Week 8
reviews and link building

Task 1 – Reviews

Positive reviews are great for any business and help boost local search traffic to your website.  If you’re interested in “why,” read this article by Search Engine Watch.

So how do you build reviews?  First off, make sure you understand the differences between the different review sites.  Yelp specifically instructs businesses not to ask for reviews and has an algorithm to detect biased reviews.  For more info, see their guidelines.  Google also has rules prohibiting users from discouraging negative reviews and selectively soliciting positive reviews.  See their guidelines.

So What Should You Do?

This leaves us business owners in a tough position.  Our advice is to focus initially on Google Reviews, since their terms of use aren’t as restrictive as Yelp’s.

To increase your Google reviews, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a canned email asking your previous clients to review your business.  In the email, ensure that you aren’t using language that goes against their guidelines.  For example, do not ask for a “positive review,” but instead ask for them to share an unbiased review.  Make the process as easy as possible for them, making sure to include the right links.
  2. Send the email at the right time.  Timing is important.  Clients are most excited about the images over the week after receiving them.  They are less excited months after the images are delivered.  Also, they can be frustrated if you ask for reviews prior to delivery.  So make sure you time it right!
  3. Send an email out to 10-20 of your clients on an ongoing basis to create a natural flow of reviews to your website.  As with anything in SEO, make sure the flow (i.e. the rate of the reviews coming in) is natural and organic.

In the meantime, to make sure you’re not neglecting Yelp, be sure to follow their best practices, as listed in their official guide .

Task 2 – Link Building

Let’s continue the all-important task of link building.

Consider one of these 5 strategies:

  1. Vendor Networking To Build Links
  2. Guest Writing To Build Links
  3. Getting Featured To Build Links
  4. Asking for Backlinks from Charities and Clients
  5. Reviewing or Featuring Products for Backlinks

If you need more guidance, see this Link Building Page, where we discuss EACH of the above strategies.

Task 3 – link building directory submissions

As mentioned in week 7, directory submissions have minimal value and will not, by themselves, make a significant impact. The other links mentioned in the strategies above will be the ones that make a big difference for your rankings. However, they do help and should be done here and there, especially since the process is quick.

Sign up for FREE accounts with the following:

https://www.yellowpages.com/
https://www.merchantcircle.com/
http://www.brownbook.net

Remember, do NOT pay for any of the premium plans. Also, some will suggest “reciprocal links,” but do NOT do those either. Just submit the free link.

Indicate Completion

Let’s see how you’re sharing your niche pages! Link to a Facebook Post, Tweet or other method that you used to share!