Mr. Google and the rest are striving to give great search results. They want to put the best companies at the top of the first page. That is their goal. So, the importance of on-line reviews is critical. Google sees all of them. And a big part of how you rank in search results is based on how your clients express their opinion in online reviews. And your potential customers feel the same way. A recent study showed that 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And if you get a bad review it becomes even more important to “dilute” that with a few (or many) positive ones.
The first step is to establish a presence on the major review websites. Yelp, Merchant Circle, Google+, Yahoo Local, Patch, etc. are established review sites that people trust. You need to have a presence on all of them. Doing this might seem impossible or too hard. But we have a system that automates the whole process. So, let us know if you want help with this.
The next step is asking. Get out on your Facebook Fan Page, Twitter and LinkedIn pages and post a request for a review. Include a link to Google+, Yelp etc. or to a form on your website. And if they leave one, be sure to ask them for permission to use it for promotions. Also ask after you complete a project. That is always the best time. Timing is critical. And that depends on your business and the nature of the work you do. Sometimes you can ask right away and sometimes you need to wait a month so that they are certain things are right with your project. Simply followup with an email that asks them to go to a review website or to your online form.
Once you get a review and you have asked permission to promote it, put it on your website. My favorite method is to have testimonials fade in and out in a sidebar. David Bach has 20+ reviews in his website. So, we were able to create a nice unending random display of them. They add credibility to the website and help create a level of comfort for the new visitors.
Another option is to gamify your reviews. Is gamify a word? Anyway, a system like PunchTab.com enables visitors to earn entries into a raffle for a prize by “liking”, friending, tweeting and sharing your website.
Getting all of this done is something we can help you with. We can get your company into 45 business website directories and we can create a dashboard for monitoring all of your reviews. This is called Reputation Monitoring. Please contact us, if you need assistance or want more information. A free Business Directory Listing Report is available upon request.