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To Review or Not to Review?

So here we are, the end of January and the end of our series – 2013 is shaping up to be an interesting year in the world of search already! Welcome to part three on the future of local; in our final blog we’ll be discussing discussing just that, the future! And also going into some detail about the r-word…reviews.

Under Review MicroscopeTo review or not to review?
One of the main components and points of local in which we put our effort are those dreaded reviews; Where do we collate them? How do we go about getting them? How do we upload them to our websites in bulk without getting penalized? How do we get 5 pretty little stars to show up on our organic listings?

72% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

So what if you get a bad one? There is a good way to handle these and retain your reputation:

1. Always thank the disgruntled customer for their feedback
2. Invite the person to contact you OR refer them to someone else, I’ve seen it done and it looks very impressive!

Some other general review tips:

• Reviews need to be left with a real name, not a nickname or pseudonym
• Encourage those leaving reviews to make them continuous and natural
• A lot of top reviewers are from Google!!
• Look at the top reviewers! Hit them up on Google+!! Be brazen…the worst they can do is say no right?
• Use feedback forms to try and avoid any bad reviews, get in there first!
• If you use an online feedback form, have an excellent result divert to Google+ to leave an online review and have a click on a negative or sub-par button link to somewhere else so it doesn’t go online – it goes to an email form perhaps…genius!
• Track your reviews just like any another metric
• Don’t have LOADS more reviews than the competition
• Make reviews part of the process with existing customers

So to conclude our series…The Future of Local:
• Each page of services offered should have a dedicated page!
• Don’t jump on the band wagon, be original in your approach – it’s likely to get rewarded
• Some food for thought…consider having high quality local microsites to localize your campaign, this could be the way forward 😉
• Onsite onsite onsite…get your onsite optimization right
• Use local guest blogging, and Google advanced operators to optimize your link building efforts for local, add a geographic tag
• Google+ is tied to employee bonuses…therefore have a presence on here and use it!
• Use social as part of local

Also worth noting…

Facebook launched new version of app that allows search for local businesses; whatever you can do to make your local info prominent on it!

Some sites it’s worth taking a look at:
Review Skeptic (spots whether a review is likely to be fake)
Get Listed (check existing listings for your business)

Despite all the warnings though and above all…NEVER GIVE UP!

Read part 1 and part 2 for our previous posts and get localizing!

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