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Reviews For Local SEO

Helpful Tips from the Marketing Pros at ZipLocal

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There is no denying the importance of reviews when it comes to cementing your reputation in the online world. Now, more than ever consumers have many options for the products and services they consume. Oftentimes that positive review is what your potential new customer is wanting to see before spending their hard earned dollars on your products or services.

While the focus on reviews in SEO tends to be on how reviews affect rankings, we want to focus on how positive reviews influence consumer behavior.

Do Reviews Really Matter?

Yes! Your reviews are directly related to your business’s reputation. Simply ask yourself if you have ever made a buying decision based on the reputation of a business, good or bad. The overall consensus is simply that reviews matter, a lot.

We all know we live in an imperfect world. Sometimes things go wrong in business just like in our personal lives. Less than stellar business reviews can also lead to opportunities. A proactive approach to publicly handling poor reviews can also lead to positive returns. Most reasonable humans value how businesses conduct themselves in these situations.

Let’s Break it Down.

Getting reviews is easy right? Yes and No
Here are some top tips on how to secure reviews for local SEO.

Just Ask For the Review

There are more nuances to this statement than you would expect. Here is what our experience has shown us at ZipLocal.

The “Guaranteed Positive Review”

These type of sources of online reviews can include:

  • Existing Clients
  • Existing Customers
  • Colleagues
  • Business partners
  • Personal contacts, Family members etc. (depending on the context).

These are great reviews to have in the mix but are platform specific. For example, Google does not allow reviews from non-customers where Facebook does not have this same limitation.

As a rule, NEVER ask anyone to lie in a review. Not only is this unethical it can lead to penalties and bigger problems.

The Ask

Just like it sounds, you decide whether someone would be a good candidate for a positive review and ask them.

If you’re going to call customers to ask for a review, we recommend thanking them for their business, asking for their feedback about the service you provided, and then asking if they would leave a review based on their answer. Keep in mind you are asking them to do you a favor.

The “Digital” Ask

This kind of ask provides the ability to “bulk request” reviews, or set up a list and digitally deliver a review request through a variety of channels (email, text, social media channels). With this method you get to also decide who is going to be a good candidate for a positive review to help ensure a positive outcome.

The “Digital Ask” is more of a numbers game but is a good way to pick up additional positive reviews.

The “Passive” Ask

If your business has a brick and mortar location, flyers, and other printed materials can be utilized to provide a QR code directly linking to your reviews.

Be creative with your messaging to encourage participation from your customers while you have them in your business location..

ZipLocal’s Top Review Request Tips

Keep it simple and humble. Everyone is busy with life. Our customers are doing us a favor by leaving a review.

Be personable and respectful. Whenever dealing with your customers show them respect and let them know you appreciate their business. You get ONE chance to make a good first impression.

Follow up with your customers strategically. Remember it can take your customers time to leave you a review. A polite follow up after a few weeks is appropriate but again, they are doing you a favor. Don’t turn a lack of review into a negative review by pushing too hard.

Try to avoid “coaching” when asking for a review. If you have provided a positive service to your customer they will share their experience about it.

Always respond to reviews both positive and negative. A simple “thank you” goes a long way with a positive review. Negative reviews happen, it’s a part of life. You simply cannot please every person every time.

Our experience shows that offering to work to resolve the issue in a direct response shows your potential customers that you care about your existing customers and are paying attention.

Provide instructions if needed. Your customer base may not be tech-savvy. You would be surprised how many reviews are attempted but not completed because the process simply overwhelmed your customer. ZipLocal has a Review Management Tool that helps with this. Learn More

Good Reviews Equals Good Reputation – Good Reputations Help Businesses Thrive

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