on LinkedIn, and putting up links on social bookmarking websites and Twitter. Why not let a website reputation management firm take care of it for you? You'll get most of the same benefits as if you had done it yourself—without all of the hassles.
#3: Correct Missing or Incorrect Directory Information
Speaking of hassles, is there any bigger one than looking through dozens of directory websites for potential errors? This is one of those chores that is perhaps better when it's just done by someone else. If you want your directory entries checked, updated, and corrected, you need to talk to a website reputation management agency.
By using reputation managers, you ensure that your directory information will be changed any time your web address, company name, phone number, or physical address changes. Having these changes made by your website reputation management company is much less tedious than doing it yourself every time the phone extension list changes.
#4: Keeping Search Results You Want On Top
Maybe there are some reviews of your law firm that are so glowing, you want them to be the first thing that people searching for your firm see. A website reputation management firm can help you get your favorite results into Google's top pages when people search for your brand name.
In addition, you can actually generate good content that can drive out bad content. For example, if someone has started a website that says your law firm is terrible and unprofessional, you can create new websites and web pages to simply outperform the offending page. Since most web searchers don't look past the first page, it's unlikely that many people will see the negative result after it has been driven to page two or three.
#5: Finding Out What People Are Saying
If you've recently had a public relations issue, hiring a website reputation management company is a great idea. Your reputation manager can investigate what the “buzz” is about your company and whether you seem to be improving or declining.
In some situations, your website reputation management agency will also try to actually influence that buzz. If negative things are currently being said about your firm, your agency can help you find a way to spin them positively.
#6: Submit Takedown Requests for Defamatory Content
Of course, if someone insists on defaming you online, you have legal recourse. Your website reputation management company can help you to distribute cease and desist letters to anybody promoting content that is defamatory or libelous. As a lawyer, it is much more likely for you than most other people marketing online that your takedown request letters will be followed, so you will usually see results with just a letter.
If you've tried unsuccessfully to have defamatory content removed, you may have to sue for defamation in civil court. This can get even trickier—or impossible—if the website defaming you is in another country. If this happens, the best thing that your website reputation management company can do for you is to help you post more positive content to drown out the defamatory accusations.
#7: Create a Better You
By giving you a better understanding what people already think of your reputation, your website reputation management agency can help you to better establish your brand. Your reputation can give you a very good idea of what distinguishes you from your most similar competitors.
Once you have a very strong brand awareness and identity, you can create marketing campaigns that take advantage of that confidence. Being the best you that you can be is much better than trying to do everything that your competition is doing. What's more, by having continuous monitoring of your reputation, you ensure that you hear what's being said about your newest marketing moves as soon as they take effect.