Lawyer Reviews

Responding to Google Reviews

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT FOR ATTORNEYS Google Reviews for Lawyers – Responding to Reviews Google reviews are becoming more important then most anything else.  The reason is because when someone GOOGLES YOU, they are going to google and plugging your name or firm name in the search box and usually they are getting back your Google my business listing, which will show your Google reviews right away with number of reviews and total review star average.  Then it will also list reviews from other key sites like Facebook, AVVO and With the reviews, it makes great sense to monitor them and RESPOND to any reviews you get.  If they are good 5 star reviews, thank the person. If they are bad 1 star reviews, express your concern and reach out to try and fix the situation.    If someone else is reading the review and sees that your on top of the situation and trying to make it right, it goes a long way and fixes some of the damage done by that 1 star review.    Either way, it shows that your on top of your reviews and a concerned business owner! HOW TO RESPOND TO A GOOGLE REVIEW Responding to a Google review will require that you have a Google my business account.  If you dont have this yet, that means you haven’t verified your business listing with Google yet and you must do that first.     If you have a Google my business account, then its a matter of logging in and responding to the review. Sign in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you’d like to manage. Click Reviews from the menu. (Note that your business needs to be verified in order to respond to reviews.) Click Respond to respond to a customer review. Write a response and click Submit. REPUTATION MANAGEMENT FOR LAWYERS Do you need help with getting more Google reviews?  Do you need help in getting a fake review removed? We can assist your law firm with setting up a Lawyer Review Strategy for not only Google reviews, but also Avvo, Facebook, Yelp and other review sites.    Call us at 630-393-0460 or fill out the form below for more info. [Contact_Form_Builder id=”11″]

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How to Deal with Fake Bad Google Reviews

Reputation Management for Lawyers One Star Fake Google Reviews for Law Firms – It Happens! Getting Google Reviews is a KEY part of your online lawyer SEO strategy these days.   Sometimes you will get a bad 1 or two star review and thats just how it goes, you cant please everyone and some people will just use the review system to take out their frustrations with a possible bad outcome of their case.   YET you must monitor your reviews for possible FAKE reviews.     You should know anytime you get a new review, then its a good idea to read it and possibly respond to it. DO PEOPLE REALLY LEAVE FAKE REVIEWS? Yep. No doubt about it and usually this will be about people who decide to hire other people to leave fake GOOD 5 star reviews.  Yet those same people might also decide that getting a 5 star review for them is good, but how about trying to sabotage a competitor with some FAKE one star reviews?  It can happen and Ive seen it a few times now where a law firm all of a sudden will get a one star review that looks SUSPECT. Receiving a fake review on your Google My Business profile is not a rare occurrence. In fact, it is quite common and something many businesses have experienced. Both Yelp and Amazon have sued fake review posters and in New York the State Attorney General took action against 19 NY based companies involved in fake reviews back in 2013. Legal action hasn’t stopped or prevented fake reviews from continuing to be published, nor has paying huge fines, but that doesn’t mean as a legal business owner there is no way to fight back. How Can You Spot Fake Reviews? Well usually its obvious if its a review from someone you dont recognize and not the name of any past clients.  Also if they dont leave an actual review and just leave a 1 star review with no content, thats a possible sign it might be fake.    Google has a set of guidelines for reviews and if someone breaks them, then its possible to get review removed. Trying to have a fake or spammy Google review removed can sometimes feel as frustrating as receiving the review, however; it is still important to make attempts to have the review removed, even though there is no guarantee that Google will take it down. STEPS TO TAKE IN ORDER TO HAVE FAKE REVIEW REMOVED AT GOOGLE #1- Respond to the Review from your Google My Business account While you may not be able to have the review removed, you do have the ability to respond. Yes, if the review is indeed fake you will not be able to actually resolve the problem for this person, however; you can make it clear to other customers and prospective customers that you are aware of the review, you take what reviewers say seriously, and that as a business you are dedicated to remedying situations “like this.” Just as there are guidelines for leaving a review, Google has some tips for responding. Your response should not be defensive, keep it brief, and do your best to respond as you would for a negative review. #2 – Flag the Review You can notify the team at Google regarding a violation of their review policy by flagging the specific review. 1. Hover over the review in question and a flag icon will appear. 2. Click the Flag icon and you will be taken to the Report a policy violation page. 3.  Enter your company E-mail address and select the Violation Type Then you’re done. You will only hear from a team member if they require additional details from you or if they have information to share with you. When flagging a review: A) If you can, have several people flag the review in question. There is power in numbers and it’s possible it may help increase awareness and ideally action. B) Once a review is flagged try to wait a couple of days for a response or ideally for it to be removed, however; if the review is loaded with hate-speech, profanity, and/or has highly sensitive content, I would say escalate it immediately. Flag and report, then immediately contact a Google support team member. #3- Report the Review to Google Small Business Support If the fake review has not been removed using the flagging method, get in touch with a support associate. You can do this through: 1. The Google My Business Dashboard Log into your GMB page. Go to the Reviews section. Click on the home menu and select Support. Choose a method of Contact – Phone or Email. Fill in the necessary contact parameters, Add a screenshot of the review in question, and wait patiently (you should hear back within 24-48 Hours). #4 – Tweet the Small Business Support Team via Twitter The small business team is knowledgeable and also takes around 24 – 48 hours to get in touch with you (no guarantee though). Sign in to Twitter. Send a Tweet from your company account to the Google Small Biz team. Once you hear back from someone, explain the situation and go from there. ** Make Your Case Okay, so you have finally got in touch with a Google associate from the small business support team, now what? Well, you have to make a case and do your best to show why the review is false, how it violates their policies, why it should be removed, any images, links, or other details that backup your claim. After you report it to a support associate and make your case, they will advise you of whether or not they will escalate the review(s) to a “specialist,” this specialist makes the determines the outcome. Once a decision has been made you will receive a phone call or email confirmation from the small business support associate who was helping you. REPUTATION MANAGEMENT FOR LAWYERS Do you need help with getting more Google reviews?  Do

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Local SEO Lawyer Tips

LOCAL SEO TIPS FOR LAWYERS Local Search Marketing for Attorneys We provide local SEO services to lawyers in any city across the United States.  Local SEO is more important then ever before. Why? Well mainly because it usually comes up before organic rankings, but also because it can be easier to rank for because you wont have as many competitors in some cases.  Also since mobile has become so big, it makes sense that they would see local results first when searching for local businesses on their mobile phones. So bottom line is that you want to focus on Local, Mobile and Video more then ever. Here are a few tips for your law firm local SEO campaign. 1 – Optimize your title tag with the city/cities & services you offer.  Ex – Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer or 60602 Injury Lawyers 2- Keep the URLs neat and clean. Eg. -conditioning.html 3 – Avoid having duplicate content on the website. UseSiteLiner/CopyScape to check for duplicate content. 4- Your images must have descriptive ALT tags and filenames, because this is what search engines read while looking for images. (Use a WordPress plugin) 5-  Do blog posts that are focused on your local area and include keywords related to your practice area and all the location areas. 6 – Add Practice area and location keywords in the titles and descriptions of each page and post. 7 – Install Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster Tools and Google analytics. 8 – Make sure your existing Citations all have the exact same NAP (Name, Address and Phone #) 9- Get as many Citations as you can, but focus mainly on citations from other LOCAL Area website. So if you can get a listing on a local area directory, another local business or better yet a chamber of commerce type website, that will be a more valuable citation.  Remember a citation is just the listing of your business with its contact info. A Link is not needed BUT if you can also get a link to your website, do that! 10- Get REVIEWS for your Google My Business listing.  The more 5 star reviews you can get the better all around.   You want to make sure that when your firms listing comes up in the Google 3 pack, that it stands out from the other 2 law firms by having more 5 star reviews.  

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Track Your Lawyer Reviews

Reviews for Lawyers Reviews these days are everywhere and it seems like people expect to see reviews before making a purchase.  Having NO reviews can sometimes look bad, especially if your a bigger law firm.  People expect to see something!  So there are a lot of places for lawyers where reviews come into play, legal specific sites like AVVO are really important and it makes sense to have good reviews if someone finds you on AVVO.  YET more important these days are your reviews at GOOGLE. Google My Business Listing Every law firm has a Google business listing. The first step is making sure its verified with Google by claiming the listing and having Google call your business phone # or send you a postcard at your address.  Either way once you verify your listing, you can then edit your listing and add content, photos and videos.   THIS is also the place where clients can leave you a review.  SO if your going to get a review, it would make sense to get it here if possible.   Google will also list your reviews in some cases from other sources such as AVVO, but the Google reviews are what people will see when visiting your Google plus page.   Also the reviews can stand out on your local listing if setup correctly.  This can make a big difference if you have ten 5 star reviews and your the only listing that has the reviews visible within search results. OTHER REVIEW SOURCES – Monitor Your Reviews There are many other sources of reviews including Yelp, Yahoo Local, Superpages and many other possible places that someone could leave a review about your law firm.  It makes sense that you have someone monitor for any possible reviews, both good and bad.   There are a number of services that will let you check your current reviews and then setup alerts for new reviews. GET NEW REVIEWS How do you get new reviews is the big question? YELP says you shouldnt ask for them, while Google seems to be a little more relaxed on this, they still dont want any false reviews.   Sometimes people will try and get fake reviews and I guess it could work, but in the long run you want to focus on getting real reviews from real people.  So you have to take action here and make it EASY for your clients to leave a review for you.  There are many ways you can setup a page that will make it an easier process for your client to leave a review.   I have a client handout that I use that can be customized to your law firm that can be sent to your clients or handed out to them.  Its part of the Lawyer Review Campaign service I offer.   I can assist your law firm with the following #1- Audit your current firm and any reviews you now have and produce report #2- Setup advanced monitoring software to monitor any reviews you might get #3- Setup system on your site to have clients leave reviews, with instructions how to leave reviews at different review sites. #4- Custom PDF Review document that can be given to your clients with instructions on how to leave reviews #5- LAWYER Monitoring service.  We will show you how your lawyers are coming up in Google searches and how the search listings can be improved by removing negative stuff and moving more positive stuff onto first page of search results. Contact us at 630-393-0460 or fill out form below for more information. [si-contact-form form=’1′]

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VA Court Delivers Blow To Yelp, Free Speech Of Users

[rev_slider main1] A Virginia state court of appeal has ruled that Yelp must disclose the real identities of seven individuals who posted anonymous, critical reviews of an Alexandria, Virginia carpet cleaning business, Hadeed Carpet. Yelp and free speech advocacy groups have decried the decision. Hadeed said that he didn’t believe that any of the reviews came from actual customers and sued to get Yelp to reveal the identities of the individuals in question. Yelp refused and the court granted Hadeed’s lawyer’s motion to compel. Yelp appealed and the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s ruling (full opinion embedded below). That decision will be appealed by Yelp to the Virginia state supreme court. If Virginia’s highest court affirms the lower, appellate court decision the case could potentially go up to the US Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds. As a practical matter that would be unlikely. Currently the Virginia decision has no binding force on the laws of any other state but it’s a disturbing decision and could be used by similarly situated plaintiffs as “persuasive authority” in non-Virginia cases. It contradicts the otherwise uniform state-law consensus that requires a plaintiff to offer solid evidence justifying “piercing the veil” of anonymity. Yelp argued that the First Amendment places a meaningful evidentiary burden on the plaintiff before the identity of an anonymous speaker can be revealed. The Virginia court sidestepped the First Amendment argument and decided the appeal on the basis of Virginia’s own statute dealing with  the “Identity of persons communicating anonymously over the Internet.” As a practical matter all the plaintiff was legally required to do to compel disclosure of these user identities was make a number of sworn statements to the court: That one or more communications that are or may be tortious or illegal have been made by the anonymous communicator, or that the party requesting the subpoena has a legitimate, good faith basis to contend that such party is the victim of conduct actionable in the jurisdiction where the suit was filed. A copy of the communications that are the subject of the action or subpoena shall be submitted. That other reasonable efforts to identify the anonymous communicator have proven fruitless. That the identity of the anonymous communicator is important, is centrally needed to advance the claim, relates to a core claim or defense, or is directly and materially relevant to that claim or defense. That the individuals or entities to whom the subpoena is addressed are likely to have responsive information The “reasonable efforts to identify the anonymous communicator” in this case were apparently fulfilled by representations to the court that Hadeed consulted its customer database and believed that these individuals were not actual customers. The concern of people like Paul Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen who filed a brief on behalf of Yelp, is that allowing plaintiffs to easily unmask anonymous speakers on the internet will “chill” free speech and make critics think twice before speaking out. You can read his discussion of the case and analysis of the relevant law here. As I indicated, Levy told me this morning that he’s been authorized to appeal the case. He believes that other internet companies may file “friend of the court” briefs with the Virginia Supreme Court because of their interest in protecting the rights of their users. Interestingly Levy indicated that Angie’s List will reveal user identities to business owners but if they turn around and sue for defamation/libel Angie’s List will blacklist the merchant. There are thus a number of ways to strike a balance between the free speech rights of consumers (here in the form of anonymous reviews) and merchant interests in preventing online false statements about their businesses. *** I think people should just be able to leave a review if they want BUT they should have the guts to say who they are.  If I see a review and Im not sure who the reviewer is or if its a real person, then Im not paying much attention to it. Yet if its a real person, then I will rely on it. So Lawyers make sure you follow your reviews on Yelp and other review sites. Search Engine Land [dt_banner bg_image=”” bg_color=”” bg_opacity=”100″ text_color=”” text_size=”normal” border_width=”1″ outer_padding=”10″ inner_padding=”10″ min_height=”150″ animation=”none” link=”” target_blank=”true”][/dt_banner] [dt_call_to_action style=”1″ background=”plain” content_size=”normal” text_align=”left” animation=”none” line=”true”][/dt_call_to_action] [dt_quote type=”blockquote” font_size=”normal” animation=”none” background=”plain”]CONTENT[/dt_quote]

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