When someone’s looking for an attorney, they most likely will ask a friend or relative for a law practice referral. However, many others will go online and use their favorite social media to find a lawyer. A third way and one that is growing in popularity, is through local business review sites.
Yes, you may think of these sites when you’re looking for a restaurant or florist, but more and more professionals, including doctors, dentists, and attorneys are signing on to these active sites. To get your share of this traffic, you need to be there as well.
The latest trend in online marketing is “social proof.” This refers to the concept that people do things that other people are doing. They make the leap that if other people are frequenting a business or using a certain professional, then those folks must be more knowledgeable. This type of referral is growing quickly through the local business review sites where clients and customers are able to post their feelings on recent engagements.
Here are some of the more popular sites, most of which allow you to list for free.
If you’re looking to obtain online referrals for lawyers, this is the place to be. According to a recent study by Ethical SEO Consulting, over 28% of people looking for an attorney using this type of channel selected Google Places, the most of any site. Listing here also gets you on Google Maps and enhances your search result on Google.
Yelp is one of the dominant players in the local review-listing field. They boast 71 million unique monthly visitors and have posted nearly 30 million reviews – over 83% positive. They focus on local business so this can be an effective listing for you.
This is another favorite local business site. Your listing links to a map and comes with a full landing page. The results rank above organic search and below the top three pay per click listings on search engine results pages.
They’ve been around since 1995 and have established solid credibility. They are similar to Yelp and show up well in search engines. They also have a Best of CitySearch competition where local users vote for the best business in various categories. This can get you additional local exposure.
This is another leading site for local user reviews. They have smaller numbers than other sites because they charge a membership fee. This makes their users more invested, which can mean they are probably closer to a buying decision. They have over a million members with 40,000 reviews posted each month.
Local online review sites are the new combination of Yellow Pages and word of month. Listing here and receiving positive reviews is an effective way to grow your practice.