Here is an exclusive excerpt from my online course: Fans on Fire! Build Your Business With Online Reviews. Rather than keep it secret and open to my course attendees only, I thought I would share it with you! So here are some of my top tips and links for leveraging your businesses online reviews:
Google Plus: If you haven’t already, this is the first review site/social media profile you should set up or claim for your business. So much could be said about the command presence that Google has on the internet, but that would take up way too much space. Suffice to say, get this set up now. Here is a short article on updates to Google Plus Pages: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2241393/Google-Warns-SEO-Businesses-to-Avoid-Fake-Reviews Here is a free handout generator to get Google page reviews: https://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator
Facebook: Make sure your business page is listed as a local business or use an app that allows reviews. Admins currently have the ability to respond to reviews. You also have the ability to remove the review or rating system as well. – Adding ratings and reviews to your business page https://www.facebook.com/help/589747184405742
Twitter: Start a hashtag like #yourbusinessnamereviews so you can collect as many positive reviews that are easily searchable. Favorite those tweets as well. Research shows that positive tweets from customers lead to more business.
Yelp – Yelp may be the most challenging of review sites to master. They have this super secret formula for what reviews they will make public or not. For example, in my DJ company, we had 3 public reviews being shown and 10 hidden ones. All of them were legitimate reviews of course, but the Yelp filter took them out. But keep working at it. Yelp shows up very high in Google so you want as many Yelp reviews that you can get. For example, in the DJ market, our Yelp listing made it to the bottom of page 1 in Google. Before we started with Yelp, the Yelp listing in Google didn’t even show up in that local DJ search.
How do you get those filtered or hidden reviews to show up? The number 1 way is to get your customer more involved in other Yelp reviews. Respond to the review, friend the customer on Yelp, like the review and send them a message through Yelp asking them to review other businesses. Yelp is suspicious of reviewers that sign up, leave one review and never return to the site. Those reviews will likely be hidden. Hidden reviews can come back to life, show up publicly and then disappear again! Yelp even has a policy against asking the customer directly for reviews!….the only review site that I know of that has that policy! That’s a “policy” that I say you need to bend…keep asking your happy customers to review you on Yelp! Here is an article with more tips on filtered reviews in Google and on Yelp: http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2013/06/27/the-afterlives-of-filtered-google-plus-and-yelp-reviews/ In one study of Yelp by the Harvard Business School an increase of just one star for a restaurant lead to a 5 to 9% increase in revenue. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6833.html
Hubspot is a great resource for all kinds of online marketing knowledge. Here is a great article from them on getting more reviews: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31852/A-Marketer-s-Guide-to-Accumulating-Awesome-Online-Reviews.aspx and the 20 places Hubspot recommends being listed on: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33741/12-Places-Businesses-Should-Be-Collecting-Online-Reviews.aspx
Here is a great chart showing top review sites and their importance for ranking http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/local-review-site-comparison1.pdf and actually here is the link to the entire article, which is awesome! http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2013/10/24/comparison-of-local-review-sites-where-should-you-focus-now/
Great article on what not to do and examples of review landing pages: http://www.iacquire.com/blog/get-more-reviews-without-becoming-an-outlaw
For a free quick start guide to leveraging the power of legitimate online reviews and 12 free email, letter and web page templates, download it here.
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