With the strict policies that surround link building services in the internet marketing industry now, as a business you need to be extra careful with how you build links. This also applies to your local reviews on different sites such as Yelp and Google.
Of course, as a business, you want to have awesome reviews, right? Who doesn’t? Especially in today’s virtual world where most people do a check up on businesses before they frequent them, buy from them or decide to choose them for a service. This can be very very good or very very bad for a business—depending on what your local reviews looks like, or the lack thereof.
While everyone wants these great reviews for their business, some have gone about getting them the wrong way. Yep, you guessed it—paid link building services. Ok, we admit some for the services may sound alluring. Only $10 for 5 awesome reviews of your restaurant, from real people—Heck yea, why not? No, no, no! Don’t fall under the link building services spell.
Quick tips for local reviews online:
- Never pay someone to complete a review online
- You can ask, just don't chase or force someone to review you
- Include links on social media sites and websites that encourage people to review your business
- Continue to be awesome and provide top notch customer service and you will get reviews
I’m referring you on to read this awesome blog post on the topic because I couldn’t agree more with the advice they are giving. If you have been wondering about how to get reviews for your business, are one of those businesses that has unfortunately bought into link building services or just want to learn more about the topic, this featured article is definitely one you NEED to read!
You’ll thank me later!
Posted by Kate Morris, Moz
It's the bane of every business that relies on local traffic: reviews. Reviews are not new to business. We have been dealing with them in business since we had businesses and people could talk. In the last few years, we have been able to participate in the conversations that happen between consumers. Local reviews are just an extension of word of mouth marketing. It's a permanent record of consumer's thoughts of your business much like social media.
The worst part is having no reviews, or having reviews (GLOWING reviews) from real customers, and Yelp doesn't show or count them. Reviews are the links of the local world. They drive new business and are imperative to growth. However, if you ask for one or incentivize their posting, they might not count.
"You shouldn't ask your customers to post reviews on Yelp."
"Reviews are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased … Don't offer money or product to others to write reviews for your business or write negative reviews about a competitor. We also discourage specialized review stations or kiosks set up at your place of business for the sole purpose of soliciting reviews."
What's a business owner to do?!
Learn from link building
This is going to come at an odd time as link building (guest posting) is hot in the search media right now, but the link building world has been through this exact situation and local businesses can learn from it.
Don't chase tactics. Look for inspiration from other businesses but modify ideas to your business and your users. Just like link building, if your reviews show up in a pattern, that pattern is detectable by a computer algorithm and will likely be discounted.
Anything that is pattern-based is detectable, including:
- IP address of the reviewer: Never ask for reviews from your location(s).
- Timeline: This means if a number of reviews come in together over a period of time, think all in one day or one week. It reflects that they were asked to leave a review in one big push.
- Same phrases: If many reviews use the same phrasing, it can look orchestrated.
Scale is the enemy. Along the same lines as the patterns discussion above, trying to scale reviews is going to produce detectable trends. Don't try to go out and get reviews en masse. You need them, yes, but a slow trend is the better way to get them. This brings us to the next point: influence.
[Continue Reading Original Article: Getting Reviews the Right Way For Local Businesses]