Although online reviews have been around for quite some time, they’ve arguably never been bigger than they are today. You could also make the point that they’ve never played a bigger role in the decision making of prospective clients. Here are some key statistics from Vendasta to give you an idea of how integral online reviews have become and some tendencies that users have when reading reviews to guide your approach.
“92 percent of consumers now read online reviews”
This is a ridiculously large number and is up from 88 percent in 2014. Perhaps part of the reason for this massive volume of people consulting online reviews is that mobile device usage is up. Whether prospective clients are at home, in the office or on the go, mobile devices (smartphones in particular) make it quick and easy to research potential attorneys in their area and check out reviews.
“40 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews”
This stat shows us the importance of having positive reviews at the top of the review summary. With just under half of all people reading only one to three reviews, there’s a very small window of opportunity to reel them in. Even if you have overwhelmingly positive reviews, it’s still going to hurt you if the first few reviews are negative.
“88 percent trust reviews as much as personal recommendations”
Word-of-mouth advertising may seem a little antiquated in our high tech marketing age, but it’s still incredibly potent, and this is unlikely to change. This statistic is proof of just how legitimate most prospective clients will view online reviews. If you’re able to obtain several positive reviews, this is inevitably going to help your law firm establish trust and authority.
“44 percent say a review must be written within one month to be relevant”
If your last review was posted six months ago, it’s simply not going to have the same impact as one that was posted yesterday. We’re no doubt living in an age where information moves quicker and quicker, so it’s very important to not only have positive reviews but have fresh ones. You need to keep them coming.
“48 percent will visit a company’s website after reading positive reviews”
As a legal marketer, you’re obviously looking to generate plenty of high-quality traffic to your law firm’s website. You want to bring in leads that trust you at least some extent and that are warmed up enough to be potential conversions.
I would argue that acquiring leads through online reviews is one of the most effective strategies because many people will already be primed to take action and contact you. While other tactics like SEO and social media are effective as well, the leads coming through these channels are often a bit colder than the ones you acquire through online reviews and take a bit more warming up.
Odds are you already knew that online reviews were important. But these statistics prove that they are more important than ever. That’s why it’s a smart move to get your law firm listed on multiple review sites and to encourage satisfied clients to chime in with their input.