I’m bummed. I had a client who probably spent an hour writing a glowing review at Yelp about what I did for his business with my KickStart consultation program. It was a full page filled with all the details of how I helped him and the embarrassing results he got – embarrassing because he commanded 8 positions on the first page of Google. He was aglow and went on and on and on. It was the kind of review that every business wants to get.
Sadly, I’m guessing that Yelp considered it too good to be true, so they removed it. That’s not all that uncommon. They do it in an attempt to keep out spam, but too often they are over zealous.
Don’t let the Yelp filter get you.
I don’t want that to happen to you, so I want to share two pieces of advice with you and give you a REVIEW TOOL for FREE that might help you get and keep the great reviews you deserve.
1. First, get copies of your reviews!
Visit your review sites frequently, particularly Yelp’s since they are notorious for hiding the ones you care about most. Make a copy of the good reviews and then post them to your website. You need to do this before Yelp finds them and hides them.
2. Second, don’t think Yelp is the only review site in the world.
Sure, it’s popular and lots and lots of people use it, but they use other review sites as well. So try to get your customers to leave reviews in other places. Not only does this protect you in case Yelp decides to remove them, Google also loves to see the variety as well because it looks more authentic.
Where should you get reviews?
Here are just a few review sites that are out there supporting local businesses.
- Google Places
You’ll also want to find some review sites that are industry specific and try to direct your customers there if you can. If you’re a restaurant, for example, you’ll want to get review in opentable.com. A travel or lodging business would seek reviews in Tripadvisor.com.
But how do you get your customers to leave reviews?
Unless you’ve been SO INCREDIBLE they can’t stop talking about you or unless you’ve made them a LITTLE MAD, getting customers to take the time to write reviews is like pulling teeth. No one wants to do it. It’s just too much trouble and just plain painful at times.
So, first piece of advice – Be INCREDIBLE!
This is one thing I have to say I love about Yelp. Everyone these days wants good reviews, (and they’re afraid of the bad), so business owners are now putting in the effort to shine. I LOVE THAT! Do the same and the reviews will come.
SECOND tip – Make leaving reviews easy.
Ok, so there’s no way to get around the required login on the review sites, so that means your customers need to join and then login. PAIN, I know. But they have to do it.
But most are already members of something. If they have a gmail account, they can log into Google Places. If they have a Yahoo email address, they can easily leave you a review on your Yahoo Local page, and so on. So it helps to point them to a review site where they already do have a membership.
Next step is to get them there. Fortunately, most people these days have a smartphone, and most new smartphones have a built-in QR reader. If they don’t, many people are installing the apps because QR codes are all around these days and their curiosity often gets the best of them. So let’s capitalize on that!
Use QR codes to drive your customers to your review sites!
I’m going to make it easy for you. Here’s what I provide my clients and then ask them to put it in a plastic counter sleeve on their counters where customers check in. You can use it however you see fit and in whatever way works for your business. You can even create a knockoff and put it on invoices, receipts, signs in your store window, Christmas cards, or whatever else you come up with.
The beauty of this is it provides links to 3 review sites where I want them to go. They can choose the one where they have a membership already, or they can choose to go to any and leave reviews at them all if they feel so inclined.
So how do you customize this with your own QR codes?
Easy. Download the Get Reviews Word doc I’ve made for you. Delete the QR codes I have in there now. Those go to my review sites. Oh, actually, if you like what I’m providing for you here, why not go ahead and scan it and leave me a review.
Then head on over to qrcode.kaywa.com and create your own. You just need the URLS for the review PAGES where your business is. Select small. Then copy the image they provide you and insert it into Word.
Print, post and the reviews will come pouring in.
But don’t forget your first order of business – BE INCREDIBLE so your customers will become your raving fans!