2 Steps Digital Marketers Can Use to Optimize Content for Review Sites
If you’re using digital marketing to promote a local business such as a restaurant, hotel, or retail store, you need to focus some of your search optimization efforts on review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. Following are two steps to take to optimize for those sites.
Step 1: Gain legitimate reviews
You don’t want to “game” reviews; reviews that aren’t legitimate can result in backlash from both your customers and the review site. Instead, you want to encourage honest reviews by making sure that the customer experience is top-notch and deserving of a good review.
That said, you can certainly encourage your customers to submit legitimate reviews with tools such as TripAdvisor’s Review Express. A second method is to ask customers for their email addresses and for product or service reviews at the point of sale. Later, you can follow up with people and remind them to review by sending them an email, and you can entice people to review by offering giveaways or contests.
After someone gives you a review, respond by thanking the person for his time and letting him know that he’s been heard. If someone gives you a negative review, respond to that person with empathy so that she knows that she’s been heard. Explain your side of the story, and if the review requires more attention, move it to a private channel such as email or phone. It’s best to handle customer-service issues outside public channels like review sites.
On most review sites, review scores outweigh the number of reviews. Focus on getting fantastic reviews from satisfied customers. Sure, the sheer number of reviews you receive is important, but only if those reviews indicate that your customers are happy with your business.
Step 2: Claim your profile
If you’ve been in business for a while, you’re likely listed on virtually every review site, whether you know it or not. Visit the relevant review sites, and search for your business. Then claim your business (or start a profile if needed) on the review site by answering questions and performing verification checks that prove the business is yours. By claiming your business, you can manage your profile, make edits, and add information to your profile on the review site.
Fix any inaccuracies in your profile, and add information that current and potential customers may find helpful, such as hours of operation, location, contact information, and company history. Within the description, include keywords wherever it makes sense to do so, and use categorization appropriately to improve your search rankings within the review site platform.