Lawyer Identity Management
An integral part of developing a strong Internet presence for an attorney involves managing the attorney’s online reputation. Unlike other types of businesses,consumers will not only research the name of the law firm, but also the name of the individual attorney who will potentially represent them in a legal matter. It is important to have a strong and positive reputation across several different online sources.
Lawyer Identity Management
Online Identity Management (OIM) or Personal Reputation Management (PRM) refers to a set of techniques that generate a distinguished web presence for an individual person on the Internet. This presence is reflected in any web content that refers to the person, including news, personal web sites, social media, pictures, videos, and any participation in blogs or forums.
For an attorney, this means improving the quality of several different online profiles, blogs, personal websites, biographical content, and any other web pages that are related to the person. It is important to present the lawyer in a positive light and highlight the accolades and credentials of the individual. Any lawyer knows that it is very important to make a strong first impression on a potential client.
Question – How do the search results look for your law firm’s name?
Why does it matter? Your website may be ranking well for your most desirable keywords, but if you are not in control of the entire front page of Google, Bing and Yahoo for your law firm’s name – then you have a problem. Just as important, you need to be in control of the search results for the name of each individual attorney in the firm.
Your ideal clients will type in the name of your firm and/or each individual attorney when they begin their search for a law firm to handle thier legal problem. What will your ideal client find? Even one bad review can cause you to lose thousands of dollars of business each year. And one bad review may encourage another frustrated client to also leave a negative review. Before long, any potential client will see several of these reviews and may decide to hire a law firm that doesn’t have the reputation management “drama.”
The Damage Can Be Done with One Negitive Review
Law firms have no choice but to pay attention to their on-line reputation and manage it appropriately. Every year managing your on-line reputation becomes more and more important. It also becomes more difficult as various websites make it easier for a frustrated former client to leave a negative review. One angry former client can do a tremendous amount of damage. If that former angry client has an authoritative blog – the battle to maintain control over your name can be lost very quickly.
Recommendations for On-line Identity Management from Internet Lava:
- Once a month, type in the name of your law firm into the major search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo. Read through the first two pages of results for any negative reviews.
- Require each attorney in the firm to search the first two pages of each search engines for negative reviews associated with their name.
- Sign up for the following alerts so that you will be notified when new content is created about your attorneys or your law firm:
- Google Alerts;
- Yahoo Alerts; and
- Bing Alerts.
Search Engine Identity Management
Many potential clients who are in the process of deciding which lawyer to hire for their case will actively research the individual attorney. This is most often accomplished by typing the person’s name into a search engine, clicking “search,” and investigating each of the search results on the first page. To search for a person’s name or to “Google someone” is a method that many consumers will use when researching a lawyer. For all professionals, and especially for lawyers, it is vitally important to have a strong identity throughout the first page results.
At Internet Lava, we not only optimize your online materials for important industry relevant keywords, but also for the name of each individual attorney in your firm. Search engine identity management is a different kind of search engine optimization that involves techniques that will improve the quality of search results for a person’s name as opposed to a keyword or keyword phrase. This can be accomplished by creating multiple online profiles that present the individual in a positive light. Put simply, we want the top search results for your name to include the very best web pages for making a positive impression on your potential clients.
Overcoming Negative Online Content
For an attorney, negative online content may consist of:
Bad Reviews / Complaints – It happens to the best of us, a previous client writes a review on the Internet that is less than flattering. This can happen for a number of reasons, they were dissatisfied with the level of service, they could not afford the service, they were confused or did not properly understand the legal matter and got a result they did not expect. Bad reviews can be detrimental to your online reputation. The good news is that we can work to minimize the damage.
Outdated Information – Let’s say that you worked at another law firm previously, before going into private practice. When someone searches your name, they see multiple references to your previous identity at the other firm. Many times, this will include the address, phone number, and email of your previous employer. Obviously, you don’t want your potential clients contacting another firm.
Misleading Information – Let’s say another attorney in a neighboring city shares the same name as you. When someone searches for your name, they see multiple references to this other individual; often this will include incorrect contact information, and in some situations, may even include negative content about the individual. Fortunately, there are techniques we can use to combat this.
If negative online content is present in first page search results when someone searches for your name, it is not good for your practice. At Internet Lava, we can use very effective techniques to “optimize you” and not just your firm.
The goal is to push the negative web pages off the first page by creating positive web pages that will surpass them in ranking. This can be accomplished by utilizing a combination of online profile management and online identity optimization techniques.
Online Profile Management
This is a process of creating and monitoring multiple online profiles. These may include, Facebook, Blogger, NOLO, LawLink, LinkedIn, and many others. It is also important to create a profile or “bio page” on your law firm’s personal website. The reasoning behind doing this is quite simple; all of these pages can be controlled. If you don’t have these pages, you are at the mercy of having search results come up for your name that are beyond your control.
Online Identity Optimization
Simply creating a number of online profiles may not be enough. It is also important to optimize them properly so they can surpass other search results. Ideally, you want to have full control over every web page that comes up on the first page search results for your name. By properly creating and optimizing a number of web profile pages, we can accomplish this. More importantly, we can use each of these pages to display you as an authority in your legal field. By highlighting your credentials and experience, your potential clients will be impressed when they research you.
Giving YOU the Control – Own Your Name!
We make it a point to make sure that YOU have full control over your online identity as well. We can create, monitor, and optimize multiple web pages that will impress your potential clients. In addition, we provide you with login access to each of these web pages. This allows you to easily update and edit the content that is most important to your online reputation.
Internet LAVA’s Solution for a Successful Online Identity
At Internet Lava, we work closely with individual attorneys to ensure that their online identity works for them and not against them. Our formula for a successful online reputation will allow you to concentrate on your practice and your clients while we optimize all of the necessary web pages that are directly related to you as an individual in the legal community. By doing this, we can achieve an impressive online reputation that will have potential clients knocking at your door. For more information about our services, contact us today, or call 1 (800) 292-Lava.