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What Does Google Look For In Business Reviews?

Whilst the truth is that as with all areas of SEO, only Google know for certain what they actually look for when taking the reviews of businesses into account.

However, our experience tells us that there are 6 key areas. To help narrow this down, we have drawn up a list of 6 areas to target below.

No. 1 – The Number of Reviews

It is fairly clear that Google loves to have popular businesses ranked near the top of its rankings wherever possible and one of the easiest (and in theory most accurate) ways to do assess this is to factor reviews into their ranking algorithm.

When all things are considered, it is difficult to argue against the fact that popular businesses are more likely to serve a greater number of clients than less popular businesses.

If you can generate a higher number of (positive & genuine) reviews, you have a good chance of forging ahead of your competition in the quest for rankings.

No. 2 – What Do Your Reviews Say?

There are a number of ways that the content of the reviews left on your profiles/citations can impact Google’s ability to find them. The use of positive words and phrases along with words relating to your line of business can both be extremely helpful.

Whilst we understand that any attempt to try and control the content of your customers’ reviews is wrong on a number of levels, a little detail about the level of service and the actually services that your business has provided can go a long way.

No. 3 – Keep Things Fresh & Diverse

A large number of reviews saying ‘Excellent service, happy to recommend and use again’ may well be complimentary and may also be true, a bit of diversity wouldn’t go amiss though! Also, whilst Google Maps & FB reviews are of obvious importance, the generation of reviews on a variety of different platforms is also likely to be beneficial. Yell, Yelp, FreeIndex, Thomson Local & FourSquare are all highly reputation sources.

No. 4 – What Type of Picture Do Your Reviews Paint of Your Business?

This may be surprising to some people but having 5* reviews across the board is not actually as important as you may think it is. Google always aims to provide the most accurate results and with the best will in the world, no-one pleases everyone all of the time!

Whilst aiming for the top and offering the best possible service to all of your customers is certainly advisable, the chances are that from time to time, someone is going to have an experience with you that is less than they hoped for. This does not have to be your fault in any way but the modern world often means that people are more likely to put pen to paper (in a digital way!) if they are angry than happy.

Therefore, a few negative reviews may even help to create an air of realism about your business.

No. 5 – Who Has Left The Review?

Did you know that reviews from members of the Local Guides Program are likely to carry extra weight? A review left from someone who regularly uses the account on that particular platform is highly likely to carry more weight than a review from someone who leaves a review and never uses the account again.

No. 6 – Velocity

BrightLocal survey highlighted the fact that ‘73% of consumers think that reviews older than three months are no longer relevant’. Whilst Google does not remove reviews from an account for much longer than that, it’s worth bearing in mind that a steady drip feed of reviews over a prolonged period of time is much more likely to be beneficial than a deluge over a short period and then nothing for months.

Tapping Into Customer Feedback

We are now firmly in the grip of the digital age and a very strong case can be made regarding the fact that online reviews have largely taken the place of word-of-mouth referrals.

Such is the ease of access that potential customers have to the internet through their smart phones, tablets, PCs and laptops, it has never been easier to seek out online reviews of products and services offered by various companies all around the world — including people who have used your business in the past.

If you run a business, you have the perfect opportunity to tap into customer feedback by providing your customers with the opportunity to leave their views regarding your products and services in the form of online reviews.

These reviews can either be sent directly to your website or Social Media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter & Google +, or to one of the many online directories which aggregate online reviews, such as Yelp or Yell.

Need Some More Help

Would like to find out more about dealing with poor reviews? Give the Footprint Web Design team a call on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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By | February 1st, 2018|Reviews|Comments Off on What Does Google Look For In Business Reviews?

How To Leave A Review On Google Maps

We have had lots of requests recently asking for information about our Google Maps listing. We greatly value all of the feedback that we receive from our customers and below is an easy step by step guide detailing how to add a review.

Firstly, it is crucial that you are signed in with your Google account if you wish to write a review. If you need to create a new account, simply click here, click on the ‘Create An Account’ option at the bottom of the page and then fill in the details as requested. The account is free to create and use and you will not be obliged to use it again in the future once you have left your review.

Once you’re signed in to your Google + account, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Open Google Maps and make sure you’re signed in.
  2. Search for a ‘Footprint Web Design, Oxted’
  3. Click ‘Write a Review’.

The screenshot below shows exactly what you should expect to see when trying to leave a review on our Google Maps listing

Once you have followed the steps outlined above, you will be taken through to the screen below. Simply choose the number of stars you wish to feel best represent your experience with us and leave a few words if wish. Once you have finished, click ‘post’ and your review will then be published.

Please Note – You can sign in, return and amend your review at any time.

We really appreciate you taking the time to attempt to leave a review and if you have any trouble, we’ll be happy to help. Simply give us a call on Tel. No. 01883 372488 and we’ll help you through the process.

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By | January 3rd, 2018|Reviews|Comments Off on How To Leave A Review On Google Maps

How To Leave A Review On Facebook

We love receiving feedback from our clients and if you are kind enough to leave us a few words on our Facebook page, the good news is that it couldn’t be much quicker and easier to do so.
All you need to do is make sure you are signed in to your personal FB page. Visit our FB page by clicking here and then follow the next 4 steps.
  1. Click Reviews on the left side of the Page’s Timeline
  2. Click the grey stars to choose a rating. You can also leave a few words should you wish.
  3. Choose your audience (Public) and then click Done

To help you along the way, please take a moment to check out the screenshots below which highilght exactly what you should expect to see when leaving a review.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Please Note – You can sign in, return and amend your review at any time.

We really appreciate you taking the time to attempt to leave a review and if you have any trouble, we’ll be happy to help. Simply give us a call on Tel. No. 01883 372488 and we’ll help you through the process.

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By | January 3rd, 2018|Reviews|Comments Off on How To Leave A Review On Facebook

What Should You Do If Someone Leaves You a Bad Review?

We understand just how important the reputation of your business is to you. Both in regards of helping to grow your business and also for your own personal pride, the reputation of your business can prove to be one of your most powerful assets or one of your biggest liabilities depending on how positive it is.

With potential customers placing more importance on reviews than ever before, especially if they are new to your products and services, this is an area of your business which must not be overlooked.

What Should You Do If Someone Leaves You a Bad Review?

Building Your Online Profile 

Your ‘Google My Business’ profile (which helps to generate your listing on Google Maps) is arguably the most important online profile you can establish for your business. This is in no small part due to to the fact that when someone takes the time to leave a review, it will be displayed in Google’s search results. This can be extremely positive but what should you do if someone decides to leave you a poor review?

Don’t Overreact!

The first and most important bit of advice we give is to not overreact! Whilst we the receipt of a bad review can seem to be quite personal, the facts are that so long as you don’t receive too many, a bad review is not the end of the world. In fact, it is widely acknowledged that many customers are believed to be mistrustful of businesses that have flawless 5* ratings – as it can be difficult to believe that anyone is really that good! As such, a small number of poor reviews can actually add an air of realism to your profile.

Please do not resort to drastic steps such as deleting your account, changing all of your details or setting up brand new profiles. Establishing an effective online presence can be tricky enough once, never mind twice!

How To Respond To a Poor Review

Always Respond To The Review

Always take the time to respond to a negative review but just importantly, always remember to ‘take the high road’ wherever possible. However tempting it may be to give people a piece of your mind, this is very unlikely to be constructive and is very likely to damage your reputation far more than the review will. Just as the review can be viewed by everyone, so can your response.

It’s really important to answer in a professional way. If you feel that an apology is necessary, then by all means include one in your response. Try and provide some type of context to the original review as a benefit for future readers and wherever possible, encourage whoever left the review to continue the conversation privately (via phone, e-mail, DM etc) in an effort to resolve the situation rather than continuing the conversation in public.

Use The Review To Help You Improve

Whilst it is not certain that all negative reviews will be warranted, it is possible that they have some merit. Can you use the negative comments as a way to improve your service? If similar comments keep appearing from different people, perhaps a particular area of your business could do with refining. It’s important to keep a level of perspective and whilst we fully understand that no-one will ever enjoy receiving a poor review, don’t worry too much if one appears on your profile.

Need Some More Help

Would like to find out more about dealing with poor reviews? Give the Footprint Web Design team a call on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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By | December 8th, 2017|Reviews|Comments Off on What Should You Do If Someone Leaves You a Bad Review?

How Can Positive Reviews Impact Your Business?

Recent history has seen the popularity and impact of online reviews increase significantly. Whether business owners like it or not, potential customers often use the reviews of a service or product as a key tool in their decision making process.

Whether people are looking for a restaurant for an evening meal, a hotel for their holiday, a plumber to fix a broken pipe or anything in between, online reviews have quickly become an integral part of promoting your business online.

There are of course two sides to everything and to provide you with a full picture of the pros and cons of online reviews, we have drawn up a list of potential positive and negative impacts.

Understanding the Importance of SEO

The Positive Impact of Online Reviews

Positive reviews can result in:

  • Increased conversion rates (customers spending more money!!)
  • Creating increased trust with your clients
  • Free advertising (great reviews on external sites can be key in drawing in new customers)
  • Improved results on search engines (regular reviews are strongly believed to play a role in ranking algorithms)
  • Increased feedback (the ability to leave reviews can be key in opening lines of communication with your customers)

The Negative Impact of Reviews on Businesses

On the flip side, receiving negative reviews can result in:

  • An impact on the perceived reputation of your business
  • Damage to trust levels (Too many negative reviews or no reviews at all can impact the trustworthiness of a business)
  • Increased costs (some 3rd party review sites will charge to use their services)
  • Reviews being left which may not be accurate (3rd party review sites offer complete freedom on the reviews that can be left)
  • Without a drip feed of reviews, old reviews can seem out of date

Please Note – It is essential to remember that regardless of the platform, you will always have the option to reply to any review. Positive or negative, responses are strongly encouraged. However, taking the high ground in response to a negative review is also strongly encouraged!

If you would like more information relating to online reviews and how they can impact your business, please contact Footprint Web Design today.

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By | September 1st, 2017|Reviews|Comments Off on How Can Positive Reviews Impact Your Business?
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