6 Ways to Protect Your Online Reputation
Your reputation and identity online are vital to your practice. It matters not if the information on the Internet is true or false, who you are in the that community becomes reality to the consumers searching for a lawyer. To protect your reputation, it’s important to know what’s being said about you.
The following steps can help you be sure your online reputation is not costing you clients and damaging your reputation.
1. Check Search Engines Monthly: Consumers are searching for lawyers online in record numbers. To discover what people are saying about you on review sites, in blogs and in social media, search your name and your firm on all the major search engines. The results are presented in the following order of appearance:
- LinkedIn profile
- Law Firm web bio
- Facebook profile
- Twitter profile
- Images of you from around the web
- Articles and blogs about you or written about you.
Review each, particularly the first four; edit as needed. It is very important to keep your profiles up to date. Every time you write an article or complete a court case, update your bio and you’ll help your page stay up in the rankings.
2. Set up a Google Alert on your name. This is a great way to see when your name appears in search engines. To create an alert, go to the Google Alerts home page and type your name in the “Create an alert about ____” box. You can select if you’d like to receive e-mail alerts when your name appears once a day or once a week.
3. Protect What You Can: Check your social media privacy settings and change as much as you can. Next look at your personal networks and eliminate language and photos you don’t like.
4. Register Your Name as a Domain: If you haven’t already, register your name as a domain to prevent anyone from taking it from you. Even if you don’t use it right away, it will be protected for the future. Also secure your name on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
5. Publish Regular and Informative Content: Although you can’t control everything that is written about you, you can control the content you provide. Regular and informative articles, blogs, podcasts and features on your pro bono work all help to keep your reputation online positive.
6. Address Negative Reviews: First, realize that consumer research shows that a few negative reviews improve the credibility of the positive postings. Second, a negative review could reveal an office procedure that needs changing. Finally, your response to the review restating your commitment to client service sends a powerful message to potential clients reading the review.
Protecting your online reputation is an important part of building and sustaining your practice. Being aware of what’s out there and correcting any problems will go a long way to ensure your online reputation isn’t costing you clients.