3 Easy Steps to Getting Online Reviews

Why are reviews so important?

Google's algorithm has shifted. Well... it's constantly shifting, but it takes so many pieces of your business into consideration in order to decide where to place you on a search result page. Fairly recently they have decided to completely do away with meta keywords all together. While meta keywords have become irrelevant, social presence and reviews are on the rise.

Google Reviews - Google LOVES its own social network... Google+. For years now they have done everything they can to make it take off, with very little luck. I don't care for it. Most people don't care for it. They're realizing it's a borderline flop and are now doing the only thing they can think of to keep it alive... force us to use it. By making Google Reviews (which are tied in with Google+ reviews) one of the best ways to move your site up in search results, the SEO community as well as web savvy business owners are rapidly reconsidering Google+.

Which review types should you focus on?

Now... there are several websites that do online reviews, so which ones should you focus on you ask? Here's our list for RV dealers in order of importance:

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Google

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Facebook

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Yelp

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Yahoo

There are many others that are probably worthy of mentioning, but I don't want this to be a novel of a blog post. As RV dealerships, focusing on those 4 (or at least the first 2) is my advice.

I've talked enough about Google+; now, moving on to my view on Facebook reviews. As of now they're relevant in the eyes of the great Google machine. As social media presence is on the rise (and has been for some time) trust me when I say it'll be worth it down the road.

Yelp. Yelp reviews are important because they're so trusted. They have their own complicated algorithm that does a great job of only displaying genuine reviews, as well as usually showing a good mix of positive and negative. Another big thing Yelp has going for it is that it's the default review site used on the iOS Maps App. So when people view your location on their iPhones and are presented with the easy, "tap-of-the-finger" way to review your dealership, that review goes to Yelp. Fun fact: there are 63,200,000 iPhone users in the U.S.

Yahoo! Ehh whatever. It's relevant and owned by Bing.

3 Steps

On to the 3 steps. The guy who put on this classroom session was a younger car salesman in Silicon Valley who had gotten his car dealership THOUSANDS of reviews by doing the exact same thing every time. I realize this was a car dealership and not an RV dealership, but there is plenty enough overlap in this area to where it will still work. I liked his three steps, because they're actually semi-genuine rather than the typical whoring yourself out and jamming review requests down your customers' throats. This is what he did:

Take a picture (#selfie) with the customer next to their car at the time of sale and also mention they should review the dealership online. (They won't)

The next day, text the customer the picture and add them on your personal Facebook. (They probably still won't review you)

About a month later, email them. Have a general email built that you can copy/paste with minor adjustments asking how everything is going and requesting one last time for a review. But the important part is to have hyperlinks in that email DIRECTLY to the review pages.

A lot of dealerships (including RV) also offer their salespeople $5-10 spiffs for each review they receive for the dealership. I think it's a great idea as long as it's somewhat monitored. The reviews have to be legitimate for them to help you... in fact, faux reviews can actually majorly hurt your web presence. So just make sure your guys aren't posting reviews themselves because they (Google and Yelp especially) know.

Helping your dealership capture reviews is just part of several pieces of our Social Media Management service, as well as really helping to boost your organic local SEO and the obvious managing of your social media channels.

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