Simple is Best

Because to most people, the internet can seem very complex, small business owners tend to over think where their time and money online should be spent.  Some are drawn to Yelp and others perhaps look at Facebook advertising; both do have their pros and cons (mostly cons). The advice HitBridge offers for the most tech savvy or even the owners that have a rotary phone is; keep it simple. Think in terms of how your customers and maybe even how you as an owner interact with the internet on a daily basis.

Most HitBridge clients are contacted by potential customers from a mobile device at a rate of about 70% (compared to desktop users). So what are mobile users doing? Probably the same thing you do when you are looking locally for a particular service or product. You pick up your phone and do a search, and the odds are you conducted your search via Google. It is safe to say that so far I have not stated anything you don’t already know. Here’s where some small business owners go wrong.

Small business owners think the website alone is what drives Google results and they stop there. Then they feel they need Yelp or Facebook. They ‘feel’ because the decision is usually based on perception, not reality. Think about this, how often do you go to Yelp to look for a service? How often are you on Facebook looking for a mechanic or a flower shop?

Get Reviews on Google – Always

With the exception of restaurants, HitBridge suggests that Yelp may not be the best option. It isn’t likely that people use Yelp to search for service based business or retail business. The potential customer search almost always starts on Google. So get your reviews on Google, instead of focusing on social media like Yelp or Facebook. This is because a Google Review helps in two ways.

1 – A Google review boosts SEO (Search Engine Optimization – Getting ranked higher in Google). There are few more powerful SEO tactics to boost local search results than a review.

2 – The stars appear underneath your search result. This pushes the next competitor down the list further and adds credibility to your business.

NOTE: Follow this link to to create your own “review link”:

All Publicity is Good…

You may be asking yourself, ‘can a bad review hurt my rank?’ While only Google can say for certain, we have yet to see a bad review have any negative impact on a client’s ranking. In fact HitBridge clients have experienced the opposite. If the reviewer drops a valuable keyword in a negative review, it seems to help. This could change as Google is constantly tweaking their algorithm, but so far all reviews seem to help SEO. More importantly, a bad review is an opportunity for the business to engage, not just the disgruntled customer, but anyone else reading the review and your response. When responding to any review here are few tips to keep in mind:

  • Your audience is any potential customer (not just the reviewer) – show your willingness to help
  • Drop one of your main keywords
  • Do not make it personal, stick to facts
  • Do not be negative
  • Explain any attempts to remedy the customer’s issue
  • If possible, end with an opportunity to resolve or remedy the issue
  • You should always respond to a review