Online Reviews are great but there’s 2 sides to the coin. I’m not talking about good vs bad. I’m talking about Internet Surfers vs the Website Visitor. Here’s how to cover both.
At the Inman Connect Conference this last week one of the major buzzwords was “Online Reviews”. Instead of giving you everything – here’s just three to setup this post.
Online reviews are the new currency of trust. #icsf
— Angela Raab (@angela_raab) July 15, 2014
I could go on and on…
They are correct. Online Reviews are important. I’ll contend they always have been. But here’s the thing.
Where as in where do you these reviews happen? Is it Yelp? ? Zillow? Trulia? Angie’s List?
Do you direct people to leave a review at a particular place?
While you could suggest that people leave a Recommendation / Review at the venue of your choice – let’s be real, it’s not going to happen. That’s not how this works. Chaos rules the internet – not you.
That’s a good thing! By scattering reviews over the various places of the interwebs they are doing you a great service. They are doing what is called ‘digital bread-crumbing‘. Heck, you do a little of this yourself when a new site comes out and you rush over and create a profile.
Digital Bread-Crumbing is a great way to cast a wide net. I remember back in the Mortgage Days clients would always say, “We see you EVERYWHERE!”. That was exactly my plan. I wanted them to see my smiling mug everywhere they looked. I was retargeting before it was even a thing.
That works for the Google Searching Potential Next Client. But,
WITH ALL THOSE REVIEWS SCATTERED AROUND…
what happens when they come to my Website? Some people are going to land on your website and then think “I wonder what other people think of this guy?” How do you bring that chaos back to HOME BASE?
There’s a couple of ways to do this. You could
- Insert links that would direct them to the individual sites – as in “Visit my reviews on Linkedin, Yelp, Facebook, Zillow, Trulia and Bieberlicous.” – and then sit back and watch your clients leave your site. Ugh! 🙁
- Most sites will allow you to showcase a little widget with your review score. It’s not much but it’s something.
- I have a Twitter box on the sidebar that only shows tweets of people who have said mahvelous things about me. I do that by judiciously ‘favoriting’ my mentions. – did you see it? Most people don’t. Ugh! 🙁
- You could try to iFrame each of the Review sections into a single page on your website. I’ve already tried it. It doesn’t work. Ugh! 🙁
TWO OPTIONS THAT DO WORK
Option #1: “The cut and paste” You can simply cut and paste each review from the source and post them all up on a single page. Yes it’s tedious. Yes it’s a pain. But it does give you complete control and puts them al in one place. That’s what I did with my RECOMMENDATIONS page.
Option #2: Add User Generated Reviews to your site. This is a little more complicated. I created a custom post type and a few custom taxonomies to go with it. I also created a form that writes to that post type. My clients (or anybody) can come to my form https://areweconnected.com/add-your-testimonial/ and leave me a mind blowing recommendation. When they do it shows up here: https://areweconnected.com/what-they-said/. We all seem to be attracted to the shortcut of stars. I can include something like that too. Meh. The problem with this is we’re back to directing people to where we would like them to go and not where they want to go.
With Option #2, I can still cut and paste from the reviews on other sites and duplicate them here. What I can also do is stick any single review most anywhere I want (as in on the sidebar or footer or even in a post). I can make them cycle, or random (like this one below).
[random-testimonial category=”257″ limit=”1″]
I can sort them by my custom taxonomy too. For a real estate agent that could be reviews from just the “Sellers” or just the “Buyers”.
So while Reviews are and have always been a pretty big deal, you have to think about the internet surfer as well as the website visitor. Right?
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.