This post is one in a series of five guest posts authored by the super star bloggers pictured below. As part of a celebration of National Small Business Week we are asking readers to match all five guests posts up with the contributing blogger to be entered for a chance to win an iPad2. Read all five posts in today’s series and come back each day this week for five new posts in this great educational series and another chance to win.
Rae is the Principal of Sugarrae SEO Consulting and does various types of Internet marketing; search engine optimization, viral marketing, affiliate marketing, site auditing, link development road maps and tons of other little nooks and crannies of this business. She is also the co-founder, co-owner and CEO of MFE Interactive in addition to being the co-owner and SVP of Marketing for Speedy Incorporation.
I Have a Web Site, What Else Should I be Doing Online 2
If you’re a local service based business, you may have noticed Google Places listings are steadily becoming a dominant force in the Google results for your most important local terms:
Various guides to optimizing Google Places listings agree that the reviews shown with your Places listing are an important part of getting to the top of those rankings. The reviews shown on your Places listing come from multiple sources across the web including big “local” sites like InsiderPages, Citysearch, Yelp as well as niche sites like Zagat and TripAdvisor and tons more. (Tip: click on your competitors’ listings to see additional sites their reviews are coming from.)
So the question becomes, how do you GET people to leave the reviews needed to rank well in Google for your local terms?
Create a “review page” on your website that links to all of your listing pages that you see being used in the reviews of your Places listing. Explain how you love providing great service and encourage customers to review your service.
Make customers aware of the review page via:
- Business cards – on the back: “Love our service? Reward us by giving us an awesome review [link]”
- Generic follow up emails – Check how they liked your service, ask for feedback – if the feedback is positive, suggest they might be interested in leaving a review [drop link]
- Follow up when people leave positive traditional comment cards – thank them for their feedback and mention they can leave reviews about their experience online [drop link]
- Add a “tell us how you found us” field to your contact form listing the biggest local review sites as options. Follow up with happy customers who say they found you via Yelp to remind them to leave their own review on the site [drop Yelp listing link]