This is the struggle for businesses and it is real – get a bad online review and how do you deal with it and move beyond it.
First, you should not ignore a bad online review. That does not mean that you have to respond to each and every one, but you definitely want to think about your strategy and what to do if and when you get one.
Consider the following…
1. Review the legitimacy. Should you change something you are doing?
2. Decide if you should respond. Not every comment about your business deserves and needs a response.
3. If you do respond, don’t respond in anger. Craft your response and sit on it for several days, read and re-read your response. Make sure you are not venting.
4. If you know who left the review, try to fix the problem and then ask for an update to the review they have posted.
Negative reviews can be very damaging to your business but sometimes your own response can make it even worse. You should be regularly monitoring your business reputation online and looking at what others are saying about you. Especially as Google and Bing are now highlighting reviews that they find around the web and meshing them with location specific results in the Knowledge Graph side bar on their search pages in the four pack of location specific businesses.
As a Google Local Guide, I review every place I visit and every place I eat. With over 300 reviews and photos uploaded to Google, I am just one of many who are helping Google index local businesses, build reviews and improve the accuracy of Google Maps.
Google does not pay me for these services, but I do receive special Google branded products and other perks for being a Google Local Guide.
Here’s what I’ve found out as I travel my local area.
Reviews really do matter.
People actually look at the photos I post for about a business.
Negative reviews mean I probably won’t visit.
I am constantly evaluating my store or restaurant experience.
If I receive poor service, I will write about it.
Even for lower end restaurants food presentation is important.
People actually read what I post about a business.
I do not tell business owners I am reviewing them.
I myself select who I trade with based on online reviews.
Reviews are more important than a nice website.
The bottom-line is that you are on display and being rated with every phone call, every visit, every plate that is served. You may have the best website, but if your visitors do not receive the royal treatment when they call or visit, you’ll set yourself up for a negative review. Get several and they can damage your business and sales!
Since I last wrote about the privacy updates that are mandated by the EU to cover website traffic on American websites by EU nationals, much has happened.
Several clients have shared their thoughts with us on why the sudden change. Some are listed below.
“I do feel lucky about not getting caught, but also want to be safe.”
“I’ve just had a lawyer call me and I feel like I need immediate action on the privacy updates as I don’t want to end up in court on a new matter.”
As for me, my perspective is that it is not expensive or hard to do the implementation to be in compliance with the GDPR. I am risk adverse and feel that eventually the US will institute some controls so we will be ahead of the game by changing our own websites now.
Google sent me an interesting tool this past week and I wanted to share it with you. You can view and use the mobile impact tool online https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/mobile/. This tool allows you to measure the speed and monetary impact from the speed of your clocked website with just a few additional insights about your average sale, website traffic, and conversion rate online.
Not only is Google getting serious about letting website owners know that page speed on mobile device impacts sales, but they provide the tool to help you understand that even improving your site by a second can improve your sales results; and now you can see that in monetary terms.
This focus on mobile impacts not just e-commerce stores, but informational websites. Although the key focus and significant impact is to those that make their living selling products on the web.
Don’t tear your hair out, although Google says speed is important, the do provide additional details.
“Google today announced a new ranking algorithm designed for mobile search. The company is calling it the “Speed Update,” and it will only impact a small percentage of queries, Google reiterated to us. Only pages that “deliver the slowest experience to users” will be impacted by this update, the company says.”
My recommendation is that if you are selling online – start your focus on speed. And if you are really in the service or consulting business, know that speed is important and should be a strong focus when you do a website redesign.
Friction points, it’s all about finding where customers have trouble completing during the buying process with you and fixing the issues.
Here are some examples of friction points:
Buyers have trouble downloading completed video files for a drone photography agency. What can be done? Maybe using Drop Box with easy to follow instructions and photos on what to do next for a file download.
Prospects have trouble understanding what is included in a blog post sale. How can that be clarified? Maybe posting samples of content with the right word count and number of links to help a prospect understand the type and quality they will receive on your website to prequalify prospects before they even call.
Buyers have trouble getting contract documents to sign and return. How can the process be easier? Maybe using a digital signing service and online document archive would work to speed the return process.
Each business has their own unique set of friction points. Making things easier for people to buy from you is not all e-commerce focused. Friction points exist even for transactions with consultants and business to business sales, and for people who do not even sell items on their website.
My own company’s friction points have previously been: blog writing samples and writing expectations, prospects not having the proper technology to send or receive a contract, and buyers needing an online self-serve credit card payment center.
Are you hearing the same issues over and over from clients and prospects? That is a friction point. Now’s the time to identify what yours are and do something specific to address them to make buying from you and your company frictionless.
HTTPS – Google loves it, but for informational websites, moving to HTTPS adds to your costs. Expect to pay $129 to $229 for a SSL or secure socket layer certificate to be able to have your website use HTTPS in the browser bar.
For me at this time, I am not moving to HTTPS and it is mainly due to the additional cost. I do not have e-commerce on my website and I only use a contact form for prospects, so do not feel that I must have this extra security. But, Google loves the security and encryption that HTTPS affords for websites. At some point in time, the use of HTTPS on your website may be a ranking factor for organic results, but for now, it is not.
E-Commerce Sites MUST be HTTPS
If your website has e-commerce, you take payments or log users into a secure area, you really need to be using HTTPS at this point in time, no exception.
New Websites Should Embrace HTTPS
Any new websites we design are all in HTTPS. At this time I do not feel that existing informational websites should move to HTTPS, but that day may be coming soon.
To find out more about how we can help you, I invite you to visit our website to browse our service offerings and read more content on topics that will help your business grow.