When an frustrated former clients posts a negative review about a law firm, seeing that review on your Google Local Business Listing can be devastating. The local business listings on Google Places are perhaps the most important marketing tool available to attorneys because it will inevitably show up first when anyone “Googles” the name of the attorney or the law firm.
At Internet LAVA, our website design and internet marketing company has an easy solution – worry more about an effective on-line presence and then you will worry less about one negative review. In fact, one negative review can actually increase the credibility of other positive reviews. Your ideal client is less likely to trust a series of glowing reviews without seeing at least one isolated negative review.
Don’t Try to Remove a Negative Review on Google Places
Yes, Google Places does have a process for asking for a misleading or inaccurate negative review to be removed from a law firm’s local business listing. However, don’t even think about it. Our experience has been that once the review is removed, the listing gets penalized and loses its rankings for at least 6 months. If you are worried about one negative review then keep in mind that eventually positive reviews will minimize the impact of one negative review.
Update: In August of 2010, Google Places now allows law firms and other businesses to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Interacting with the prior client who shared their opinion about the law firm is a great way to let your potential clients know that you care about the feedback. However, attorneys must be very careful not to violate any rights to confidentiality. Although this is an interesting option for a hotel owner or a cupcake maker, attorneys are probably better off not responding to a negative review.
How Law Firms Should Respond to a Negative Review – Forget About It – Blog article with informational videos produced by Yelp.com with advice to business owners worried about a negative review.
On-line Reputation Management for Attorneys – Read more from Internet LAVA about how we help our clients manage their on-line reputation through a strong internet presence that begins with a powerful, effective website.