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Tag: Online Customer Reviews (Page 1 of 8)

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!

Can Fake Reviews Hurt My Business?

Getting online reviews is one of the fastest ways to improve your web presence. Getting fake reviews is one of the quickest ways to ruin it. Whether the fake reviews are positive or negative doesn’t matter. They’re both bad. Either way, they can destroy the trust your clients have in you, ruin your reputation with Google, and lower your ranking in local search results.

Read on to find out why and learn how to protect yourself by reporting fake reviews!

The Two Types of Fake Reviews

We can divide fake reviews into two categories: positive and negative.

The positive ones tend to originate internally. Someone within a company will write a slew of glowing reviews praising the place and padding their online score in the hopes of making themselves look better than their competitors. In some cases, companies will even buy fake reviews from a shady third-party provider on the net.

The more nefarious—and notorious—type is the negative fake reviews. A single one-star review isn’t of too much concern. Sure, it can be unsightly, but it won’t ruin your reputation. Heck, a few bad reviews can even be good for business. More frightening, however, are the smear campaigns set up by rival companies.

In such instances, a competitor will set up multiple online accounts on a review platform so that they can bombard their opponent with bad review after bad review, sabotaging their reputation and careening their business. As was the case with false positive reviews, some competitors have also been caught paying a third party to write negative reviews.

What Can Happen If I’m the Victim of a Fake Review Campaign?

Fake reviews pose numerous problems for business owners, namely:

  1. They destroy trust. Generally, consumers tend to weigh negative reviews more heavily than good ones. If you’ve been hit by a slew of bad reviews, you can expect customers to think twice before choosing you. To make matters worse, readers are usually much better at spotting fake positive reviews than fake negatives. However, with the rise in fake reviews over the past 10 years, users have, on the whole, gotten much better at distinguishing between the genuine and the fake. It’s par for the course if you’re an active internet user in 2019.
  2. They damage your online reputation. Reviews are an essential aspect of your online reputation. If you solicit fake reviews, or if you’re hit with a negative ad campaign, your reputation as a service provider will suffer. Not only will your clients not trust you—neither will Google. Which leads to our third problem…
  3. They can lead to penalties and fines.Google penalizes businesses that do not play by the rules. If you’re found guilty of violating their policies by requesting fake reviews, you may find yourself removed from local search results listings. Offenders can even be fined. In a New York sting operation, the attorney general charged fake review companies with $350,000 in fines.

To sum up: If you’ve been thinking about writing or buying fake reviews, think again. Don’t do it. It’s unethical, it’s impractical, and it won’t pay off. Just don’t.

How Can I Stop Fake Reviews from Hurting My Business?

You should report any fake reviews directly to the review platform.

To report a review on Google:

  1. Locate the review in question
  2. Hover your mouse over the review. Click the “Flag” icon:
  3. On the next page, enter your email address and the reason for the violation:

To report fake reviews on Yelp:

  1. Sign into your business account using the Yelp Business Owners website (biz.yelp.com). If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one to manage your listing.
  2. Locate the review in question.
  3. Click the Options button (three dots) and press Report Review:
  4. Enter a detailed explanation for reporting the review. Then press submit.

From there, it’s all about playing the waiting game. The more information you provide, the better your chances of having the review removed. Good luck out there, and stay safe folks!

Join LinkNow Media in the Fight Against Fake Reviews!

LinkNow Media is one of North America’s leading digital marketing agencies. With over 10,000 clients and a vast online presence, it’s safe to say that we’ve encountered our fair share of spam, fake reviews, negative ad campaigns. But through it all, we’ve persevered and thwarted every attempt on our reputation.

If you’ve faced similar problems, we can help you too.

Join us in the fight against fake reviews. To get started, leave a comment below, email us at website@linknowmedia.com, or give us a call at 1-888-667-7186 today!

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.

Improve Your Google Ranking Fast with Keyword-Optimized Reviews

As we’ve written elsewhere, it can take a long time to start ranking for new content. Google’s timelines can be really frustrating! So, what do you do if you want to improve your Google ranking fast?

Research has shown that there’s a strong connection between keywords in reviews and improved local search results. One study named it the number one way to boost local SEO. Not NAP clean-ups. Not GMB posts. Not a 5-star score. Keywords.

So, getting them is a great way to improve your search results. But should you do it? Should you start telling your clients to write “best plumbing repair service Atlanta” in their review?

Well… not exactly.  You don’t want to force your customers into writing something they otherwise wouldn’t say. It may, however, be wise to steer them in the right direction.

Do I Need Keywords in My Reviews?

Keywords are like signposts: they point people (and search engines) in the right direction. From Google’s perspective, keywords show that a text (reviews, website content, blog posts, etc.) is relevant to searchers. When a Google user enters a search term, Google wants to display the most relevant results at the top of the page. Keywords help Google sift through and find them.

This goes for the landing pages on your website, as much as for the reviews on your GMB listing. Google likes it when a review includes keywords. It shows that your landscaping company actually provides the landscaping services you advertise. And that someone out there really believes they are the “best landscaping company in San Diego!” Who wouldn’t want to rank for a keyword like that?

Should I Ask My Clients to Use Keywords in Their Reviews?

At LinkNow Media, we do not recommend that business owners ask their clients to include specific keywords in their reviews.

Why not?

  1. It’s inauthentic. You want your reviews to be truthful. Google does, too. If you ask your clients to use specific phrases and keywords, their reviews will feel scripted. Forced. Fake.
  2. It’s unconvincing. Positive reviews are supposed to be convincing. They should show that you are an authority in your industry—a professional that consumers can trust. By asking clients to follow a script, you’re limiting the potential of your reviews. Ultimately, they’ll be far less convincing than if they felt natural.
  3. It’s risky. Google doesn’t like SEO trickery. They’ve clamped down on previous SEO “hacks,” and they’re bound to do the same for future ones. If you try to game the system by shoehorning keywords into your reviews, you risk being penalized by Google down the road.

The bottom line is that Google values keyword-optimized reviews because the business owner has no control over them! They’re spontaneous, authentic, and truthful. They’re the perfect reference.

How Do I Get Keywords in My Reviews?

You want keywords in your reviews. But you also want your reviews to sound natural. What can you do?

The best course of action: ask your clients to leave detailed reviews. Give them some guidelines. For example, if you’re a plumber, you may want to ask your customers to leave reviews that mention:

  • The service you provided
  • The time it took for you to respond and complete the job
  • Pricing information
  • The quality of customer service.

By doing so, keywords will naturally appear in your clients’ writing. Plus, it’ll sound more convincing for readers.

Consider the following two reviews from LinkNow Media’s Google My Business listing:

Pretty bare bones. Not a whole lot of information. Let’s look at the second one:

Notice the keywords: SEO services, company’s web presence, design assistant, as well as our company name. The client was not asked to use these terms. Rather, they came out naturally because the reviewer provided ample detail. Plus, it also makes the review much more convincing for reviewers.

In short: Ask your clients to leave reviews. But give them more to go off. Ask them to provide details of the services you provided, how long it took, so on and so forth, and you’ll see keywords naturally arise in your reviews. That way, you’ll help build a solid online footprint—and trustworthy reputation. Two birds with one stone. We like that.

Need Help Managing Your Online Reputation?

With over 10,000 clients, we at LinkNow Media know a thing or two about reputation management. Over our many years, we’ve built a strong online presence—not just for ourselves, but for thousands of business owners across North America.

If you need help proving your worth to the world and drumming up business, give us a shout at website@linknowmedia.com, or at 1-888-667-7186. Oh, and don’t forget to comment below!

5 Reasons You Need Reviews on Your Website

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.

2. 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?

3. 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.

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

A 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.

5. 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.

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!

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.

3 Tricks to Improve the Online Presence of Your Business

The accessibility, precision, and sheer scope of the internet has forever changed the way businesses operate.

To say that everyone is online nowadays is neither stereotype nor hyperbole – that goes for clients and enterprises alike. A business’s online presence has become equal parts storefront and calling card, permitting degrees of promotion and engagement that yesterday’s proprietors could only have dreamt of.

With the right content and approach, you can advertise the very best of your products and engage with the people interested in acquiring them.

In other words, instead of staging a presentation, start a conversation.

Just to help you out, the SEO department at LinkNow Media has assembled a simple list of three steps businesses can take towards developing their online prowess. And don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments!

1) Establish Your Presence and Maintain It

By now, you’re well aware of the power and potential of the online world. Websites, social media, and email lists are the norm among business owners.

But it doesn’t end there.

A website devoid of content, or a Facebook page without a single post, is the online equivalent of a new car without gas. It looks great—but won’t get you far. And while you’re lagging behind the competition, your clients are going to go elsewhere.

Update and maintain your website and social media profiles with the same care and regularity as you would a storefront.  Give your customers a window into your best work by taking photos and posting them online! Write blog posts, social media posts, and continuously add new landing pages to your website. Don’t forget that content is king in 2019!

It can be internal, too – feature posts about additions to your inventory, changes to offered services, or even profiles on new employees! When you keep your customers abreast, you can forget the rest.

2) Be Receptive and Accessible to Your Clientele

One advantage small businesses have against corporations is a sense of intimacy. Your clients can put a face to your name. Seize this advantage and engage with everyone who’s following your business online!

Respond to good and bad reviews promptly and in detail. Answer inquiries you receive, on your pages or via email, in an equally timely manner. Acknowledge compliments and attempt to resolve complaints.

You’ll be amazed at what you can learn about your clientele—and about your business itself. Take the feedback to heart and listen attentively to what your customers have to say.

Above all, be consistent and maintain a constant and reliable presence. By showing customers that you care about what they think you’ll forge meaningful connections that can be turned into leads.

3) Reward Existing Customers and Incentivize New Ones

The importance of repeat business and customer loyalty depends on your industry.

For instance, showing up for a one-time lawn care appointment could lead to years of frequent lawn maintenance.

Regardless of where you find yourself, acknowledge the customers who have stuck by you since day one. Consider the VIP approach and offer exclusive referral bonuses, discounts, or even a newsletter for regular customers.

In the same vein, always be on the lookout for new clients. Consider untapped markets. And never sacrifice one for the other.

Maintain online engagement with your current customers, and you’ll be opening the door to new business!

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