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Are You Thinking about Local SEO? (Part 2)

Posted on: September 24 2012 | Posted in: Client Help

Is your website effective in driving customer interactions to your physical locations? If not, you may need to pay more attention to your local SEO.

Earlier this week, we looked at interacting with your customers on online platforms in ways that will help people feel heard and help show that you, as a business, actively care.

Today, let's take a look at the other side of the equation. In order to respond to your customers, you have to have comments and ratings first. So, if you don't have any ratings yet, how do you get started?

Getting (More) Reviews for Your Business

First off, a warning. There's a right way and a wrong to go about this. Review sites live and die by the quality of their reviews, so they are always on the lookout for businesses that try to spam the system with fake reviews. No one except for business owners benefit from the manipulation of potential customers, and even business owners do not benefit in the long term. When negative customer stories can go online in a matter of seconds, no business can stay ahead of their manipulative efforts for long.

With that out of the way, let's look at a strategy for businesses that strive to offer excellent customer service. How can you help your customers share their positive stories?

Let them know that you're active on social media sites and on your industry review sites. Throw icons on your website. Place icons on your print advertisement, but don't expect people just to go there on their own.

You need to invite them. We become immune to seeing the same icons over and over, but we pay attention when someone issues a call to action. Why would customers want to visit your social media channels? Are you offering special deals exclusively there? Let 'em know! Are you keeping them up to date with all of the latest headlines in your industry? They'll want to know that, too.

Once your customers are there, then you can begin the conversation. You can get a sense for their perception of your service.

Offer a List of Review Options

Your customers are already using review sites, so make it easier for them to find you. If you send out an email after an online purchase, give them links where they comment on your service via Google, TripAdvisor, or whatever else works for your business. Just make sure you're giving your customers options.

Then you can go back to focusing on adding thoughtful responses to reviews.

It's a cycle.

It's not a simple process, but it is highly effective.

Get in the conversation. It's where business is getting done!

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