A better search ranking on Google almost always means more sales…
… if your online or local business has good reviews.
While it is true that you will get more visitors with a higher search ranking, this does not always equal more sales.
Consumers in today’s world understand how to use the Internet. Basically, consumers do their homework. The ease of Internet search makes it easy for any one to post a review of your business.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone at a store Googling and comparing prices or reading reviews of a product. Consumers are smart and search the web for reviews. They don’t want to make a mistake.
While most of these reviews are good, some are going to be downright unfair.
I know…I’ve had my fair share of bad reviews on books I’ve written. The reviews were baseless (the people didn’t even read the books or put the advice into action).
That’s just the way it goes sometimes, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up control on what is presented for your business on the web.
What reviews would you rather potential customers read?
For example, authors do not have any control over reviews for books listed on Amazon. Sure, they are allowed to respond… but the most ridiculous review will still be published. Even unfair ones.
The best way to control your reviews is to own the ‘Review Engine’ and encourage happy customers to use this engine. I’ll give you a simple strategy to ‘stack the deck’ in your favor later.
Now, I’m not advocating that you delete bad reviews… I would suggest you respond to those clearly and calmly.
These make for good interaction and prove your business is the real deal. Of course, if you get someone who is totally baseless and just wants to smear your name, feel free to remove them. I’ve actually read articles where businesses were targeted by trolls and smear campaigns… and while this is uncommon – it does happen.
And who knows…you might be able to turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer and earn their repeat business. You can showcase how good you are at handling customer issues and making them happy. This is quite powerful to shoppers reading reviews.
So how do you ‘stack the deck’ in your favor?
Create your own review website.
Creating your own review site allows you to optimize it based on Google’s suggestions. This also allows you to interact easier with happy and unhappy customers.
What I am advocating is a separate domain from your main website. This second domain will support your main website. This is rather easy to setup and I’ll cover the basics in this series.
In addition, I’m encouraging you to open up reviews on your main website if you do not currently.
A 2-for-1 punch here.
Google values reviews and uses reviews to boost your rankings in their search.
By stacking the deck with a lot of reviews for your business, the better your odds of owning page 1 on the Google search for your local business.
Keep in mind, these are REAL REVIEWS. Totally white hat. DO NOT POST FAKE REVIEWS.
Here’s an example of how Google displays reviews for restaurants:
Looks pretty good, and the 4.5 rating is the average of the 56 reviews above. I’ll show you how to setup your website later on how to deliver this information to Google using ‘Rich Snippets’.
But first, we need a platform that not only delivers these reviews to Google in the proper format (Rich Snippets) – but also collects reviews from your customers. The more reviews the better.
How to setup your own review site
The great thing is that Superb Internet makes building your own ‘Review Engine’ easy.
- Domain Name (get that here: https://registrar.superb.net)
- Webhosting (get that here: https://www.superb.net/web-hosting/web-hosting-plans)
- Rich Snippets Plug-in for WordPress
I suggest setting up a brand new .reviews website that compliments your existing website.
The advantage of setting up a separate .reviews website is that you can offer customers an easy to remember URL where they can review your business.
To get reviews, I’ve seen quite a few places that offer a chance to win a gift certificate for taking a survey…you could do the same for posting a review.
Reviews are the lifeblood of restaurants, hotels, mechanics, and practically everything on the web including physical products.
The goal here is to build credible reviews so Google places those stars by your business name… one that is easy to find by customers and with a memorable URL.
So let’s get started by first registering a .reviews domain.
Step 1: Register a .reviews Domain
The first thing you need to stack the deck in your favor for Google rankings is register a new domain name. This is in addition to your .com, .net or existing domain extension. This is used to create more review content of your business for Google.
.reviews is the new domain extension I recommend for your new Review Engine.
If you don’t want a second website, you can purchase the .reviews domain for your business and have Superb Internet ‘map’ it to your existing website. This makes it easy for customers to remember.
Go here to lock down your .reviews domain name -> https://registrar.superb.net
In fact, Superb Internet now offers over 400 brand new domain extensions you can search from the above link.
The new .reviews domain will only set you back $19.99 for a full year. You can also get .review as a domain extension for $25.99 for a year.
If you’re a current customers, register your domain by logging into your myCP portal (https://mycp.superb.net/index.php) and hoverover ‘Domains’ and then click ‘Register Domain’.
Select your domain name choice and the .reviews extension.
The .reviews extension is important because it tells what it is about in the domain name itself. While this may not be factored in by Google (I have to think it carries some importance).
Currently, here’s what most Google search results look like:
The above is an example of a page that has ‘restaurant reviews’. We are aiming to have our restaurant name AND reviews in the URL: http://restaurant-sample.reviews
This means if we place reviews content on the home page – we have an excellent chance at a good ranking with Google as long as we use their recommended Rich Snippets format.
Having ‘reviews’ in the domain name will help potential customers attention searching for reviews about your business. This will hit home with them because this is the exact information they are looking for. Your restaurant name AND reviews in the same URL.
In a nutshell, your target will be reading a review site that you control and delivering exactly the information they searched for.
Let’s move on, assuming you have the .reviews domain and let’s start to build the ‘Review Engine’.
Step 2: Setup Hosting
If you already have hosting with Superb Internet, you just need to add a new domain using step 1 above. Superb Internet offers great plans and you can host multiple domains (even with the $4.99/month GridLITE package).
Essentially, with the GridLITE and above package, you are able to add a few more websites (11 in GridLITE, 50 in GridPRO, and UNLIMITED in GridMAX)… for no additional cost per month.
If you need hosting, just go here and find the package that best suits your needs: https://www.superb.net/web-hosting/web-hosting-plans
Now that we’ve registered our .reviews domain and hosting is dealt with, let’s move onto the engine itself.
We’ll build the site in tomorrow’s article. See you tomorrow!