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Do Online Reviews Matter in 2021?

Man in suit scratching his head with caption: Do reviews even matter?

Countless online marketing studies indicate that most consumers will read reviews before hiring a service, visiting a restaurant, or shopping online. Consumers read reviews because they want to know what they’re getting and recognize that there are many businesses to choose from—and they see the value of their dollar.

But if you provide quality services and have developed an excellent reputation by word of mouth, are online reviews really important?

Short Answer: YES!

In short, if consumers are reading reviews online, you should be encouraging your clients to write them. You should also be interacting with these reviews directly, be it on your Google my Business Page, Yahoo Reviews, or Facebook – why you may ask? Let’s take a look.

Reviews Boost SEO

For starters, online reviews can really help online traffic and SEO – and isn’t that what we’re all here for?

Google, the Internet’s most prominent and essential review platform, prioritizes customer experience. Because so many people read reviews, especially when searching their local area, Google has included these reviews as a local search ranking signal.

The bottom line is the more reviews you have, the better your search results will be.

Reviews Are Key to Customer Service

Though it may seem awkward to ask your clients to leave you an online review, most will be happy to do so as long as you let them know how. Expressing interest in feedback also bodes well for your business, as it exemplifies your commitment to the customer experience and its betterment overall.

Responding to reviews is also important as it allows the client to feel heard and understood by the company, making it more likely they’ll return for more business in the future.

Reviews Help You Improve Client Experiences

Reading reviews and receiving feedback is also perhaps the most valuable way to learn how to improve your business moving forward.

If you are getting the same kind of complaints over and over, you’ll know you’re doing something wrong. Customers who are invested in your business may also have great suggestions for changes you can make to modernize the operation or make it more accessible to different demographics – just to name a few examples.

Reviews Help Build Community

Building a community is a huge part of building a business. Having customers comment not only on your products and services but also on your approach to client care, the atmosphere of your commercial space, and how they feel will give people a richer understanding of the culture of your business.

Question and answer interactions can also play a significant role in developing community ties. Responding to negative reviews can give potential customers an idea of how you deal with conflict resolution.


Overall, online reviews play a significant role in your business, and they shouldn’t be overlooked. So start reading, replying, and asking your customers to write their own, especially when they have a great experience.

Convinced of the power of reviews? Got any review-generation tips yourself? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below! And if you need help managing your online reputation, contact LinkNow at 888-667-7186 or website@linknowmedia.com.

Should You Ask Clients to Review You on Google? [2021]

Should You Ask for Google Reviews(1)By now, everyone knows how important it is to get their customers to leave positive, positive, thoughtful, and detailed reviews on Google.

But the rules for soliciting reviews remain foggy. At best.

Part of the problem is that different review sites have different rules, and many people conflate them accidentally.

Today we’re going to clear the air. We’re going to explain, as precisely as possible, Google’s rules around asking for reviews.

So, let’s be clear. Should you ask your customers for Google reviews?

Yes, You Should Ask Your Customers to Leave Google Reviews

In fact, if you look up Google’s own policy on soliciting reviews, you’ll find this:

“Remind your customers to leave reviews. Let them know that it’s quick and easy to leave business reviews on mobile devices or desktop computers.”

—Google My Business Help

Pretty clear, I’d say! Google uses reviews to find out whether businesses are trustworthy or not. It uses that information to rank businesses on Google Maps searches and to rank webpages on their regular organic search. That’s also why they value reviews that are detailed, include keywords, and identify excellent services in direct and concrete ways. It all shows that you are running a business that they can be comfortable pushing on their platform.

Google Reviews Can Attract Clicks from New Customers

Positive reviews are important for gaining more traffic.

It’s not just about search algorithms, either. There’s a very human component too. Consumers almost always read reviews before trying any new service or product. They depend on those reviews to help them make an informed decision, and the content in those reviews is often the deciding factor.

In general, consumers want to see reviews with:

  1. High ratings
  2. Positive words in review text
  3. Many positive, detailed reviews

People are naturally drawn to businesses with those 3 factors going for them.

Search for businesses in your industry and see which Google My Business (GMB) profiles you are most attracted to, and which ones you think you would call. You’ll notice that profiles with more reviews and a higher rating are much more appealing than those without.

How to Ask Clients for Google Reviews

Now that you know how important it is to ask clients to review you, let’s look at how you should ask them.

Ask Every Customer for a Review

It’s important to ask every customer for a review. Behind Google My Business profiles, reviews are the 2nd most important ranking factor Google looks at for their local finder results. This means that the amount and quality of reviews you receive has a significant impact on the ranking of your business on Google.

If you are just getting started on asking customers for reviews, it can take some time before it has any impact on your ranking.

Our advice?

Be persistent and you’ll start reaping the rewards of your hard work before you know it.

4 Proven Techniques for Asking for Google Reviews

It’s time to start drafting and asking clients to leave you a review! Here are 4 of our top practices to keep in mind.

1. Ask for Google Reviews by Email

The easiest way to get reviews is to ask for reviews by email. Whenever you do work for somebody, send them an email thanking them for choosing your company. This shows your clients that you care about their experiences. And just when they feel appreciated, gently ask them to leave their feedback on your Google My Business page.

Say something like:

“If you enjoyed working with us, please take a moment to leave us your thoughts on Google. 60 seconds of your time will help us continue delivering top-quality service to others just like you! Follow this link to our Google page.”

If they’ve had a great experience with you and feel appreciated, they’ll be happy to leave a review that will help you out.

2. Ask for Google Reviews in Person

Although it can feel a little bit weird to ask for a review in person, it’s the surest way to get those reviews on your GMB listing. Don’t think of it like you’re bothering them or being sleazy. We live in a time when reviews can make or break a business. If you don’t ask for reviews from clients that know you and respect your work, you’re not taking the necessary precautions to protect and manage your online reputation.

Don’t be shy! It’s just business in 2021.

3. Ask for Google Reviews on Your Website

This one takes a little bit of tact. You don’t want to make it appear like you’re offering an incentive for people to leave reviews. You want to remind people that leaving a review will help you continue to provide top-quality service and improve your business.

One way that works well is to include testimonials from Google on your website. This will remind and encourage your clients to leave their own review. A simple phrase like “Liked our service? Let us know on Google!” is all you need to increase the number of daily, weekly, and monthly reviews.

4. Do Not Incentivize Reviews

Offering high-quality service should be incentive enough! But offering compensation for reviews will get you into a lot of trouble with Google.

A Louisville, Kentucky law firm offered their clients a chance to win a contest for a review. When they got caught, Google removed 100 online reviews. No mercy!

As we repeat over and over, Google’s whole business model depends on being a trustworthy source of information. Artificial or fake reviews damage Google’s reputation. That hurts their bottom line. And they don’t like that too much.

Google Review “Snippets”

Snippets are a feature Google has implemented to make searching easier for the user.

Review snippets appear on a business’s Google My Business page, just below their contact details. These snippets provide a snapshot of one customer review highlighting a keyword in the user’s search query:

Google search results showing local heating repair companies. Highlighted is a listing with a review snippet that reads: "I had a furnace/heating issue and called Martin."

Your clients leave important keywords while reviewing your business. So, the more reviews you have under your belt, the more opportunity Google has to select from your reviews to match people’s searches. This will inevitably draw people to your business because it will make you stand out from the competition—yet another excellent reason to ask every customer for a review on your Google My Business profile.

Google Reviews are an Easy Way to Grow Your Business Online!

Consistently asking your clients to review your services will help your business grow. As Google emphasizes its reviews feature in different ways, business owners like yourself should take advantage of it.

Using these simple methods will improve your reputation and grow your business. Let us know how they help in the comments below!

 

 

 

How to Respond to Negative Google Reviews [2021]

US - How to Respond to Negative Reviews in 2021

As a company, generating positive online reviews is a great way to drum up business and showcase the value of your services.

But not all the reviews you get will be positive. When the time comes, you need to know how to respond to those not-so-savory reviews, so you can maintain your reputation.

Here are 5 steps you can take when responding to negative reviews online.

Five Steps to Writing a Successful Negative Review Response

  1. Evaluate internally

Before responding to a negative review, it’s first important to evaluate its validity. Discuss it with your colleagues: Does it contain any constructive criticism that may help you improve your business practices? Is there anything you could have done differently to change that person’s experience? Even if the reviewer has embellished some aspects of their review, there might be a kernel of truth that could help you improve your business.

By developing an internal evaluation procedure, you’ll be able to approach such reviews with a clear mind and a cooler head. It’ll stop you from posting whatever first pops into your mind. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on the potentially valid criticism a reviewer might have and respond to it appropriately.

  1. Respond publicly

As enticing as it might be, don’t start by reaching out to a reviewer privately. Other viewers need to see that you are addressing such reviews so that they understand you’re trying to redress the problem. Ultimately, it’s best just to respond to the negative review directly on your Google My Business page.

Accessing Your Google My Business Reviews:

  1. Go to google.comand sign in to Google My Business.
  2. Click on the three horizontal bars in the top left-hand corner of the page.
  3. When you find a review you want to respond to, click “View and reply” (or “Respond now” if on a mobile device).
  4. Empathize

Customers can tell when your response is half-hearted. If all you post is fluff without substance, they’ll take notice. Worse still, they might think you don’t care about your business.

Show reviewers that you care. Address them by name, thank them for their review, and if possible, highlight something positive they mentioned about your business. If necessary, apologize when you could have done something to improve their experience.

  1. Offer solutions

It’s important to offer customers a solution to their problem. We’re not saying you have to bend over backward with discounts and full refunds, but you should provide them with something that’s actionable. At the very least, give them the opportunity to reach out to you personally and address their grievances one-on-one.

  1. Move the conversation offline

When you’re offering solutions that require further discussion, it’s best to move the conversation offline. Leave the customer your contact information and let them get back to you. With the ball in their court, you’ve done everything that you can—at least for the time being.

Tips for Wording Your Review Response

Now that we’ve covered the steps you should take when your business receives a negative review, let’s go over some tips to make your response as effective as possible.

It pays to formulate a well-thought-out reply. Just responding to a negative review isn’t enough. You have to say something meaningful to resolve the conflict.

By adhering to the following guidelines, you can avoid fanning the flames and ensure future customers are willing to give your business a chance.

Personalize Your Reply

After having a negative experience with a company, the last thing that someone wants is to be brushed off or treated like a cog in the wheel. By taking the time to address your customer by name, instead of using generic replies such as “dear customer,” you can make your response feel more sincere.

Remember Your Industry

A response that someone would expect from a restaurant is different from what they’d expect from a contractor, so you should always keep your industry in mind when responding.

Think about why that person came to your business in the first place and put yourself in the shoes of potential customers who might be swayed by the way you respond. It also helps to research successful businesses in your field to see how they deal with negative comments and then basing your approach on this.

A Little Grammar Goes a Long Way

By making an effort to proofread your reply before posting it, you can avoid grammatical mistakes or oversights. A well-structured response will reinforce that you are a professional business owner who gives full attention to their customers. Keep it personal, but keep it professional.

Avoid Over-Apologizing

Although offering your sympathies is important when responding to negative reviews, don’t be too aplogetic. It can come off as unprofessional, as if you’re grovelling to claw back that customer. Keep your apologies brief and instead focus on your commitment to excellent service and the steps you will take to make things right.

Follow the Trends

When all else fails, a good strategy for responding is to follow what is effective for other businesses. Utilize what has proven worthwhile for successful companies and structure your reply around the most common topics.

In descending order, here’s what’s most often done in review responses:

  • Thank the reviewer for their feedback
  • Focus on customer service
  • Encourage the reviewer to contact directly
  • Discuss the customer experience
  • Inviting them to return
  • Apologizing

By The Numbers: The Importance of Responding to Reviews

45% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a business if they respond to negative reviews.

That figure just goes to show you how essential responding to negative reviews can be. If you ignore the feedback you receive, you could be leaving money on the table. Up to 45% of it.

By taking a few minutes to address your negative reviews in a timely manner, you can show that you truly care about providing your customers with a first-rate experience.

Need Help Managing Your Online Reputation? LinkNow to the Rescue!

Negative reviews can be intimidating—we know. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

If you would like some professional assistance with managing your business on Google, consider getting in touch with the specialists at LinkNow Media. Reach us at 1.888.667.7186 or website@linknowmedia.com to learn more about what we offer.

3 Quick Tricks to Get More Google Reviews

Man pointing finger in background with text in foreground: More reviews, more business.

No matter the quality of your services, what your clients have to say about your business will always carry more weight than what you have to say about your business.

That’s why getting reviews is so crucial. Because customers place so much value on reviews, creating a space where clients can share their experiences should be a top priority.

With that in mind, here are 3 tips to get more Google reviews.

1.     Provide Exceptional Services and Prioritize Customer Experience

If you’re looking to get more reviews, you want those reviews to be good. So, to get good reviews you need to be providing excellent services.

While providing great services may seem like a no-brainer, there is a bit of strategy to it.

Here are a few tricks to deliver a stellar client experience:

  • Take the time to listen to your customer’s goals
  • Reiterate these goals to them
  • Involve them in the process
  • Address concerns right away
  • Go out of your way to be friendly and communicative

2.     Simplify the Process

Some clients won’t leave you a review because they don’t know how or simply don’t think of it. To counter this, make it super easy. At the very least, add a link to your Google review page on your website. We also recommend adding the link to the end of an email, on your social media, or on a physical business card.

If you cater to an older demographic, providing step-by-step instructions or screenshots of the process can also be helpful and increase the likelihood of participation.

3.     Ask Your Clients to Leave Reviews

Don’t be afraid to ask your clients to leave reviews, in person, on the phone, or in a follow-up email.

You may be surprised to know that 86% of consumers are willing to write a review, and directly asking them significantly improves your chances of receiving one.

Let your clients know how valuable their input is and how sharing their experience could help customers just like them.

Respond to Your Google Reviews, Good AND Bad

That’s right:

Respond to all Google reviews, both good and bad.

At its essence, the Google review page is a conversation between you and your clients. Not only does it allow customers to share their experiences, but it gives you the space to respond.

It’s easy to respond to good reviews. A quick “thank you!” goes a long way. But bad reviews give you a chance to show off your professionalism and flex your conflict-resolution skills—an invaluable skill for any business owner.

Respond professionally and promptly with helpful solutions that invite them to contact you again. By doing so, you’ll impress visitors who see how much you care about all customers, satisfied or otherwise.

Get People Talking About Your Business!

The bottom line is this:

The more reviews you have, the better.

Providing great services is the first step to getting good reviews. But don’t forget to follow through.  Ask your clients to review your business.

Send them a link.

Email a link.

Add a Google Review badge onto the home page of your website.

The best way to get reviews, is to ask for reviews. So ask away.


 

Found this post useful? Want more guidance? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

If you need help setting up your Google My Business or getting more Google reviews, contact us at website@linknowmedia.com to see what we can do for you.

Are Fake Reviews Still a Problem Online?

The short answer: yes.

The unfortunate reality is that fake reviews are a business—a big one. However, the small business owner should steer clear of this practice and counteract it with sound SEO practices.

Here’s how.

Positive Fake Reviews

Due to the relationship between reviews and ranking, creating fake reviews has become a lucrative business in the SEO world.

Everyone knows that you need positive reviews to improve your Google ranking. Positive reviews act like referrals from people who have hired your services. Unfortunately, positive fake reviews can harm your reputation rather than help it.

Google has been fighting against fake reviews in a decades’ long battle to preserve its credibility for being the number one review platform. Similarly, Yelp has employed undercover operations in their attempt to expose and remove review spammers. Local businesses and SEO companies who get caught are subject to hefty fines and penalties. You don’t want to be found among them.

The trouble is, a fake review isn’t always easy to identify.

How to Weed Out the Fakes from the Factual

For starters, how do you tell if a review is fake? Here are some general guidelines:

  1. This review is the only activity listed in the account’s history.
  2. The account was created around the same time the review was posted.
  3. The review has no words or is vague and lacks personalized comments.

Keep in mind, while Google will evaluate the review after you’ve flagged it, the process will take time. If Google thinks the review is genuine, you might never see it officially taken down.

So, your best defense is a strong offense. Report suspected fake reviews when you’re convinced that they’re unlawful. But more than that, make sure you have a strong review generation strategy that’s on the straight and narrow.

Long-term, a legal, sound marketing strategy will go the distance. Fake reviewing, on the other hand, is a short sprint that will either peter out quickly or backfire.

Negative Reviews

There are two sides to the fake review business: they can be used to promote or sabotage a business.

A fake 5-star review on your competitor’s site is one thing. But what do you do when a competitor posts a malicious 1-star review on your profile?

Here are the steps you should take to safeguard your reputation.

Always Respond, then Report

Although it may not be your first instinct, you should respond to the negative review. Whether it’s legitimate or not.

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, one of Google’s ranking factors is business owner responsiveness. By replying, you’ll protect your ranking. Secondly, responding to a fraudulent review will showcase your professionalism to your client base.

For example, if you receive a suspect 1-star review with no specific information relating to their customer experience, you might reply as follows:

“Thank you for leaving a review. Our company appreciates customer feedback and seeks to resolve issues wherever we can. We’d love the opportunity to make things right. However, we’re unable to offer our help unless we have more information about your experience with us. If you’d like, please contact us at [insert contact information].”

A reply like this indicates that you care about the opinion of your customers while hinting to the fact the complaint may be disingenuous.

After you’ve responded, flag the review and report the violation to Google.

Resist Fake Reviews with a Solid Marketing Strategy

It’s never fun to be on the receiving end of a fake review. Make a habit of monitoring, responding to, and reporting counterfeits on your company’s profile. And don’t forget to counteract the attacks by building your own base of real reviews!

 

Would you like professional assistance managing your brand identity online? Contact the marketing strategists at LinkNow Media. Drop us a line at 1.888.667.7186 or email us at website@linknowmedia.com!

DIY Tricks to Get Rid of Bad Reviews (that SEOs Don’t Want You to Know!)

Bad Reviews? No Problem.

Sure, you can always get an SEO company to bury those pesky negative reviews. With the help of a professional targeted strategy, they’ll boost the right information to the top and allow the rest to go unnoticed. What most of these companies don’t tell you is that there are also simple actions you can take on your own to improve your online rep.

Most SEO companies don’t want you to know this – but I guess it’s a good thing we’re not most companies, right?

Read on to get insiders tips on DIY fixes for your online reputation.

Respond to Negative Client Reviews Calmly and Rationally

When someone leaves you a bad review, it’s easy to get heated. But wait. Take a deep breath. Collect your thoughts before sending an emotionally charged response. Instead, answer calmly and show that you value the client’s opinion.

Even if you’re not quite sure why they’re upset, it’s always best to apologize. The customer is always right, after all. Try to take an empathetic and understanding approach. If you’d like to go the extra mile, ask them to reach out in private to discuss the situation. There might be an opportunity to make things right, and they might even leave you a new positive review in return.

Take the Conversation Offline for More Effective Communication

You can’t control the reviews people leave, but you can control how you respond to them. After you’ve left a polite and professional public reply, leaving contact information can allow you and the dissatisfied client to hash things out in private if they so choose.

Taking the conversation offline can help you communicate more effectively, as tone and nuance are better conveyed over the phone. You might even find that the customer isn’t as unhappy as they seemed in the reviews—especially now that you’ve reached out to them.

Keep Track of What People Are Saying About You Online

Whether you like it or not, people are going to talk. And when you have a company, it’s important to be in tune with what people are saying about it, and where and how they’re saying it. With the help of online tools like Google Alerts, you can track individuals that mention your business online.

These tools will monitor the web and notify you when your company name is brought up. This way, you can always stay in the loop, regardless of whether the conversation is good or bad.

View Common Complaints as Constructive Criticism

Are you seeing a pattern in the negative reviews you’re receiving? It might be time to lay down the groundwork for some change. Ultimately, you should be dedicated to customer satisfaction and always want to better your services.

So, pay close attention to what your clients complain about—especially if you often receive similar complaints. Take it as constructive criticism and an opportunity for improvement. If you put in the work, you can only go up from there!

 

There you have it, folks. The secret (not-so-secret-anymore) online reputation management tips that can help you turn those negatives into positives—all on your own. Still, if you find yourself needing more expert advice, or if you’d like to boost your rep even more, drop us a line at website@linknowmedia.com or call us at 1.888.667.7186.

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Why Bad Reviews Might Be Good for Business

It’s no secret. Five-star Google reviews are the gateway to effortless leads. If there’s one trick to outranking the competition, it’s getting a ton of positive reviews.

But what happens when a scathing, one-star review taints your spotless profile? Don’t panic!  It’s not as bad as you think. Just read this blog to learn how to make negative reviews work in your favor!

Your Marketing Strategy is Working

So, you got a bad review. It’s bound to happen. Here’s the silver lining though. The fact that someone cared enough to leave a negative review means your online marketing strategy is working.

It’s doing what you want—rather, it’s doing what you designed it to do. It’s generating traffic. Sure, in an ideal world, all your customers would leave raving reviews about how their lives will never be the same, and how they’re eternally grateful that they found your service.

But the reality is, bad reviews are par for the course on the internet.

Your Ranking Depends on Your Responsiveness

Regardless of how mean, untrue, or eccentric that review is, try to see it for what it is: a shining beacon of opportunity. Engage with it. Show that you care!

Google and Yelp have made responsiveness one of their ranking factors. This means that the content of your review doesn’t matter—what matters is what you do with it.

A company with twenty lousy reviews isn’t a foregone failure if the owner carefully, politely, and thoroughly addresses each of them. In this scenario, Google doesn’t see a lousy business owner. Google sees an active business owner who cares about their clients.

You can’t remove the negative, so milk it for what it’s worth! If you respond promptly and respectfully to your dissatisfied customer, you can count it as a win for your ranking.

Bad Reviews Build Credibility

A bad review isn’t the end of the world. One might argue that a rare negative review can increase your business’ credibility. Now, before you scoff at this statement and skim to the next section, consider this.

Customers that are browsing your company’s business listing expect to find faults. They may even want to know the downfalls of your services. Customers do their research—they compare what other people consider to be the pros and cons. And other people might not have the same priorities as them. A negative review for one person could easily be a positive for another!

Plus, a negative review can work in your favor by making you more relatable. Nobody’s perfect, after all! And your clients know that. As long as the overarching trajectory of your listing is positive, your clients will likely forgive an outlying piece of negative feedback.

Too Many Positive Reviews May Look Suspicious

You’d be surprised at how many people—even people who have never heard of SEO—are aware of fake reviews. Most of them are intelligent consumers that can weed out the real from the fake. So, relax a little! Give web surfers more credit, and they’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Even if that nasty remark is legitimate, there’s still hope. Chances are, your clients have experience dealing with angry customers too. Or, at the very least, they’ve encountered them in line at Starbucks. Prospective consumers are usually well versed in discerning what’s worth listening to and what’s not.

The bottom line is, if you’re endlessly obsessing over a single insulting statement, stop. The majority of your clients will overlook one lackluster comment in favor of nine positive ones.

Your Prospective Clients are Waiting for Your Response

When you receive a negative review, don’t hang your head and assume the damage is done. No, you can’t remove the post, but you can redirect your customer’s attention – off the review and onto you.

Have you ever gotten into a heated discussion at work and left the boardroom thinking, “Wow, my colleague handled that really well”? The same applies online. As tempting as it might be to ignore your accuser (or snap back in anger and explain all the reasons their opinion is wrong), use your reply as an opportunity. Take advantage of the platform to showcase your stellar customer service.

You can’t stop your clients from reading the haters, but don’t forget that they’re equally interested in observing your reaction. A thoughtful reply to a mocking remark can leave your clients thinking that you’re a class act and that the rude heckler who initiated the dialogue was out of line. Your behavior as a business owner speaks volumes.

Benefit from the Constructive Criticism

Yes, there are fraudulent reviews out there. But there are also valid critiques. These can hurt. As hard as you try, mistakes can happen. Whether it’s an oversight during the busy season or employee no-shows leave you short-staffed—it’s impossible to be on your A-game 100% of the time.

When a negative review is genuine, and an anonymous customer throws the spotlight on everything you did wrong, use the criticism constructively. Be an optimist. See the reproach as a precious glimpse into your clients’ experience. Your goal is to improve that experience for the next person.

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb, is equally famous for the number of times he failed at making the lightbulb. But in his eyes, he didn’t fail. l. Instead, he succeeded at finding 10, 000 ways not to make a lightbulb. Similarly, if you find yourself facing a seemingly insurmountable 10, 000 bad reviews, consider yourself enlightened – you just discovered 10, 000 ways not to provide your service. Your next attempt could make history.

 

Want to learn more about how reviews impact SEO? Contact our marketing specialists at LinkNow Media by leaving a comment below or calling us at 1.888.667.7186.

Want to Run Your Business on Leads from Yelp? Here’s how!

Yelp is one of the best tools that small businesses have for marketing and generating local leads. Whether you’re using it to manage your online reputation or for local marketing, Yelp has transformed the way businesses are run in 2019. And best of all, it’s free.

So, if you’re a small business owner looking for an easy way to generate a ton of strong leads in your local area, this article will tell you everything you need to know. Read on and let us know what you think in the comments!

1. Complete Your Yelp Profile

First things first. If you haven’t created your listing already, you need to do that now! (Better yet, finish reading this blog first, and then go complete it). But it’s vital to complete all of it. Try not to leave anything blank or unfinished. Consider it this way – Yelp is asking your business these questions directly, and if you want Yelp to like your business, it’s in your best interest to answer them. Provide plenty of detail. Which leads us to our second tip:

2. Prioritize Text Over Photos on Your Yelp Listing

Pictures have their place on Yelp, but text holds more authority. And if you want to rank in Yelp searches, you need to build authority. Show Yelp that your business is relevant to its users by “programming” your profile with the right keywords.

Yelp’s algorithm depends on words to find out what your listing and your business is about. In fact, we even recommend carefully title the images you upload, so that Yelp can use the file names to categorize your photos. In the real world, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but on Yelp, a picture certainly isn’t worth a thousand keywords.

3. Use Keywords to “Unlock” Yelp Leads

In the same way that you need keywords to rank in Google searches (and get leads from those searches), Yelp’s algorithm also works on keywords. Keywords are what your prospective clients type into search engines online. If your business listing doesn’t include them, new clients won’t be able to find you.

To find keywords that are relevant to your business, try typing a general one into the Yelp search bar. A drop-down menu will appear with other related keywords that, if they are relevant to your business, you should include in your listing to improve your rank!

 

 

However, a word to the wise: be careful not to overdo it. Your listing can get penalized for keyword-stuffing. For example, don’t write: “Our massage therapists perform massage services. If you want massage therapy, call our massage specialists at our massage spa.” Keyword-stuffing doesn’t look good to prospective clients or to Yelp.

4. Always Respond to Yelp Reviews

Never, ever, underestimate the power of reviews, particularly on Yelp. We can’t overemphasize how fantastic positive reviews are for your ranking – but it’s not only having them that counts. Encourage your clients to leave detailed reviews that accurately explain your services and why they were so good.

Plus, Yelp prioritizes businesses that are actively engaged with their customers. So, make sure to reply quickly to both good and bad reviews. Three 5-star reviews with prompt responses might be better off than fifteen 5-star comments that went ignored by the business owner. Be polite, professional, and concise. Sometimes, a well-crafted reply will even counterbalance the damage of a poor review! The bottom line is, always respond to your Yelp reviews.

5. Pat Yelp’s Back and Google Will Pat Yours

Okay, while this one isn’t exactly a Yelp strategy, it’s worth keeping in mind that in the online world, everything is interconnected. Your business listing on Yelp extends far beyond the scope of one directory. Google and Yelp have a longstanding virtual friendship and Google often ranks Yelp listings in their search results.

The old saying, “A friend of yours is a friend of mine” holds true, here. If you’re getting leads on Yelp, chances are you’re beefing up your ranking on Google at the same time. So, it’s in your best interest to make your Yelp listing as attractive as possible.

 

Want to leverage your Yelp listings to pull in even more leads? Contact the digital marketing professionals at LinkNow Media by leaving us a comment below or calling 1.888.667.7186!

5 Reasons that More Reviews Will Help You Crush the Competition

Good reviews are the bedrock of a strong reputation management strategy.

Having plenty of good, high-quality reviews can make the difference between appearing at the top of Google’s search results and being buried by your competitors. In fact, evidence shows that reviews are one of the most important factors determining your local search result rankings. And at LinkNow Media, we consider them one of the easiest and fastest ways to give your online marketing to boost it needs.

Here are five reasons why:

1.      Reviews Expand Your Web Presence

In the realm of online marketing, content is king. It’s the motor that drives your web presence and expands your reach. By pumping out lots of high-quality content, you show Google that you have something important to say. And that you’re an authority in your industry.

Online reviews serve a similar purpose. The more positive ones that you accumulate, the larger your online footprint becomes. From Google’s perspective, that means your information is constantly being updated and verified by your user base: a good prospect when they’re looking to recommend you over your competitors.

2.      Reviews Highlight Your Relevance for Local Search Results

A detailed review will often include information about the company, the service provided, prices, and customer service. These are all relevant details that tell Google more about your business in the form of keywords.

We’ve already discussed how getting keywords in your reviews can improve your online search results. For the purposes of this post, I’ll offer a brief summary.

For Google, keywords are like signposts. They’re carriers of information that indicate the purpose of a webpage. Essentially, they help Google sift through your site and determine whether it is relevant to a searcher.

By expanding your number of detailed reviews, you’ll naturally expand your keyword profile. What does that mean for you? As a result, you’re likely to see your website come up for a greater array of relevant search terms. You may even hone in on an extremely competitive keyword, such as affordable plumber in Dallas.

3.      Reviews Improve Your Search Rankings

The data is clear: the more positive (and detailed!) reviews you have, the better you’ll rank online. It’s as simple as that.

One of the key areas where reviews matter is in what’s called the local pack: the top section that Google displays whenever a user enters a search for a local service. It looks like this:

Your chances of showing up in the local pack improve enormously with consistent, high-quality reviews—especially ones with keywords in them. According to one study, having keyword-heavy reviews was the single most important factor for getting included in the local pack.

Why does Google lend so much weight to reviews? Well, because…

4.      Google Trusts Reviews (More Than They Trust You)

Google likes businesses they can trust. Unfortunately, the Internet sometimes makes it difficult to find such establishments. After all, a company can say anything about itself that it wants. You can claim to be the best pizza joint in NYC all you want. It doesn’t make it true.

What businesses can’t control—at least not completely—is what others say about them. That’s why Google takes reviews so seriously: because they are a comparatively reliable source of information. Sure, some reviews may be disingenuous, solicited, or falsified. But taken as a whole, they’re an effective tool that allows Google to “cross-examine” information and find the most trustworthy businesses to recommend.

5.      Consumers Trust Reviews (More Than They Trust You)

Like Google, consumers find reviews much more persuasive than what any business owner has to say about themselves. One survey found that a whopping 93% of consumers consult online reviews before making a purchasing decision.

Ultimately, the goal of your marketing campaign is to convert your target audience into a loyal customer base. Getting plenty of positive reviews will help you achieve that aim. In the eyes of potential customers, it’s the most persuasive argument you can provide.

A lot has changed since the digital age. Especially for small business owners, the Internet has revolutionized the way we do business. Nevertheless, one thing remains the same: a good recommendation goes a long, long way.

Need Help Generating Reviews? Give the Team at LinkNow Media a Shout!

With over 10,000 clients, it’s safe to say that we at LinkNow know a thing or two about managing an online reputation. We’ve helped garner hundreds of rave reviews, building a strong web presence for ourselves. Not to mention for our customers, too.

If you need help coming up with a solid review-generation strategy, consider giving us a shout! Leave a comment below, email us at website@linknowmedia.com, or call us at 1-888-667-7186. After all, we’re here to help

Do You Need Reviews to Rank on Yelp?

These days, ranking well on Yelp is nearly as important as ranking on Google. And just like on Google, good reviews are a fast-track-pass to ranking on Yelp.

What do people have to say about you and the service you provide? Are people raving about one common thing? Do they have anything to say in the first place? The answers to these questions could have a major impact on whether your company will rank well or not.

Read on to learn how to get the kind of reviews you need to rank on Yelp!

Positive Yelp Ratings Will Improve Your Ranking

Want to pop up first when people search for a service on Yelp? The proof is in the pudding and the answer is in the reviews. The more reviews you have overall, the better it is for your ranking. So, whenever you can, casually remind your clients to leave you a Yelp review and easily reap the rewards.

Your reviews are a good reflection of your reputation. Although it’s true that it’s better to have people talking about you than not talking at all, it’s obviously best for your business to have positive ratings. This way, when customers refine their search results to show the “Highest Rated” businesses for a certain service in their area, you’ll want to be a top result.

You should encourage all your clients to write you reviews on Yelp, but especially those you’ve just wowed with exceptional service. They’re way more likely to write you a great review!

Rank Better on Yelp with SEO-Optimized Reviews

SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is an essential component to ranking on search engines and business directories on the Internet. Try to encourage your customers to insert specific keywords related to the services you provide in their Yelp reviews. Studies have shown that the frequency of relevant keywords in reviews can have a significant impact on your Yelp rankings!

For example, if you’re a roofing contractor, reviews that specifically mention roofing repair or roofing installation are what you’d be going for. It’s especially important that the keywords used, match with the business category you’ve selected on your Yelp listing. If you’re a plumber and have selected plumber as your business category, having the word plumber in many reviews is very important for Yelp!

So, what’s the best approach for getting keywords into reviews? Ask your clients to be specific and detailed about the services they received. Make sure they describe the quality and what they loved about it. Detailed reviews will almost always be filled with relevant keywords that will help your rank!

Climb the Rankings with Elite Yelper Reviews

Although Yelp’s review filter algorithm remains something of a mystery, we know that active users are much more likely to be included in the overall rating than inactive or new users. The idea is that Yelpers who leave a lot of reviews are more likely to be trusted sources. In turn, Yelp gives their reviews more weight in the overall scores.

So, if you know that a client of yours hasn’t left many reviews, ask them to leave reviews for other local businesses while they’re at it. That’ll make it a lot more likely for them to count in your overall rating and get you ranking—fast!

 

Want more tips and tricks like the ones in this article? Get in touch with us at website@linknowmedia.com to keep up to date with our posts and leave us a comment below.

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