Think about all the times you were searching for a new place to eat or a store to buy a product or service. Chances are pretty good these days that you are using your mobile device and ready to make that purchase.
So often we don’t think about writing a review unless we want to complain about something, but from a marketing perspective you want people to be intentional about asking for positive reviews. As a marketing consultant I teach my clients why their local business benefits from reviews and to create a strategy on who and how they will solicit reviews. Reviews have become one of the most effective search techniques and let’s face it testimonials are powerful and we are often persuaded to make a purchase based on the comments from other customers.
As you can see in this basic Google search for “hair salons in Maple Grove, MN” there are 7 salons that are highlighted with a corresponding letter on the map. There are far more than 7 salons in Maple Grove, MN but what this map is telling me is that only 7 salons have chosen to claim their Google Local Places Page Listing.
Typically you are attracted FIRST to these listing because they show up at the top of the search results directly under the paid ads. You will also notice in the image that under many of the listings there are reviews with stars next to them, this is where most of us consumers would click to read what someone has to say about this business.
Here is an example of the same search in Yelp. Most savvy online users go to Yelp to both write reviews and search for restaurants and other local businesses. You will notice the differences from the Google Search, where these businesses have not been consistent in getting reviews on all the platforms which would increase their owverall search results.
BENEFITS OF REVIEWS
- Builds trust & credibility
- Search authority
- Brand recognition
5 BEST STEPS FOR GETTING RESULTS ON LOCAL REVIEWS
1. Claim your local listings so you are more likely to be found in search results. We can help you in this process.
2. Be intentional about asking for reviews and possibly reward people for writing a review. This should be part of your client thank you process.
3. Make it easy for your customers to write a review by providing them the link to you review sites.
Here is an example of my Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/MarketingDish/reviews
4. Be sure your website has complete NAP info (name, address, phone) Don’t assume people know how to get in touch with you. Add your NAP info to your website pages.
5. When people write reviews be sure you respond immediately! With positive reviews thank them for taking the time to write the review and for their business. If you receive a negative review, you want to acknowledge it and respond accordingly offering to make up for where anywhere you may have not delivered.
Getting found in search is critical to a businesses success because in today’s digital marketing world you need to drive people online to find you offline!
–>>Need help with your local search? Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org