How to Respond To Reviews

How to Respond Reviews

Reviews for any business are so important now. Google reviews, especially, are solid gold as writers have to have a Google account and be verified.

Good or bad reviews can mean the difference between a business thriving and expanding, or closing their doors for good.  In the digital age, a business’s reputation is controlled by consumers using online review platforms like Yelp, Google and Facebook to announce the quality of their business publicly. The good news is that this lets businesses easily monitor and manage their online reputation, a power they can put to good use by responding in a timely manner to the reviews they receive.

While negative reviews often get this most attention, positive reviews are as or more important! It’s important to respond to positive reviews to thank customers for taking the time to review your business and to encourage others to do the same.

With over 80% of consumers reading reviews online to help make a buying decision, businesses can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. An effective response will help ensure that a happy first-time customer becomes a regular. This is an important point; 70% of complaining customers will come back if you resolve the complaint in their favour. The first step is engaging with them professionally.

How to respond to positive reviews

It’s simple. Thank the customer, name drop, promote and tell the customer what to do!

Say thank you and be specific.

No one would let a compliment pass them by in real life. Apply that same principle to a review response! And make sure to reiterate your customer’s compliment. This lets the customer know that a real person took time out of their day to acknowledge them, and that feels good.

Use the business name and keywords in your reply.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to drive your business up in search. Positive reviews work wonders in search. Referring to your business name, location and category (restaurant, coffee shop, hotel, etc.) help index that review online.

Is your business famous for a certain specialist service? Are you having a promotion next month? A review response is a great place to get the good word out.

Give your customer a task. Not as scary as it sounds. Invite them to try something different the next time they visit or bring a friend!

As you can see, there’s a ton of potential hidden in a positive review response. Instead of one advertisement to rule them all, each review is an opportunity to sell your business!

We manage all online social media, SEO and reviews for our clients.  Get in contact to explore how we can help you.

Search Local

Search Local

When looking for services or products locally,
we turn to our phone first.

Is the local chemist open?
When does the pizza shop open?
What sort of reputation does the local car repair garage have?
–   all quick searches online.

Company representation online is important in three main ways:

  1. Be found.  People must be able to find your business easily.
  2. Accurate Data.  Your opening times, location and contacts must be accurate and up to date.  Out of date or wrong information will adversely affect your search ranking and your company online reputation.
  3. Active.  Active profiles look better and perform better.  Impress your visitors and search engines by updating and adding new content to your social platforms.

Top places to promote Search Local:

Google. Google business is a great place to publish your location, opening times, COVID updates and what’s new.  Google account holders can add reviews, which are very valuable.

Facebook with Instagram. Facebook is the most active of all the social platforms for most businesses.  Here you can add your opening times, location and attract reviews.  Posting at least once per week will keep your online reputation looking good.  Depending on your industry you may have to post more often to keep up with the competition.  Remember to use hash-tags.

Twitter.  Twitter is nice and simple, fast to update and looks professional.   For most sectors, it’s not really very active but I always suggest the addition of a Twitter account, keep the account active to help with the overall reputation and it helps with search too.

Directory Listings

There are about 40 recognised directories we suggest you list on.  These include Bing Maps, Foursquare, Manta, Brown Book and Show Me Local etc.  You can also be active on Yell and Gumtree, this all helps but depends on your industry.

Listing on all the directories requires an investment of time and going forward effort to keep up to date.   Don’t expect a huge response or uplift in traffic immediately.  Listing accurately on the directories strengthens the business online profile and will benefit search ranking.

I do suggest you list on all the main recognised directories;  helps with search local and overall search results.   You will notice directory listings are starting to pop-up at the top of search results when searching locally, your company needs to be there.  See screenshot.

Local Search

Last but certainly not least is the fact that local search results are considered the most trustworthy. In a study by Neustar, it was determined that these searches, such as “used games Darlington”, are what people do the most since they put that trust in local business more than big website stores.

Local searches lend themselves to instant requirement and the interaction between browser and business will convert that browser to a loyal customer.

Let’s say you need new brake pads for your car. You want them today;  want to pop to town to collect the parts, you may want to look at the item before buying to be sure the right fit etc.  A search of say ”Car parts shop in Darlington’ will work.   Or you are looking for a local service that can only be local; Joiner, Decorator, Loft Conversion Company, Upholsterer etc.  These all need to be local.

Those interactions are what lead people to local searches and the absolute necessity of getting your listings correct. Trust leads to loyalty, which leads to more business, which leads to happy customers and business owners.

And it all starts with that correct listing in that customer’s local search.

Lastly, you should be everywhere.  When a browser searches for your local business you should be everywhere, accurately presented with an active and up to date profile.

What are Sitemaps?

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION

A way to communicate with search engines to tell them which pages you want looking at.

Sitemaps are something most of our clients are not aware of. Sitemaps help search. Sitemaps are free and easy to add, they are simply a way to communicate with search engines to tell them which pages you want looking at to help make the search engine crawl (a robot clicking through your website) easy and accurate. They help produce a SERP Map too, a multi-link search engine result on Google and Bing.

A sitemap file is hidden from human visitors, but search engines like Google and Bing can see it.  The sitemap helps search engines easily see all the content on your site in one place.

Why do you need a sitemap?

Without one, the only way for those bots to find all your content is by following links on your site. So, if you have any pages on your site that aren’t linked to often, or it takes a lot of links to reach a certain page, there’s a chance that Google won’t find those pages and they’ll never end up in search results.

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.
Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within the site and from other sites. Sitemaps supplement this data to allow crawlers that support Sitemaps to pick up all URLs in the Sitemap and learn about those URLs using the associated metadata. Using the Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that web pages are included in search engines, but provides hints for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your site.

Sitemaps are something most of our clients are not aware of. Sitemaps help search. Sitemaps are free and easy to add, they are simply a way to communicate with search engines to tell them which pages you want looking at to help make the search engine crawl (a robot clicking through your website) easy and accurate.  They help produce a ”SERP Map” too, a multi-link search engine result on Google and Bing.

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters (the person who looks after your website) to inform search engines about pages on websites that are available for crawling.  In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.  So a more often updated website will be more attractive to search engines.

Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within the site and from other sites.  Sitemaps supplement this data to allow crawlers that support Sitemaps to pick up all URLs in the Sitemap and learn about those URLs using the associated metadata.

Using the XML Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that web pages are included in search engines, but provides help for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your site.  XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It’s a markup language similar to HTML, but its main purpose is to organise data.

How to set up a site map

You can generate a site map from your host provider or admin panel.  WordPress for example provide a site map automatically now.  A site map link looks just like a website address with .xml on the end. Then submit it to a search engine.

WordPress provides a sitemap as standard now (5.5.1).   If you already use an SEO tool to boost your website traffic, no action required.