In the offline world, the best possible piece of marketing for your business is when a satisfied customer tells a potential customer just how good you are at what you do. This kind of unsolicited, organic advertising is incredibly hard to trigger but completely invaluable to the growth of any business. The same kind of thing is now possible in the online world. Virtually every website will have a portion dedicated to testimonials, where your happy customers have written to you to let you know how delighted they are with what you have done. However, the issue here is that most online users treat these testimonials with a degree of suspicion, as they appear on your own website and therefore showcase only the good reviews of your business.
There is a solution which allows you to get your customer feedback, and gives you an impartial site where the comments of previous customers are treated with a greater degree of trust. These review sites grow organically and generally get very good search engine visibility, and the community aspect of them means that trusted reviewers gain credibility and their opinions can count a great deal in your favour should they give you a positive piece of feedback.
The types of review sites
Review sites generally fall into one of two categories – business review sites and product review sites. Most online businesses can leverage and benefit from the feedback provided on both types of website, and at Flosee we begin this process by ensuring your business details are registered and fully visible on the business review sites. Once your profile is available, we then go about solicting reviews from your customers, starting with those that have already provided positive testimonials for your organisation. Because business review sites are held in high regard by the search engines, the links contained within your profile are credited to your website quickly, and because new reviews gain higher status you will normally see a few completely unsolicited reviews appearing in a relatively short space of time. The second type of review sites are product reviews, and these focus on specific (branded) products that are available and the feedback mostly relates to the product itself. However, when people are purchasing online, if they find a product with a very positive set of reviews published within review sites, the next step they will take is to try and identify a source for that item by typing it into a search engine. We can maximise the potential here in two ways – firstly by asking customers to add their product review together with a positive comment relating to your website (ideally including a link). This builds trust to end users, and also puts your link on an extremely relevant page which the search engines will find and will therefore boost your rankings on a product specific search.
Adding reviews to review sites
Because review sites gain their credibility, trust and respect by their impartiality it would be counter productive for us to add “false” reviews to them of your business or products. These would quickly be spotted by the users and administrators of those sites and one of two things could happend:
- the review will be deleted (best case scenario)
- or it will be left in place with a flag stating it was added by the business themselves which destroys any trust you have built up.
We work with you to identify the best clients to contact in order to request submissions to review sites and also the best methods by which to encourage them to actually do so. In a perfect world you would want to vet these prior to publication, but again this would be counter productive as the review sites work purely on the basis of their impartiality.
In some cases, having a slightly negative review can be a positive thing as most review sites will give you the opportunity to post a follow up comment which can then demonstrate your commitment to customer service and your after sales approach. Because of this, we keep a close eye on all the review sites your website is registered on, to give you the best opportunity of replying and can also help you construct the best type of response so your company is stiull viewed in a positive light.
One word of warning about review sites though – following a court case in 2009 by a very high profile business in the UK, review sites point blank refuse to remove negative comments entered by users. They maintain that their integrity lies in the fact that all reviews come direct from their users without any third party involvement, and because of the ruling in this court case their right to preserve ALL comments – negative, positive or otherwise – is now legally protected.
In our higher level SEO packages, we include a smattering of review sites each and every month, and we use your genuine customers to achieve this. We work very closely with you to ensure that this does not detrimentally affect your relationship with your customers as our most important job is to enhance your business reputation. Our review sites service is a delicate balance of retaining the goodwill of your clients whilst giving potential clients a positive impression of your company.