Love them or hate them, online reviews are not going away. When review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews first hit the scene many small business owners were worried about how it might affect business. Who could blame them? Giving people a forum to instantly transform themselves into a critic has the potential to be a really scary thing. Anytime a new technology is introduced the threat of being left behind is not too far. Those of us most able to adapt stand the greatest chance of not only weathering the storm but thriving in the process. I can say that online reviews have been the single largest driver of business for me in the last year and a half. So much that it’s completely replaced any need for business cards or networking events. Here are a few ways I’ve used review sites to grow my business.
A few things to make note of in addition to the above: choose a review site that best fits your area. Some parts of the country I’ve visited are heavy users of Yelp where others use Google Reviews, Demand Force, or Facebook. Each will have its own metrics, analytics, and tools to help you navigate at your disposal. Add lots of pictures. The average user will spend more time on a page that has current pictures to look through. The more time a consumer spends on a business page the more likely they are to follow through. So include a link to your online booking.
Photo: Shutterstock | Stock-Asso
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