The legal field, like the medical field, has seen a substantial growth in the need for online reputation repair and management. It has never been easier for a disgruntled former employee, unscrupulous competitor, or vengeful opponent to slander your law firm reputation. All that is really needed to torpedo lawyer reputation these days is an computer keyboard and the desire to do some damage.
The need for online reputation repair has risen in all fields, from education to auto repair, but few professions need it more than ones such as law, which by its very nature pits opposing parties against one another. Whether you are a divorce attorney or a defense attorney, your law firm reputation could easily come under fire on any given case or because of any particular decision.
Even worse, once a negative comment has been posted about you or your law firm, it can persist in cyber space for years afterwards. Every time a potential client googles your name or comes across a review website for your practice, the same damning information can undermine your law firm reputation over and over.
If you have seen a sudden unexplained drop in your business, you might try doing an internet search for your law firm and see what you find. What you find might shock you.
How Can Online Reputation Repair Help Your Law Firm
If you have had something negative written about you and would like to mitigate the damage to your law firm reputation, the key is Online Reputation Management (“ORM”). ORM involves using the same marketing principles that help place webpages and sites on the top of search results to surround and displace negative comments that damage your law firm reputation and lawyer reputation.
How does it work?
- Creating Positive Counter Posts: We begin by creating a series of positive counter posts in order to help repair your reputation. These positive posts have two effects. First they start to fill your search results with other information about you and your lawyer reputation, so that the negative posts are not the only ones that internet users find. In addition, these posts also fill up spots on Search Engine Results Pages that might otherwise be taken up by further negative information. Second, they also start working on pushing negative information out of those spaces—ideally completely off the top results.
- Monitoring the Web for New Negative Comments: In addition, as part of our online reputation management services, we monitor the web making sure that any new negative comments that may arise are quickly countered. For example, if negative comments about you and your law firm are posted to a discussion forum, our Online Reputation Repair team will be alerted to them, we will go in, mark the comment as abusive when possible and then also try to add counter postings in the forum itself so that the negative comments are never allowed to simply stand by themselves without positive counter statements.
- Diminishing the Visibility of Negative Posts: Using websites with strong Page Ranks and posting positive information can help to push negative posts and comments from the first page on search engines and review forums. (In fact, in many cases on review forums it is just a question of continuing to add positive reviews since they are generally listed in chronological order.)
- What kinds of positive hubs do we create:
- Article Marketing: We post articles to legal websites and generally so that you not only get backlinks to your own site but the articles in themselves will post on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- Press Release Marketing: In addition we employ the power of press releases to help you mitigate the damage to your lawyer reputation. Press releases are especially effective because they tend to have a seemingly more objective tone and are posted on third party legal websites that feel neutral and authoritative to web users.
- Blogs: We also create blogs to help talk up your firm and create further inbound links in order to shield your firm from negative comments.
- Websites: In some cases you may even find it useful to create separate sites that help mitigate damaging press that you may receive in other arenas.
Online Reputation Repair and Management can be expensive if you are trying to counter a particularly persistent opponent. However, the cost of not attempting to mitigate the negative effects of such attacks to your law firm reputation can be even higher since many clients will simply steer clear of law firms they are unsure about in favor of those whose track record seems unblemished. For a lawyer, reputation can mean the difference between a thriving successful law firm and one that languishes.