Howdy fellow web comrade (and, I’m guessing, small business owner!)
In this crowded small globe it’s often tough to be picked out of a line up. Certainly, as a designer the market is rammed with four eyed edgily dressed individuals all desperately howling ‘pick me!!! pick me!!!’. If you’re out there selling three legged one eyed unicorns the market is probably significantly smaller so GO YOU for finding a niche… but the rest of us mere mortals have to worry about how we scramble to the top of the heap.
About 75% of my customers come from personal recommendations or referrals, but a good quarter come from lonely hearts prowling the internet searching for their perfect match (graphically speaking). I’m always particularly chuffed when I land one of these clients – and feel touched by their leap of faith investing in someone they don’t know from Adam, or Eve for that matter.
Of course a massive way to help reassure these clients is by being well reviewed. I’ve been pretty rubbish at nudging past clients for reviews in the past – and am always searching for new ways to gather nice words (only nice words please…)
You can be reviewed in all sorts of places – facebook reviews are pretty darn good – but they’ve stopped offering a star rating which, in my opinion, is a pity (I’m sure I’d change my mind when the one star reviews start flooding in). You can subscribe to lots of business directories out there (there are literally hundreds) – which is a worth while thing in itself SEO wise (more on that in a later blog) and certain directories like Yell and Yelp offer review options that are a useful thing to direct clients to.
The king of the review in my humble opinion is Google…. it’s visible in everyone’s favourite search engine and it has the added bonus of giving your SEO a boost as google start to see what a popular and awesome entity you are. It can be a bit tricksy to leave someone a google review – there isn’t an immediately obvious url that is specifically for your business. I wanted to find a way to make it as easy as possible for my clients to find my google listing and go on in there and leave a spiffingly awesome 5 star review… soooooo…..
How to direct someone to your google for business page and leave a google review
First off – you need a google for business account. If you haven’t got one already DO SO IMMEDIATELY – it’s awesome, and free, and massively boosts your local SEO… I’ll explain more about how to set up an account and just why you should in a later post…
To create a link, you’ll need to get the Place ID for your business. To get your Place ID:
- Go to the Google Places API. Just click the link and you’ll be taken to the search (don’t panic, it’s easy!)
- Enter your business information in the “Enter a location” field at the top of the map.
- Click your business name in the list that appears.
- Your Place ID will appear on the map, beneath your business name.
Now we’re going to want to add our Place ID to the following URL to create the direct link:
Using the example above (which is meeeeeeeee!), the URL with the Place ID added would be:
Now when customers click the link, a window will open in their browser. They’ll be able to rate your business and leave a review instantly.
When to ask for a review?
- As soon as possible after they’ve bought from you (or used you if you’re like me!) when they’re in that gorgeous warm post-you glow about how amazing you are…. Send a follow-up email thanking them for their business and ask if they’d like to share their experience with others….
- Be simple and direct – people are more willing to help if you create an easy way for them to do so!
- Don’t offer anything in return for a review – if google sniffed you out for this they’d be problems – it’s also a little ethically bleurgghhh….
So there you have it – create your direct link and have everyone SCREAMING about how awesome you and those three legged unicorns are. Done deal.
If you need more help with marketing, SEO, or how to design your way to business greatness have a look at what I do here, or get in touch (I love you prowling sorts!)