You’ve claimed and optimized your Google Places business listing. You’ve claimed your business profile on other local online directories, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Superpages. But you still haven’t made it to the top of the search results for your market. Or maybe you’re on the first page, but just aren’t getting a lot of calls. The answer to your problems, could be that you have little or no reviews online.
Online local reviews can make a huge difference in your local search marketing campaigns and how high your business ranks. They can also make your listing stand out on the page when you have that coveted 5 star rating under your name. But how do you get reviews?
It can be difficult to get people to go online and leave a review, but if you work at it, and make it easy for them, some will gladly help you out.
Although Google is the most important place to get reviews, I highly suggest getting reviews on other directories as well, including Yelp, Superpages, Insider Pages, Urban Spoon (restaurants), Kudzu, etc.
Here are some ideas on how you can get your customers to leave you a review online.
Add Buttons on your website: Link to your Google Places page and other listings prominently on your website. Some directories have badges that make it easy for you to embed them on your site.
Receipts and Invoices: Insert the URL to your Google Places page, Yelp profile, etc. on your receipts and invoices. To make your urls shorter, use a service such as goo.gl so your customers don’t have to type out a long url.
Email: If you have an email newsletter, you can put a link to leave reviews in your newsletter. You put a link in your personal email signature. If you collect your customer’s email addresses, send them a thank you email after the sale and ask for a review.
Just Ask: If you interact personally with your customers, ask them for a review. Most people will happily give one. You could even put the URL to your profiles on your business card so you have something to hand them when the time comes.
Getting people to leave reviews online for your business is not easy. But if you continually ask every customer, you’ll start getting the occasional customer that actually does it. Don’t give up. It’s VERY worth it and makes a huge difference in how well your Google Places listing performs compared to your competition.