At the end of November, Google announced that they were introducing Reviews in Google Places for Business. For Google listed, verified business owners who are actively utilizing search and review sites to build their business brand and grow their competitive advantage by seeking positive reviews from clients and customers, the Reviews portion of Google Places for Business has become an important resource in their online business marketing plan.
In the Web-enabled era, consumer testimonials and online business reviews, especially positive ones, are worth a great deal to business owners. And this is never more true than in highly-competitive markets. A glowing review can easily sway a consumer’s decision to shop your business over that of a competitor with bad reviews or no reviews at all. But how do you get good online reviews? An excellent question!
Here are the top 5 ways to get good online reviews for your business at Google Places for Business or any other search and review site.
Number One. Always provide excellent customer service. If you’re actively trying to grow your business and compete in the market, you should understand that positive reviews or word of mouth does great things for your brand. Alternately, the bad stuff can cause a lot of harm. This is especially true in the service sector.
Number Two. Jump at the opportunity to help an angry customer. Even if a customer is upset about some unavoidable aspect of your business (not being open on a certain day or no longer offering a specific product), make sure to connect with them and offer to do what you can to resolve the issue. If you don’t put out a fire, it’ll rage out of control. The Web offers fire starters a lot of kindling. Keep that in mind.
Number Three. Ask for reviews. Just ask! Failing to ask satisfied customers for a review of your business is imprudent (to say the least). In basketball, they say you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If you have a satisfied customer in your office or your retail shop, ask them to post a review to Yelp or Google Places for Business or Facebook or Foursquare or anywhere they like to post reviews. Obviously, it’s highly unethical to bribe a customer for a positive review, and if you try to write a glowing review of your own business, you run the risk of being caught, but you want positive reviews posted online, so take full advantage of any situation in which a customer is happy with your business and ask them to honor you with a review of your business or your services.
Number Four. Don’t forget mobile. Currently, 75% of all mobile phones in the U.S. are Web-enabled smartphones. So, as you can imagine, it’s really easy for a happy customer to leave you a quick positive review from their smartphone straight to Yelp, Google Places for Business, Facebook, or Foursquare. Keep in mind that reviews from smartphones are often much shorter than reviews made from regular desktop PCs (for obvious reasons), but you’re likely to rack up more reviews when your customers are prompted to post a review via their smartphones right then and there. The reason for this is simple: people often forget to write and post business reviews later in the day when they get home.
Number Five. Show them how to leave you a review. Let’s face it, some people, even those with smartphones, don’t use Yelp, Google Places for Business, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. They don’t know the value each of those resources offer consumers. But, it’s a sure bet that they’ll easily learn to love online search and review sites if they’re exposed to them. You can put a link or a badge on your website that links to your business page at any one of the aforementioned search and review sites. Now, the happy customer has a resource that will allow them to rate your business and receive invaluable consumer information about other businesses that match their interests as well.
This article is brought to you by Rank Fuse Interactive, which serves both businesses and agencies alike as a provider of search engine marketing (SEM) programs, including search engine optimization (SEO), paid search advertising (PPC), social media marketing, content marketing, mobile web marketing, and search-friendly web design.