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Keywords Help SEO, But What Keywords Should Be in Customer Reviews?

When customers leave reviews that include the keywords you need to rank for on your Google My Business listing, it’s more likely that you’ll rank higher for those keywords.

Let us clarify that for you – getting customer reviews on Google that include your keyword phrase will actually help you rank better when people search for that phrase.

Unfortunately, you can’t require customers to provide particular feedback in their reviews.

It’s not allowed by most sites, and it could also break the law too.

With that in mind, a review needs to be an honest account of what happened from the customer’s perspective. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t use a little psychology to encourage them in the right direction.

Make it Easy for Your Clients to Leave a Detailed Review

There is a simple process for soliciting reviews from happy and satisfied customers.

We recommend sending them to the review page on your site, which should link out to your various review profiles.

There should be a message on that page saying, “Thanks for doing business with us! We appreciate it if you would leave your review of our company now.”

Next, there should be a list of links to your reviews.

Now, you can prompt your clients to leave their thoughts and suggestions for future clients.

Wondering how to get your clients to write a helpful review that will boost your page range in SERPs?

Ask them to answer these questions:

  • Did you purchase a new or pre-owned product?
  • Where are you located, and did you opt to choose our services over other shops that might have been closer?
  • Who helped you make your selections today, and did they meet your expectations for the level of service you deserve?
  • How did your experience with us compare to your experiences with our competitors?
  • Do you have any words of advice for future clients?

Be sure to let your reviewer know that it’s ok if they are pressed for time and would rather leave a brief review. We figured, why not make it easy for your customers to give you high ratings? That way, they can still contribute if they’re in a rush and don’t have time to leave an in-depth review. Most customers will take the time to write long reviews with detailed answers to your questions.

When you lead a reviewer with detailed questions, they’re much more likely to volunteer answers than if you leave a blank space they have to fill out.

Here’s a good example: Say you’re a car dealership.

If the client leaving you a review mentions their car is used, that word will now be in their review. If they mention where they came from or which location they chose to visit, you’ll get better visibility in that town. If they mention what work was done, it’ll boost the visibility of that service.

Using this system, you can encourage your clients to leave reviews that outline the keywords that help you stay on top of Google’s search results.

It’s that easy.

Conclusion

Reviews are a great tool because they give potential customers a better idea of who you are and what you have to offer.

In addition, creating more detailed reviews (by asking clients specific questions) helps your business stand out from the competition when people search for businesses like yours on search engines like Google.

The bottom line is that getting your clients to use keywords in reviews can be the leg up your business needs to dominate the top search results. Are you ready to invite your clients to leave higher-quality reviews? A few simple tweaks to how you invite them to do so are all it takes.

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Top Reasons You Need Reviews on Your Website [Updated for 2022]

In the age of digital marketing and Search Engine Optimization, there’s no shortage of ways for small businesses to attract customers. You can create an easy-to-navigate website, submit it to search engines, implement Google Analytics, and create a slew of social network business profiles.

But at the end of the day, the most significant determinant for whether a client will waltz into your store or walk on by isn’t something a savvy marketing agency can buy. It’s the customer review.

Here at LinkNow, we’re firm believers that every business owner should embrace the power of the customer review and its persuasive powers.

  1. Consumers Trust Other Consumers

Studies show that 84% of consumers trust a company’s online reviews as much as a recommendation from their own friends.

This might surprise you but trust us when we say it’s true. And it makes sense. When a customer posts a review online, they don’t have any agenda other than to share their own experience. Clients trust this, and it shows.

  1. Show, Don’t Tell: A Customer Review Shows Other Consumers How Great You Are

Any company in the world can say they’re the best at what they do. In fact, every single company says that, don’t they? When you look at these over-the-top claims from the vantage point of a consumer, they seem a little generic and fluffy, don’t they?

Consumers are smart, and they know that it is in your best interest to say you’re the best plumber in the area. What they want is proof that this is true. And what’s better proof than a 5-Star review from a satisfied customer?

  1. When You Embrace Customer Reviews, You Are Embracing Honesty and Transparency

74% of consumers polled in a 2016 study show that positive reviews make a business seem more trustworthy. Transparency is incredibly important to customers these days. And when you ask clients to leave reviews for your business and share reviews on your website, you’re embracing transparency to the fullest. You’re letting those who have first-hand experience with your company do all the talking (and advertising!) for you.

  1. Online Reviews Have a Positive Impact on Your Revenue!

2016 Harvard Business School study reveals that as your Yelp rating rises, your revenue follows suit.

To not promote your Yelp and Facebook page—and those many glowing reviews—through your website would be a major oversight.

  1. Good Reviews Inspire Good Reviews

Lastly, we tell all our clients that there is no shame in politely asking a customer to share their experience on Yelp or Facebook. Everyone does it and most customers are happy to oblige.

However, if clients happen to come across your business profile online, they might feel inclined to leave a review on their own volition—especially if everyone else already seems to be doing it.

Why Reviews Are So Important From The Customer’s Perspective

Customers are looking for more information and guidance when they’re making a purchase decision. They want to know what other customers think about the product and whether their needs will be met. Online reviews provide this guidance. When customers read online reviews, they are looking for insights into a company or product that they may be considering. Reviewers write them to share their honest opinion about their experiences – good or bad.

Know What Customers Think

Just think about it. Why wouldn’t you want reviews? Over the years, we’ve heard clients tell us they’re worried about clients writing bad reviews. Well, if you’re providing good services, you have nothing to worry about.

Reviews give you an inside look at what your customers think about your services. What could be better than that? It’s a free way to learn first-hand the pain points your customers are having with your business or the things you are doing well on the other side of the coin.

While you’re at it, you can use this opportunity to look at your competitors’ reviews. See what their clients are saying about their businesses. Learn what they’re doing well and what they’re doing poorly.

Shape Your Goods and Services Around Reviews

This is the logical conclusion of using reviews to your advantage. Take all the information you’ve learned from what clients are saying about your and your competition’s businesses in reviews and shape your services.

You should always be adjusting your services in a positive direction. Improvement is key to sustainable growth, and there is always room for improvement.

Your clients’ reviews will be a storehouse of ideas you can use to improve your business. This a precious resource that should not be wasted and should be greatly encouraged.

Reviews are Low Effort for Business Owners

Perhaps the best part about reviews and getting them is that it is as close to effortless as can be for the business owner.

To start getting reviews, you must find a way to ask your clients to give you them. This could be as simple as sending an email or asking every client to leave you a positive review if they enjoyed your service. If you continue encouraging clients to review you or make it easy on them by sending a link to your reviews in emails (another good strategy), you will succeed in getting reviews.

Your Potential Clients All Consult Reviews First

Another important thing to keep in the back of your head while considering reviews is that nearly all of your clients consult reviews. A prominent marketing poll once stated that around 95% of potential customers generally consult reviews. And 72% percent of potential customers will not take any action until they’ve consulted reviews.

This means that reviews are one of the most prominent marketing tools. Period. And surprisingly, they are free to use.

If you have an online presence, you should start telling your clients to leave you positive reviews. The more positive reviews the better.

Want Reviews on Your Website—LinkNow Media Can Help!

The customer review is the greatest asset in the world of marketing. If you’re sitting on pages of positive reviews you’d be foolish not to place them front and center for the world to see!

Already have a LinkNow website? Why not ask your web designer to add some reviews to it? Don’t have a LinkNow website yet? Why not speak to an SEO specialist and get the leads you need to succeed!

Give us a call at 1-888-667-7186 or send an email to website@linknowmedia.com. And if you have a comment or question, leave a reply below!

Understanding the Yelp Review Filter

In background, a woman works on math equations with a laptop. Text in foreground says: Cracking the code on Yelp's Review Filter.

In our last post, we looked at everything you need to know about Yelp Reviews. This week, we’ll look in more depth at Yelp’s review filter and how it works.

Yelp is one of the most popular online review platforms, with almost 100 million unique visitors last year.

It’s also one of the most notorious.

Why?

Yelp uses a proprietary algorithm to identify, filter, and remove fake reviews. The Yelp review filter removes scores of reviews every day. In theory, it sounds admirable that they go to such lengths to combat fake reviews. But in practice, it proves complicated.

Let’s look at how the Yelp review filter works, why some love it, and why others detest it.

First: The Power of Reviews

First things first: Why are fake reviews such a problem to begin with?

The reason’s simple: Reviews are a powerful tool.

87% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase.

The influence reviews have is enormous. They can compel shoppers to try a new brand, buy a new product, or look the other way. They inform customer decisions on a vast, global scale, leading some brands to soar and others to crash.

That power means review platforms like Yelp have some responsibility. It means they need to monitor their reviews and ensure they’re truthful and authentic, not fake. Otherwise, a slew of fake reviews could hurt the user experience—especially if those users get conned by a false word or two.

Fake reviews can put a brand like Yelp’s reputation at risk. But Yelp has a strategy to stop them.

The Yelp Review Filter

To filter out fake reviews, Yelp uses a proprietary algorithm it calls its “recommendation software.

Yelp’s recommendation software filters reviews based on several factors, including:

  • The reviewer’s user profile
  • How active the reviewer is on Yelp
  • The content in the review

After reviewing that information, Yelp will make a decision either to recommend the review or not recommend it.

Recommended reviews automatically appear on a business’s Yelp page. They also count toward the business’s rating on Yelp.

Unrecommended reviews are not immediately visible. They’re hidden from most users’ sight, and they do not factor into the business’s Yelp score.

Yelp hides unrecommended reviews, but they never delete reviews. Instead, they hide those they deem unworthy. You can read unrecommended reviews by following the link at the bottom of a business’s Yelp page:The bottom of a Yelp review page, which shows "161 other reviews that are not currently recommended."

How Does the Yelp Review Filter Work?

Yelp’s review filter considers several factors to identify and hide potentially fake reviews. It’s overzealous by design, removing anything with even a hint of phoniness.

Yelp doesn’t release many details about its recommendation software because they don’t want people trying to cheat it. Still, we know the software considers several factors when evaluating reviews. Three of the most important are:

  • The Reviewer’s User History. One way that Yelp filters reviews is by identifying established users – users that review often. The software works to syndicate established users’ reviews onto business pages for the world to see. While reviews of less active users are never deleted, they may seem more suspicious to the algorithm and not pop up on the business’ site.
  • The Content of the Review. Yelp’s recommendation software examines reviews’ content, including their length and style Reviews that are shorter, overly glowing, or less detailed are often flagged as fraudulent and tend to be removed. Likewise, reviews that are overly combative, hinting at a conflict of interest, may also be removed.
  • Solicitation. Unlike Google, Yelp strictly forbids any sort of review solicitation. If they suspect a business asked a customer to review them on Yelp, they will hide that review. Yelp wants its review system to replicate “word of mouth” as much as possible, and according to them, solicited reviews diminishes that word-of-mouth experience.

The Yelp review filter is constantly evolving. The reviews it recommends (and doesn’t recommend) may change from day to day because it’s always evaluating new signals. As such, you may notice reviews “disappear” then “reappear” from time to time. According to Yelp, it’s not a flaw. It’s a feature.

Why Does Yelp Filter Reviews?

Yelp filters reviews to combat malicious reviewing and give the consumer a more genuine understanding of a business’s reputation.

Yelp and its competitors know how critical authentic reviews are to the overall reliability of their site, and it’s in their best interest to ensure they’re as genuine as possible.

What’s the Problem with Yelp’s Review Filter?

If you’ve read up to here, you might have already noticed some problems with Yelp’s review filter:

  • It hides real reviews as well as fake reviews
  • Removing genuine reviews can hurt a business’s reputation
  • The number of hidden reviews is constantly changing (and feels arbitrary)

Yelp says its review filter is supposed to capture the word-of-mouth reputation of a business. But there’s a problem with this:

Some industries feel the Yelp review filter’s effects far more than others. 

Meanwhile, others are not nearly as affected.

Take the service industry, for example. Restaurants are one of the most regularly reviewed businesses on Yelp. They tend to acquire many reviews from dedicated Yelp users.

Those Yelp users might visit dozens of restaurants, leaving a detailed review for each of them. And because the Yelp review filter prioritizes reviews from regular Yelp users, those reviews will all look authentic and stay unfiltered.

But other industries can’t count on their customers to be regular Yelp users.

Consider the general contractor. A contractor might take on 1-2 jobs a month. Already, they’re at a disadvantage because they have far fewer customers.

Worse yet, the contractor’s clients are far less likely to be regular Yelp users. They might only write a review on Yelp as an afterthought. They might even have to create a Yelp account because they’ve never used the platform before. And because those reviews are coming from new accounts, they’re far more likely to be filtered out.

Plus, that contractor can’t ask clients to write a review: That’d be against Yelp’s policy. So, if you’re a service provider that targets a certain demographic—such as the older, not-so-tech-savvy crowd—you’re left in a bit of a catch-22: Your clients might not think to leave you a Yelp review, yet you can’t remind them, either. And even if the occasional one remembers to write a review, it’s at a much greater risk of being removed anyway.

We Still Have Much to Learn

Deterring fraudsters and making review pages more reliable is a worthy pursuit in the internet age. While we still have a lot to learn about navigating downfalls and ironing out discrepancies, using algorithms and communication analytics to monitor reviews is a step in the right direction.


Have you had a run-in with the Yelp review filter? Got a tip for how to overcome it? Leave a comment below! And if you need help managing your business’s online reputation, don’t hesitate to reach out to LinkNow at 888-667-71864 or by emailing website@linknowmedia.com.

How to Build a Solid Reputation Management Strategy

In the competitive world of business, reputation is everything. Starting a business is one thing, but continued success and growth are made possible through a well-planned digital marketing program. And when it comes to digital marketing, nothing is more important than reputation management.

To this end, we have compiled this list of helpful tips your enterprise can take towards building a rock-solid online reputation.

1) Maintain Your Website

In this day and age, your prospective customers will search you up long before they call you up.

The precision of the Internet ensures that they will find what they are looking for— whether it’s from you or from another business in your area and industry.

Place due consideration on the importance of your website, both for recruiting new clients and for informing existing ones. Don’t just slap on a web page and call it a day! Update it frequently so that it reflects your current products and services, changes to inventory, and general information about your business.

Consider your website as your online storefront and see to its upkeep accordingly!

2) Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

Are you ahead of the pack or trailing behind?

Your services might be superior in every way to your competition— but none of that will matter if you don’t have the web presence to back it up! Check out your competitor’s websites and social media presence. Find whether they have any advantages over you and take action!

Maybe a more modern site, higher response rate, or some lead generating reviews?

Take stock of what your competition’s doing and retool your strategy.

3) Manage Your Reviews

Word of mouth has become a whole different beast online: reviews.

If your clients are providing you with reviews online—good, bad, or otherwise, this is a huge opportunity for your business.

Seize it! Answer all the questions and address any concerns in a prompt and articulate way. Don’t just thank customers for good reviews—apologize for the bad ones and take steps towards making amends. This will prove that your business cares and makes an effort to offer top-tier customer service.

Communicate as politely and as professionally as you would in person!

4) Harness the Power of Social Media

Create Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter presences that reflect your activities and services.

For those in industries like landscaping and remodeling, visual platforms like these are the perfect places to showcase jobs well done.

Be sure to post frequently, informing your clients of specials, discounts, availabilities, and the like. Even better: create open forums of discussion where your clients can offer feedback and information.

Maintain your online reputation management, and the results will speak for themselves!

5) Hire a Digital Marketer to Manage Your Online Reputation

Here at LinkNow Media, reputation management is what we do best. Whether that’s in the form of reviews, social media, web sites, or simply being up to date on the most current resources and tools, our digital marketers are leaders in the field!

You’re busy enough managing your own business. Let us do the marketing. Contact LinkNow Media for reputation management services by calling 1.888.667.7186 or email us at website@linknowmedia.com.

How To Encourage Employee Feedback Online

Creating a comfortable work environment for colleagues and employees is something that every company strives for. Some companies have a harder time achieving this than others. At LinkNow Media, on the other hand, we feel we’ve created the kind of environment that makes staff feel comfortable expressing their complaints and concerns.

What’s the secret formula behind a happy workplace? Unfortunately, there isn’t one. There’s no short-cut to cultivating a space where employees feel comfortable providing feedback. But that doesn’t mean it’s difficult either. A workplace with open dialogues and considerations given to every employee comment comes with patience, understanding, and mutual respect—just like in any relationship or team environment.

The Importance of Employee Feedback

When employees give feedback, it shows they have a more-than-active interest in the company. When their feedback is taken into consideration, they only feel more invested in the workplace. What employer would want to stifle that sense of dedication? Not us!

Employee feedback, whether within the office, or online via review/recruitment sites like Glassdoor, isn’t just great for morale—it’s great for your brand and future recruitment efforts. By promoting anonymous review platforms like Glassdoor, you give your employees the chance to make their opinions heard without fear of repercussions. It’s a great resource, not just for prospective employees, but also employers looking to improve their company culture and management style.

Here are some helpful tips courtesy of LinkNow Media.

Tips on How to Encourage Employee Feedback Online

There are few recruitment tools as valuable as Glassdoor. That’s because Glassdoor has the option to for employees to leave anonymous reviews. These reviews can be as detailed as one wishes, or brief and to-the-point. How can an employer or team manager persuade their teammates to leave reviews on these online review platforms like Glassdoor?

Fostering a workplace environment where employees feel comfortable speaking their mind is only half the battle. To get clients to take time out of their day to type out their feedback? How’s that supposed to happen?

Here’s a scenario: If your company is looking to fill a position in a certain department, having reviews and information on Glassdoor about the position is incredibly helpful, isn’t it? And having the right people apply for the job is especially important for employees, right? Regardless of qualifications, if someone doesn’t ‘gel’ with their employees, it can be a recipe for disaster.

How can you make sure potential applicants know whether they’d be a good fit with your team and vice versa? Ask your teammates to write up-to-date explanations of their job on Glassdoor! When
the goal is building the right team, every employee should feel invested enough to leave employee feedback and online reviews.

Online Employee Feedback and Reviews from Newcomers

Another great approach to getting employee feedback is by asking newcomers. New to the job, they’re likely energized and wowed by your company’s accommodating atmosphere. Asking them to write about their first day of work on Glassdoor should be no different than writing a customer review on Yelp.

These are but a few of the ways companies cultivate a workplace where employees feel comfortable—even eager—to leave online reviews. At the end of the day, it all comes down to having a work environment with a reliable Human Resources team to deal with confidential complaints, excellent team leaders, and an office that feels like more than just a workplace.

How Company Reviews Affect Potential Employees

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You’ve spent all this time gathering reviews and thinking about how they’re going to affect your bottom line, but what about how they affect your potential employees?

The way your company is spoken about online isn’t only going to help you to gain or lose business, it can influence who’s interested in working for you as well.

Most business owners assume that in the job market their word is law, but in a workforce that’s slowly being overtaken by Millennials, peer opinion matters a lot, and can cost you valuable employees.

Company Review Websites

I’m sure many of us remember the days of rate my teacher and rate my professor websites. Students don’t have much of a choice when it comes to choosing who teaches them what, so while serious complaints could have some affect, these acted mainly as open gossip sites—a place for frustrated students to get their emotions out.

This is not the case with company review and rating websites.

Glassdoor

Glassdoor displays ratings and reviews for more than 600,000 companies worldwide. When you need to get the inside scoop and find out what it’s really like from the people who work there, this is how you do it.

Offering articles on the factors that play a role in salary negotiations, the types of companies you should never work for, and of course the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards, this website is the largest and most crucial site on which you as an employer will want to rank well.

Indeed

Most commonly known as a networking website, Indeed also offers an anonymous review section of their website. While it’s not quite as personal as Glassdoor, ratings still hold a lot of weight on this well-known industry leader.

And Beyond

The website FairyGodBoss is an employer site strictly for women. RateMyEmployer features more than 45,000 candidate and employee reviews, and of course websites such as Google, Yelp and Facebook offer general reviews from employees and customers alike that can give future employers a pretty good idea about what a prospective employer is all about.

What it Comes Down To

While larger companies such as McDonald’s and Best Buy are going to have thousands of reviews that muddy the waters—and let’s face it, people looking for jobs at huge chains like this aren’t going to put as much weight into reviews—it’s imperative that a small business keeps up workplace morale.

When you’re looking to hire a talented new employee to head that new department, you’re going to want the best. While your ad may draw them in, any tech-savvy potential employee is going to check out your ratings right away.

If they pull up your Glassdoor page and find a post stating “Worst Job I’ve Ever Had”, they’re going to think twice.

So, what can you do about it?

Treat your employees well, but don’t sacrifice your professional atmosphere. There are great ways to build morale and keep a smile on peoples’ faces throughout the day without your office turning into a madhouse. And, get on these websites yourself!

Glassdoor offers you the ability to respond to all negative reviews. Like with any other review, the way you respond can set the tone for your business no matter what that reviewer said.

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