The web has completely changed the way we look for products. Nowadays we all seek out online reviews, social advertising based opinions, online video as well as comprehensive product or service details when we look to make a purchase.
For instance, nowadays I don't book a hotel until I have scanned at least a few months worth of opinions on Tripadvisor. The information is readily available and these honest comments will help me make my decision. In the past, this approach had been limited to searching for hotels, restaurants and so on. However , what we are now seeing is that this information is available across many areas of business like local plasterers or skip hire businesses. The 'Amazon type' experience has become the norm for everyone seeking to make any purchase online, especially selecting a local trades person.
So what should you do as a local company?
Make an effort to to be listed on as many review orientated sites as possible - I've listed a few to help you get started.
Remember - you will have to create listings in the first place to be able to permit access for customers to place reviews but not only will this assist with your inbound link count for SEO it will also give you additional presence. We will cover some of these sites in depth over time:
As a local business, the goal should be to encourage customers to leave genuine reviews. Use this platform as a means to get a feel for what customers feel about your business whether it be good or bad. Where the comments are negative, react to it directly on your site and also internally within the business. Manage your online reputation rigorously, ensuring you are perceived in the best light to potential customers. In some cases 'turning around' the customers who leave negative reviews can provide more beneficial exposure for your business than if the negative review hadnt appeared in the first place - it all depends on how well its handled.
Reviews should be actively encouraged - for example why not add a link to some of these review sites on your own website : Leave us a review on…. This shows confidence in your product/service and will ensure you gain more free of charge positive exposure.
In summary - reviews matter... make sure they count.
Paul Cunningham has 11 years experience in website design & for the past five years has specialised in search engine optimisation,in Stockport, UK. The team at http://www.websitedesignlab.co.uk have helped hundreds of small & medium sized local business maximise their revenues via cost effective SEO in Manchester and all over the UK.
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