The Zigzag Approach to Requesting Customer Reviews

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My presentation from SMX West 2013 - on the "Must Have Local Search Tactics" panel on March 12, 2013.

I describe a technique for asking customers for reviews, in a way that maximizes the number of reviews you have on the most-important sites, while minimizing the number of reviews that get filtered.

Phil Rozek
www.localvisibilitysystem.com

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The Zigzag Approach to Requesting Customer Reviews

  1. 1. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 The Zigzag Approachto Requesting Customer Reviews Phil Rozek LocalVisibilitySystem.com (Twitter: @philrozek)
  2. 2. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Business owner asks: “I have happy customers.I know they’ll review me if I ask. What do I ask them to do?”
  3. 3. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Me:“Depends on the customer.”
  4. 4. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 No such thing as “asking for a review”It’s more complicated than that. You need to deal with at least 3 obstacles:
  5. 5. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Obstacle 1: DiversityYou need to try to get reviews on a variety of sites. Why?
  6. 6. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013So you’ll rank well in Google+Local, Bing, Yahoo, and Apple Maps.And more importantly, so you get…
  7. 7. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013
  8. 8. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Obstacle 2: Review FiltersGoogle+Local and Yelp filter out LOTS of legit reviews. Unnatural in any way = gets filtered. Many reviews don’t make it far…
  9. 9. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013
  10. 10. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Why? Nobody’s 100% sure, but...The frequency at which you ask for reviews is a factor for the filters.Google & Yelp also are more likely to filter reviews by first-timers, AKA…
  11. 11. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Obstacle 3:
  12. 12. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013“Noobs” are a challenge because:-By definition, they aren’t in the habit of writing reviews. So it’s confusing. -They’re more likely to be filtered(looks unnatural to Google & Yelp).
  13. 13. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 BUT you want need reviews!Can’t be pushy, but you still need to give them direction.
  14. 14. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Solution?
  15. 15. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Direct the traffic…
  16. 16. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 …but NOT in a straight lineYou don’t direct each customer to the same review site. Enter the “zigzag technique”:
  17. 17. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Concept of zigzag: Guide with QuestionsGuide them through their options. Ask diagnostic questions todetermine where a customer should review you.
  18. 18. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Concept of zigzag:
  19. 19. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 SpecificsLet’s take a look at some instructions abusiness owner could give customers.(Wanted to show you the whole PDF, but it wouldn’t fit!)
  20. 20. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Had to improvise…
  21. 21. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Example of “zigzag”:
  22. 22. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Option 1: Yelp
  23. 23. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Option 2: Google+Local
  24. 24. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Option 3: Yahoo
  25. 25. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Option 4: CitySearch
  26. 26. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Option 5: Whatever
  27. 27. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 By the way…You’re not asking any one person to write multiple reviews. Just one review – on one site.
  28. 28. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013What’s the idea behind the zigzag layout? 3 principles:
  29. 29. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Principle 1:Start with toughest sites Specifically
  30. 30. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013You’re asking customers: Active user? Good! Not an active user? Write review elsewhere.
  31. 31. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Principle 2: Easier sites = 2 nd choice Sites that are good to have reviews on but that are easier.Yahoo, InsiderPages, CitySearch, ma ybe industry-specific sites…
  32. 32. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Principle 3:No unnecessary steps
  33. 33. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013They’re not having to create new accounts. The “2nd choice” sites must be EZ. = No frustration = Fewer filtered reviews= You consistently get reviews somewhere
  34. 34. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Think darts
  35. 35. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Goal? Get bulls’-eyes.One way to get them is to have a good aim. (Gee, really?) But there’s another way:
  36. 36. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Create more bulls’-eyes
  37. 37. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Takeaway: What to do1. Figure out which sites you want reviews on. Definitely Google+Local and Yelp, plus 2-3 easier options. Can always research competitors’ reviews.
  38. 38. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Takeaway: What to do 2. Create instructions in which you show customers their options one at a time. Can be a PDF, page on your site, or email. Or you can ask them verbally. It’s the guiding technique that counts.
  39. 39. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013Takeaway: What to do3. Ask questions at every step – questions that channel active Google+ users and Yelpers in one direction, and everyone else in other (easier) directions.
  40. 40. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 No matter what…Make your instructions interactive. Give them logic circuits. Give them a brain.
  41. 41. Must Have Local Search Tactics March 12, 2013 Thanks! Phil Rozek @philrozekLocalVisibilitySystem.com

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