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Monday, July 13, 2015

How local businesses can get good online reviews that boost business

SEO Training - ClickMinded.com
By Michelle Rubio

Online reviews are today’s version of the classic word of mouth, but exponentially faster and with a wider reach which is why it is very important to make sure that what is written about your products or services in the reviews is positive and accurate. Having good online reviews is vital to your online marketing strategy, especially if your business is in an industry where most of the competition have online reviews. If your listing has less positive online reviews relative to your competitors, your online visibility may be adversely affected.

A Harvard Business School study points out the impact of online reviews to your business, “a restaurant that boosts its Yelp score by one full star can see revenues increase 5 to 9 percent.” Although you have absolutely no control over what customers would write about you, being proactive when it comes to your local business’ online reputation management helps ensure that you have enough positive reviews to offset the not so good ones. Here are some tips on how your local business can gain positive online reviews to help your SEO ranking and, of course, your business revenue.


Make your customers happy


Start with the basics. Offer quality products and services and reinforce this with excellent customer service. Do not ignore customer feedback about your products and make sure that you quickly respond when there are concerns. When you make your customers happy and deliver exactly what they want at the least, you are sure to earn great online reviews.

Ask your customers for reviews


Ask and you shall receive. It only takes a gentle reminder to get a great online review if you were able to successfully make your customers genuinely happy with your product or service. Right after they have enjoyed your product or service, politely ask your customers to leave an online review and inform them how good reviews can help your business grow and continue providing them your products or services.


Make it easy for them to leave a review


Make it as convenient as possible for customers to leave online reviews and you will be receiving more and more. You can give your customers the URL to the review site where they can provide their comments. Include a clickable link on your email newsletter or social media post. You can also print QR codes that will direct customers straight to the review site on product packaging, display sheets, or posters that customers can scan using their mobile devices.

Offer incentives


Many businesses include online reviews in their customer loyalty programs. To entice your customers to leave good online reviews, you can offer them some incentives such as a freebie, discount, coupon, or extra service once they have left a review about your business. Let your customers know that they are not being forced into providing a positive comment about your business, that you will appreciate an honest to goodness feedback from them.

Boost your online presence


Build your online presence in various social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter and connect with your customers on a regular basis. Constant engagement with your online audience is a great way to strengthen customer loyalty and encourage your followers to interact with you, and this includes leaving online reviews. If you need to undergo SEO training to help you implement effective online marketing strategies, there are various online courses that will help you become more knowledgeable about internet marketing and how it can greatly benefit your business.

Provide quick response to negative reviews


Negative reviews are not always a bad thing. In fact, negative feedback can provide your business with the opportunity to show that you value and implement good customer service. When you receive reviews from unsatisfied customers, contact the reviewer and ask them about their experience with your product or service. Offer them ways to help fix the issue, such as offering a free product replacement or a refund.


About the author: Michelle Rubio is an experienced SEO copywriter and blogger since 2010. She has been working with various businesses, big and small, in the United States, UK, and Australia. You can see more of her works and experiences in her LinkedIn profile.

Images: 1. Highways England/Flickr; CC BY 2.0; 2. SocialAutomotive/Flickr, CC BY 2.0; Frederick MD Publicity/Flickr, CC BY 2.0