(a.k.a. How To Stand Out From The Crowd)


There’s a huge amount of noise online. Everyone is vying for your attention and for good reason.

The businesses that understand how to leverage the Internet will have the ability to reach a far greater targeted audience than would be possible through other traditional methods like direct mail or advertising in the local directories.

The question is, how can YOU use the Internet in the right way to reach YOUR audience?

Sure there’s hacks and tricks but I prefer to use something that’s tried and trusted. And preferably something that will work tomorrow, not just for the short term.


–> The most powerful White Hat method that I’ve come across is the online review <--


I’m assuming that you’ve bought something from Amazon or eBay in the past. And if you haven’t then I’m sure you’ve bought something based on the recommendation of a friend or a colleague.

We all get influenced by reviews…

Open up your local newspaper. There’ll probably be a recommendation of what restaurants to visit or which movie to watch at the cinema.

If you’re running any type of business online then it’s critical that you learn how to get reviews. It doesn’t matter whether you’re offering a product or delivering a service.

You need to get new people into your pipeline and the best way to do that is by having testimonials from people that have already done business with you.

Here’s a few places to start:


1. Better Business Bureau (BBB)

BBB is one of the more legitimate review sites online. The site has its own accreditation standards although it does take into account customer reviews.

The most important factor for BBB is your business location. If you visit the website you’ll get asked for your city, state or zip (postal) code.

The site allows you to search by category, meaning that you can find a review in the niche or industry that you’re looking for.

Reviews are left using the standard 5 star rating that most of us are familiar with.

If you sign up for an account on BBB, the site will allow you to keep a history of all your searches so that you can refer back to them in the future for convenience.

One of the site’s features – Consumer Reports, pulls in reviews from across the net and compiles it into one place to make it more convenient for you and your customers.

They provide additional information in for the form of articles to save users the hassle of looking elsewhere during their research.


2. Angie’s List

At $9.99 a month, this isn’t a free service. This barrier does act as a filter though by weeding out the spam so you can sure that any reviews on the site are credible.

Angie’s List doesn’t allow companies to post about their own products or services but it does allow the employees to respond to reviews.


3. Google

The biggest search engine on the net. To post a review you need a Google+ profile.

Local listings show up high in the search results. Once a company has 5 positive reviews a gold star rating shows up next to the company page.

This can be a great way to build your brand and pull in targeted traffic.


4. Yahoo

Works in a similar way to Google. Yahoo is the second biggest search engine and although it’s algorithms are slightly different to Google’s, it also shows local listings and is worth targeting.


5. City Search

A free site that focuses on local businesses and reviews. Users leave a comment and a rating up to 5 stars.


6. Insider Pages

Works in a similar way to City Search, whereby users leave a comment and a rating up to 5 stars.


7. Zomato

The focus of this site is on places to eat so if you (or your client) own a restaurant then you target this site. Zomato allows a user to filter the reviews based on favourite features, popular reviews and all reviews.


8. Testimonials

It’s still worth placing testimonials on your own website to provide credibility for a visitor that isn’t familiar with your brand.

Getting a celebrity endorsement can really boost your profile and help you to stand out from the competition. It doesn’t have to be an A-Lister, even someone well known like a local M.P. (member of Parliament) can make a difference.


9. Awards

It doesn’t matter who provides it or how credible the award is -> getting an award and show casing it on your website can give you a serious competitive advantage.

Think about getting involved with local charities, sponsoring a local event or getting your business nominated for relevant categories in the industry magazine/newspaper.


10. Social Media


Don’t forget about the big platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Most of your customers are already on there so you should monitor how they view your business and whether they comment in a positive or negative way on there.

Twitter has a search bar to filter results whilst most users will post on your Facebook fan page if you have one.

If you have a YouTube channel, users can leave comments in the section below your videos.


And Don’t Forget This One… !

Finally, if you have comments enabled on your own website then you should actively look through these.

Whilst most companies filter what gets posted (because of spam issues) you should check to see that all your reviews aren’t 100% positive. If they are then you’ll lose credibility because this looks fake.

Some users look for negative comments because they want reassurance that the company will address their issues in case a problem arises.


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