As part of a campaign to increase the number of customers one of my clients has, and to move her website higher in the search engine rankings, I asked her customers to help out my client by writing reviews of her business on Google Maps and Yelp.

My client identified the customers that loved her services and asked them if they would email a testimonial to me.  They were happy to do that, as a way to express their appreciation for the work she had done with them. I added their positive words to a testimonial page on her website.

I sent an email to the customers that had provided testimonials for her website, and asked if they would be willing to help my client by writing reviews for Google Maps (also known as Google Places and Google+ Local) and in Yelp.  I explained how it would help my client’s business, and I included links they could click on to make it faster for them to do it. Within 24 hours, one third of them had already provided glowing and informative reviews of her business.

Now we need to wait for the impact of those reviews, but I have no doubt there will be a positive result. Wouldn’t you be more likely to contact a company with positive reviews than one that doesn’t have any reviews? In addition, if they clicked on her website to check out the new testimonials page, or to share one of her blog posts on their Facebook page, they will have signalled to Google that her website is becoming more popular.

Some of the results take patience.  If you have five or more reviews on Google Maps, your stars will show up on the listing on the left beside your company name.  Until then, it will just show that you have reviews, and people interested in your business will need to click on them to see what they say.

Yelp listings populate Apple maps, which are used by most people with iPhones, iPads and iMacs.  Yelp screens out some reviews and hides them.  If your customer is someone active on Yelp, posting reviews for several companies, their review is less likely to be hidden.  Perhaps Yelp thinks that a single review for one company might not be honest.  I wish they used a better way to screen the reviews, because I believe they are hiding many legitimate reviews written by customers that have taken time to write them.

Are you willing to ask your customers for testimonials and reviews so that prospective customers will know how wonderful you are?

If that seems too uncomfortable to you, consider hiring me to do it for you as your business coach.