Building and developing your business can be a difficult task, especially with all the noise that exists in the overcrowded online world. With millions of businesses who are trying to make their voices heard, it’s sometimes difficult to know how to get your company name out there and convince potential clients that you are the best company for the job.
Having a consistent online presence these days is imperative for all businesses; one that encompasses your website, blog, newsletter and, of course, social media.
We’ve all heard about the power of social media; these sites are excellent for keeping your clients and followers in the loop about what’s new with your business, but they also provide a means for your customers to leave reviews about their recent experience with your business.
The concept of reviews is not new to us. Even before the growth of online marketing, we would ask customers for their feedback and gather testimonials as a means of building trust. But online reviews are more than just word of mouth marketing. With the rise of sites like TripAdvisor, online reviews have become increasingly important to a business’ reputation and can have a huge impact on consumers purchasing decisions.
And it’s not just the hospitality industry that is subject to this public scrutiny. Now, major online platforms like Google and Facebook have made it possible for any business to be reviewed by their customers. And they’re using this information to determine your search engine rankings, and your audience reach.
So if you’ve not started collecting online reviews for your business, here’s where I would start:
are excellent for small businesses as they are integrated with search results. A business with multiple reviews will be ranked higher than one without, and people can see your star rating right from within their results, making your business stand out from the crowd.
The long and short of it is, if you care about SEO (and you should), you need Google reviews. Your clients can leave you one simply by searching for your company name in Google, Google Maps or Google Places when they are signed into their Google account.
also now boast a review section, which is proving important for maximising the organic reach of your content. With the introduction of Facebook Ads, Facebook are making it harder and harder to reach your audience through free, organic strategies. But collecting reviews is one way to increase your chances.
To add this feature to your page you will need to ensure your page’s category is “local business” and that you have chosen your business sector.
has been a great place to gather reviews and testimonials for some time now with their Recommendations feature. These are reviews that are made by your connections and attached to your personal profile, giving weight to your experience and qualifications. This platform is less about SEO and audience reach and more about personal reputation, but an equally important element that shouldn’t be overlooked.
In addition to these major platforms, there are numerous online directories which enable customers to leave reviews and ratings about your services including Yelp, Yell.com and industry-specific sites like TradesAdvisor, which is based here in Scotland.
If you’re thinking “this all sounds great but when am I going to find the time to chase customers to leave reviews?”. Unless you’re already diligent about following up with your clients to obtain feedback, it’s probably not something you have time to sit down and do yourself.
Luckily help is at hand! This is exactly the sort of project that you can delegate to your virtual assistant. All you would need to provide is a list of your customers, their contact details and maybe a bit about what you did for them, and your VA can take care of the rest!