Local Marketing Blog
Local Marketing Blog
Local Marketing Blog

Smart Invite: Reviews in Google and Yahoo

A couple of months ago, Google stopped displaying reviews from 3rd party reviews companies (Customer Lobby, Yelp, Citysearch, etc.) in Google Places. Since then, we have learned a few things:

A Complete Reviews Strategy

A complete reviews strategy has always included getting reviews about your business in many places.  Why?  Customer reviews are the single most impactful piece of information that a potential customer uses when deciding to choose your business or your competitor’s business.

Reviews in different locations impact buyers at different phases of the buying cycle. For example, reviews in Google Places impact potential customers in the “evaluating alternatives” phase of the buying cycle and reviews linked from your website impact potential customers in the “decision” phase of the buying cycle. A complete reviews strategy includes getting your customer reviews into all of the places that your prospects will look to gather information prior to the purchase decision.

New Part of Customer Lobby: Smart Invite

Getting your reviews in lots of places around the web is not a new strategy but it has always been hard to do. Since Google’s change in review display a couple of months ago, it has become harder…until now.

To write a review on Google or Yahoo, one needs to have a Google or Yahoo account. Approximately 15% of people have an account on Google (slightly more on Yahoo). Businesses (and more importantly, their customers) get frustrated when they ask their customers to write a review on Google or Yahoo and they find out they have to create a Google account to complete the review.

The solution is Smart Invite: use Customer Lobby to automatically send an invite to write a review about your business on Google (we automatically detect if they have a Google account and send them there):

or Yahoo (we automatically detect if they have a Yahoo account and send them there):

or on Customer Lobby (for the 70% of your customers that do not use a Google or Yahoo account):

We will not only direct them to your Google and Yahoo pages, we will prompt someone who has completed a review on Customer Lobby to also review you on Google or Yahoo if we detect they have an account there.

To enable this service in your Customer Lobby account, log into your account and, in the preferences section, click “Enable Smart Invite”.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 of our Complete Reviews Solution!!


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  1. I am wondering, I don’t see any reference to my customer lobby on my yahoo page, do my customer lobby reviews impact yahoo? I hate that I cannot even PURCHASE an upgraded yahoo page becaise yp.com controls 100% of my yahoo content.

    1. @ Wade
      We are unclear on the impact of your Customer Lobby reviews in your Yahoo Local ranking. That said, using Smart Invite to build your Yahoo Local reviews from clients with a Yahoo account will impact your Yahoo Local ranking!

    1. @Doug
      Thanks for the comment and idea! Yes, we are expanding the sites covered by Smart Invite. Stay tuned!

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