Most people do internet research these days before deciding which local business to use. According to a new study from PEW research, 47% of adults say they rely most on the internet to get news and information about local businesses.With that many people searching online before making a purchase decision, business owners have to focus on their online reputation and put effort into featuring user-generated content about their business to differentiate from their competitors.
Just one look: A killer first page
When most people search for a local business online, they are looking for customer reviews. If you don’t have any, it’s time to start collecting some. If you already have reviews, make sure that the first page of your reviews is your best marketing tool because many of your prospects won’t get past the first page. Think about what you really want your prospects to know about your business and make sure you feature reviews that touch on those specific details. Also, if your service extends to several different geographical areas in the state or country, a great way to show this is by featuring a good mix of reviews from customers in a variety of areas. Finally, consider including comments that you posted in response to the reviewer because your prospects will want to see how you interact with and address your customers.
Fresh is best
Business owners cannot afford to have old or outdated reviews representing their business online. When a company’s most recent piece of online content is a customer review from 1 year ago, prospects will wonder….Have they had any new customers in the last year? Are they out of business? Or worse, do they not care about what recent customers have to say?
Beyond the consumer’s opinion, Google also cares about fresh content. In fact, Google’s algorithm favors content that is recent. This means that fresh content will actually help you rank better in search results. Because customer reviews are time-stamped, recent reviews are a perfect way to ensure fresh content about your business online. To that end, it’s a good idea to always include your newest or most recent review on the first page of your reviews. Advanced Metal Roofing does this well. If you don’t yet have any customer reviews from 2012, now is the time to get some!
Focus on authenticity, not perfection
Sure, your prospects want to see some 5-star reviews, but featuring mixed star ratings or something less than positive on your reviews page can add a lot of value. Everyone knows that it’s not a perfect world and that not everyone is going to be 100% satisfied. What your prospects want to see is how you, the business owner, addressed your customer’s issue or concern and what you did to make it right for that customer and for future clients. Your comment can be your best marketing tool, and featuring your comment alongside the review can add authenticity to your reviews page.