Your law firm’s online reputation can be one of your greatest assets – or one of its biggest detriments. You might be surprised to learn that most potential clients research your firm’s reviews and online reputation before scheduling a consultation. But, even if it’s not from a legitimate source, one bad review can cost you clients.
What does Online Reputation Repair Actually Do?
Consider an online browser that types in your law firm’s name, and negative content appears on the first page of Google’s search list. Whether the content is true or not, the damage has been done, and your firm has just lost a potential client. In this case, it is imperative for you to work with an online reputation repair expert to correct the record. Your approach to addressing harmful content may differ depending on the search result types.
Addressing Negative Reviews
Websites such as Yelp, Glassdoor, FaceBook, or any other form of social media provide anyone the opportunity to post negative comments about your law firm or attorneys. Reviews or posts may even be fake, making online reputation management tricky and time-consuming.
Removing negative content posted by a customer, client, or employee can be extremely difficult. Fake reviews can be removed, but it is a process with several steps involved.
Dealing with a Negative News Article
A negative article appearing on your firm’s search results page can be very damaging. Unfortunately, this type of negative content tends to become lodged on the first page of your Google search results and continues to harm your reputation.
A negative news article is not going to disappear on its own. In fact, Google’s algorithm was created to look for editorial pieces and reviews. The Google news algorithm favors timeliness, so once a story surfaces and browsers begin to click on it, users’ interests will result in Google adding the result to your organic listings. You do not want the negative narrative to spread out of control.
If your law firm is faces a negative news article, it is time to retain an online reputation management specialist to assist you.
Protecting the confidential or personal information of a business or person is taken seriously by search engines. If the negative online content could put you in danger or harm your finances, Google or other search engines will remove it.
The Importance of Online Reputation Management
Online searches are increasingly becoming the primary source of information, including whether to hire your law firm. Thus, to maintain your firm’s brand success and visibility in its target community, you cannot afford to ignore damaging content. Below are a few considerations for repairing your online reputation:
What is Causing the Reputation Problem?
As with any problem, you must identify what is causing it. For example, is your reputation being damaged by a single event? Is a competitor posting unfair comparisons? Do you have an angry former employee leaving negative reviews? You should thoroughly research what is causing the damage. It is recommended that you search the first 500 search results.
Fix the Problem at the Source
Even if you cannot remove the negative content, you can still attempt to repair it at the source. For example, if the negative review is from a client or employee, contact the person and politely request they update or delete the harmful content. Sometimes having a conversation and allowing the person to vent their frustrations to you directly is enough. The most important thing to remember is to be as nice and polite as possible and to document your request in writing.
Follow Up with Google
If you are successful in getting the negative content removed, be sure to follow up with a content removal request to Google. It should be noted, however, this request will only work if the damaging content no longer exists.
Suppress Negative Search Results
If you are unable to get the damaging content removed, you can work to push it down in the search results. This process can be time-consuming and complex to do on your own, but you can push the negative search result down the list by creating and optimizing positive information. If the positive content outranks the harmful content, it will be forced down into the search results, where it is less likely to be seen by browsers. Remember, most online searchers only click on the first or second page of results. So, if the negative content is pushed down to page four, it is as if it doesn’t exist.
Improve Your Online Presence
The most successful tool for protecting your online reputation is to improve the web properties you control. If your law firm is routinely publishing quality content that is optimized for your viewers and the search engines, it will strengthen and protect your brand. You can accomplish this by having a strong social media presence, routinely posting blogs, issuing positive press releases, and posting positive reviews from your clients. Numerous low-quality posts will get you nowhere. Search engines are looking for high-quality content.
How The Rainmaker Institute Can Help
Although it is possible for you to repair your online reputation on your own, most attorneys do not have the time to devote to it. A damaged reputation can cost you thousands of dollars and our experts understand the importance of changing the narrative as quickly as possible.
Your digital presence – especially your reputation – is crucial in generating and converting leads. You have worked hard to get where you are, so learn to use technology to your advantage so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor more often while also generating new clients!
The Rainmaker Institute manages your legal marketing so you can focus on lawyering. We can set-up live chat services and improve your website. We will provide content that contains top legal focus keywords, proper page titles, appropriate meta descriptions, target length of content, and images that will boost your attractiveness to Google. We will also consistently manage your online brand and protect your firm’s reputation.
If you are ready to take your law firm to the next level, we can help. Whether you choose to attend one of our live events or you want a free, confidential consultation, we are here to help!