How do I solicit reviews from my clients in an ethical way?

One of the key things you can’t afford to overlook in your digital marketing efforts is getting reviews. Reviews are a form of “social proof,” a term coined by Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Social proof is generally defined as people copying the actions of others in order to attempt the correct behavior in a given situation. Firms can influence potential clients to hire them for their service by providing them with social proof. Not only are reviews good for social proof, but reviews can also help boost your overall SEO campaign, especially Google reviews. 

What To Do

Reviews are important, but how do you solicit them? First, make sure you have a profile set up on all the major listings (Google My Business, Avvo, Justia, Facebook, etc.) Once you claim your free listing and optimize it efficiently, you can start driving clients to these pages to leave a review. The best way to gain more reviews is simply by asking your clients. You can send them an email request or if you’re with them in person mention that this is something you are working on and would appreciate their feedback. If you’re sending an email it’s important to give it a personal touch. Address the client by name and even mention something unique about their case if applicable. A less personable approach but an effective one nonetheless is to leave business cards on your desk and any other office signage with a link to one of your review site profiles. Another way to prompt clients to leave you a review is by adding it to a newsletter campaign and website. Remember to answer every review (both positive and negative). This shows that your firm takes feedback seriously and wants to provide the best service possible. 

What Not To Do

Unethical reviews subject firms to multiple penalties. For instance, if Google flags your profile for unethical reviews, it may be suspended and will no longer be seen in the SERP. This will negatively impact your SEO rankings as well. When looking to gain more reviews do not:

  • Ask family and friends to leave a review on a public profile
  • Ask staff members to leave a review 
  • Buy reviews
  • Incentivize reviews 

The Takeaway

Reviews are not only important but necessary for a good marketing campaign, as long as you ask for them in an ethical manner. Clients are often more than happy to provide your firm with feedback, so don’t be afraid to ask them in person or via email. When possible, drive reviews to your Google listing. Having frequent, recent reviews shows Google that your law firm is active and popular which, in turn, helps with your overall rankings. And never ever buy reviews.