Recently Google replaced Google Places with Google+ Local. Among the goals Google had for making the switch was to provide a platform where Google users can impact search results through their online reviews. Reviews are gaining importance in the way search engines locate you. Through Penguin, Panda, and Venus, Google has put the area into Local search. Among the main goals of the February updates was to greatly help searchers with “more locally relevant predictions.” Among the criteria Google now considers in Search could be the interaction between the consumer and the business. Online reviews appear to be one of many main components in the algorithm. This helps it be important that the business has plenty of reviews on plenty of sites.

Reviews are becoming more important to the web user, as well. Reviews on sites such as Google+ Local, and Citysearch are becoming buy google reviews increasingly significant. People trust reviews. A Nielsen study released in 2009 underscored this. It unearthed that 70% of respondents considered online reviews helpful and trustworthy. Only recommendations by friends ranked higher in the survey.

So now the question is, where do you receive reviewed? You can find tens of thousands of places online where someone could review your business. Here are a few factors to think about which ones are best:

Syndication- Some reviews are syndicated round the web. Sites that get syndicated often include Citysearch, Insider Pages and Yahoo Local

Easy reviewing – Sites where lots of people curently have login ID’s are good places to check for. People are often discouraged to examine a website if they’ve to make a user name and password. When they curently have a login and password, that annoying step is unnecessary. The three sites in the list above are good candidates, as well as Google Maps.

Vertical Sites – Vertical sites are devoted to a particular industry. They are generally more trusted by search engines, and can be a good supply of traffic. Some industries supported by virtual sites include travel (Trip Advisor), restaurants (Open Table), and health care (HealthGrades). Obviously there are others. You can run your own search to locate them.
You can find other factors to consider. According to your location and the demographics of one’s customer base, particular sites may become more useful. Some sites are very popular using parts of the country. Some local newspapers may have thriving sites where they are located, but have little impact elsewhere. Some sites interest different users. For instance, Angie’s list seems to urban reviewers who are worried in regards to the validity of reviews posted on the sites they visit. It’s a good practice to encourage reviews in a number of sources, as it’s hard to know which sites is likely to be most used or trusted in the future.

Another thing to consider is that a number of your web visitors already are adept at reviewing local businesses. Encourage these users to utilize a common review sites. Customers that are already familiar with a website and have a login ID are more likely to complete a review. Also, some sites allow us trust systems. They allocate more authority to reviewers who utilize the site regularly. Your organization can benefit from an evaluation form certainly one of a sites trusted reviewers.

How will you get customers to provide an evaluation? Well…

1. Ask them for one. When someone informs you that you did a great job, thank them for it. Tell them how much you appreciate their business. Then ask nicely if they’d mind writing an on line review.

2. When you yourself have a Facebook page, ask your fans to examine your business.

3. Send a note to your email mailing list.

4. Ask them in a follow-up email. Sending thank you emails is a great practice to possess anyway. Including a request for online reviews in a thank you email is a great way to capture an evaluation while your great service is still fresh in your web visitors’mind. Ensure it is simple for them by including links to popular review sites that the customer may have a login for already.

5. Provide an incentive. Offering a small token of thanks and entering online reviewers in raffles are two ways to provide incentives. That is frowned upon by some sites, Yelp for starters, but are not by others. Yelp is a popular site that is difficult to manage.

Even though the temptation is to ask only the happiest customers, it is a best practice to ask all your web visitors for reviews. You’ll get more reviews, which will be what you’re after. The positive reviews will drown out the negative ones. Most sites will let a company owner react to a bad review, so you can demonstrate your customer service credentials that way. Finally, there is less authenticity to sites that have only 5 star reviews. There is a temptation to create fake positive reviews for the business. Many sites have figured out approaches to detect a phony review. In fact, Yelp will significantly punish a company they suspect of doing this. Form questionable ethics, it is not a good practice to fake your reviews. Many review readers can sniff out something that is not authentic.

Beware that there are filthy businesses that will purposely post an unflattering review on your own business. They’ll then call you and claim they’ve a proven method to get rid of the bad review. They’ll go to back their claim by saying you won’t have to cover before review is removed. Remember this. The only one who is able to remove an unflattering review is usually the one who posted it. So if they successfully removed it, well, you receive the picture. Successful business people have better things to accomplish than post damaging, phony reviews on their competitors. It is a practice you shouldn’t consider.

Customer reviews are becoming more prevalent than ever. As they become linked to social networking accounts, people will see reviews written by their friends and contacts. The potency of online reviews will become even more influential. This is the idea behind Google+ Local. Be ready for this very day by consistently asking for reviews now.

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