Review sites are a big part of your local online marketing efforts. More than this, review sites represent a good way for your business to get testimonials for your products, services and your company itself.
A review can be a powerful tool to get customers into your site or store. People often go online before making a purchase, and review sites are one of the things they look at to see if your product is worth their money.
So how do you get the most out of Yelp, Click the City, ePinions, ConsumerSearch, and even Yahoo’s and Google’s local listings review? Read on for four simple ways to maximize your efforts on review sites.
1. Cut Down and Focus
There are simply too many review sites that being active on all of them is going to be a headache. This is why it would be important to cut back and focus on a few sites that would be worth your time.
Check out your analytics data and see how much of your traffic comes from CitySearch, Yelp or Google Local. Decide to see if you would use the number of visitors you got from a certain site or how much sales you got from review sites.
2. Own or Claim Your Page
It is a good idea to claim your business pages on different review sites. Not only will it give you owner privileges for your own business page, but it will also help you put up more photos, content and information for your business.
What’s more, these review site profiles are great backlinks for your own site.
3. Get More Reviews
As with any other Internet marketing campaign, it is worth it to be patient and just let the reviews automatically come in. Over time, you would get a sufficient number of reviews for your business without pushing it.
Different sites have different policies on soliciting reviews. Google, for one, discourages you from running contests just so you could get reviews from people. You can’t pay for a review.
There are also people who turn to review writing services to bombard their pages with favorable reviews.
4. A Negative Review? Do Some Customer Service!
Most business owners panic at the sight of a negative review posted on review sites. They get tempted to create fake accounts just to bury the negative review or refute it.
Remember that you cannot please everybody, especially customers. Instead of seeing a negative review as an affront to your business, why don’t you take the opportunity to do some customer service instead?
Initiate a conversation to see how the negative review came about, what could be done about it and work with the writer to correct it. Apologize if necessary. On Yelp, you have the option to send a private message to anybody who leaves a review on your page. You can use this to communicate and see how you could further serve them.
You can only benefit from this:
- After the issue has been ironed out, you would gain back the customer that you would have lost forever had you not communicated with him or her.
- It will give you the opportunity to engage a customer while also improving certain aspects of your operations.
- Sometimes, the reviewer would change his or her negative review or at least update it.
Negative reviews could also help you know which areas to improve. Try to look at the big picture and take the negative reviews you have to see if there is something wrong with your business. It could be that your employees need more product training and this is the reason why a lot of people are turned off by your salespeople. Or it could be something simple, such as loud piped in music into the shop or dirty restrooms.
By addressing the issues raised in negative reviews, you not only solve a problem for you and your customers, but you get to improve on things that need your attention.