The Internet has opened a lot of opportunities for local businesses to expand and one of it is to build an online reputation from customers who have experienced your products/services. In today’s tutorial, I’ll show how to get reviews for your business with some simple techniques that can be implemented right at your fingertips.
Yelp is a local directory that allows business listing on a public platform and verified users to leave their feedback.
The free feature has all the basics to get started, but one can also pay for advertising to boost their online presence. This directory is great for restaurants, local outlets as well as hotels.
If your local business has been around for some time, there’s a good chance that someone has commented on your organization without your knowledge. You may check this by searching for your business in the directory and if it’s there, just go ahead and claim it.
If it’s not there, you need to fill out the necessary details so that your business get listed on the site.
The local community in Yelp is huge and their voices influence one another when it comes to knowing what’s best in town. They also have an app which makes it very convenient for people to search about your business through their mobiles.
You can’t control what’s being published in the reviews. If you get spammy ones, you need to contact the Yelp team to have them removed.
2# Facebook Page
A Facebook page is a unique social profile that represents an organization where you get to build a fan base (instead of friends) for your business.
Just like profile pages, it allows you to publish links, events and photos in a timeline manner. When someone is a ‘fan’ of your business, they will see these activities on their personal dashboard too.
To get started, select any of the following category that’s most relevant to your organization. You’ll need to enter a valid street address and phone number before you can create a page.
Once that’s all set, you can immediately find the ‘Review’ tab on the left hand column of your page. This makes it easy for any visiting customers to leave their ratings/reviews on Facebook.
Facebook pages are more personal and inviting which is good for building trust and credibility. They can also potentially rank on the search engines and bring a ton of traffic if there are a lot of activities on it.
Just like other social network, Facebook is always evolving, so you need to be aware of the changes. Posting and responding to comments can also take up a lot of time to the point that you might need to hire a social media manager to maintain your business presence on the social sphere.
3# Google My Business (GMB)
GMB is a free service offered by Google to help list a physical business on their search engine.
For example, whenever someone search for a ‘florist near me’, a verified business of this nature will show up on the right hand side of the search result page, complete with an address, phone number and a direction map. It also comes with a feature for customers to leave their reviews right on the spot.
Please head over to this article to learn how to list your business on Google.
Google is easily accessible on desktop and mobile devices, which makes it a go-to platform whenever someone wants to search for information online. Getting a ‘free advertisement spot’ on this search engine will give your business and immediate exposure to a large local audience.
Just like Yelp, you can’t control what’s being published. If the customer reviews are inappropriate, you need to flag the comment and contact Google support for help.
Trustspot is a third party service that automatically collects company/product reviews through emails, exit survey forms and display them directly on a website.
It also comes with an on-site seal trusts and easy to share feature on your Facebook page.
With the free plan, you can collect 30 reviews/month, but for more engagement, you need to consider the paid plans (ranging from $29 to $399/month) that allow product promotion, respond to customer reviews and integrated star ratings on the organic search result.
To learn more about how Trustspot works, please visit their official webpage here.
You only get reviews from verified customers – instead of random online users – who have actually used your products/services.
The add-on premium fee can be fairly pricey for a new local business.
5# Your Own Business Website
This last strategy is certainly worth considering if you want to give your business reviews a professional outlook without having to spend a bomb. Unlike the previous 4 services, you own the platform and thus, have the ability to control and manage customer’s feedback and comments.
Nothing builds more trust than to see the actual testimonials on the official site.
The first thing that you’ll need is obviously a business website equipped with a custom domain name. I recommend using WordPress because the content management system will give you more flexibility (and power) to get indexed and ranked on the search engine.
Within the WordPress dashboard, go to the plugin section and search for ‘Easy Testimonials’.
After installing and activating the plugin, you just need to tweak the settings for the customer review display. Testimonials are generally collected through emails and manually entered into the website (for the free version).
Although this might seem cumbersome, it allows more customization and helps to weed out spammy reviews.
There’s a bit of a learning curve to using WordPress, but the benefits will surpass its technical difficulty in due time.
More Reviews, More Audience
In this age of information and technology, you should leverage from every platform possible to grow your business online instead of just relying on the word of mouth. The more reviews you accumulate, the more customers AND sales you can potentially make.
I hope this quick tip on how to get reviews for your business has motivated you to work harder in building your online reputation. If you like to learn other techniques, please visit my recommended training site for more helpful tools and resources.
Have any thoughts about this topic? Please leave them in the comment below and I’ll get back to you.
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