I’m of an age when I remember the thud of Yellow Pages and the BT phonebook landing though letterboxes, the free newspaper (which I carry now from the welcome mat to recycling as it lands) and the days of buying newspapers, which seems so arcane, that I actually pinch and zoom when I stumble upon one.
Long opening sentence aside – my point is this.
Marketing has changed with the internet and won’t ever be the same. If your business is stuck in the 70s to 90s, it will slowly die. Marketing is on social and search engines, predominantly.
This brings me neatly to Google reviews. Did you know that having a business verified on Google Maps and Google My Business is a ranking factor, along with your presence on social media. Did you know that a Google review positively affects rankings, particularly on maps?
I’m 8 months old as a freelance web designer Norwich next week.
Don’t see me as a foetus though, as this 8 month old business has previous as a solo copywriter and in 12 months in a web design partnership.
I know too that the best review strategy is still P2P, people to people, word of mouth, but a close second is social and search.
Your business needs to be registered on Google, through sitemap submission and signing up to Google My Business, who then send a postcard (how 1975) with a code to verify. It stops people setting up businesses on maps at fake addresses for SEO, obviously. Your website needs to be fast to load and responsive too.
When you’re signed up for Google (Analytics, Bing, Apple Maps, Yelp, Yell, Thomson Local, local business directories), you then can focus on getting 5 star reviews.
My advice is clear.
If you don’t politely direct clients to write a 5 star review, they won’t usually do it. You have to tell them with screenshots and instructions how to do it. I do this regularly and only one client so far has refused – yet without irony, asked me to do some website changes to the next day. Which I did.
They are vital because the number of reviews appears on Google Maps – I’ve 23 of them.
People like to check out reviews before a purchase, I’ve been looking at Bose Quiet Comfort 35 ii headphones (praying my wife doesn’t read this!) and like any inquisitive human, have read reviews of them on John Lewis, Amazon and review sites. I’ve not bought any. Yet. The reviews though assure me it would be a good decision.
Whatever products or services you are selling, you need to build trust with a Google review policy. Contact me if you need more advice.