Do Local Businesses Need Yelp?
Of course not, Yelp needs local businesses.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a fan of Yelp, Yelp Ads, Yelp reviews, Yelpers, or anything even loosely associated with Yelp. This is 100% my opinion based on past experience with clients’ experience on the platform.
Having said all that, I believe a Yelp Business listing is an essential local citation to claim, verify & optimize for any local business – and it’s 100% free to do that.
What’s not free are Yelp Ads, and in my opinion, they are a complete waste of money for damn near any business.
But, you’re not here to read some Yelp rant, those abound out there on the interweb. What we’ll tackle with this post is why & how to claim, verify & optimize your Yelp Business page.
How to Claim Your Yelp Business Page
Yelp Business pages are nothing new, but many local businesses still have unclaimed listings out there that could be hurting their overall online visibility. (more…)
Writing Reviews Is a Pain, Ask Customers to Tell You How They Really Feel
For a lot of Carlsbad business owners, generating customer reviews at a consistent clip can be somewhat of a challenge.
But it doesn’t have to be, and it certainly doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition – whether you’re a doctor or dentist using reviews & retention software or a local eatery offering a more grass-roots approach.
Google tends to get most of the reviews attention, but best practice is to offer your customers options.
Maybe some prefer Facebook, or Yelp (eeeek!), or even Angieslist.
Instead of asking your customers to write a review on Google, ask them to talk into the microphone and give you a voice review. (more…)
If your business uses a tablet or computer setup onsite for customers to post online reviews, you are playing with fire.
All business owners have been fervently pursuing the seemingly ubiquitous online review since this whole social media, local search, and mobile connectivity train took off several years ago. It seems like everywhere we search online, reviews are front and center, whether we’re searching for a pair of new running shoes or a Proctologist.
No On-site Review Generation
To be certain, online reviews are a major selling point to prospective consumers…regardless of the product or service we are researching.
But does it make sense for your local Carlsbad business to have an on-site review kiosk, tablet, or in-office station setup to capture the oh so precious online review?
NOT EVEN CLOSE, BUD!
Here are 2 reasons why… (more…)
Does Your Business Really Need Reviews?
In today’s digital world business owners must incorporate some type of online review strategy in order to effectively communicate and amplify the all-important digital word of mouth communication that drives their new customer acquisition efforts.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a mobile dog walking business, local Mom & Pop retailer, or a multi-national franchise, your business NEEDS a constant stream of authentic customer reviews, particularly on Google.
Because reviews are a local ranking signal Google uses in determining your prominence & authenticity.
Eliciting, capturing and broadcasting online reviews for the average business is not rocket science…and it’s not expensive. (more…)
Not everybody can lay claim to waking up every day and making a successful living doing something they love.
If creating and sharing culinary creations is what your Carlsbad small business is all about, you already understand the tremendous value provided in nurturing and cultivating the online review.
From five-star foo foo joint to back alley eco-friendly food truck, people talk about their culinary experiences. (more…)
When local business owners discuss online reputation management, fear is often the overwhelming emotion communicated.
Fear about what our customers might say online about our business, fear masses of people will see a negative review and immediately launch a county-wide boycott of our services, or maybe just fear that we’re going to be found out – maybe we’ve been faking it with hopes of making it all this time.
Whatever our fear is about eliciting, collecting, and broadcasting digital word of mouth about our local businesses, one thing is certain; that fear can be paralyzing.
Our hopes with this post is to examine the fear we experience as local business owners, with regards to protecting and benefitting from our online reputation.
In this age of digital social connectivity it is of the utmost importance for us as local business owners to actively engage our customers. We need to welcome feedback, ask for assistance, and reward loyalty.
We need to be part of the conversation or we are missing a grand opportunity to capture the hearts and minds of our local communities.
Fear (noun) – a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
When it comes to our local online reputation, a lot of Carlsbad businesses are totally clueless on what the ‘Internet’ says about them. A lot of business owners dismiss the ‘Internet’ as a waste of money, or think they deal in the real world with people actually walking through their doors.
What these woefully unprepared business owners don’t realize is this; although people are definitely walking through the door, they’re also talking to each other online about your business. And the more business owners ignore the online aspect of their business – even if they sell nothing online per se – the fewer customers they’ll see.
Customers today really have the upper hand, they wield the power – and that’s the way it should be in free enterprise system!
What do we want, the corporations telling us what’s cool, what’s hot, what’s not…? (Don’t worry they’ll continue to do so)
We need not fear a customer broadcasting their innermost consumer experience to the masses. We need to welcome the digital social chatter, but that’s not all.
Fear should not be the underlying reason for us as business owners to not openly and effectively communicate with our customers. If bad word of mouth is what we fear, and that fear is preventing us from participating in the conversation, we’re not only doing ourselves a disservice, we’re also being unfair to our local community.
We’re also probably losing money and customers due to the factors responsible for triggering such frightening thoughts.
The people have a right to know what their consumer experience will be like when they choose your business, and whether you fear it or not they will go talk about it online.
To fear the online review is like fearing our own mortality…we can’t get away from it, and it will happen.
Now do we want to be able to put our socks on each day or would we rather remain a shut-in and stew on the inevitable.
You see, if we did that we’d miss out on life!
And if we continue to fear the online review, our local Carlsbad businesses will wither away and die.
Our customers will chat away on Facebook, yip on Yelp, or proselytize on Angieslist. We no longer have a choice, the paradigm has shifted.
How is your local Carlsbad business dealing with this shift toward digital word of mouth?
Disclaimer: This post was originally published on July 18, we are re-posting now due to recent website issues.