Welcome to Day 5: Reviews
Top 3 Reasons You Want To Get Online Reviews
1. They factor BIG in ranking your Google Places page. Just like getting Citations, reviews are very important to your ranking.
2. Establishes your service area. When we went in set up our Google Places page we told Google our different service areas. Reviews help reinforce this. Example
3. Reviews very powerful in getting business from potential customers. If searchers see that your site has a lot of five star reviews they will mostly likely click on your website or call you first. It just sets you apart.
All Reviews Are Not The Same: Spammy Reviews Vs. Authority Reviews
A spammy review is, for example, when someone opens up a Google account, leaves a review and then never touches that account again. The review will probably be posted, but will have little effect on your ranking. Now, if you have a review from someone who has had a Google account for an extended period of time, lets say 1 year and in that time has left reviews for various businesses in the same area then Google will count that as an Authority Review. The more Authority Reviews the higher your Places page will rank.
Google will pull reviews from sources other than it’s self. The big ones are: Yelp, Insider Pages, CitySearch, Angie’s List and Judy’s Book.
Rules for Getting Reviews
1. DON’T leave fake reviews for yourself.
2. DO respond to reviews that people give for your business whether the review is positive or negative. There is function in your Google Places that allows you to respond to reviews. This is good for ranking because it shows Google that this is an active Places page.
3. Try to get reviews within your service area. You want the person leaving a review to be sitting at a computer in your service area. Google tracks this with IP addresses.
4. Be consistent over time. Work on getting reviews gradually. Not too many too fast. No more than one a day and no less than one a week. Google takes this into account when ranking your Places page.
How do we get quality reviews?
Getting a customer to leave a review is not an easy thing to do. First, they have to first find your business on the review site such as Places, Yelp, InsiderPages, etc. Second, they have to log in or create an account with one of these services if they don’t already have one. Third, they have to be creative and come up with something halfway intelligent to say. Basically, it’s a hassle that most customers won’t take the time to do even if they are pleased with your business. So how do we get them to put forth the effort?
1. Make it easy. Put links on your site to the specific review pages. Example
2. Send follow up emails asking for a quick evaluation then have links to review pages and explain the importance of 3rd party reviews for local business and the community. See sample PDF
3. Offer incentives like an iTunes card, gift cards, $10 ,$20 discount, gift certificate or even cash rebates for 5 star reviews. See $20 Rebate Sample PDF.
4. Post an indoor sign that requests 5 star reviews and offers the incentive. See example pdf.
5. Educate your customers about how to be an authoritative reviewer by telling them to fill out their profile completely with photo and to give less than 5 star reviews to other businesses.