We often recommend to clients that part of their marketing programs include building out a presence in web directories and securing positive reviews of their company and products or services.
With hundreds of potential directories on which to list your company and hundreds more sites where customers, partners and employees can write reviews, this activity can quickly become a time and budget suck. Here are a few tips that can help prioritize your activities and achieve the highest ROI:
Be Clear in Your Goals
Is your objective to generate new product leads? Build your brand? Recruit? Prepare for an IPO or other financial event? The answer to this question will help you sort where to devote your team’s time and budget.
A Few Sites Are Obvious
For employee reviews, Glassdoor is the standout site. For company reviews, positive Google reviews are the most likely to improve SEO and drive traffic to your website. Did you know that 92% of viewers don’t go past the first page of Google search results?
Focus Your Efforts
When UPRAISE updated its listing strategy about a year ago, we searched for web directories using roughly 20 different terms, such as “San Francisco PR firm,” “Bay Area marketing firm,” etc. This resulted in a list of 9-10 web directories that continuously bubbled to the service. We then cross-referenced these 9-10 with approximately 15 other marketing/PR firms that we consider competitors. This shrank our list to 4-5 web directories that we believed would be most valuable to us.
Where You Focus, Go Big
We invested time and budget in those 4-5 web directories, including purchasing higher levels of subscriptions, continuously updating the listing and asking clients to provide positive reviews.
Don’t Forget Free
Many web directories and reviews sites allow companies to create a free presence. While these free opportunities will not drive large amounts of traffic to your site, the time investment is minimal and it’s worth the effort.
Track Your Results
Continuously monitor where results are coming from. Is there an industry-specific site where current and former employees are leaving reviews in addition to Glassdoor, for example?
For reviews on sites such as Google, it’s hard to have too many. However, sometimes your principal contact may have left your client company or there is another obstacle to securing that positive review. Don’t hesitate to ask another contact at the company, even if the review is more vague since that person wasn’t as involved in working with your company.
Listings and Reviews Are Part of a Broader Marketing Program
Don’t consider listings and reviews in a vacuum. If a client gives you an especially positive Google review, write a social post about it and link to it, include a link in an email campaign, reference it on your website.
In today’s noisy world, where COVID-19 has added a new and disruptive amount of distractions, an aggressive listings and reviews program will be a valuable part of your marketing program. Don’t neglect it in favor of other activities, but be sure to integrate with those other activities to improve overall results.
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