The art of reviewing other businesses and winning
DID THE PERSON WHO SUPPLIED US WITH THE WEBSITE FORGET TO TELL US SOMETHING?
Sometimes we have to wonder.
You: Did the person who supplied us this beautiful website forget to tell us something? We thought we would build it and they would all come running. Hmmm.
Us: Oh… did another new website go live …and is that another person waiting patiently for the eCommerce register to ring.
You: No ring. Nothing happening yet, maybe next month. Maybe a new website – this one doesn’t work.
Us: Wow.! Well I guess they hadn’t even started promoting it yet then.
This little dialogue of thoughts above probably goes someway to explain the thinking on both sides of the fence at times. The difference above highlights a very interesting scenario of not realising your initial investment and probably going in to the second with little consideration for why nothing is happening. First, we would like to go back to the beginning of the Internet.
Let’s first look at the Internet
The internet started off as a way of linking to files, so that others could find them. It always been a system of linking pages and linking to files. Thats how it started, by scientists wanting to link to files and share them. Has anything really changed? We still share files. Today its photos on Instagram or Videos on youTube. But what does this all mean to you, the Website Owner.
Well, in a land far away people started to record the number of links and popularity of files and pages, recording the data in tables and in databases. This process eventually developed in to the modern system of search. Search and what appears in search results (SERPS) has always been about returning an accurate list of pages that meet your search terms. The way this is done is through ‘relevance’ and ‘importance’.
Relevance refers to how close the results are to the initial search, whereas importance is deemed to be popularity of a page by the quality and volume of links pointing to that page. These are some of the basic principles of search and are very much still used to determine which page appears at the top of a set of search results.
If you ever wondered why your competitors appear before you
You now have the full answers: relevance and importance
How do Search Results relate to Reviews?
For the average Joe, Reviews do now particularly relate to search results. There is simply no connection. Everything changes when you are responsible for promoting a website. All of a sudden you realise the value of opportunities where you, yourself can actually add content that links back to your own website.
Here is how reviews can help you:
- A review is a thing you can do and give
- A review is content that you can create on somebody elses website
- A review links back to your website via a URL
- A review is something you control the tone of
- A review, like a thank you is completely free and costs only your time
So. What is it that really matters here? It can be hard to get the gist, so we will go through it a slowly but carefully spell it out because it is very easy to miss if you are unaware.
Leaving reviews is a way for you to create your own content on someone elses website and leave a link back to the website you are promoting. It has the cost of a thank you (zero) and the thank you’s you give can display your company in an amazing light. You can become a living breathing part of the Internet that generates the content and informs the search engine calculators which website are good, positive and important. Review websites have a huge influence over the search ranking results and this websites, as with others welcomes you to engage in the activity.
Why do Review Websites have such influence?
Firstly, this is not without controversy. The fact remains however that the reviews that people leave is real content, written by real people about experiences and the search engines recognise this and also the links that go back to other websites applying multiplication factors and algorithms that support people leaving reviews.
Does it help to leave a negative review?
Negative reviews like all reviews offer the option for a URL to be left. But ultimately, do you really wish to be giving your public voice of your company over to negatively review something? Probably not. With all the pressures and strains in life, but also in business it can be all too easy to say something negative to release a little tension. The fact remains, if you do this and underpin it with a link to your business then you may actually lose business.
Does it make sense to be positive?
Yes. Reviews are there for a long time and they represent your voice. Ultimately the voice of your company. You have to ask yourself a very straightforward question. Does my review voice represent everyone that i employ now and will employ in the future? If the answer is no, you probably need to think before you leave your review. If you wish to leave a bad review, do it anonymously to avoid damaging your own business reputation. Reviews are here to be wholly honest, but also to recognise and reward what is good and what is done well. Be positive.
What information can I mention, that benefits my business?
- You can mention who you are and your position.
- You can mention the market you are in
- You can also mention what you do and why you decided to purchase
- You can mention why you seeked out this firm
- You can mention how you found the firm
- You can give the reader a feel for who you are
- You can use the review to emphasis key points about your business
- You can ultimately generate substantial traffic from leaving reviews
Reviews will generate traffic
Assuming a website receives traffic, then you will benefit from leaving a review. The reviews will be read by those visitors that make up the traffic. Visitors also come to read them and by leaving a review your own business really will benefit. We trust at this stage we are all beginning to understand the benefit of submitting reviews to other businesses.
You can choose a business that has helped you. One that has purchased from you. One that has sold to you or perhaps one that you have had contact with. Either way, in the process of leaving a review you are making others aware of you, your business and your organisation, trade or service.
Top 10 take aways from leaving a solid review
- You get a link back to your website
- People will read your review and click your name
- New traffic will arrive at your website from theirs
- Search Engines will record the URL pointing to your website
- People who purchase their service may indeed read your review with interest
- Those people may visit or purchase from you
- This is all word of mouth – it is word of mouth in review form
- Everything here is networked and neighbourhood based
- Reviews are 100% free to leave in most places
- All reviews (where you add a URLs) will add to your own ‘importance score’ in search results
Things to remember about reviews
When submitting your review of another business, do try to begin with a brief introduction about who you are and what your company does. This will provide an insight of the type of person who is drafting the review and, possibly, how your business may be linked to the company you are reviewing.
Try to be as honest as possible, when you pen your review; even a negative review, when written without anger or vilification, can produce positive results. Do bear in mind, you are in a neighbourhood and sometimes it is best to hold our tongue and skip. Above all, remain professional throughout.
When you submit your review, be sure to include a URL / backlink to your business website when asked. This can be a great way to point potential customers, or clients, towards your own services and it will increase the ‘importance’ of your website in the search engine results pages.
This is how you review other businesses and start winning