Recently Google replaced Google Places with Google+ Local. Among the goals Google had to make the switch was to offer a platform where Google users can impact search results through their online reviews. Reviews are gaining importance in how search engines locate you. Through Penguin, Panda, and Venus, Google has put the area into Local search. Among the main goals of the February updates was to help searchers with “more locally relevant predictions.” Among the criteria Google now considers in Search may be the interaction between the consumer and the business. Online reviews look like among the main components in the algorithm. This causes it to be important that the business has plenty of reviews on plenty of sites.
Reviews are becoming more important to the internet user, as well. Reviews on sites such as for instance Google+ Local, Yelp.com and Citysearch have become buy google reviews increasingly significant. People trust reviews. A Nielsen study released in 2009 underscored this. It found that 70% of respondents considered online reviews helpful and trustworthy. Only recommendations by friends ranked higher in the survey.
So now the question is, where do you get reviewed? You can find 1000s of places online where someone could review your business. Here certainly are a few factors to think about which ones are best:
Syndication- Some reviews are syndicated round the web. Sites that get syndicated often include Citysearch, Insider Pages and Yahoo Local
Ease of reviewing – Sites where many individuals curently have login ID’s are good places to check for. People are often discouraged to review a website if they have to produce a user name and password. Should they curently have a login and password, that annoying step is unnecessary. The three sites in the list above are good candidates, as well as Google Maps.
Vertical Sites – Vertical sites are committed to a certain industry. They are generally more trusted by search engines, and could be a good supply of traffic. Some industries supported by virtual sites include travel (Trip Advisor), restaurants (Open Table), and healthcare (HealthGrades). Obviously there are others. You are able to run your own personal search to find them.
You can find other factors to consider. According to your location and the demographics of one’s customer base, particular sites may be much more useful. Some sites are popular in certain regions of the country. Some local newspapers could have thriving sites where they are located, but have little impact elsewhere. Some sites attract different users. As an example, Angie’s list appears to urban reviewers who are concerned about the validity of reviews posted on the sites they visit. It’s a good practice to encourage reviews in a number of sources, as it’s hard to know which sites will be most used or trusted in the future.
Another thing to consider is that a number of your customers are already adept at reviewing local businesses. Encourage these users to utilize a common review sites. Customers who’re already familiar with a website and have a login ID are more prone to complete a review. Also, some sites have developed trust systems. They allocate more authority to reviewers who use the site regularly. Your business can benefit from a review form certainly one of a sites trusted reviewers.
How will you get customers to offer a review? Well…
1. Inquire further for one. When someone tells you that you did a congrats, thank them for it. Let them know how much you appreciate their business. Then ask nicely if they would mind writing an on line review.
2. When you have a Facebook page, ask your fans to review your business.
3. Send a note to your email mailing list.
4. Inquire further in a follow-up email. Sending thank you emails is a great practice to have anyway. Including a request for online reviews in a thank you email is a great way to capture a review while your great service is still fresh in your customers’mind. Ensure it is simple for them by including links to popular review sites that the customer could have a login for already.
5. Offer an incentive. Supplying a small token of thanks and entering online reviewers in raffles are two ways to offer incentives. This really is frowned upon by some sites, Yelp for starters, but are not by others. Yelp is a well known site that’s difficult to manage.
Although the temptation is always to ask only the happiest customers, it is a most useful practice to ask all your customers for reviews. You’ll receive more reviews, which is what you’re after. The positive reviews will drown out the negative ones. Most sites will let a small business owner answer a bad review, to help you demonstrate your customer service credentials that way. Finally, there’s less authenticity to sites which have only 5 star reviews. There’s a temptation to post fake positive reviews for the business. Many sites have found out ways to detect a phony review. Actually, Yelp will significantly punish a small business they suspect of doing this. Besides the questionable ethics, it is not just a good practice to fake your reviews. Many review readers can sniff out something that’s not authentic.
Beware there are filthy businesses that’ll purposely post an unflattering review in your business. They’ll then call you and claim they have a proven method to remove the bad review. They’ll go onto back their claim by saying you won’t have to pay until the review is removed. Remember this. The only one who can remove an unflattering review is the main one who posted it. So when they successfully removed it, well, you get the picture. Successful business people have better things to complete than post damaging, phony reviews on the competitors. It is really a practice you ought not consider.
Customer reviews are becoming more prevalent than ever. Because they become linked to social networking accounts, people might find reviews published by their friends and contacts. The strength of online reviews can be even more influential. This is actually the idea behind Google+ Local. Prepare yourself for this very day by consistently asking for reviews now.