One of the best ways I have seen small business owners to improve their ranking on search engines is to claim their online business listings. But once you’ve registered, there’s another important step: manage your online reviews.
Customer reviews not only enhance your company’s reputation with potential customers, they send signals to search engines as well. In a 2015 survey of industry experts conducted by Moz, review signals emerged as one of eight overall categories that influence local search rankings.
What can you do to encourage customers to leave reviews? “Ask people for a review as they leave your office, or as you are leaving an appointment,” said Nick Slettengren, one of the founders of Power Digital Marketing. “If you do not want to be that upfront, you could always follow up via email and ask for a review.”
While positive feedback is great, you should keep an eye on your reviews just in case you need to respond to a negative comment. A bad review might feel discouraging, but it can be an opportunity to show good customer relations by responding graciously. Manta’s Academy course about Reputation Management has some helpful guidelines for responding to reviews (especially negative ones).
To learn more about optimizing your business for local search, download our free guide “Local Search: The New Ways Customers Find Your Business.”