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Reviews are a major factor in your local rankings in Google+Local, Yahoo Local and Bing. More importantly, they are the single biggest factor in building trust with potential customers on-line. Reviews are what inspire people to call you instead of your competitor. As a matter of fact 72% of buyers say they trust on-line reviews as much as personal recommendations.

What do you mean when you say I am doing my advertising backwards?

When a potential customer sees your advertising or marketing materials off-line, they rarely drop what they are doing to enter your web address into their phone or computer. Usually, they file your name and city in their brain. Later when they are ready to find you they search for you by name + city. The first thing they find is normally Your business listing on Google Plus, Yelp and your website. If they don’t see a positive “star rating” they search again. If they search for a industry term, IE. plumber + city they are presented a map listing with the top ranked sites and their reputation.

How can I see if my competitor(s) have a better reputation on-line than I do?

Google your competitors name + city.

Do reviews help my site get ranked better in the search engines?

Yes. Reviews on sites such as Yelp, City Search, Google Plus, Trip Advisor and industry specific sites create powerful user generated content with links back to your site.

How many reviews do I need?

Recent studies show that consumers look up an average of 10 reviews before making a decision. 70% of these potential buyers trust a business with a minimum of 6-10 reviews. However this is not a gather and stop proposition. Buyers are looking for recent experiences.

What do I do if I get a negative review?

First, don’t panic. It happens. You can’t please everyone all the time. Mistakes are made. You must respond professionally. Don’t get into an on-line argument or accuse them of anything. A proper response can win the customer over and make them into a raving fan.

How do bad reviews help my business?

Bad reviews perform two very important functions. 1) They provide credibility for the positive reviews and 2) They give you a terrific opportunity to communicate with your audience of prospective customers. Nobody expects you to be perfect, just live up to your shortcomings and make it right with the customer.

Are reviews better than testimonials?

Yes! In a recent survey, over 90% of respondents said they believe testimonials are not representative of customer sentiment. In the same survey, over 80% reported that they would trust reviews hosted by a third party as providing a good or excellent representation of customer sentiment.

Can I write reviews of my own?

Besides the moral and ethical issues that go with writing your own reviews, Review sites have algorithms and filters that delete all reviews that are posted from the same computer IP network.

What is the easiest way to get reviews?

While the review system is on-line, it all starts off-line. Asking is the first step and making it easy to ask is the next. Many businesses use a combination of point of sale signs, QR codes on postcards, text messages, links on websites business cards, emails, asking on receipts and even making a video of the customers experience

How should I ask my customers to review me?

We have developed a number of tools that are available to our paid members to help them get reviews.

How many review sites should I try get reviews on?

The most successful businesses train their everyone who has contact with the customers to ask. When asking, they incorporate asking for a “favor”. Happy customers are inclined to help the employee out.

Can I instruct my customers what to write the review about?

Google says no you can not. That does not mean you can’t for other sites but why bother. Chances are the review will not sound natural and may in fact get filtered – never to be seen by anyone. Let the customer give you honest feedback in their own words. If your customers really have no idea what to write about or say it is perfectly fine to give them a couple of talking points.

Should I put a device in my business for customers to review me?

Google advises against companies asking customers to write a review on a computer or tablet located on the business’s premises. Google said businesses should send reminder emails to customers encouraging them to review the business on their own time – just don’t go so far as to give free gifts or discounts in exchange for encouraging them to leave positive reviews

Why would I want to get Video reviews?

Video is a fantastic way to put a face to the review and to make it even more believable. Imagine a group of happy restaurant patrons describing their experience. Video captures the experience and emotion of the moment. Our system makes it easy for the customer to upload a video testimonial.

Can I ask my customers to post a review on several review sites?

Not if they post on Google Plus. This is considered duplicate and Google will filter the review if it appears anywhere else on the web. However if this raving fan wants to write a differently worded review on other sites. There is no limit to the number of reviews a person can write about you on different sites.

Even my best customers don’t get around to writing reviews. What should I do?

Ask. Ask again. Then ask some more. But do it in a professional low pressure way. Many times it is just a matter of catching them when it is convenient or making the process as easy as possible. They may need a link to the review page rather than a QR code. Some people may even want to review you on (heaven forbid!) paper.

Can I post “fan mail” on my site?

Yes! But do not try to post this same fan mail on sites like Google or Yelp as it will get filtered.

Can I post my Google Plus reviews on my site?

Nope. Google will filter them out. They want an exclusive on the reviews in their system.

Customers swear to me they have written a review but it does not show up. Why?

Sometimes the Google and Yelp flag and filter a review as not being legitimate. This can be caused by a number of factors such as your customer having a brand new account thats not been used before, incomplete set up, forgetting to save when they finish writing the review etc. The best way to get them published is by providing clear instructions on how to do it correctly.