Establishing, guarding, & leveraging your presence on review sites can help grow your business
No matter what kind of product or service your company provides, a positive presence on the top online review sites is absolutely vital. Recent industry research has confirmed the high position that online reviews hold in consumers’ hearts—both online and in-store shoppers now cite online reviews as the most influential source of information for their purchasing decisions.
Consumers use online review sites in two important ways. First of all, they use review sites to look up information about a specific product, service, or company they are already aware of. Secondly, they use review sites to search for local companies that provide a product or service that they need. It is very important to make sure that you do everything in your power to support both of these activities. Here are the key steps you’ll need to take.
Step 1: Claim your listings on major search and review sites
At minimum, you need to create a business profile on Google+, Yelp!, and Facebook. If you have multiple business locations, be sure to set up separate profiles for each location so that they will pop in the appropriate local searches. Though Facebook is not a traditional review site, they are rolling out some pretty cool local search features in an attempt to compete with Google, so definitely don’t neglect to include Facebook in your review site setup plan. Also make a point of listing yourself on any review site relevant to your industry, such as TripAdvisor, UrbanSpoon, or even LinkedIn if you have a B2B service.
Step 2: Encourage reviews from your customers
People seem most likely to post reviews when they’re really pleased or really upset about something. By soliciting reviews from your regular clients and customers, you can fill in that important middle ground between “loved it” and “hated it,” which will help build your credibility in the eyes of prospective customers.
Step 3: Guard your reputation by addressing negative reviews promptly
Negative reviews are a part of life, and most consumers know to take them with a grain of salt. However, you can help minimize the impact of negative reviews even further by addressing them quickly and openly within the review site, offering an apology and promising better service next time.
Step 4: Leverage your reviews by incorporating them into your marketing plan
Since we already know how much consumers love reviews, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that incorporating reviews into your marketing materials—from web copy to social media posts to email blasts—can have a really positive effect.
If you don’t have the time or desire to handle the above steps yourself, Webstract Marketing is happy to take over for you. Please contact us to learn more about how we can use reviews and other local advertising to help grow your business.