Perhaps the greatest driver of new business for any company is word of mouth advertising. Word of mouth has taken on a whole new consideration in the digital age in the form of online reviews. The more positive those reviews are, the stronger your SEO marketing efforts become and the more traffic you will see.
- Any negative review can severely damage a business these days because of the general anonymity of online review sites. Of course, it isn’t fair and something needs to be done, but it teaches you that you need to be constantly out there monitoring and managing your reputation.
- You must stay on top of comments posted everywhere especially at the review sites and across your social media platforms. You must deal with it immediately and satisfactorily. Some recent SEO marketing research has revealed that nearly 90% of the people polled actually went out and read comments about your company. It’s not just the Millennials. It is across the proverbial board. Online reviews have become an important part of today’s consumer filter.
- Positive or negative, reviews not only affect your business but they affect your overall SEO strategy and rankings. Most research indicates you need to rack up at least a dozen or so positive reviews before the surfing public will begin to trust. It is advertising, plain and simple. You must project a positive image out there. You must build brand awareness and name recognition and people must feel good about your business.
- The amount of reviews you get as well as how often will affect your search ranking with Google. The key here being frequency. If you are accumulating reviews too quickly, it will look similar to the old strategy of keyword stuffing. Google will penalize you for it in the rankings.
- Finally, seek out those influencers at the review sites like Yelp and others. Getting them on your side some how will do wonders for your image and will truly affect many other reviewers as well as people just surfing in to check them out.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer