Originally published on 1/24/20
It’s not enough that your website is listed on Google
Every local business needs to claim its Google My Business listing. It’s an essential step toward ensuring that your website ranks in the Google Maps results, and it’s a go-to source online for many people to read reviews.
But, for the sake of your business’s online reputation, it’s not the only place your business should be listed on (or the only listing you should claim).
From Facebook to Yelp, there are so many different places where your business can be reviewed online. Some of these sites are more general and work for a variety of different businesses; whereas, some of them are geared more toward specific industries.
For example, if your business has anything to do with weddings, it’s important to be listed on The Knot, or if your business is involved with home improvement, it’s important to be listed on HomeAdvisor. It behooves you for your business to be listed — and for you to claim that listing — on as many different relevant websites as possible.
3 reasons to diversify your review sources
#1. You never know where you might be found
A lot of people think that the only way people find businesses online is by searching Google for a keyword. And, while it may be true that most people find businesses that way, it’s not the only way people might find your business online.
You never know how someone might find your business. If you’re a real estate agent, someone might find you while searching Zillow. Or, someone might find a restaurant by searching the online Zagat guide.
The point is, wherever people are looking, your business should be listed.
There’s a good chance that, whether you’ve signed up for review sites or not, your business is already listed on many of them. When people find you on those review sites, however, it’s important that the information they find is accurate.
Claiming your listings will allow you to update and correct any information that’s listed about your business, ensuring that people will always know how to get ahold of you wherever they find you.
#2. Make it easy for people to write reviews for you
These days, most people read reviews online before making a decision about whether or not to trust a local business. That means that your business needs reviews for people to read when they research you online.
Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that most people write reviews online for a business without having to be prompted. But, the reality is that unhappy customers are far more likely to write a review than happy customers, which can end up skewing your results.
No matter how much you wow your customers by going above and beyond in the service you provide for them, the sad fact is that people lead busy lives and just don’t think about writing reviews for businesses. However, most people will happily write you one if you ask, and when you do, it’s a great idea to make sure that they can review your business whenever they feel most comfortable.
While most review sites don’t require that people have an account or a profile to write a review, there are some sites people are just going to feel more comfortable using. It can be difficult enough to get people to write reviews as it is; make it a little easier by being listed on the sites they’re already on or comfortable with.
#3. Respond to reviews wherever they’re left
As I previously mentioned, the fact that you haven’t claimed a listing on a particular review site doesn’t necessarily mean that the listing doesn’t exist, or that people won’t leave reviews for you on that site.
The sad fact is that leaving a listing unclaimed means giving up your ability to manage that listing and respond to reviews.
Responding to reviews is one of the most important aspects of maintaining your business’s online reputation.
You can’t change what people say about your business online, and even inaccurate or libelous reviews can be nearly impossible to get taken down by review sites.
You can, however, control how you respond to what people say about your business online, and in order to do that, you need to claim your listings.
No matter whether a review is negative or positive, responding demonstrates that you recognize the fact that a customer took the time to give you their feedback online, and that means a lot.
Furthermore, in the case of negative reviews, responding allows you to share your side of the story and show off your commitment to great customer service.
How do you manage your online reputation across so many review sources?
It’s easy to see why it’s important that you claim your business listings across a variety of review sources, but you might be wondering how in the world you’ll be able to manage them all.
The idea of checking seven or eight different websites for new reviews can seem daunting. You’ll be glad to know that Top Rated Local® and Marketing 360® Reputation make it easy to manage your online reputation as a whole across the web.
When you claim your Top Rated Local listing, you’ll get real-time notifications about new reviews, a monthly overview of your reputation as a whole, a Rating Score™ that gives you a snapshot of your entire online reputation and so much more!
Create a free account today to start managing your online reputation like a pro.