One of the easiest ways to gain an online reputation in the Springfield, Lebanon, Camdenton, and Lake area in Missouri is through online customer reviews. There are several different sites people use to review businesses. Yelp!, Google Local, and Yahoo! Local Listings are just a few. So how do you, a small business owner, gain exposure through these types of sites? It’s as easy as 1- 2-3.
1. Ask (yes, it’s that easy)
It does not matter if you are a plumber, mechanic, doctor, butcher, wedding planner, or trash collector ask your customers for a recommendation or a review. Be sure to let the customer know you would appreciate it, and once the positive review/recommendation has been written be sure to thank that customer. One thing I have learned in business is it never hurts to ask. If you have provided great customer service then customers will readily leave a review. The same is true for poor customer service. Click here to learn 5 Ways to Handle Negative Reviews.
2. Place your business on local profiles
It is easy, and more than likely free, to place your business on local review sites. Here are the top local listings:
- Google Local: It is free. First register your business with Google Local Business Center. Then fill in a description along with location information, hours, services, phone number and a website link. Google will call to verify the information. Having your business registered on Google Local is to your advantage. There is a place for customers to review your business. The more reviews, the higher you rank on searches. Google is the first place to begin.
- Yelp!: Another free online review service. Yelp! is huge on the West Coast and is gaining momentum in the Midwest. Step one, see if someone has already reviewed your business. If not, then it is easy to fill out the necessary information and set up your business profile. Yelp! also sends business owners tools, updates, and tips.
- Yahoo! Local Listings: A free service. Not as big as Google Local and Yelp! but will still help you gain SEO (search engine optimization).
3. Provide a link on your website, email and/or blog.
We’ve all seen these after an online purchase, if we subscribe to an online newsletter, or on a site we frequent. Provide the link with a simple statement such as, “Tell us how we’re doing” or “We are always striving to be better”. By making it easy for the customer, they are more likely to provide a review.
It is important that as a small business owner, you take time to monitor your online presence and reputation. Listening to your customers’ opinions (both positive and negative) will help your business grow and change when necessary.
Distillery Web Design and Marketing is a feature website builder, online marketer, and advertising specialty consulting group working with businesses in the Lebanon, Camdenton, Osage Beach, Springfield, and St. Robert areas of Missouri. Facebook, websites, online promotions, print media, radio promotions, online newsletters, graphic design and direct mail campaigns are our specialty. We know how to get the Internet, social networking and new media to work for you!