Online reviews are probably one of the most powerful ways to increase the online presence and credibility of your business. Whether it’s Google plus, Yelp!, or Angie’s List, there are many review sites that are available for your current or past clients to leave reviews. Your first step is to determine the most relevant sites to your business. For example, a remodeling company might put Angie’s List as a top priority for receiving reviews because is geared towards service businesses. Do some research and make a list of three sites to start.
I had a client recently receive a negative review from a customer on Yelp!. Their business listing was complete, verified and overall looked good but because there were no reviews, one negative rating became the primary influencer of the entire listing. It was the first thing people saw when they came to the page. I suggested they tap into their email list and simply ask people to review the business. They sent it in the form of an informal follow-up email asking for a Google plus review of their business along with a direct link to the review form. They also sent a separate email to the other half of their list with a link to their Yelp! page.
After sending the emails, about 90 percent of the people either ignored or replied saying they would review, but never followed through. As a result, the small number of reviews we did receive had a big impact. For the Yelp! listing, four 5 star reviews came in and pushed the negative review off the first page. Google plus received three reviews adding to the others that were already there – and a huge improvement of the overall credibility of the listing.
In general, past and current clients are willing and often glad to review your business. One or several positive reviews can instantly increase the credibility and overall efficacy of a business listing. Of course, you want to be discretionary about who you ask. You don’t want to spam your entire email list asking for a review. You want to make sure they had a positive experience with your business and that they may leave a positive comment. Chances are once you start going through your list, names will start popping out.
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
It’s really not too difficult to ask people to review your business. You don’t need a big email list or any email list at all. Open your Outlook address book and get a small list of past clients who you think might be able and willing to give you a positive review. You might be surprised with the feedback you get.
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