This week Yelp became more strict in enforcing their review solicitation policy ( Yelp's content guidelines can be found here ).
More specifically, there are increased reports nationwide of local businesses being contacted by Yelp with the request to stop " soliciting customers for reviews ".
Here is what you should know, and steps you may want to take to comply with Yelp's policies:
Simply deleting a negative review that has been posted about a business is not something that a business can do. Most likely if a business owner is trying to delete a review, he or she has found themselves on this page (below) before reading this blog post.
Google is here to stay, so a business should not hide from it. They should use it!
If a business does not, Google will be its worst nightmare. But if a business plays its cards right, Google can be the best thing for a it.
I’m here to help with the latter.
A one-to-one referral of a business from a customer to a family member or a friend is a beautiful thing...as a business owners one should never want this to stop.
But what if that one-to-one referral could turn into one-to-hundreds? Or even thousands?
Although this one-to-one referral isn’t dead, it is absolutely “the old way”. And that is a good thing.
Don’t make customers do all the work.
It is a good things because now when that happy customer leaves a business, that particular business does not have to simply hope that customer spreads the word about them by word of mouth. That is a lot of pressure put on these customers.
A business can actually turn that positive referral into a 5 star review on Google!
Consumers are looking online, not in their phone book.
Why should a business care about Google reviews? Because just as a one-to-one referral is the old way, so is calling up a neighbor to ask who the family dentist is or who redid their roof last year. Instead, that looking consumer is Googling for the highest rated business near them and calling who has the most and best Google reviews.
Customers are taking to the internet to read online Google reviews.
This is why Google reviews should be a business's main promoter.
Business owners can show customer service publicly.
Positive reviews left on Google need to be responded to by the business. This gives a business owner the opportunity to say thank you to the customer who left the review.
A public thank you note from a business for the customer’s review is a way to win that customer’s business again in the future. An online thank you note is a way for businesses to show they care about their customers and that they care about the reputation the business has. This is a very attractive trait for any business.
On the contrary, a business owner can also take the opportunity to respond publicly to any unhappy customers. I know it may seem like a stretch but, that way a business can make unhappy customers helpful to the business!
Each dissatisfied customer a company should see as an opportunity to show how the business handles these unhappy people. The business should take the opportunity to listen and learn from these customers.
Does the number of Google reviews match the number of customers?
I hear every day from business owners “Can’t I focus on this for a couple weeks and then stop?”
The short answer is no.
The amount of Google reviews a business has should reflect the amount of customers that business interacts with. If a business is thinks sitting pretty with 50, 5 star Google reviews, they will be surpassed by their competition in no time.
As GOLD as that word of mouth referral is from a family or friend, there has been a shift in mindset for consumers.
Instead of taking one person's word for it that the business is a 5 star business, consumers would rather see what all of that business's customers think of them.
Even with a word of mouth referral, a business can’t hide from bad Google reviews or too few Google reviews.
If a business does score that word of mouth referral, GREAT! What next?
That consumer will take to the internet for a phone number, address, business hours, etc. The Google reviews will be seen.
The Google reviews will be read.
The referral may have caused the consumer to give the business a look first but if the Google reviews are negative or non-existent, the business will have a hard time ending up winning over that consumer.
Lastly, A word of mouth referral is over in a matter of seconds...
If a business is lucky maybe minutes.
While the word of mouth referral may certainly be GOLD, the five star Google review is the lifeblood of a business.
This is because not only will hundreds or thousands be able to see what good service a business provides but also, it will live on the Google listing forever!
A business should not rely on customers to be full time promoters for them, a business should take control of their own reputation and get that 5 star Google review!
If you have been struggling to acquire high quality Google reviews online, then you came to the right place, because we are the best in the business. All smart businesses know the value of positive online customer reviews, since they affect local rankings on search engines. Statistics further highlight the value of search engine rankings, since businesses that were ranked #1 were 33% more likely to get reviewed by customers, which helped promote their brand.
Google reviews are more important for businesses than Yelp reviews, because this allows them to generate more clicks from their clients. Having five golden star reviews, means positive brand reputations online, and therefore more sales for the business. Having positive reviews online, will benefit your business, because it will boost your rankings on search engines, and you are more likely to attract customers, which will boost your sales.
Businesses with no reviews will not get clients, since they don’t engage with customers, and currently, people who are shopping online, are looking for businesses that have positive reviews online. Therefore, the average star rating your business has on Google, will have a massive impact on whether that customer will do business with you. The number of reviews doesn’t matter, only the ones that are genuine and quality, will hold merit with Google, so there is no way to fake your way to the top.
On the internet, brand reputation is everything. How do you go about improving your reputation online?
Every brand that is visible online is going to get reviewed by customers, and it is up to you to ensure that what customers are reading about your brand is good. Everything and everyone that is discussing your brand on the internet will have an impact on how potential customers see your business.
That is why it is important that you monitor your online reputation. We are specialists in online reputation monitoring, and can help your business build trust in your target market.
First impressions matter, and you only have one chance of making a good one. We will help your business make a memorable impression on your potential customer with our services.
As if reviews weren’t already the most important part of a company's online presence, Google just made them even more paramount.
Whether you are a home services company or not, I recommend you listen up because Google is about to play favorites. And trust me, you want to be on Google’s good side.
Google Home Services Ads are coming Philadelphia - this is either very good or very bad news for you.