Thanks to guest blogger, Michelle Hoglan. On October 16th, Michelle was my featured guest on the Marketing Blab (click here to see the recording). Enjoy this post from Michelle about online review management.
As a small business owner, do you realize how important online reviews are?
According to BrightLocal, 92% of consumers now read online reviews for local businesses. That figure is up from 88% in 2014!
There has never been a more critical time to dive in to gathering feedback from your clients, patients, customers! Now the question is how do you collect feedback? Collecting feedback is tied in with Online Review Management and how you have it setup for your business.
What is Online Review Management?
Breaking it down into a solid definition is a little difficult, especially since everything “online” is completely fluid and can change on an almost daily basis. For the purposes of this article we will define it as “collecting reviews and sharing them with a broad audience to attract more sales”.
With Online Reviews you start simply by collecting feedback from your existing clients. In theory these are good reviews and you push them out online to the most effective review sites to showcase what a great business you are.
Collecting feedback can be time-consuming and a little stressful. However, when you educate educating yourself about your online presence, you can get some reviews out there.
Five things to consider are:
- How to collect reviews.
- Where to concentrate on pushing those reviews to.
- How often you need those reviews out there.
- How to filter these reviews – I know this can be challenge. Without a good star rating the reviews can actually hurt not help a business.
- How you are represented online in all of the places you show up. These need to be set up correctly to make sure you index in a search to your optimal level.
Should you hire an Online Review Management Team?
An Online Review Management Team can be beneficial to your success online and is a wise choice for many small businesses. The time it takes to become proficient in the online presence arena is something that most small business owners can ill afford. That time is better spent pursuing the business they have and are experts in.
A team will also work with you to “clean up” your business listings across all avenues so that potential new customers are able to find you. Correct business/contact information is vital for a successful online search!
A good rule to remember is that warm referrals are great, but people are still going to Google you. And in this ever-changing online world you need to make sure you are showing up in the best way possible!
What has your experience been with online reviews? Please share your comments below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks and here’s to your sweet success.
About guest blogger Michelle Hoglan: Michelle is the owner and Director of Social Media and Partner Management at Top Hat Creative Marketing, LLC. A Reputation Management Company that specializes in strategic and creative marketing, Top Hat works with you to create an online presence that not only meets your business’ needs, but also fulfills your “creative side.”