All businesses desires to get noticed by ranking well when a potential customer or client does an Internet search. Local search is now becoming the normal way potential customers and clients find a business to purchase goods and services from. In fact over 65% of potential prospects and clients use the web to find local goods and services.
Reviews, in my view are the major tie breaker for local search listings. Everything being equal more reviews, from more sources can help put your listing at the top while keeping it there. Additionally, it can catapult your listing to the top 10 where it previously had not been found. Google likes to see there is interest in a business from the community. Additionally potential customers prefer to see reviews as the main factor for many people is what other existing customers have to say about a business or service.
In most cases hospitality businesses and repair providers will typically have citations in various locations around the Internet. Here are the directories where you will find reviews:
· Insider Pages
· Ask Business Search
· InfoUSA Sales Solutions
· Judy’s Book
· Angie’s List
Generally these are legitimate reviews left by actual customers. In certain industries there are marketing service providers that generate user reviews. I was told with a dentist their competitor used such a service to generate plenty of reviews. I also know some businesses contract with providers who go offshore (Philippine Islands mostly) and have reviews artificially generated.
For new businesses and independent professionals you should develop a intend to generate reviews. Ask your pals to assist obtain the ball rolling. Ask existing customers should they can help. Offer new clients a reason if they leave an evaluation. Allow it to be easy for them to do this, provide specific links and instructions. Offering a bonus such as a Starbucks gift card, a reduction on future business will all help your efforts. Be mindful though, don’t bunch reviews up at once, space them out. It appears odd should you get ten reviews 1 day and none for the upcoming sixty days.
Citations are also like backlinks. Links in sites who have your business contact information also assist the cause. Mentions in local newsletters, event calendars, media sites (radio, newspaper, and TV) will create backlinks and citation mention for your small business listing.
Some important considerations inside your review strategy:
· Obtaining Reviews Through the Major Directories- This list above covers the majority of the major search directories. You will find likely smaller ones serving regions or individual cities. As I mentioned for those who have a hospitality business (restaurant, bar, hotel, etc.) then you certainly likely have reviews.
· Local Citations- Internet sites that serve the local community such as media, Chamber of Commerce, city guides and so on could have mention of your business or service. Make sure they have got accurate links to you personally and contact information.
· Reviews in Search Engine Listings- The main internet search engine local business listings permit you to leave reviews. It becomes an easy and convenient location to leave reviews if you are not within the hospitality or contracting business.
· Testimonials at Alternative Party Websites- There could be hundreds of these in any locale. They might also include local blogs. Again, make sure your mention contains accurate location information.
· Positive Customer Ratings- Oddly enough it appears that it does not necessarily matter whether the reviews are good, bad or indifferent. This only applies in regards to the success or failure of the listing, not too customer’s perception of your small business.
A little time invested in cultivating reviews will lead to big dividends during your search presence and success. Check out the amount of the initial couple of local listings have. Which will be your target to overcome! Local search engine listings employ NAP, i.e. Name, Address and Telephone number- as a yardstick for accuracy and consistency to validate local business owners. It is crucial to make sure that even smallest part of data offered here aligns inside the perfect fashion. As being an entrepreneur you require to ensure that you are avoiding including the most seemingly negligible mistake which may hurt your citation.
For instance, if you’re running “Bowie’s Confectionery” and enlisting (in the local directories) yourself as “Bowies’ Confectionery” then you have got your registration wrong. It’s your NAP which differentiates your company from that of others. You can jolly well imagine the amount of confectioneries conducting business in your area. Most of them are iythcm of the significance of local SEO. Therefore, they may be registering in directories as well. It’s your own name, Address and Phone that provides your small business its true identity- often lets your prospects differentiate your business from that of others. So, you are unable to manage to go awry there.
It ought to be ensured your NAP is consistent across all local directories. There is absolutely no room for different names, addresses and telephone numbers in different directories. You should position the right name, address and phone number on the first directory and maintain it across all directories. There is no room for errors in terms of spellings, numbers as well as single alphabets in local citation. The Regional SEO Company that you are hiring, needs to be well aware of this kind of factor.