long way in getting potential customers to your web site. But some of
the most powerful messages on your website don’t come from you; they
come from your satisfied customers. Great customer testimonials tell
people that your product or service is not only legit, but awesome
enough that other people are happy enough to recommend it.
The question is, how do you get believable testimonials? Let’s look
at some of the sites you can collect reviews upon, as well as how to
encourage reviews from your customers and how to gather them from all
around the web.
- Facebook Reviews If you have a Facebook page and
are set up as a local business, your page now comes with a Reviews tab.
Make this tab visible, and encourage your Facebook fans to go over and
enter some reviews.
- LinkedIn Recommendations LinkedIn recommendations
are only available for individuals (not companies), which is great if
you’re a sole proprietor like a doctor or freelancer. But if you own a
company with employees, you can encourage your employees to join
LinkedIn, and if they get recommendations, you can ask to use them on
your website, either on a page related to the services they provide, or
on your About Us page.
- YouTube Video Reviews Video reviews are stronger
than written reviews, and Google loves video. Encourage your satisfied
customers to add videos to their own YouTube account and let you know
the link so you can add it to your website. You could also create a
video review in your office or at the client’s home when a job is done.
- Local Search Directories Local search directories such as Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Merchant Circle, and CitySearch
allow members to write reviews. If you have great reviews on these
sites, you should share them on your website as well. You can encourage
satisfied customers to write reviews on these sites, and not just for
your website. The reason is simple. If you are trying to get Google
search traffic to your local business, you want your business to come up
in the search with the most reviews.
- Google Alerts and Social Mentions Finally, there
are likely customer reviews that are written about your company on other
sites, such as personal blogs, that are unsolicited. Setup daily
notifications via email on Google Alerts and Social Mention for
a variety of relevant terms in order to keep track of brand mentions,
including your name, business name, brand, and specific product names
plus the word review.
Use these alerts to find out about any reviews and ask the people who
have mentioned your business you can feature their comment or story on
your website. Usually people are happy to oblige, especially in exchange
for a link from your site.
The Down Side of Reviews
There is one downside when it comes to opening the door for reviews
on your Facebook page, local search directories, and other sites that
you can’t control, and that is the chance that not all of the reviews
will be positive.
Whenever you come across a negative review about your business, it is essential that you respond to it.
If someone comes across a negative review, but also sees that you have
offered to help solve the problem in a public forum, then that potential
customer will see that you do care about your customer’s happiness,
which may lead to a positive impression after all. Setting a Google Alert on your business allows you to keep on top of reviews of all kinds.