Asking your best clients to write a review about your products or services is a common practice in business. In fact, a well-written testimonial will showcase the value of your product or service and help prospective clients to see that you have successfully helped others who are in a similar situation.
Attorneys in particular may benefit from using client testimonials, as they provide real-life examples of how you and your firm were able to resolve complicated legal issues in your clients’ favor. In working with lawyers we typically see 2 types of client testimonials or case results.
First, the non-existent testimonial. With the best intentions at heart, a law firm reserves a section of their website specifically for testimonials, but when a visitor clicks on that section, it’s blank! Needless to say, this reflects poorly on the law firm. A lack of quality testimonials on your website allows your visitors to make one of the following assumptions about your firm: 1) you don’t have any satisfied clients; 2) you haven’t successfully handled any cases similar to theirs; 3) or worse, both! Your job is to squash these assumptions and prove your experience and ability through your website’s content, client testimonials, and case results. This is how you effectively convert visitors into prospective clients (and hopefully quality cases).
Second, vague or dollar-driven case results. More often than not, we see attorneys plaster their websites with case results that don’t say much about the case or how the result helped their client. After all, this information is what really matters to your prospective clients. You want to avoid posting vague case results such as, “I received a generous settlement after I broke my neck in a Massachusetts truck accident.” What does generous mean? $2,000? $2 million? We always advise our clients to provide real numbers and explain what the settlement or verdict amount helped your client cover. A good case result should read something like this: “My name is Susan Jones and X,Y,Z law firm was able to get me $150,000 for my accident injuries. The money was enough to cover my medical expenses, rehabilitation, property damage, and lost wages.”
On occasion, however, we do see some attorneys adding testimonials to their websites in a very effective and compelling way. Vujasinovic & Beckcom, a personal injury law firm in Houston, Texas, prominently displays their clients’ testimonials on their home page (see left side bar under the types of cases they handle). Another personal injury law firm, The Rasansky Law Firm, adds powerful video testimony to their website.
But before you shuffle through your client list or dig through your case files, there are some guidelines you will want to follow when posting testimonials or case results to your website.
- Be selective with your testimonials. Your prospective clients don’t want to wade through dozens and dozens of “you and your staff are so great!”-type of testimonials to find one that really resonates with them. Think quality over quantity.
- Choose the best stories that represent a good cross-section of your practice areas. If you have 8 practice areas, don’t provide 4 testimonials for 2 of your areas and neglect the rest. You’ll never expand your practice if you don’t demonstrate that you have experience in all of the legal areas that you cover.
- When possible, assuage any doubts of authenticity by using client photographs and real names.
- Guide your clients as they write their testimonials. Ask your client to talk about specific ways in which your firm helped them to achieve their goals. Did you handle all of the paperwork for them in a complicated disability claim? Did you go above and beyond to obtain important evidence in a custody case? These specific details lend credibility to a story.
Whichever approach your firm decides to take, make sure to secure full client approval and permission before posting any case information on your website.
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