[Webinar] How To Use Local SEO Listings & Online Reviews

By | March 13, 2020

Joining us today, no matter what type of business or
organized organization you have, listings and review sites can really
play an important role in helping you get found online. If I think about it, anytime
I’m looking for a good place to eat, I really just go to Google and I search
search for restaurants near me or something like that. I want to find a place to eat that has
good quality food and really good service so that I can enjoy my time there. So one of the things that’s going to
pop up in the search results is actually these listings and review sites that
we’re going to be talking about today. I really want to see what others are
saying about a restaurant before I decided to give it a try. I don’t
want to get sick. Like I said, I really want to enjoy
the experience. Now, some stats we found actually
show that 90% of consumers, they use the internet to find
local businesses. Just like myself. I’m sure you as well as a lot of your
customers are doing that as well. And then about 82% of consumers, they’re reading reviews online and on
average they’re reading about 10 reviews before deciding whether they feel
comfortable going to the establishment and doing business there. Now, in order to unleash the full power
of these tools for your business, it’s all about kind of making sure you’re
presenting yourself in the best way possible. It’s more than just
having a listing on these sites. That’s what you’re going
to learn about today. It’s about utilizing them in a way that’s
going to put your best foot forward. So there’s a few steps we’re going to be
talking about through today in order to set these pages up effectively and
really help you to show up in the search results and that’s what we’re going to
be covering with our guest speaker who I’ll introduce in just a minute. Let’s take a look at our agenda and see
more specifically what we’ll cover in today’s session. We’re going to start with the basics
and how to get started with these tools. We’re going to discuss where you
want to be, how to get set up, and how to optimize these profiles. So that you do show up in
the search results easier. A little bit later we’re going to talk
about how to really encourage and ask people to leave you reviews in the
first place. And last but not least, we’re going to talk about maintaining
these listing and review sites and responding to these reviews, which is going to be an
important part of your strategy. Before we get into all the details, allow me to just go ahead
and introduce myself. My name is Stephanie fringe and I’m the
content manager for webinars here at constant contact and I’m very excited
to introduce Brian who is our guest speaker today and I’ll have
him go ahead and say hello. Hey Stephanie. Thank you so much
everyone. My name is Brian Kaplan. I’m a Capricorn. No, I’m just kidding.
I’m the CEO of Brian Kaplan marketing. You can see it right here. You can go to the website
is Brian kaplan.com and one
of the other things that I get to do is I’m actually a speaker
for the grow with Google program. So I get to travel the country, meet small business owners like you and
teach them about what we’re going to talk about today, local listings, local
SEO and also good review practices. So I’m really excited to be here. Yes, I know you have a ton of experience and
I’ve had lots of chats with Brian over the last couple of weeks and I’ve
learned a ton of information myself. So let’s go ahead and get started. Let’s
talk about the basics, where to be, how to optimize your profile
and everything like that. So I want to start out by launching a
poll here on your screen in just a moment [inaudible] [inaudible] and I want to see, have you already claimed a listing
for your business or organization? And if you have, how many, maybe you haven’t
claimed any one to three, four to five or five plus pages. We’re talking listings and review sites. Now while we’re getting everybody to
go in there and actually put in their answer, if you’ve already done that, I’d really love if you could
go to the questions window, that little question Mark icon and
answer a followup question for me. So thinking beyond Yelp
or Google my business, what’s one of the sites that you’ve
actually claimed a listing on? [inaudible] [inaudible] see lots of answers coming in here. Okay. The poll might take a
minute to show up on there. I see some of you aren’t seeing it yet. See, about 45% are saying they haven’t
claimed SERE have claimed zero pages, 38% from one to three pages. Hmm. Some people have claimed Yelp,
Google, BBB. That’s a good one. Foursquare, caring.com
web MD, TripAdvisor. Great to see this. Yeah, absolutely. We’ll give everyone just another minute
or so to provide their answers to those two questions. [inaudible] we’ve got about 70% who voted in the poll. I just want to see if we
can get a little bit higher. They give us a good sample size here. Yeah. [inaudible] I see some answers
coming in as glass door. GuideStar. All right, we’re at 75% so I’m going to go ahead
and close the poll here and I’m going to share the results on the screen. So we ended up with 48%
of people saying zero, I haven’t claimed any listings, 38 with one to three and then 9% for
four to five and 6% for five plus. So I think that’s really good information
and it’s nice to see what everybody has kind of set up for those who are
using listings in reviews so far. So I’m going to go
ahead and hide the poll. So let’s talk a little bit more about
claiming these listings and what that actually means. When someone
does business with you, they could actually go out there and
they can leave a review on any of these sites that we’ve mentioned
and probably tons more. Claiming a listing is actually gonna mean
that you’re able to take control of it and put the right information out
there. So typically a constant contact. What we suggest is you go out there
and find the sites that you’re already listed on, do a search for your business or the
products or services that you’re offering, and then you can claim those listings. Could you talk a little bit more about
why claiming a listing is so important for our business? Sure thing. I mean, so at,
at the essence of it all, claiming your listing really allows
you to get control over your critical business information and that’s
name, address and phone number. So it’s called the nap info, like
taking a nap and a P name, address, phone number. And really
by claiming those listings, what you’re doing is you’re making
sure that your name, address, phone number and other information
points like your website, uh, maybe the products and
services you offer, you know, certain keywords you’re taking control
of those two to make sure that you’re showing up properly across the web. Google wants to see that it
because if you own more listings, you control more listings, you verified them and you’ll have the
accurate information you’re signaling to Google that you take your digital
presence seriously. As a result, you have a better chance of
showing up in search and maps. That’s a really good point
and it sounds like you know, the more listings you claim, the
better off you’re going to be. Do you maybe have any examples where
unclaimed listings have caused a problem for you and your business or
maybe for one of your clients? Well, of course jump into the
shoes of a consumer nowadays
and actually I’m going to give everybody something to write
down. So if you guys are taking notes, I want you to write this
down. Micro moments. So micro moments and Stephanie, we
talked about this just the other day. A micro moment is actually a term that
was coined by the leadership of Google and a micro moment is a moment in
time when a consumer needs to know, go do or buy. And I’ll say that again. Micro moment is a moment in time
when a consumer needs to know, needs to go to do or to buy. Every single person on this webinar
has micro-moments every single day. So for instance, my son Bryce has dairy allergies and so
we looked for a vegan restaurant forum because we knew that they wouldn’t
use milk products and we found a vegan restaurant. They were online, it
said they were open. Well guess what? When we got there, they were
closed. Now could’ve called them, but most people don’t
in their micro-moment, they’re looking on their phone really
quick. I’ve got my phone right here, we all have them right next to us.
They search for something near me, like vegan restaurant near
me and they’re going there. So because that restaurant was closed, I don’t really trust them as much
and I don’t know that I can go back. And what we’re finding,
and according to Google, 40% of searchers are looking for
critical business information about you, like your business hours, your
description, and your address. So it’s really important you have
that online and you have it accurate. And that’s one of the things you’re going
to be able to set up once you claim a business, like we see on the screen
here. This one’s an example from Yelp. You’ll just click the button, claim this business if you
haven’t already claimed it. And then what’s the process actually like
to go in and claim what happens after they click a button like that? So each listing site has a
different process, right? Yelp, what they would do is they might
call the phone number here, the nine, seven zero number that we’re seeing on
the screen and provide a code that you have to type in. Or if
you have a domain, so a, or an email at your domain. So in this
case it might be village laundry.com LOL. Maybe it’s info at village laundry. They may send an email to verify
that you own that email address. And thus the company, uh,
for Google my business, they send up an old snail mail postcard
because they want to verify that you are at a physical location. So they’ll
send you a postcard with a code on it, jump online, enter that
code and you’re good to go. Well, that’s to get information. Just remember they’re all a little bit
different so you have to pay attention after you click that, that claim button in order to get the
right information and see what you’re going to be looking for, whether it’s something in the mail
or something else you need to do. Now you’ve mentioned a couple of times
Google my business and that’s one of the things that’s going to
show up in the search. Here’s an example of what we see
here. If you’re on a desktop computer, it shows up on the right hand side of
the screen and if you’re on a mobile phone, it’s really just the
first thing that pops up. Could you talk about the importance of
this Google my business listing? Sure. So again, go back. I shared
micro-moments for a reason. We’re getting into consumer psychology
here when the customer needs a product or service. And really what we found at Google is
that over 70% of people are willing to throw their brand loyalty to the side
in order to satisfy that need for their product or service. So if seven out of 10 people are going
to really just go for whatever business they find that can satisfy their need,
we’ve got to make sure we’re there. That’s where Google my business comes in. So what you’re seeing on the desktop
computer is a search engine results page. On the right hand side were taken up one
third of the screen and we can see the Concord cheese shop, which constant contact just did
an amazing video with and we see, we see photos of them, we see reviews, we see all of their information so we can
make a better decision right away on a phone. And what we found over 50% of people are
only using their smartphones to access the internet. So that’s half your customer base right
there that are only using smartphones. Imagine this, I’m in a micro
moment. I’m looking for. Okay, now my son doesn’t have dairy allergies. I’m looking for a cheese shop cause I’m
a cheese maniac and I’m looking for a cheese shop near me. Conquer cheese, shop shows up and right away I’m seeing
their reviews and we’re going to get into reviews and the whole idea of them. But now I have to scroll past and you
guys know it takes a couple of scrolls, a couple of flicks the finger to get
past that. Google my business profile. That’s amazing. Real
estate for you right there. That’s just how I was going to say. Now, does Google my business
actually work for nonprofits? That’s a question we got the last time.
We mentioned listings and reviews. Google, my business works for
NPOs nonprofits as well. Uh, and in the nonprofit space, you know, think about you have
donors and volunteers. So we’ve got to convince the donors
that their money is going somewhere. So we want to show them photos and
videos on Google my business of where the money’s going, what we’re doing with it. We want reviews to show that we have
integrity and we are an organization that does what we say and then we also
want to attract those volunteers. Maybe we’re going to share some fun videos
or some fun posts for an event where we’re getting volunteers to register. We can do all of that through
Google my business [inaudible] lots. That’s a really valuable tool tool. Now what about those who don’t
have a physical location? Are they able to use Google? My business, definitely. So Google, my business
is intended for local search. It’s intended for someone to
satisfy a need quickly, right? And what Google my business
does, it works for retail shops, so any brick and mortar physical location. It also works for service based
businesses. And when I say that, it might be a home service,
like HVAC, plumbing, it might be a professional service like
an attorney or real estate agent or insurance agent. Anybody that has a service radius around
their business can have a Google my business profile. It doesn’t work. And
it’s really not intended for e-commerce. So I’m guessing we have some e-commerce
people here today and you can’t use Google my business because they’re
not satisfying a local need. By finding your website, they want to
go there and what Google has found, 85% of people still go to the store, still visit the person or meet someone
in person in order to satisfy their needs. So that’s why Google my business is
so intrinsic and valuable for a local search. Yeah, so it’s all about the
local part for this one, but there’s a lot of information that
can be valuable for those who just have eCommerce businesses that you
can pay attention to as well. Now I’ve heard some
experts say that Google, my business is more like
a light social media tool. Do you want to expand on that? Google. My business has a lot
of features and functionality. One of the features it has is
called Google my business posts, and a post is like a mini
advertisement. It lives for seven days. The really cool thing is when you create
a post, it’s much like a social post. You upload a photo or a video, you put in some texts and you could even
put a link so you can have a link to your website, to a social media page, even to your constant contact subscription
form to grow your subscribers. Now what the post does, it allows you to
showcase a product you could showcase, eh, maybe an update on the company or the
new thing that they started is offers. So imagine this, you’re in a micro-moment. Seven out of 10 people are going to
throw their brand loyalty to the side. They need to find a business that
satisfies their product or service need. Now that business offers
them, Hey, 10% off or $10 off. If you show this ad to us, show this post. It’s not what you spend is what you save. So that’s going to actually induce more
visitors coming in and potentially more new business. Yeah, and Google my business posts
is a little bit more advanced tool, but for those of you who want to learn
more, we’ve actually got a blog post. Brian wrote it for our blog, so we’ll have Rachel share link to that
if you want to learn more about that a little bit later. Thanks
Rachel. It’s pretty good. I think it is. Now let’s go on and talk about some
other types of pages that our audience audience might want to think about and
maybe if they don’t come up in that search that we were talking about.
Typically we’re going to suggest Facebook, we’re going to suggest Yelp, but there’s also going to be all of
these other places that you want to be listed specific to your industry. Where are your customers going
in order to find what you offer? Do you want to share a little
bit about how people, well, my find which sites are going to
be best for their own industry? Definitely. So I mean the first
thing that you’re going to do, whatever your industry is, so
let’s say you’re a plumber, you’re going to look up
plumber reviews right away. You’ll see all the sites that you would
probably be listening as a plumber. Same thing for a
seamstress, for a realtor. All the different industries
have their own sites. So all you’re going to do is your business
category and reviews and you’ll see all those sites show up. You also
want to look at your competitors. So type in a local competitor and see
what sites they’re showing up on and where they’re collecting reviews. It’s
kind of with digital marketing, it’s kind of a competitive
arms race. You know, if your competitors are collecting
reviews on sites like TripAdvisor for restaurant dining, hospitality or home
advisor for home services or porch, you’ve got to be there too so that
you’re capturing that traffic. Uh, one of the big things is you want
to also look at the directories. There are online directories, so not
just in the industry specific sites, but online directories like
the better business Bureau, which Steph had mentioned before. City search decks knows
Superpages yellow books. You don’t have to collect
reviews and all of them, but getting reviews and some
of them would make sense. One in particularly better business
Bureau because it’s a third party, it’s an agency that’s looking into the
reviews and confirming them so you have more authenticity. Lots of great information and I really
liked your point about paying attention to what your competitors are doing
because if they’re showing up, you want to make sure that you’re there
and showing up as well and trying to beat them in that race. Now, Brian, yeah, Brian has actually put together a helpful
guy that’s also on our blog that lists out some of these sites that we have
listed here as well as a few others and a lot of other really great information
that goes along with the topics that we’re talking about today. So be sure to check out that link that
Rachel’s sharing as well. All right, so once you’ve gone in
and you’ve claimed a site, it’s really time to set up
that information that Brian
mentioned before all of your company information. How are
people going to get in touch with you? What are some of the things that our
audience should think about in order to optimize their profiles for search? Sure. So I mean, let’s be honest, we’re dropping a lot of information and
knowledge on these people right now. So one of the things that I did, I created videos and I created
them on my YouTube channel. And if you go to Bryan
capital marketing.com, one of the first things you’ll see is
you can join our inner circle marketing community and we’ll send you the videos
in your inbox through constant contact. So those videos actually show you how to
create a Google my business listing or profile and how to optimize it. And
it’s up to date. So you can watch those, you can pause them, do what you have
to do, play them, so on and so forth. So you can follow along when we’re
talking about optimizing and for these people, for the people that are
taking rigorous notes right now, first thing you got to do,
fill out your entire profile. Your entire profile is
key. Google for example, Google my business has different data
points that I wants and needs. The name, address, phone number,
it needs your website. It might need products and services. You
have to, you know that you’re offering, um, and also wants you to upload
visuals, photos, you know, videos. What we see is that 90% of the information
that a human being processes is visual, right? We’re visual
beings. So in this case, a great example of that, and I’m going
to go on a segue for a second, Stephanie, but if anybody’s ever
watched Willy Wonka, right? Really want go in the chocolate
factory now, I could tell you, Hey, you want a golden ticket? It’s in
your hand. You’re waving it as great. Or I could show you the video of Charlie
bucket grabbing the ticket and waving it in the air. And you probably get goosebumps like
I do because it’s this underdog story, but you’re seeing it. So the visuals
play in Google likes visuals. What you should do to
optimize your profile, have at least five photos when you start
your Google my business profile and continue to upload photos, maybe
two to three to five every month. These photos should be of your team,
of your products, of, you know, before and afters. It can even be a video of a
testimonial from one of your customers, or it could be a photo of your van.
If you have a fleet of service vans, all of those things will
make people feel better. They feel like there’s some personality
and humanity in the brand and they feel like they’re buying
from not just a company. Yeah. It’s all about making your, you’re not just a robot on the internet
somewhere. Now, a little bit later, we’re going to talk about how to
actually manage and respond to reviews, but what if someone claims a listing
and it’s got some old reviews on there? Yup. Okay. If someone claims a listing
and has older views yet, listen, if they’re negative, you
have an opportunity to hear,
to win back a customer. If they’re positive, you have an opportunity to gain that
return business and really reinforce it. And here’s why. So again, I’ll use
the example of Google my business. When someone writes
you a review on Google, you get a notification as the business
owner who owns the Google my business profile. Now when you respond, and we’re going to talk more
about responding to reviews
and how important that is. When you respond to those reviews, an email is sent to the
person who reviewed you. So if it was a negative review from
three years ago and you just bought the business, that’s your
opportunity to say, Hey, listen, we’re under new management, new
ownership. We want to make this right. Let’s see if we can get you back in
and give you a good experience that you deserve. And if it’s positive
reviews, even if they’re one, two, three years old, it might be
someone who fell off the map, who may have forgotten
about your business. Again, reply to their review and they’re going
to get an email and they’re going to say, wow, okay, maybe you know what?
I want to go check them out again. I, I forgot that I did business with them. It’s all about staying top of mind, which is what anything in
marketing is really about. Right. All right, so I think we’ve got a good understanding
of these basics and getting set up set up. Let’s talk about how to get people
to leave us reviews in the first place. So is it important to
continually get new reviews? I’m going to say yes because I don’t
like searching for something and like the restaurant example, seeing that their
last review was three years ago, that makes me a little suspicious. Yup. A simple answer. Short
answer, yes. It’s important. There’s a number of reasons. One chose
people. You’re still in business. I used to go to a chiropractor
in Boston. I moved away. I came back, I looked
up that chiropractor. He hadn’t received reviews in five years. Now my mind jumps to
one, he’s closed, or two, he turned into Steven Seagal and no one’s
walking out of that practice enabled to leave a review. So that’s where you
want to make sure you’re showing people, you’re still in business. People are
looking at the freshness of reviews. It also allows you, like I was just talking about to
interact and engage with your customers. It’s like sending a thank you note.
If someone leaves you a positive view, you already thank them at the point
of sale. They send you a review, now you’re thanking them again.
You reinforcing that rapport, that relationship you have, and it signals to Google that you’re
taking your online reputation seriously because you continue to grow new reviews. It means that you’re active and that
basically they should show you you’re more relevant when someone’s looking for
your product or service. And finally, it differentiates you.
The more reviews you have, obviously the more you stand
out from your competition. If you go and you do a simple Google
search for your business category, so let’s say realtor near me, you’re going to see a whole bunch of
realtors and you’re going to see a lot of realtors that have zero reviews
or maybe three or five reviews. If you can keep getting reviews
again and again and again, and now all of a sudden you’re
grown to 40, 50 a hundred, you’re the realtor to go to. Everyone’s going to know that you’re
the best thing since sliced bread. Okay? You’re the expertise in that
area. Absolutely. Now on the, uh, we’re, we’re all hoping
for those positive reviews, but on the other side of that, I know there’s some hesitancy from
a lot of small businesses about the possibility of negative reviews and I, I’m going to say they’re going to happen
in today’s world and the good news is you’re attending the webinar today and
a little bit later we’ll talk a little bit more about how to actually
respond to the reviews. Now, one stat I saw actually showed that 3.5
to four are those businesses with 3.5 to four points. Stars are actually earning
more revenue than any other rating. And it, to me it looks like you haven’t asked
20 of your best friends to go and leave reviews on your Yelp page, which I think
makes you look really, really real. Is there anything else you might say to
help our audience conquer this fear and get over this fear of negative reviews? First off, people are looking at the way that you
manage negative reviews and respond to them and they’re making a split second
decision or a first impression of if they want to do business with you. You
know, you’ve probably heard before, people need to know, like and trust
you. This is them getting to know, like and trust you and how
you respond through research. It’s been found that consumers actually
spend 400% more time interacting with negative reviews because they want to
know what’s the worst that can happen, right? We all doom and gloom, we all want to know what’s the negative
before I get to the positive and what’s been shown through research
is that 67% of the, there’s a 67% increase in conversion
rates when people are looking at your negative reviews and how you handle them. So basically what that’s saying is people
are looking at your views a heck of a lot more negative ones even more, and
they want to see how you handle them. So don’t be afraid of negative
reviews because as I always say, and you’ve probably heard
before, feedback as a gift, they could be shining a light on
something that you’re doing wrong. They could be shining a light
on a hiccup in your process, a roadblock for customers. These are things where you’ve got to
take them on board and you’ve got to say, okay, let’s actually
look at this as a team. How can we fix this to make sure that
we have a better customer experience? Totally agree with that. The feedback is a gift and you’re going
to be able to identify these areas. So we’re thinking about
positive and negative reviews. Do these sites use algorithms in
order to display them or or all? Are they all different? Each site has a different algorithm
and they’ll never share what their, their algorithm is. But there are some things that we know
that we can deduce just from looking at, you know, successful profiles. So first
off, it’s looking at review freshness. How fresh or how recent is
the review? Did you, you know, first off, sites are looking at that because they
want to make sure you’re getting new reviews. You’re using their system, right? And each of these sites is selling ads.
So Yelp sells ads, Facebook sells ads, Google sales ads. The
more reviews you have, the more users are coming in
and looking at their system, potentially looking at their
ads and building revenue. So refute your review freshness as
one, your overall review score. Listen, it’s out of five stars
and as Stephanie said, businesses that have 3.5 to 4.5 stars
are trusted even more because people know that not everybody’s going
to have a perfect experience. So your overall review score
matters, your review volume. So I was just talking about growing
your reviews month after month. Listen, if you’ve been in business for 20
years and you only have three reviews, there’s something wrong here. Unless those customers are
dollar customers a year
and you don’t need anymore, there’s definitely going
to be an issue here. And psychologically it’s almost like
I’ve got to stop and figure it out. What’s going on? Why aren’t there?
Why isn’t there this review volume? So we want to make sure
we have fresh reviews. We have a good overall score over 3.5
really you’re shooting for like 4.2 to 4.8 and also that we will
have a good review volume. You should be collecting three to
five or even more depending on the transactional nature of your business. At least three to five
new reviews each month. All right, so that leads us in how to do this and
and a lot of places it is okay to ask for these reviews. Um, now I want to address a couple of common
questions or concerns that have come in in the past about this. First, is it okay to actually offer an
incentive in return for reviews? No. So we do not want
to offer an incentive, monetary or product incentive for
reviews. A lot of businesses do it, they do it on the down low and they’ll
say, you know, in, in store, Hey, leave a review and we’ll give
you X, Y,Z , right? Here’s, here’s the fact of the matter. Google number one does not
want you to incentivize. They want these reviews to be true to
form. They want people to not be skewed. They don’t want them to feel more
positive because they’re getting something from you. Right? Um, Yelp
definitely frowns upon it. Yelp will not allow you to request to
review Yelp’s terms of service actually state that the customer needs to feel
almost as if they are compelled to leave a review so they can’t be asked or prompted. They must feel compelled to leave a review
based on the experience they had with your business. And you know, we’re not, I know there’s a lot that goes on
with the FTC and everything else, but when it comes to these
different review sites, if they catch you offering incentives, most likely they might remove those
reviews or even shut down your profile. And if you do decide to go that route, it’s technically not illegal to
incentives. And if you do that, you really need to make sure that you’re
having your reviewers say in the note or the feedback that it was provided in
exchange for the incentive just so that you don’t get in trouble with the laws, which is something we never
want to happen right now. In the past we received another
question kind of along these same lines. This one said aren’t
solicited reviews taboo. I thought Google was able to recognize
if reviews are coming in through the same link and penalizing SEO ranks
for businesses because of that. So I can’t speak for Google in this one. I mean their algorithm is heavily guarded. When I went to mountain view California, that people that know the algorithms are
in like a castle surrounded by a moat with a dragon. Like you just don’t, it’s so there’s another story for
another day. But basically, no. What we’re doing is if we’re using tools
and there are tools out there where you can request reviews, those have
been kosher for the most part. I think that’s gray area. Um, Google actually provides any Google my
business profile owner with a short name, which is a link that you can share
with people to collect reviews. So reviews coming from the
same link probably isn’t
going to hurt you as much as you would think. The big thing
here is not offering incentives. It’s more focusing on the timeliness of
requesting the review. So for example, uh, let’s say that you’re a
realtor. I use realtor a lot, but let’s say that you’re a realtor. You’re sitting across or you’re sitting
next to your client at the closing table. All those forms are signed, the
full tree’s worth of forms assigned, and you hand over your keys to the
client. This is like a moment of joy, right? Jubilation. Now what you want to do is you want to
capture that and you want to say, Hey, listen, before we go, can you just jump
on your phone and leave me a review? Here’s the link. You can text
it to them. You could share the, the short name for Google or
have them look you up online. But that’s a great time to capture the
review. Another example for a restaurant. Let’s say, you know you’re
a fine dining establishment. Someone’s had an appetizer, they’ve had their entree and now they’re
eating dessert and they cleaned every plate. They’re a member of the
clean plate club like my kids. That’s where what you want to do is you
want to go up to them and say, listen, would you mind? It looks like
you really enjoyed your meal. We really would appreciate your
feedback. Could you take a minute, jump on your phone and leave us a review? It helps us to provide a
better customer experience. That right there is going to help you. Yeah, that timeliness, and we’ve got
this, this one listed on the screen. Don’t send a blanket email to
your entire list. You know, you want to make sure you’re being timely
and relevant with people when you’re asking for that review. You don’t want them to have visited
your establishment four weeks ago. They’re not really
going to remember it, so yup. Now what tips do you have for people
to ask their customers to leave them a review? You’ve, we’ve talked
about just asking any other ways? Well, first off with the
asking, uh, for instance, I worked with a doggy daycare provider
in Massachusetts and I said to her, you’ve got to grow your reviews
because dogs are are not just pets, their children to people. They want
to make sure they’re taken care of. For any animal owner, you know that
your dog, your cat or your lizard, his snake is like a family member.
So dogs especially, I said, you’ve got to ask for reviews. And
she said, I don’t want to bug people. I don’t want to annoy them. Number one, you need to know you’re not
annoying them and you need to know. The worst answer they can give
you is no. So you have to ask, you have to ask. And again,
it’s about timeliness. It’s not when they’re
like for her, it’s not. When someone’s coming in and their dog
is jumping up on their leg and they’re all busy and they have a kid
grabbing them and everything, that’s not a good time to ask. But let’s say that she had some dog
boarding and then they picked up, you know their animal. They
see that the dog is is clean, maybe he got groomed or she got groomed
at the same time. Then you could ask, Hey listen, would you mind jumping
on your phone and leaving a review? Everybody has a phone. Everybody
has one of these. It’s an appendage. Now if you lose it, you feel naked, right? So all you have to do is ask someone to
take it out of their pocket and leave you a review. That’s really big. The other thing when we
talked about sending an email, so one idea and what we’ve done with a
lot of clients using constant contact, we’ve actually segmented out the list.
So you know, we searched through our, our whole database, our whole
contact list. We found everyone [email protected] address.
So for instance, for Google, my business people have to have a Google
account in order to leave your review. Most people have a Google account.
Some people don’t. You know, if they’re at aol.com or verizon.net
they may not have a Google account. So we could figure out all the Gmail
addresses and then we sent them a targeted email asking them to
leave a Google review. That way we knew that when they jumped
onto that they click the button and they followed our link that they could
actually leave a review on our Google my business profile. That’s a
great way to think about it. Really segmenting and targeting people. And this is actually where I think email
automation can play a role to save you some time if you want it to trigger
after an interaction or a sale. And you can certainly ask for the review
and really just keep it simple in your ask. And can I speak on that for
a second before we jump? Yeah. So with email automation, listen, you have the ability to use
auto-responders if you’re
using constant contact email. Um, and really it’s important
that you use those autoresponders. You cannot be there every time to
pull the trigger to send the email. It’s just not going to happen.
But with autoresponders, what we do with our clients, we actually
will take, you know, a new contact. So someone that just bought something, a specific product and
we put them into a list. That list triggers an email automation, a drip marketing series where one of
the first emails they get is, Hey, we hope you enjoyed XYZ product.
Would you mind writing us a review? And they click on the link,
they’re able to write a review. So it’s really important that you
incorporate automation into your process because then it’s like hiring someone
that’s doing the marketing for you while you sleep. Okay. Yeah, a little
bit less work for you. Saving some time and I think a lot of
our audience has already time-starved in the first place. All right, so one of them it makes sure
we’re keeping on track here. Let’s move on to talk about managing
these reviews and responding to them. I’m going to go ahead and just
launch one more poll on your screen and I want to see how many of you out
there are already responding to reviews. Do you read and respond to
everyone? Maybe you’ve seen them, but it’s not top priority or maybe you
haven’t done anything with them yet and you ignore them. Okay. Give everyone just a couple of minutes
to fill in the answer for that. Okay. And I know we’ve got a couple of
questions that have come in here. People are asking is Google
my business free and um, is Yelp free and all of that.
Do you want to address that? Yeah. Well you’re taking
the poll, they’re free. Google my business is a free tool.
So if you’re a local business owner, you really need to use it. You
need to take advantage of it. Um, you would go to google.com/business and
you’d be able to set up your Google my business profile. So again, that’s
google.com/business uh, Rachel, maybe you can pop that into the
chat too, just so they know. And yet Yelp is free. A lot of
these listing sites are free. There are some that are
paid, like Angie’s list, you have to pay in order to be a
vendor or a member of the site. And so some of them are paid a play, but the majority of them and the ones
that we’re talking about today are free. Yes, definitely make sure you’re
using them because of that. Now I see a question from Karen
in there on the previous side, it’s said not to send out emails and
so what we said on the previous side, it’s don’t send a blanket email to your
entire list asking for a review at the same time. Like Brian said, it’s really all about the timing and
making sure it’s relevant to them in order to ask for a review. Exactly. Don’t do a spray and pray approach where
you’re just sending out to your whole list and really spamming them because
they’re not expecting that you want to hit people when they would expect
to be asked for a review. All back to that timing. All
right, so here are the results. We have 44% say I read
and respond to everyone. Great job. 48% say I’ve seen some, but it’s not top priority and then a
percent have ignored them. That’s okay. We’re giving you the power today. In order to manage these reviews. All right, so could you
talk a little bit more, I think you’ve touched on it briefly, but why is it so important to really
interact and respond with these reviews? So above anything else, it shows
you care. People buy from people, they want to see that you
actually care about the customer. It’s not just another dollar
sign coming into your register. And when we’re looking at research, consumers spend nearly 50% more with
companies that reply to reviews because they know that there’ll be
taken care of. And even more, seven out of 10 consumers change their
opinion about a brand after reading what the company replied to with the review. So a company replies the review they have,
you know, they get a one star review, they reply to it, 70% of
people are changing their tune. They’re changing the way that they
look at the business based on how the business owner responded to it. Now the other thing that
we want to consider is SEO, search engine optimization. You guys have probably heard that term
thrown around and maybe agency have called you and told you you
can help you with the SEO. It’s a very vague term, but
when we’re talking about SEO, search engine optimization, we’re talking about how we can show up
on Google search and Google maps, right? Well, when people need us. So by
responding to reviews on your profile, like Google my business, you’re signaling to Google that you
take your online reputation seriously. You get stars like gold stars and
preschool. You’re getting stars, right? And what you’re doing is
you’re showing Google, I care about my customers and my
customers like me. As a result, when someone’s in that micro moment
going all the way back and they need to satisfy a product or service
need, what are they going to do? Google’s going to show your business or
potentially show your business because you have more reviews that you’ve
responded to. So that’s really important. And lastly, when you apply to review
on Google my business, like I said, the reviewer receives an email. So look at this as an opportunity
to reengage with them. If it’s a delighted customer, you’re
just getting them even more excited. You’re building them into an evangelist
that will tell other people about the wonderful experience they had
with you. And if they’re negative, then guess what? You’re trying
to resolve that dispute. There’s a way to answer it.
We’re going to get into that. Yeah. Try to turn that negative
review into a positive one. Now, do you want to talk about the three PS
and some tips of actually managing and responding to those reviews?
I think you’ve covered a lot, but I know you have these three points. Sure. So I came up with the three P’s of, of managing your reviews and really
their PR being prompt, professional, and positive. So I’ll go
through those being prompt. You want to respond to your business
reviews within two business days. Ultimately, if you can get back to them within
the hour or within 12 to 24 hours, it shows that you care even more.
Right? So that’s, think about a rapport. Stephanie and I are talking right now,
right? So I could ask Stephanie anything. We would talk, we’d have a chat tomorrow.
I could talk to her a week from now. We’d have to kind of rekindle the rapport
and talk again and get comfortable with each other so that we can talk. It’s the same thing with responding to
her review. If they’re a hot customer, if they really love you and
you’re responding to them, they’re going to love you even more
because you actually read what they had to say. Being professional,
using correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Hey, here’s the key. When you’re responding to a review,
whether it’s positive or negative, what you want to do is you want to make
sure that you have proper spelling and grammar, punctuation, because this
lives in perpetuity. It lives online. People can read it. The other
thing that we don’t mention here, and not to be funny or
you know to be violent, but basically going back to
high school, if you use short, choppy sentences, it sounds like you’re
digitally stabbing someone, right? So you could write me a negative
review and I could say, thanks so much. Have you know, good luck, have
fun, whatever. Don’t care. Well, those are all things where you’re using
short choppy sentences and it literally sounds like you could care
less. You’re so abrasive, so you want to use long flowing sentences.
Thank you so much for your feedback. We really appreciate that you took
the time to share with us. Finally, remain positive. If it’s a
negative review, smile back up, take a second, calm down,
take a walk, take 10 breaths, and then go back and
respond to the review. It’s really important that you’re positive
here that you remain upbeat because again, people are reading this and they’re going
to make a very split second decision on if they want to do business with you, depending on what your right [inaudible] yeah, they’re certainly paying
attention to those negative reviews, maybe even a little bit more than
the positive ones as well. Now, can you actually get rid of or
manage invalid negative reviews? So with invalid reviews,
which might also be, you know, you think they’re fake reviews, like someone went to your site or your
profile and left you a fake review. Here’s what you do. Number one, you respond to that review and the first
thing you say to disarm the review. A, thank you so much for your feedback.
We looked in our records, but we have, we have no records of
doing business with you, so we looked and we have no record of
doing business with you right away. Those 89% of people are nine out of
10 people that are going to read your response to the review can discount this
review because they say it’s not even a customer. It’s probably a fake review.
So that’s number one. Number two, if it’s a negative review, you can’t
just remove it. You have to handle it. So that’s where you
want to respond to them. With the three PS and really there’s
a fourth P that we don’t share here, Stephanie, but it’s pick up the darn
phone. So if you know how to contact them, if you can call them, if you can see them live in person or
if you can email them offline outside of the public. I try to resolve the dispute.
What a lot of people don’t know is, Hey, a negative review can
be changed. If you, you know, really provide them with a
wow experience afterwards, they can change it to a four or
five star review and update it. Or they could remove that review, but
the user has to remove the review. Finally, I’m getting back to fake reviews. If you feel like it’s a
competitor or it’s a, you know, a previous employee who’s has a grudge
or you just think it’s fake reviews, you can flag those reviews.
So most services will allow
you to flag the reviews. You can do it on Google,
you can flag the review, and basically what happens is it’s, it’s kind of put into this limbo system
or a queue where someone might may check it. If you get a huge volume of fake
reviews and you flag all of them, you’re more apt to actually see
someone respond to you and say, Hey, we’ll look over your reviews. But it’s flagging is not a promise or
guarantee that you’re going to get the review removed. I like what you said about step one
is really just making sure that you’re responding in the first place. And I don’t think they’re going to
remove a review if you haven’t even taken that step. So such an
important piece of it. Exactly. Now I signed the registration
form for this webinar. A lot of people were asking, how can I use the positive reviews I
get in order to gain more business? So we talked about this too. Um, the other day when we were kind of
planning and scheming for this webinar, right? And one of the things
that we talked about, Stephanie, was that you actually can’t copy
all of the text from a review. So what a lot of people don’t
realize is that when say, Stephanie left a review for my
business and you see right here, this is Brian kaplan.com. These are the
reviews that we show on our website. Say Stephanie left a review on Google
my business, and it was, you know, multiple sentences. It talked
about how I’m fun to work with, I care about my customers. She got
results, all those good things. I cannot copy that whole entire review
on Google my business and paste it onto my website. It’s infringing
on their copyright. Their review actually
belongs to Google. The ver, if someone writes a review on Yelp
or Angie’s list, their review, that content belongs to that
site, so there’s a way around it. There are pieces of software, there are platforms that you can use
to showcase reviews and it only takes a snippet to make sure that you’re careful. So this one that you’re
looking at is that again, Brian kaplan.com and this is a tool
that we use called my review dashboard. I believe in the article that I
wrote, there’s actually a link in. If you go to the website, there’s a link right on the
homepage to my review dashboard, a simple snippet of code. We pasted it onto this page
and the cool thing is this, if you guys are actually looking,
you can see the star score, you can see how many stars I got.
You can see a snippet of the review, you can see where I got the review on
Google and finally you can see, Hey, I can click here to view the review. It’s giving transparency so
no more is it acceptable that, and like for instance, the chiropractor that I went to had
three testimonials that were written, they were pasted onto his website and he
couldn’t change them because he didn’t know how to do code. Instead, now
we’re seeing real live reviews, they’re dynamic and I can click back
to the source to make sure that they’re authentic reviews. That’s important. Definitely. So I think we’ve covered a lot of these
basics in the really important pieces that you need to have in place. First, would there be any additional steps once
someone has these covered in order to get found in SEO or in the search and
really improve their brands awareness? So you want to continue, uh, you want to continue using
these different profiles. Again, I harp on Google my business cause that’s
what I teach. It’s what I know, right? But Google my business is one of the
most invaluable tools for you. Again, it’s free. You go to google.com/business and it’s
a product that’s owned by Google who doesn’t love their own flavor. Google
loves it because it’s their own tool. You’re filling in information, talking
about your business, right on Google, you’re adding more photos, you’re
adding videos, you’re uploading posts, putting links to different
things. Right on Google. Google’s a number one most traffic site
in the world and it’s the number one search engine and there’s no
comparison to it. There’s, you know, everybody else is lagging behind. So you want to make sure
you’re showing up on Google, keep updating your profile, stay on top. Like there might be different things
that Google my business ads where you may need to add a menu, products, services,
all different kinds of things. Keep uploading, keep changing the content so that you
can make sure you’re signaling to Google that you take your
business seriously online. That’s what today’s session is all about. Taking your business seriously and
make sure you’re being there and paying attention. So I wanna make sure that we have enough
time to cover some of these wonderful questions that are coming in. Before we
do that, I want to recap a few things. So before when you leave today, I just want you to remember to go out
there and claim any existing sites that are about your business and spend a little
bit of time optimizing the profile or at least the top ones, you know, if you’ve got that local
presence to your business, I would probably start
with Google my business. And then for the second one it is okay
to ask for reviews. In most cases. I think Yelp is probably a
lone animal that’s out there. But don’t skip this because of
the fear of negative reviews. That’s all because you came today and you
now know how to spend some time really responding to those reviews, good and bad, and really just making sure you’re
putting your best foot forward. Would there be anything else that maybe
we missed here that you’d want to leave the audience with today? You know, one thing that they can do, um, especially to see where
you’re showing up online. There’s a report that we set up called
can they find me.com so you go to www dot. Can they find me.com and if you
just pop in your business information, you’ll get a report sent to you showing
how you look around the web in the eyes of Google and that’s a
really good starting place
so that people can figure out which listings they need to claim if
they want to do it manually and all the, you know, really taking control
of their listings online. Awesome. Well thank you so much for sharing all
this wonderful knowledge with us today. While everyone is typing
in any final questions, I do want to let you know
that we are here to help. We’ve got lots of great information out
there to help with listings and reviews and everything else. One thing that we’ve got here on the
screen and Rachel will share a link is the guide making sense of online marketing. Less things in reviews are just one part
to having a successful online marketing strategy and this information really
helps you to bring it all together. Now in the link at the top is going
to be a general and down below. If you scroll down the page a bit, there’s going to be some more specific
guides for different types of industries. If you’re in real estate
or retail or nonprofit, and there’s probably several eldest
others that I’m not remembering right now, and I’ll also have Rachel go ahead
and share a link to our next webinar. If you’re interested in learning
more about content marketing, you can register for
that as well. All right, so important content
marketing is where it’s at. Yeah, all these pieces, all of them,
all of them are going to play together. All right, so let’s take a look
at this question from Sheree. I hope I said the name correctly.
I’m not sure if we’ve claimed a site. How can I check this? So again, honestly, uh,
I’ll put it in the chat too. Can they find me.com you can see if you
claimed your listings. It will give you, it will give you a snapshot of
Yelp city search, uh, yellow pages, all of those, all the way down to smaller
sites. The other thing you can do, if you’re talking about
Google specifically, as you can go to google.com/business click
on the blue button and you’ll be able to actually enter in your business
information. And if you’re in the system, you can click on that, you
can verify your listing and I just put that link in the questions
window for the, can they find me? Yep. All right. So this next
one comes from Amy. Can you please address claiming listings
if you work from home and do not want to have your own home address
listed? I have a PO box, so great question 80 you cannot use
a PO box when it comes to Google my business. Here’s the deal
with Google, my business. You can have one business per residence
and you can hide your address. I didn’t know this before I started
speaking for Google. So I work from home. I travel. You know, I actually
saw when I looked at my Google, my business profile and my insights
that people requesting directions to my house with my wife and
two kids don’t want that. So you can hide your address. Um, if you already have a Google my business
profile, there’s a way to go in, under the info section and just delete
all of the address information and you can add a service radius instead.
That’s what we did for our agency. Um, you can also, uh, make sure
that on the other listing sites, usually if you claim them, you have
the ability to check a box to say, hide my address. Really good piece of information. I know a lot of people are
working from home these days. Now let’s see what this next one is. Uh, Heidi says, would love to know what
nonprofits are using for listings. So nonprofits, again, what you’re going
to do is look up nonprofit review sites. Go on Google. That’s the easiest
thing. As I say, one in doubt, Google it out there. Just type in
nonprofit review sites. You like that one, Stephanie? Huh? Yeah.
So you want to do that. What you’re going to look at as
you and you’ll find are like, uh, people go donors choose.org or they might
have other sites within the nonprofit industry that are getting reviews. The big one I’m telling you is
Google because people are going to, when they meet you, when they’re
learning about you, what we’ve, what we’ve found in according to ad week, 81% of people are going to click on
your website before they consider doing business with you. Well guess what? They’re going to go to Google to find
your website and then they’re going to see your Google my business on the right hand
side of the screen. See those reviews, they feel even better working with you. What about the health care industry? Because Amber as something
similar for that as well. And I’d say Google it out again, Google it out again. Of
course there is like um, Zoc docs and there are other ones in that
in the list that that I created for in the article about review sites. I believe I did mention medical sites
and of course HIPAA comes into that. But those sites have it covered. Yes, go back to that, uh, that blog post that Brian created for us. And that’ll be in the followup email
as well if you happen to miss it. And the list of links here. So
this next one comes from Rochelle. Is there a good core list of places that
we should check in order to claim our businesses? I know we’ve
only claimed on two sites, but finding nowhere else to go
can seem like a daunting task. And that goes back to the,
can they find me.com correct? That’s it. That’s it. Can they find me as going to show you
exactly where you have your listings? And the cool thing is the report shows
you your name, address, phone number, and sometimes that can change. So say that you got a phone number you
bought it on from Comcast IX, Finity, Verizon, whatever. Well that that phone number may be tied
to another business from long ago and you may be showing up as that
other business as a result. So the report actually
shows you a snapshot of how
you’re showing up around the web and the eyes of Google. I have never been to that site, but I, I’m going to have to go
there and check that out. It’s going to be really valuable I
think for all of our audience today. Let’s see what else
we’ve got. Timothy says, are some of the reviews for our business
fabricated or can reviews only be created by customers of
that business location? Do consumers trust these reviews? So few questions. Here are some of
the reviews for a business fabricated. You really, you don’t know.
Here’s, here’s the thing. If you see the way to
to deduce as a consumer, if you’re working with a business, look
at when they collected the reviews, if all the reviews came in around one or
two days, then they grabbed, you know, they, they put out an email
and asked for everybody. That’s why one of the things we want to
do is we want to strategically collect emails. We want to keep our gunpowder dry. We don’t want to get 50 emails on one
or 50 reviews in one day and that’s it, right? We want to get two or three and drip feed
the review system again and again and again. That’s really how you’ll
know that it’s more authentic. Um, as a business owner I would say,
listen, you don’t want to ask your, your friends and family cause
it’s really not representative. But if do the same thing, like we were
talking with the FTC, just say, Hey, if someone leaves you a review in their
friend or family member, Hey listen, I haven’t done business with Timothy,
but I can tell you about his character. Here’s the here’s he’s a person of great
standing, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that way at least it’s a
review. But they’re being honest. And I’d say on the side
of negative reviews, I know sometimes we all see those
reviewers who kind of seem like they’re a little bit crazy and maybe
taking something a little
bit out of perspective or a little bit too far. And I think
a lot of consumers are like that. They’ll be able to tell if you know
someone is acting a little bit crazy and maybe disregard that
review a little bit more. And I’ll say one more thing. So
Timothy’s last part of the question. Do consumers trust the
user reviews? Listen, I can throw stats at you again and again, but there’s one thing as human beings
that really leads us to trust reviews and it’s called social proof. So social proof is a
psychological phenomenon at
the simplest form it’s monkey see monkey do. So when I watch
my daughter in preschool, when I drop her off today, I dropped her off before coming to work
and she saw all these kids drawing. What did she do? She ran over and started drawing
with them social proofs of that. That was the acceptable thing to do was
to draw. When you get into an elevator, everybody’s facing forward, right?
So social proof tells us, Hey, we have to face forward too. It’s
just this psychological phenomenon. When enough people rate a business
and they’re total strangers. We don’t know them from Adam, but when they’re perfect strangers and
there’s enough people saying that this business is good, all of a sudden we think this is
good and a great example of this, if any of you ever buy on Amazon, which I’m willing to bet most of
us have at one point or another, you’re probably willing to pay two or
five or $10 more for a little half star, more of the product rating. We’re trusting other people’s product
reviews in order to make a buying decision. So yes, people do trust reviews. Yeah, and I forget what the stat is, but we really want to hear from our
friends and family about, you know, whether they trust or do business. 85% 85% of people trust a review as much
as a recommendation from a friend or family member. Definitely. Now here’s another one that’s
kind of a little bit more technical. Is it difficult to change my address
on Google my business if I move, I would say probably have to go
through the verification process again. Is that correct? You do. So, Jay, I’m actually, um,
if Rachel, if you can share this, it’s www.biggerbetter.biz. That’s the YouTube
channel that we created. One of the videos actually addresses
changing your address on Google my business. So if you go there,
it’s a YouTube channel, it’s free, you subscribed to it and one of the
videos you’ll find is how to change my address on Google my business. You’ve already got that wonderful
information out there together. So telling you how prepared
you are. Thank you so much. And let’s look at this
next one from Susan. Our Facebook page has some
negative old reviews on it. Is there a way to get rid
of them? It’s no way to get rid of them, you
know? And in this case, like if it’s someone that you really
can’t, you can’t connect with, you can’t get through to then
you just kind of let them lie. What you do instead is almost
like a credit score. So listen, you might’ve missed a payment once or
twice and your credit score went down, but then by using good practices,
your credit score goes back up, get more good reviews, tell ask
more people, ask friends and and, and customers and everything to
come to Facebook and recommend you. Now it’s a recommendation.
Would they say yes or no? They want to do business with you. So the
more positive recommendations you get, the better. Yup. Really spend some time, you know, asking people whether it’s via email or
even if you’re face to face with them. So I do know that we’re up at the top
of the hour and I don’t want to keep everyone from the rest of their day. I also know that we had so many people
joining us in so many really great questions that we did not
get to all of the questions. We have a colleague who’s going to be
going live on our YouTube channel in at two 30 Eastern time today. That’s one way we’re going to spend
some time answering a few more of these questions. We’ve also
in the followup email, there’s going to be a link to our
community where over the next several days some a team is going to be answering
more of those questions on there, so please keep an eye out
for that information as
well as that follow up email that has a link to the recording so you
can catch anything that you missed or if you want to hear more of the conversation
again and also when you close out today, I’d really love it if you could
give us a little bit of feedback. You’ll see a survey on your
screen. Just two questions. It shouldn’t take any more than
two minutes at the very most. I think that would probably
be a little bit high. So I’m going to close out
of the session today. Brian, I really want to thank you so much
for all this really great insight and spending the time to share with
our audience today. It was, it’s been a pleasure. My absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me and
thank you everyone for spending your hour with us. Yeah, everybody have a wonderful day. Thanks [inaudible].

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