Recently, Google began displaying third party reviews in search results. Traditionally, Google only showed its own reviews when people searched for a location. In the past, Google has been criticized for not allowing third party review sites and favoring its own review system.
Reviews from third party sites now show underneath the Google Business listing. Google reviews are being shown as well, with a new section added called, “Reviews from the web” that shows third party reviews. Links to third party review sites are also now shown on the page as well.
With this change more traffic is being expected for third party review sites and more visibility.
While Google has not released a great deal of information about this test (currently it is only being done for hotels, but most likely will scale up in the future), it’s important to be prepared for the possible change, and to make sure your reviews online are being monitored across all platforms. Since potential customers can now see reviews across multiple sites with just a simple Google search for your company name, it’s vital to make sure that your best aspects are shown.
Reviews are also a major factor in your local search rankings, both in Google+ and other sites. In order to increase your chances of being found by potential clients, routinely reach out to your existing customer base if you feel they could offer a great review. Never seek reviews from those who have not adequately used your business or could be seen as biased. This can be very detrimental to both your page rankings and your general view from the public.
Also, when asking for reviews make it clear that they should only be posted on one review site, not multiple. Posting copied reviews on multiple sites is another way to hurt your business and your image, and will not improve search rankings. Simply put, try to get a decent amount of positive reviews on all possible sites. This will increase your chances of being rated highly on Google and bringing in more clients who came directly as a result of the great reviews.
What Does This Mean For Your Law Firm?
First, this means that with multiple review sites being pulled for your business it’s essential to make sure you are aware of all platform review sites and are actively responding and engaging with customers who choose to use them.
As a law firm, strive to find one cohesive voice to respond and manage reviews. Managing reviews across all platforms, especially for multiple businesses, is no easy feat. It’s essential to have a plan.
Second, whether you manage and respond to reviews in-house or work through a third party agency, it’s important to decide the focus up front. When working with an agency, it’s vital to set up the strategy for maintaining and responding to reviews. Often this should fall to someone with an extensive knowledge of the company, culture, and services offered.
We Can Help
At Whitehardt Inc., we know the importance of maintaining and responding to customer reviewers across all platforms quickly, professionally, and cost effectively. To learn more about how Whitehardt can help you maintain, respond, and better manage your customer reviews, contact us today.