I listened to a good webinar on reputation management recently from Bright Local, which featured industry experts Thomas Ballantyne, Phil Rozek, Aaron Weiche & Don Campbell (you can listen to the full recording by clicking the link at the at the bottom of the page). 83% of listeners to the webinar were ‘absolutely sure’ that reviews/reputation management delivers good return on investment.

We have always harped on about the importance of getting good online reviews and managing your online reputation. Doing a good job for our clients is important to us and this is reflected in the reviews we have online. Having these good reviews has definitely helped us win more business.

If you Google “web design in Epsom” you can see we’re are at the top of the Local results and the reviews (which can be clicked and read) help our listing stand out.

If you haven’t already we think Google+ is the best place to start getting reviews because of the prominence in the Google search results. Other places to consider include Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Yell, Thompson Local and many others.

If you take 2 minutes now and just Google your business name, you can see what reputation you have online. If you then Google your business type + location e.g. “Plumber in Epsom” you will see which sites it is important to have reviews on. In an ideal world you will have listings on a variety of relevant sites with lots of positive reviews.

We knew of a business that had an unhappy customer (and even the most perfect of businesses do get them) and this unhappy customer had gone around the web and left a really negative review on Google+, Yell & Yelp. This business had no other reviews on these sites and had no idea about these negative reviews which must have put off plenty of other potential customers. If you have no positive reviews, the unfortunate acquisition of a negative one is a much bigger issue.

In the webinar mentioned earlier they discuss how reviews are customer feedback and these should be encouraged so you can fix issues and improve your business. Read your reviews & mine them for website content ideas and ways your business can be improved.

If you encourage feedback it shows that you care about your customers. How do you get happy customers to speak up & how do you prevent negative reviews becoming a PR disaster? The webinar’s participants discuss having a system in place for getting reviews such as using postcards, the Get 5 Stars review system (which is good & we can set it up for £80 but it requires a $29 a month subscription) or a sequence of personal emails.

If you need a hand setting up your Google+ page, or creating listings on other sites such as Yell, Yelp etc, linking to these from your website, creating review postcards and monitoring your online reputation please give us a call on 01737 350 389.

www.brightlocal.com/2015/04/24/making-reviews-reputation-work-for-local-businesses

Asking family and fiends who have actually used your product or service for reviews is one thing but don’t be tempted to fake reviews: Company convicted of unfair practice after concocting fake reviews and duping customers (From Bracknell News)