As a small business you probably do not have it in the budget to market all over town or on Google, but there are a few other ways to help market your business that is less costly than advertisements.
A great way to get your name out there is by encouraging customers to write reviews of your business. There is no shame in asking for something. You would be surprised by what people will do if you just ask them. If you are proud of your business and service and have faith in it, then you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your new and old customers to write a review.
The Top 3 Review sites:
If you are asking customers for Google reviews make sure you have access to your business’s Google+ account. If you haven’t created a Google+ page for your business it might already exist because Google generates them based on local listings (we will cover this topic later on). By having a Google+ page with good reviews your star rating will appear organically at the top of Google search on the right hand side (see image below). It is always best to respond to reviews, this shows your customers and potential customers that you care. Thank them for taking the time to write about their experience, apologize if they had a bad experience. Google allows you to reply to as many reviews as you would like.
Yelp provides businesses with about 3 responses per month, so pick and choose carefully. You don’t want to waste your responses on saying thank you and then a bad review comes in and you can’t address their concerns. Yelp is known for listing local businesses like yours, as opposed to nationwide companies.
Facebook reviews have been around longer than you might remember but they were hidden on business pages. Facebook has pushed reviews to the top of your business page on the right side. A star rating is also in place, just like the other review sites. These stars will be shown directly under your name on your business Facebook Page. These reviews are simple to respond to, but make sure you are responding as the business and not under your personal account. You can like reviews or reply to them; it is to your own discretion. Just don’t always expect for a review to pop up as a notification, you should actively check that section of your Facebook page to make sure you haven’t missed any.
It’s not just about the press, either. Being present on these review sites also means you are more likely to show up in organic results. The more websites your business is on, the more relevant you are to search engines. Organic search is a lot cheaper than paid search (go figure).
Remember each industry has specialty review sites. Do some research and find the ones that apply to your business.
Don’t forget to take a look at our review sites. We would love to receive feedback from our customers!