How To Get Google Five Stars Under Your Law Firm’s Name

Law Quill | How To Get Google Five Stars Under Your Law Firm's Name
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When you conduct a search for attorneys in your area, you will see some companies with a Google five stars rating below their link. Not surprisingly, these star ratings are highly valuable, and they have a serious impact on consumers. A favorable star rating on the search results page often influences a user to click and visit a website. If you want to gain stars for your business, (and who wouldn’t) there are three basic ways to get Google five stars: use schema markup, post on trusted review sites and build your site’s authority. 

Google’s Guidelines for Reviews

Google displays stars for businesses who gain legitimate reviews of their service or product. Since Google knows how beneficial it is to be featured with stars, they are interested in safeguarding against businesses who would cheat the system. This is why they have created a set of guidelines for using schema on websites. The rules are fairly reasonable and it is recommended to follow them as closely as possible when collecting reviews. They include:

  • Verify that the ratings and reviews you mark up are easily accessible to consumers from the marked-up page.
  • Reviews should allow clients to share both negative and positive feedback.
  • Only display reviews that have been directly produced by your website, not reviews from other sources.

3 Ways to Get Google Five Stars

In working toward the goal of review stars on Google, the first step is to solicit and obtain reviews from your clients. Aim for quantity, and these reviews should be new, unique and previously unpublished anywhere else. They can be displayed on your website, or other trusted review sites. When placed on your website, there should be a different one on each relevant page or practice area. Gather all of the necessary information, such as the text of the review, the reviewer’s name, the review date and the number of stars awarded. Once you rack up reviews, you can utilize schema markup to optimize your chances on the search results pages. But what exactly is schema markup?

Add Schema Markup

Schemas are code-based ways to define items online, such as: reviews, attributes or business information.

There are three types of schema markup available, and they are used differently, depending on the scenario. 

To add schema markup in WordPress, you need to change from the visual editor to the text editor, and use specific code. There is a WordPress plugin (Schema) that will help, and for more specific instructions, view the Schema website. Once you complete the specific review code, be sure to:

  • Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to test your work and check for mistakes in your code.
  • Ensure that your changes are indexed quickly by resubmitting your XML sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools. 
  • Check for success after 5-7 days by conducting an organic search. 

Use Trusted Review Sites

Trusted review sites are recognized by Google as legitimate entities for collecting real and trustworthy consumer feedback. Each review site uses specific procedures to ensure that any reviews are bona fide feedback from real customers or clients. Sign up for a trusted review site and ask your clients to start reviewing your services on these platforms. Google offers a list of these, and here are some of the top review sites for law firms and other businesses:

  • Google My Business
  • Avvo
  • FindLaw
  • Justia
  • Lawyers.com
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Angie’s List
  • Trustpilot

Build Site Authority

There is a solid correlation between site authority and Google’s notice of your star ratings. Site authority is an SEO concept that refers to the strength of a given website. To boost your website’s site authority, one of the best ways is to create content that is valuable to consumers, and stocked with relevant links and SEO. Your law firm’s website must demonstrate that your company has valuable insights to share, and also that you have expertise in your field. Building site authority can take time, but can be boiled down to the following four steps:

    1. Create Content. Start a blog that relates to your niche. Write evergreen content. Optimize your content, repurpose it and clear out anything that is outdated. Conduct a website content audit.
    2. Add Links. Use content marketing to promote your content. Write guest posts and add backlinks. Add your comments and posts to LinkedIn and to relevant professional chat groups.
    3. Maintain a Social Media Presence. Build a social following where your ideal audience hangs out. Be a thought leader. Stick to a posting schedule. Use paid advertising on appropriate channels. 
    4. Build Recognition. Earn positive reviews. Gather testimonials. Collect endorsements on LinkedIn. Be visible in the community. Be an expert legal source. Speak at local events. 

Increase Your Google Five Stars Ratings

There are some key steps to take that do not involve schema markup or Google’s mysterious algorithm, and accomplishing these things is well within your grasp.

Boost Quantity

The more four and five star ratings you have, the better your average will be. If you are just starting to acquire reviews, focus on quantity. It helps to include a review request as you wrap up a case, just like you would finalize any other part of your client interaction. 

Keep Providing Great Client Service

As with any service-based business, great service often leads to great reviews. Even if a case does not end with the desired outcome,  every staff member at your law firm can control how each client is treated. 

Do Not Ignore Negative Reviews

Although they can be discouraging, every law firm receives a negative review once in a while. Sometimes, a client goes overboard in writing an emotional and negative review. Resist the temptation to freak out, and do not ignore the negative review, either. Consider the following tips for responding to negative reviews:

  1. Do not respond immediately. Take time and think it over to avoid responding out of emotion or defensiveness. 
  2. Gather the facts related to this client’s issue. 
  3. Proceed with empanty.
  4. Compose your thoughts and write out a draft before posting anything. 
  5. Be as brief as possible. Three or four sentences might be best.
  6. Contact the reviewer by phone or email if possible. After discussing the matter, some clients will change their mind and their review, if they feel you handled things right. 
  7. Realize that some people cannot be satisfied, so after trying your best, simply move on.

Law Quill | How To Get Google Five Stars Under Your Law Firm's Name

What To Do When a Google Review Is Not Showing Up

According to Local University, Google removed almost 100 million reviews in 2021 for violating their guidelines, and this is a key reason why some Google reviews may not show up on your GBP listing. Below, you can find out what to do when a Google review is not showing up:

  1. Gather evidence. If a Google review is not showing up, gather any evidence you can that relates to the new review you cannot see on your GBP listing. This typically involves getting screenshots of both the email notification you received of the review and the reviews currently listed on your GBP profile to demonstrate that a review is missing.
  2. Seek support. If Google recently suspended your GBP listing, speak to their support team and use your reinstatement details and case number to transfer any missing reviews to your new listing. In contrast, if Google did not suspend your listing, ask Google’s support team to help with locating your missing reviews.
  3. Ask the online community. If Google’s support team does not resolve the issue, consider posting your issue on Google’s community forums. By doing this, you may attract the attention of a helpful Google employee who might assist with this matter further.

How To Ask for a 5-Star Review

Find out how to ask for a 5-star rating by reviewing these four steps:

  1. Send requests by SMS. Most people submit reviews via mobile devices and due to various technologies, including dictation typing, clients can often do this more easily than via email. With this in mind, consider creating some SMS templates that include a call to action encouraging previous clients to submit a review of your firm’s services to improve your chances of securing a 5-star rating for your firm.
  2. Adopt email best practices. While SMS requests might be more effective, it is still important to send review requests by email to improve your firm’s chances of gaining additional ratings. Some crucial best practices to adopt when doing this include personalizing these emails, keeping them short, and getting straight to the point by telling them you would like them to provide a review.
  3. Create a dedicated webpage. Doing this is an excellent way of encouraging your law firm’s clients to openly discuss their experiences with your services. You can create these using embedded widgets on your law firm’s website, utilizing specialist SEO software or including a survey form. After setting this up, think about sharing this page’s link with your social media followers or with clients after concluding their cases.
  4. Ask for feedback toward the end of the service. A good way of getting quick feedback involves directly asking the client for a review toward the end of the service. The client is far more likely to provide feedback if you are personally giving them a digital form in which to fill out. Moreover, you can easily share these reviews online to make them publicly visible. This feedback is also likely to be more valuable, as the client can remember the service more clearly when asked just before the service concludes

How Law Quill Can Help Your Law Firm Get Google Five Stars

Earning Google five stars reviews begins with the practice of asking your clients to submit reviews at the end of every case. Sign up on several review sites and ask your clients to post their reviews on a variety of these platforms. Add the relevant schema to your website, using available schema tools, and get help if you need it. Finally, stay consistent in providing the best content possible to bring value to your clients and authority to your website. 

We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at support@lawquill.com.