The Complete Guide to Online Reputation for Small Businesses: How to Grow Your Business, Improve Your SEO & Get Found Online

The sales cycle for most businesses today has more steps because customers are smart and informed.  The more that you can present your company in a positive light to your target market, the more likely they are to buy from you…and not your competition.

This is where your online reputation factors into the equation.

Growing the online reputation of your business positively consists of two main tasks:

  • Reputation Management
  • Reputation Marketing

Reputation Management is the process of soliciting, collecting and supervising online reviews for your business.  This will both build and protect your reputation, ensuring the people that Google you find positive, persuasive content.  It also will help you improve customer experience with the feedback that you receive.

Reputation Marketing highlights and boosts positive online content that customers provide (like reviews).  This may be done through both traditional and digital channels.  Leveraging positive reviews/ratings increases the visibility of a company.  

These two tasks must be done on a regular basis to be competitive and help ensure the future growth of the company.

Why Should Online Reputation Matter to You?

Don’t underestimate the importance of your online reputation!

Small businesses, especially ones that have a local target market, should have a plan in place to grow their reputation positively.  In fact, 82% of local searches are followed with an in-person visit to the store.  Local searchers are definitely using the internet to check out where they want to spend their money before they leave the house.  Any business that lacks an enticing online presence is risking losing business to well-positioned competitors…even if that competitor has a worse product or service.  

Even when you have the best product with the best customer service at unbeatable prices, if you have negative social signals or if your online reputation isn’t great, prospects will be hesitant to give you their time or money.  Consumers are now searching for the best service at the best price.  They are using Google, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram and more to find it.  Social media, search results and online content are allowing buyers to make very informed spending decisions.

“82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, including 93% of people aged 35-54” (BrightLocal)

When your ideal prospect searches for the type of product or service in your location that you provide, you need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Does your business show in the search results?
  2. Are you the obvious choice with 5-star reviews and a professional, authoritative online presence?

If the answer to either of the above questions is “No”, then chances are you just lost a customer.

Customers Trust Online Reviews to Guide Their Decisions, But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…

“Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.” (BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey)

“Businesses ranking in Google’s local positions 1-3 have an average of 47 reviews, while businesses in positions 7-10 have 38 reviews.” (BrightLocal, Google Reviews Study)

“Having a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks from Google local results than having a 1-star rating.” (BrightLocal, Impact of Reviews and Ratings on Click-Through Rates)

Want more clients?  Using the facts above, a well-positioned online reputation can help you grow your business more efficiently than practically any other form of marketing.

What are the Benefits of Online Reputation Management for My Small Business?

Crafting a positive online presence has a multitude of benefits for a small business.  It will establish credibility and authority, which gives your company a competitive advantage over others in your market.  Be the obvious choice for your prospects!  

Want a salesman that works 24/7/365, advertising you as the best in your locale?  This is what a positive online reputation can do for you.  According to BrightLocal, “Review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks in local search engine results”.

Additionally, a great reputation can help with your search engine optimization (SEO).  Online reviews, directories, business profiles and more help your website rank higher.  Thus, exposing you to a new and wider audience.

You now may be asking yourself, “This is great, but how do I start?”

That is what the rest of this guide will cover.

What Should A Small Business Do To Grow Their Online Reputation?

Step 1: Claim, Manage and Optimize Your Business Listings and Online Review Site Accounts

Review sites are vitally important when maintaining your reputation.  This is where consumers go to research companies and products.  One goal for your business should be showing up in Google local results with good reviews.  

Sometimes, people are willing to take their research to the next level.  This is where review sites come in.  For example, did you know that Yelp has over 178 million site visitors monthly?  They are all looking to confirm that they will get what they want from a particular business.

Make review sites work for you.  Build and protect your online reputation by building your review set on multiple sites.  Make sure to respond to every review in a way that is consistent and persuasive to potential customers reading.

Claim your business profiles on all review sites that are pertinent to your business.  Don’t forget any local directories as well!  Complete the profiles and be sure to use keywords and phrases that your target audience may be interested in.  Make sure that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) are consistent across all profiles.  For example, don’t use “Road” in one and “Rd” in another.  Pick one usage and apply it across all online properties.  Be sure that your website has the same exact information, as well.

Missing, incomplete or duplicate information in these listings can hurt your business and your SEO!

Some of the top review sites that you may want to consider are:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Facebook
  • Trip Advisor
  • Foursquare
  • Angie’s List

Step 2: Create and Optimize Your Social Media Profiles

When you are first starting this plan, Googling your business normally results in various social media profiles for the owner and the business being returned.  This is exactly why you should claim and establish your social media profiles.

Social media profiles generally rank highly for personal names and business names.  If you have not done much to establish yourself, this is a great way to control what prospects can see about you.  You have complete power over what your profiles say and the imagery displayed.  

It’s important to claim these profiles as soon as a business is established.  Profile names are first-come, first-serve, so it is possible that someone else could claim your name.  Don’t let your competition block you, or even worse, create a fake profile and pretend to be you.

An active social media presence lets you promote your brand and establish your voice.  Your content will help create relationships with your clients.  It also lets you showcase your thoughts, opinions, interesting articles, reviews and more.

When claiming your profile, be sure to fill everything out in its entirety.  Include your NAP from above, your website, contact information, logo and lots of photos.  People like to see the people behind the business.

Step 3: Solicit and Manage Reviews

Create a process for your business to request online reviews from your customers and make sure that you and your employees follow it every time.  

“76% of consumers that are asked to leave a review go to write one.” (BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey)

Monitor your review profiles for new reviews and be sure to respond to all new feedback.

When you receive a positive review, it is easy to write a response. Thank them for their time and review, use their name, talk about your commitment, let them know that their feedback is important and invite them to take another step with your company.

Receive a negative review?  You need to reply!

“45% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews.” (ReviewTrackers, Online Reviews Survey)

Reply to the reviewer using a courteous tone, and apologize for the experience that they had.  Then, offer to discuss the issue offline.  This way, potential clients will see that you care about customer satisfaction and that you tried to make it right – allowing you to flip a negative into a positive.

Step 4: Create a Blog with Consistently-Published, Quality Content

Your online reputation also comes from the authority that you have established.  A blog is a great way to accomplish this.  Blog entries published regularly with proper SEO ensures that the content and images that you create occupies the top search results for your name and business.

Worried about how to start your blog?  

Here is our blog quick-start guide:

  • Set up your blog in WordPress (You can follow this guide if you run into trouble https://www.wpbeginner.com/start-a-wordpress-blog/).
  • Install the free Yoast SEO plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/).
  • Identify 13 commonly asked questions that you hear from your customers frequently.
  • Answer the questions.  If writing is not your thing, record yourself answering the questions on your phone and use https://otter.ai/ (free tool) to transcribe it.
  • Create one blog entry per question.  
  • SEO each entry with page titles, meta descriptions, tags, URLs, image names etc.
  • Use WordPress’ built in functionality to schedule one of these entries to post every 2 weeks.  This gives you a regularly scheduled post for the next half-year.
  • BONUS: Film yourself reading the blog entry and post the video to YouTube with a link back to the blog.  This will help with authority and SEO.

Step 5: Get Started

You now have everything that you need to begin.  Don’t jeopardize the time, money (and maybe tears) that you have put into your business by neglecting to build and maintain a positive online presence!

Need help getting started or want someone to take over the responsibilities of this task?  Contact IFTS and ask about our ReviewLead free trial.  We make online reputation a stress-free experience for you.

10 Proven Ways to Get More Positive Online Reviews for Your Business

Do you want your business to stand out from the competition? 

Do you want to completely DOMINATE local search?

Do you want to have a steady stream of leads coming in online every month?

If you answered “YES!” to even one of the questions above, you need to work on building a system that creates a stream of positive online reviews for your business.  When someone in your area looks for a business like yours, you need to show up first organically and be the obvious choice.  

One factor that Google uses in organic ranking is online reviews.  They will look at quantity, quality, how often you receive them and product/service keywords.  Then, they will look at the same thing for your competitors.  It is crucial that your business does better than your competitors in all of these categories to show up higher in the rankings.

To be the obvious choice, getting multiple positive reviews consistently is key.  They help you strongly influence potential customers.  Reviews provide the social proof that people are looking when researching a buying decision.

In this post, we will cover 10 ways to get more reviews, increase your visibility on local search and take your company’s online presence to the next level.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #1: Create a “Review Generation Strategy” to get reviews on all of the sites that matter to your clients.

Make sure that you are visible on sites and search engines that are used by your clients and prospects!

To start, identify review sites and directories commonly used in your industry and location.  Don’t forget to research lesser known sites that may be specific to your town or niche.  Once you have your list complete, create profiles on those sites (if necessary) and start asking for reviews that funnel to those locations.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #2: Ask your 5-Star Reviewers for referrals

Is there anything better than getting a 5-star review from a happy customer?  

Not only do they leave social proof online to help others make a decision, but they identify themselves as excellent people to ask for a referral.

Happy customers can make the BEST brand ambassadors for you.  They made the effort to leave you a great review, which shows an investment in your business doing well. Reach out to these people with an email or phone call.  Thank them for the great review and ask if they know anyone that would benefit from your services.  Be sure to personalize these messages.  In some cases, they may even offer to introduce you to the referral themselves!

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #3: Train your employees to ask for reviews

Training your employees to ask for a review should be a top priority in every business.  To make this an easy, repeatable task, develop an internal review request system within your company.  Make sure that all of your employees know how to use the system and stress the importance of its utilization.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #4: Use feedback forms proactively to stop negative online reviews and comments

Bad customer reviews can negatively impact your business in multiple ways.  With this in mind, it may be scary to send out review requests to all of your clients. In order to put your mind at ease, there is a middle layer that you can add to your review system that will “catch” those bad comments before they make it to your review profiles – feedback forms.

You can use the feedback forms to funnel the people that want to leave a good review to Google, Facebook etc. and the bad reviews can come directly to you to deal with offline.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #5: Respond to every review to build trust with future prospects and increase your online authority

Generating new reviews and monitoring review sites are not the only review management tasks that you need to perform.  You need to respond to every review that you receive, as well.  This shows your current and future customers how much importance you place on their experience with your company.

Businesses that have review replies are more likely to receive useful, detailed reviews from their customers.  In addition, if people know that you are likely to respond, they will be less likely to leave mean-spirited comments within their review.

Make sure to thank the reviewer for taking the time to leave a review and let them know how valuable their input is.  If you do receive a negative review, leave a reply with a cool head and offer to discuss the issue that they had offline.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #6: Request online reviews from your happiest customers

The best time to ask for a review from a client is immediately following their service or transaction.  The experience is fresh in their mind.  You have just done a great job for them.  Their appreciation for you will be the strongest and they should be more open to leaving a review.  Make it easy for them and they will put more effort into leaving an awesome review for your business.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #7: Ask your 5-Star Reviewers to leave reviews on multiple platforms (or on video)

Has a client left you a glowing review that you think would benefit others?

If someone has given you a great review, there is now an easy opening to ask them to leave that review on multiple platforms.  Additionally, you can ask them for a video testimonial, which is simple to create.  They just have to record themselves on their phone reading their review and send you the clip via email or text.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #8: Make collecting customer emails part of your onboarding process

Online businesses typically collect customer emails by default as this is part of the buying or opt-in process.  However, when you are in a brick and mortar store setting, email collection should be a part of your buyer’s journey as well.  Create a system that will help you easily assemble this information.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #9: Use SMS texts to request reviews

Did you know that you can send a customer a text with a link to a review site?

This strategy is quite effective for companies that already use phone numbers as their primary method of communication with clients.  As mobile device usage is so popular, clicking a link in a text message is a fast and easy way for an enthusiastic customer to leave you a review.  Because they have received other information from you by phone in the past, they will not be put off by a review request via text.

Ways to Get More Online Reviews – Tip #10: You can use incentives, but be cautious with the rules

Giving customers a perk in exchange for their feedback is an acceptable method of gathering reviews, but keep in mind that there are regulations.

Make sure to look at the “reward” rules for the review sites that you use and follow them.  The Federal Trade Commission also has their own rules for incentivizing people to leave reviews.  They basically say:

It’s okay to invite people to review your business after an actual purchase if you tell them in advance that they should disclose what they received from you in exchange for the review and that the discount or incentive is conditioned upon their making this disclosure.  This protects the consumer by giving them a choice to decide how much trust to put into those reviews.

If you have further questions about this topic, speak with your legal team for more information.

Make Your Reviews Your Best Salesperson

The importance of online reviews and monitoring your online reputation is paramount to the success of your business.  This includes the following tasks:

  • Monitor review sites
  • Constantly request new reviews
  • Handle negative reviews
  • Respond to all reviews
  • Manage the review system itself
  • Make sure your employees are using the review system

This process can seem overwhelming.  Where is a good place to start?

Luckily, it is quite easy to outsource and automate the whole system.  Contact IFTS to find out how to leverage your positive online reputation and protect future revenue without any extra work.  Ask about our free trial of ReviewLead to take your company’s online presence to the next level.

How to Win Over Customers with Your Online Reputation

Are you looking for some online reputation marketing tips? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Marketing your business online in a traditional way is on the decline due to the way that people are now using real customer recommendations. Frequently, before they spend any money, they’ll hop over to Google, Facebook, Yelp, Amazon or any other site that gives recommendations to check out what other people are saying. This helps them feel like they can make an informed decision about how and where to spend their money.

To help make the buying decision easier for prospects doing research, businesses must begin to build, grow and protect their online reputation. This includes monitoring online reviews, blog comments, top ten lists, directories and more.

Even if you are actively asking for reviews and responding to negative reviews, you’ll need to take it up a gear to highlight your positive online content via multiple marketing channels. This will result in boosted sales (and a happier owner)!

Get More Clients with Proactive Tactics for Online Reputation Management

You must use online reputation management tactics if you want to show on the first page of Google. It also ensures that your company’s page shows up in online searches for your business name. This activity helps you attract more leads, retain your clients, and saves you money by helping you avoid the cost of fixing a poor public perception.

To help grow your business cost-effectively, you’ll want to use a proactive approach to the following activities:

–   Monitor your company’s online presence

–   Respond to both negative and positive reviews

–   Request new positive reviews from your clients

–   Publish good reviews and useful content online that ranks highly

Monitor Your Company’s Online Presence

Knowing where and when your business is being talked about is a big part of maintaining your online reputation. These conversations will rarely happen within your website, so you need to go find them.

You may ask, “How do I find what people are saying about my company online?”

The answer is very simple. Google your business name and look to see what results come up. Then, use Bing to do the exact same thing. Take note of where your name is being mentioned and bookmark the sites. This will make it easier to monitor them in the future. You can also set up a Google alert for your name or your company’s name. They’ll let you know when a new search result appears that mentions you.

If you find any negative information, take action! Reply to the review, contact the customer or add to the forum…Anything that can move your company into a positive light.

Respond to Negative and Positive Reviews

The first step to good online reviews is to claim your profiles on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. so you will have control over the information for your business found there. You should monitor these sites on a daily to weekly basis.

Create a process for your business to respond to all online reviews and make sure that you and your employees follow it every time.

When you receive a positive review, it is easy to write a response. Thank them for their time and review, use their name, talk about your commitment, let them know that their feedback is important and invite them to take another step with your company. For example:

Hi Claire, we at ABC painting wanted to thank you for taking the time to write that great review! We’re committed to working really hard to provide everyone with a first class experience, it’s our #1 goal. Your opinion is valuable to us and helps us shape everything that we do. Please consider us again for any future painting needs and consider joining our mailing list with exclusive promos and discounts.

If you do receive a negative review, comment directly on the review with a polite tone and offer to help resolve this issue offline. This way, potential clients will see that you care about customer satisfaction and that you tried to make it right – allowing you to flip a negative into a positive.

Request New Reviews from Your Clients

Did you know that it is much more effective to email or text your clients to ask for a review than it is to do it in person?

This is due to human biology!

Generally, people like to help people. It releases the “feel good” chemical, oxytocin. So, when you ask someone to leave you a review and they say yes, their body releases oxytocin because they said that they would help you. However, because they have already released the oxytocin, they have less desire to actually go online and leave a review.

When you email or text the request, they have to actually leave you the review before their body releases the oxytocin.

You will also want to make sure that the request makes it as easy for them as possible to leave you a review. Send them the exact link that they need to click on.

Publish Good Reviews and Useful Content Online

When you actively promote positive reviews and comments from your clients, you will attract new business and persuade undecided prospects. As a BONUS, this will demote any negative reviews further down in the search results.

We Promised You Online Reputation Marketing Tips

Now that you know how important it is to actively pursue a positive online reputation, here are a few ways to get started:

1.  Get Active on Social Media

To get the most return on investment, find out what social media channels your ideal customer is on and focus on those. Ensure that you create a positive, professional profile that will attract the clients that you want and will repel the ones that you don’t want.

Social media has the potential to expose your business to millions. It also puts you in complete control of what those people see about you and your brand. Make sure that they see why they should spend money with you by providing quality, consistent posts.

As a bonus, your social media profiles can help boost your organic search engine rankings because they provide social proof.

2.  Content is Still King

If your company does not have a blog, create one! Blog entries can help you get a great organic ranking with the search engines because they love informative and original content. When you create your blog entries, see sure to have keywords that you want to rank for in the title and the first two paragraphs. Consistency is important, so pick a blog schedule and stick to it.

Stuck on what to write? Create a list of the ten questions that your prospects or clients ask you the most. Then, answer them. These are your first ten blog posts with original and helpful information for people that are searching for your business.

3.  Great Reviews are Key

Reviews can help influence people researching your company as well as help your ranking on the search engines. Create an easy system to request reviews and make it as easy as possible!

Win New Customers with Your Positive Online Reputation Marketing

Online reputation marketing is a must for any business looking to grow. At IFTS, we have a complete system in place that can automate everything for you! Give us a call at 412-715-6266 to learn more and check out our free trial today.

Why Should Online Reputation Matter to a Small Business?

Small businesses (especially those with local brick and mortar locations) seem to underestimate the importance of having a positive online reputation.  Without national or international customers, you may ask – “What’s the big deal?”

The big deal is that 82% of searches done online are followed up with an in-store visit!

It is very clear that local consumers are utilizing the internet to research businesses close to them.  The real question is, “What is the internet telling them about you?”

Any business that is not taking this seriously risks losing business…to your neighbors that position themselves online well (even if their product isn’t better than yours)! 

Just How Important Is It to Create a Positive Web Presence?

When looking for great service or a great price, local consumers turn to their phones and tablets.  With just a few clicks, they are able to peruse Google, Bing, social media, other review websites and forums for businesses that have exactly what they are looking for.  

Your company may have an amazing product at an unbeatable price with the world’s best customer service, but if your online presence does not reflect this and you have negative social signals, you will have a very hard time convincing new customers to trust you…and pay for your product.

Many people are using word of mouth on social media, online reviews and company content to make informed buying decisions.  In fact, more than 90% of people trust online reviews as much or more than a recommendation from a friend or colleague!

Two important questions to ask yourself when it comes to your online presence are:

  • When your ideal client searches for your product (or service) near your location, do you show in the search results or the maps results?  
  • If so, does he or she see a professional online face to the world with glowing reviews?  

If you answered “No” to either of the previous questions, the chances are that you just lost a great customer.

What are the Benefits of Online Reputation Management?

You need to have a positive web presence for the survival of your business.  It can help:

  • Establish your credibility with positive testimonials
  • Give you an edge over your competition
  • Build trust with current and future clients

Position your company as the first and best choice for your ideal clients.  When they are researching, you need to be the obvious decision.

A well-positioned online reputation is also your best sales person, working for you 24/7/365, especially to those people in your community searching for your specific offering.

Finally, having good reputation management can help you rank higher organically in search engine results, which will expose your business to more customers.  Good reviews that mention where you are, what you do and your company name will help tell Google a bit more about your offerings.

How Can a Small Business Build a Positive Online Reputation?

Your website, print advertisements and social media posts are not the only things that make up your web presence.  It is a much wider net than most realize.  Your online reputation does include those things, but it also is made up of reviews from various review sites, comments on your website or blog, “complaint forum” threads, “Top 10” lists that your company may have made, photos tagged with you or your business and much more.  Anywhere that you (or your business) is mentioned, tagged, linked to online – that is all part of your online presence.

Managing all of this seems like it could be akin to “herding cats”, but there are a few impactful steps that you can concentrate on to start.  This will help ensure the future success of your company.

Step 1 – Monitor Your Online Reputation

The first step to taking control of your online reputation is to monitor it daily.  You can handle this yourself or you can outsource this activity, but it is very important that someone is watching.

You need to make sure that you know exactly what your ideal client is looking at online about you.  If you find any negative information, be sure to remedy that quickly.  With so many products and services available to today’s consumer, there is no reason for him or her to trust you (or buy from you) if there is negative information readily available about your business.

Step 2 – Acquire Positive Reviews and Mitigate Negative Reviews

Online reviews are one of the major factors when it comes to your online reputation.  Remember, 90%+ of people trust online reviews as much as or more than a friend or colleague.  This is why there are more important than any content that you could create.

How many times have you seen a company with multiple one-star reviews and decide to buy from them anyway?  I would bet on a very small amount.

Be sure to create an automated system for monitoring, soliciting and responding to reviews that you receive.

If you happen to receive a negative review, it is imperative that you respond to it quickly and with a level head.  Remember, your response is for your future clients and not the person that left the bad review.  Be sure to apologize that they had a negative experience and offer to talk about their issue offline.  This way, people can learn something positive about your company (that you care about your customers) from a negative review.

Step 3 – Get on Social Media

Where do your clients hang out online?  Are they on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? LinkedIn?

Do a little research and find out where they are most likely to be active.  Then, concentrate on those social networks and build your profile to be attractive to your ideal client.  Be sure to completely fill in the profile and include photos and videos to keep it engaging.

By keeping your social media simple, it will help you avoid overwhelm and really concentrate on activities that will give you the best ROI.  Create a schedule for posting regularly and use a tool that helps you automate the process.  This allows you to use social media for your business, but cut the time that it takes in half.

Leveraging Your Online Reputation

You’ve worked hard on your business over the years to build up your name!  Don’t jeopardize that fact by neglecting to build and monitor a positive online presence.

Overwhelmed or unsure where to start?  Contact IFTS to learn more about our online reputation management program and steps you can take to better position your business.

How to Respond to Online Reviews

Did you know that when it comes to choosing a local business, 91% of people will read online reviews?*  In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague.**

Having online reviews is VERY important for your business.  However, there is a second step that is often forgotten. You need to respond to these reviews as well.

Responding to reviews can benefit your company in many ways:
  • It shows that you care about your clients and that you are appreciative of their time
  • Google looks favorably upon companies that take the time to respond to reviews
  • Businesses that respond to reviews actually earn up to 49% more than businesses that do not according to a recent study by Womply***

If you are not responding to your online reviews, you should definitely start!

When it comes to receiving online reviews, there are 3 distinct outcomes

  1. You receive a positive review
  2. You receive a negative review
  3. You receive a fake review

This article will go over what to do in all three cases.

Case 1 – How to respond when your business receives a positive online review.

If you receive a 4 or 5 star online review, thank the person that left it.  It’s that easy!

A few rules for these positive responses:

  • Don’t use the same “Thank you” wording every time
  • Make sure to respond within one week
  • Try to include their name or their company’s name within your response
  • BONUS POINTS: If they mention something specific about your business that they like, mention that in your response.  As an example, if they say “I really enjoyed working with ABC moving company. They packed everything up and had it in my new house in under a day!”  Your reply could be “Thank you, [person’s name]. We pride ourselves on our quick turnaround guarantee”.

Here’s a list of sample replies that are short, sweet and work great. Feel free to use them for your own responses:

  • Thank you, [name].  We always try to be available to our clients!
  • [Name], we really appreciate you taking the time to review [business name].  Thank you for the review.
  • We really enjoyed working with you, [name].  Thank you for the review!
  • We appreciate the review, thank you!  [Company name] enjoys working with you on your [business type] needs, [name].
  • Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, we really appreciate it.  We strive to provide excellent [service] to all of our customers!
  • [Name], thank you for the review.
  • We really appreciate feedback from all of our clients.  Thank you, [name], for taking the time to review our [agency/company/business].
  • Hi [Name], thank you for taking the time to leave a review!  We like making working with us as easy as possible.

Case 2 – How to respond when your business receives a negative online review.

When you receive a negative review, a normal response is to get angry or defensive.  However, don’t let those feelings be reflected in your response. You do not want to seem overly emotional.  In fact, sometimes it is a good idea to have someone else help you craft a response or to sleep on it for a day.  You do want to be sure to respond within one week so it does not appear like you are ignoring the bad review.

When writing back, don’t be emotional and stick to the facts.  Apologize for the situation, but don’t take the blame. You can say “I’m sorry for the experience that you had” or “I apologize that you feel that way”.  Then, offer to discuss that matter offline – either in person or via phone. Sometimes, this conversation can turn that one star into five.

Make sure to keep the response succinct and to the point.  Remember, you are responding not only for the person that left the review, but you are showing prospects that you care about the client experience.

Don’t freak out about one or two bad reviews.  Most consumers don’t expect to see a perfect score.

If you do receive a bad review, respond accordingly.  Then, to offset it, contact 3 clients personally that you know will give you a good review.  Once they leave their reviews, your average will be back up again because:

1 star + 5 stars + 5 stars + 5 stars = 16 stars / 4 reviews = 4.0 average rating

Case 3 – How to respond when your business receives a false online review.

If your company receives a false online review, whether it is accidental or malicious, there are a few things that you can do.

If you have definitive proof that the review is false, you can report the review to the site that it was left on.  Here are the links for how to report a false review:

Google – https://support.google.com/business/answer/4596773?hl=en

Yelp – https://www.yelp-support.com/article/Will-Yelp-remove-a-false-or-defamatory-review?l=en_US

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/help/439579999521224/

However, this reporting process is not always timely or smooth.  The review sites tend to side with the reviewer, so your proof must be indisputable.

To combat the review immediately, you will (again) want to contact multiple clients that you know will provide good, truthful reviews of your company.  These will effectively “bury” that bad review.

 

Want to put your review system on autopilot?  Check out IFTS + ReviewLead! We take over all of the difficulty of getting reviews and act as your negative review triage specialists.  Sign up for one month free and see how we can help you! https://reviewleads.iftsdesign.com/

 

Sources

*https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/

**https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/

*** https://www.womply.com/impact-of-online-reviews-on-small-business-revenue/#impactofreviews-section2–

Why Google Reviews Are Important For Legal Firms

What is the first step for consumers who are looking for an attorney to represent their legal matters? Not many want to ask for personal referrals, especially when dealing with some embarrassing law subjects. Thankfully, the internet is a great source of information for any business inquiry consumers may have. 

When consumers are looking for an attorney in Pennsylvania to represent them, they turn online to Google in search of answers. They can read recommendations and experiences left by past clients to know if you may be a good fit. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your chances are of being chosen over your competition. Google reviews are an essential part of your digital marketing strategy that helps showcase your law firm’s ability to represent clients.

Reviews Improve Your Firm’s Online Reputation

Positive reviews are an essential part of your online reputation. It helps improve your credibility to prospects and convince them of your legal capability.

 In a recent survey by marketing firm iLawyerMarketing, 84% of the respondents said they would only consider hiring a PA Attorney or legal firm that has a review score over 4 stars and higher. This implies they won’t even consider a firm with no reviews. So if you don’t have good Google reviews, or any at all, your clients may be going to your competitors.

If you are looking for an easy, yet effective way to increase your business’s online reputation head to our Reviewlead + IFTS   site to learn more and begin your FREE trial!

Reviews Can Increase Your Visibility

Google loves reviews. It’s one of the major factors the algorithm considers for ranking. Google reviews increase your SEO and make you more visible to your prospects.

More and more people are typing ‘legal firm in Pennsylvania’ into Google’s search box, and having many reviews will push your firm to the top of those searches. 

Studies from Pew Research Centre show that about 65% of people who read reviews online read at least five different reviews before making a purchase decision.

Reviews Improve The Traffic To Your Website

Who wouldn’t love free traffic? That’s what getting reviews can offer your firm. Every smart business appreciates the importance of organic search engine traffic. People searching for PA attorneys in Pennsylvania are part of your local target market that is willing to pay for the services. 

They have no specific choice in mind but won’t just pick any firm without seeing what others are saying about them. Your Google reviews will show up next to your business name, anyone searching will be drawn to click to your website. 

Reviews Help You Attract Customers

Positive reviews give your legal firm a better standing in the Pennsylvania online community. According to 2017 research, over 75% of consumers seek legal help search online. The study further stated that over 97% of those people consider online reviews when choosing the ideal legal firm.

You Can Receive Feedback To Improve Your Services

There is an atom of truth in every criticism. Reviews act as valuable feedback. You can use customer’s suggestions or criticism received through Google reviews to improve your legal service.

Positive online reviews can give your law firm a higher standing as they reveal what past clients have to say about their experience with your firm. Positive reviews can put your firm at the top of the list for prospecting clients needing an attorney to handle their legal affairs.

When asking for reviews, there is always a chance of negative ones being left among all of the positive reviews. Although negative reviews can lower your overall Google rating, they can also provide you with opportunities to see where your business needs improvement.