Getting positive reviews and ratings online, about your business, is extremely important.
These are not testimonials placed on your website. They are on third-party websites, especially Google Places (the local or map listings). Bing, Yahoo and many other sites have these.
We can't do all the work for you on this, and you can't do all the work. Your satisfied customers, clients or patients have to enter the reviews as they require different valid email addresses or accounts.
1. People are looking online not only to find your website (what YOU are saying about your business) but to find out about your reputation (what OTHERS are saying about your business). They give more weight to third-party opinions.
You have little control over negative reviews and ratings. What you CAN do is bury them with tons of positive reviews and ratings.
So these enhance your online reputation, making it more likely a prospect will go to your website and ultimately contact you and buy.
By far the most important of these is Google Places. Our estimate is that for most industries, your Google Place page is as important as all other local listings and review sites, combined.
2. Having a lot of positive reviews and high ratings will ALSO help improve your rankings, so your Place page (and therefore your website) are more likely to show up high on local searches.
This is one of the fastest routes to better rankings. It s worth putting some work into it.
All valuable reviews and ratings online require use of a valid email address or account, to reduce the likelihood of fraud such as entering of phony positive reviews (by a company) or phony negative reviews (by a competitor).
So you need a system that informs, encourages, and makes it easy for your customers to do reviews and ratings.
There are two parts to the system:
A. Materials. We will supply you with a printable flyer (you can have copies run at Kinko's or wherever you like) and Word document (you can print yourself). We will also add a page to your website, which visitors to your site cannot find. You have to send the link to select individuals you want to request reviews from.
All three of these will have an explanation of how easy it is to do a review, with a link to your Google Place page, and a QR code that can be scanned to take someone to your Place page. We can selectively add links to Bing and Yahoo's equivalent pages, to websites such as Yelp and UrbanSpoon (important for restaurants), etc.
We can also include rewards and incentives including cash, discount coupons, and so on, if you wish, on the materials.
It would be worthwhile to include the basic information on other customer materials such as printed receipt or invoice forms.
Example of what a QR (Quick Response) code looks like:
QR codes can be scanned by smart phones, that will then bring up the link to your Place page so they just have to click to go to it. This is useful because more and more people have smart phones, more and more people are familiar with QR codes and how to scan them. It makes it a lot easier to get to your Place page then if they have to hunt for it on Google.
B. Staff actions. Your employees need to know that when they have completed service or delivery or installation to a customer, client or patient, and that person is happy with you, that they need to be handed a flyer, a printed sheet, or emailed the link to your web page (or a direct link to the Google Place page).
This is something you have to continuously campaign with your staff. If even 5% of your customers do reviews, you'll quickly build up a large number of positive reviews on your site.
Many companies do follow up calls or emails to customers. If you don't, that is a basic quality control action that can help ensure all of your customers ARE happy with your work and service. It is also a great opportunity to request a review, using the materials and links we provide.