How to Claim OR Add Your Business to Google

Enhance Your Google Listing to Shine Online

As a business owner, you probably already know that a presence on Google is critical to getting found and chosen by your target customers. Most consumers are pretty familiar with how to use Google, but if you’re a business owner, the mechanics behind the scenes are quite complex.  

However, there are fundamental things that you can do to take control of your business’s Google listing that will set you up for success in local search. Google’s data suggests that even the smallest of improvements can make a big difference in your ability to stand out and direct traffic to your website.

Claim Your Listing

If you haven’t already, visit Google My Business to set up an account. Follow the prompts to claim your listing, and take ownership through their text or postcard verification process. Once complete, you can begin to improve your listing and maximize its benefits.

Add Relevant Business Information

Your Google listing enables you to provide more information about your business, and literally puts your business on the map. Therefore, it’s critical to put your best foot forward. Take advantage of the many free aspects of your listing to build your brand. For instance, you can add photos, verify your address and phone number, update your business hours, link your website, add photos, and post content straight from the Google My Business dashboard. All of these features are available to you for no charge.

Read Your Reviews and Respond 

Reviews are critical to providing insight into the customer experience with your business, and Google reviews are the most valuable to your business. We discussed ways to generate more customer reviews in a previous post, and the Google My Business dashboard makes it easy to read and respond to each of your customer reviews. Take advantage of email alerts in the Settings tab to ensure that you are notified by email every time a customer posts a review on your Google listing.

Businesses with strong ratings are more likely to attract visitors to their websites than those with low or no ratings. We’re often asked how many Google reviews is ideal, but that really depends on what your competition’s Google page looks like. You may need 20 reviews to compete in your area, or you may need 200 reviews. Regardless, we know that the first couple reviews can be suspect – they often come from family or friends. You’ll need more than that from real customers before you can stand out and shine.

Set Up Messaging Through your Listing

Consumers are increasingly interacting with businesses through online chat, and your Google listing is an easy way to open another line of communication. The messaging feature frees up your phone lines and enables you to answer simple questions from interested customers online. For further information on this feature, follow these steps and guidelines from Google.

Leverage Google Insights

Beyond the basics, the Google My Business dashboard also enables you to uncover valuable insights and follow trends over time. Are prospective customers searching for your business by name, or are they finding your listing thru search? What are visitors doing after they see your listing? Google’s insights enable you to see visitor activities – by clicks, calls, and requests for driving directions. The dashboard offers a variety of useful charts that enable you to analyze this behavior, and you can adjust filters to view trends over time – by week, month, or quarter. If you’re having difficulty accessing these features in the dashboard, follow these steps.

These are some of the most critical ways to leverage your free Google My Business listing to shine online. Broadly helps businesses manage their online presence and generate great reviews on Google and other important websites with ease. Click here to request a demo of the Broadly solution.

The Advantages Small Companies Have Over Big Businesses

Guest post by Bob Drainville, President, Timesheet Mobile

If you’re a small business owner, it’s natural to hope that the company you founded will one day become a globally-known corporation. However, it’s important to recognize that there are a number of key benefits that small companies offer their employees and customers that their larger counterparts can’t.

Culture

There’s something special about a company that is run entirely by people who have been there since the start. The employees are bound by a common story about the company’s founding and likely share a certain philosophy about the job that leads to a distinct work culture. That culture not only sets the company apart as a workplace, but it may very well be part of the brand that customers buy into.

The larger a company becomes, the harder it is to maintain the distinct culture that characterizes many small businesses. For instance, a roofing company might begin with a few experienced roofers operating out of a subleased space. As it grows, however, it will move into its own conventional office space, add white collar staff (human resources, bookkeepers etc) and put in place more concrete rules and policies that weren’t necessary when it was just a few friends working together.

Flexibility

As a company grows, it necessarily becomes increasingly compartmentalized and bureaucratic. Even the most efficiently-run major companies comprise large bureaucracies in charge of different aspects of the business. As a result, big companies are not nearly as agile as small businesses or as able to quickly change. If you, as the business founder and owner, want to make a company-wide change, your decision has to be filtered through multiple layers of leadership across different departments.

Small businesses, in contrast, can make big changes much more quickly. If you’ve only got 10 employees, it doesn’t take much to convene a meeting of the entire workforce – even if it’s a mobile workforce. Similarly, smaller companies can more quickly identify and react to problems. The lack of complex chain-of-command allows employees to have direct access to the owner, who can quickly address whatever problem a worker encounters, whether it’s a product malfunction, a demoralized workforce or accounting errors.

Finally, because of their flexibility, small businesses are in a better position to quickly adapt to  market changes or to target certain types of customers. If, for instance, you’re a major general contractor and you realize that you’re better off focusing on certain types of projects, it may be a major challenge to pivot because you likely already have a large number of employees and resources tied up in the other types of projects. Those types of changes are much easier for small businesses to make.

Specialization

Big businesses are focused on high-volume opportunities that can generate significant revenue. As a result, many opportunities remain for specialized offerings targeting a niche market that isn’t being served by the largest companies. The benefit for small businesses is not just that they have a chance to fill that void, but that they can develop a reputation as specialists who provide that service better than anybody else.

For instance, a boutique contractor that focuses exclusively on luxury residential projects can deliver a clearer marketing message that distinguishes it from its competition in the construction arena. Its authoritative claim to a certain type of service also allows it to justify charging more, which allows for faster growth.

Communication

The family mentality of a small business facilitates better communication between employees and those running the company. Workers can communicate directly with their boss, who they likely know on a first-name basis. If there’s a problem with a project or a customer, a construction worker or electrician can give the business leader a call (or perhaps message them through a team messaging app) and find out what to do immediately.

Communications can present a major challenge at a big business with a complex chain of command. The top business leaders don’t have the time to address every day-to-day issue. That forces them to rely on lower-level managers to communicate with workers on the ground.

That means that issues that could otherwise be resolved immediately will sometimes have to wait as the message makes its way from the job site, up through management, and then back down again. There is also the chance that some information will never reach the boss, leaving the owner out of the loop on critical matters.

Employee development

An employee of a large company cannot expect to get experience in all areas of the business. They will generally be assigned a very specific role, be siloed in a department, and have minimal interaction with other critical branches of the company.

A small business, however, provides the chance for employees to get a glimpse of all of the moving parts involved with running an enterprise. A plumber hired to be part of a three-man plumbing outfit will have responsibilities usually delegated to a different employee in a larger company, such as bookkeeping, marketing, account management, scheduling employees and project management and workforce management.

Small businesses therefore provide an opportunity for employees to develop strong business management skills. Coupled with their strong on-the-ground experience, those skills allow employees of small businesses to become better-rounded and more valuable professionals because they understand every aspect of the trade they’ve involved in.

Customer Relationships

From a customer’s perspective, the best thing about buying from a small business is that you are rarely dealing with somebody who is merely a salesperson or a customer service representative on a script. Instead, you’re buying directly from the business owner, who likely has a deep knowledge of and passion for the products they’re selling you. With nobody to answer to but themselves, small business owners will tend to have more flexibility in how they interact with you, including offering special deals or discounts.

As a business grows, at some point there are simply too many customers for the founders to serve on their own. Those duties have to be delegated to other employees, who are less likely to have the experience with and knowledge of the products/services and the needs of customers.

You can and should try your best to instill your philosophy of customer service in your employees, but there is invariably a personal touch that gets lost when those who founded the business are no longer interfacing directly with customers.

That’s not to knock big business…

At the end of the day, businesses large and small play a critical role in the global economy. Big businesses can at times offer lower prices and better-serve large customers. However, bigger is not always better. Small businesses fill niches that their larger competitors often overlook and can serve customers more directly and with greater flexibility than their larger competitors. The world would simply not be as interesting or dynamic, culturally or economically, without small businesses.

Bob Drainville is the president of Timesheet Mobile, a GPS-enabled time tracking, scheduling and workforce management technology company. Timesheet Mobile’s solutions are used by companies that employ a significant mobile workforce worldwide, in industries as diverse as construction, transportation, healthcare and many others.

Importance of Reviews For Lawyers

Anyone who does business on a professional level can tell you that reviews for your business are important. No matter what you do, reviews are something that your clients are going to look at before they decide if they want to do business with you.

Lawyers online reviews are going to be the way that people who need someone to represent them are going to know whether your law firm is capable of providing them with the help that they need or not. Online reviews are the new word of mouth, so if you want to have a successful business, you need to make sure that you have plenty of reviews on your site as well as across social media platforms and search engines.

Lawyer online review management

Importance of Reviews For Lawyers Infographic

importance of reviews for lawyers

Effects Reviews Have on Your Law Practice

How often do you take the advice of your friends when it comes to whether a business is worth your time visiting or not? In most cases, the word of your friend often determines if you check out the business, but did you know that 84 percent of all consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague.
That’s a lot, so if you have a large number of bad reviews, they may choose another law firm to deal with for their legal troubles. Additionally, having no reviews at all can be just as detrimental to your business as having bad reviews because, let’s face it, no one wants to be represented in a court of law by someone who is not experienced.
The reviews that your potential clients read are often a large part of the deciding factor when it comes to whether they are going to trust you as a lawyer to defend them or not. 65 percent of the population that looks at reviews before choosing business have said that the reviews that they read before making a choice had a big influence on the decision that they made. This means that if your reviews give a lasting impression, you may have gained a new client, but reviews that seem less than optimal will send potential clients to another lawyer in the area.
75 percent of the individuals who were looking for an attorney to help them with their legal issues within the last 12 months have used online resources to find or contact a lawyer at some point while they were searching for representation. Searching online is easy, which means that you don’t have to settle for an all right lawyer in your town when you can travel to the next town over to a law office with highly recommended law professionals. In fact, about 70 percent of people who are looking for a lawyer is willing to travel further to find legal counsel with better reviews.

Check out all the online reviews statistics for lawyers.

How To Ask For Reviews

How to Get More Reviews to Your Law Practice

That being said, it is pretty obvious that you need to gain more reviews for your law practice, and you want to do it honestly because fake reviews will be noticed, and that is not good for your business either. So, how do you go about getting more positive reviews? The best way to get reviews is to simply ask your clients to leave them; in fact, about seven out of 10 consumers will leave a review for the business that they were just at when asked.
Don’t wait a long time to approach your clients about leaving a review because you want them to remember the visit and give an honest review of their experience. The best time to ask them about writing a review is typically when they are leaving your office. You want to ask your clients for reviews when they are happy with your service; you are trying to boost the number of positive reviews that you have, not negative ones.
When a client leaves a review when they are disappointed or upset about something that happened in their case, those negative emotions can easily be transferred into their review. Also, make it easy for your clients to give you feedback; in the technologically advanced world that we live in, sending a review in a text or an email is pretty common.
After you take the steps and ask for reviews from your clients, make sure that you take the time to monitor the comments and the reviews that are left behind on your website as well as other review platforms. Make sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews that you receive; this shows potential clients that you are involved with your clients and that you care about how they feel.

Lawyer online review management

Most Important Review Sites for Lawyers

As a lawyer, you will want to have reviews on some platforms so that you can reach as many people as possible who may need your services. Obviously, your website is a good place to have some reviews, but you will want the majority of the reviews that you can find online for your law firm to be seen on review sites and places where search engines will direct potential clients.

Google Reviews
First, what is the number one search engine on the internet? You’ve guessed it – Google, which means that you want to have a positive presence there that can help you build your client base.  If you get a negative Google review follow these steps to flag an inappropriate Google review.

Facebook Reviews

Facebook is a very popular review site as well, so you will want to make sure that you have an online presence there as well. This is a major social media platform that many uses to create connections.

Yelp Reviews
You have most likely noticed that Yelp reviews are great for businesses as well. They are extremely common for restaurant reviews, but they are also great for businesses and law firms that need to bolster their review site presence. Avvo is a great review site for a lawyer to look at as well because it is an online marketplace that is designed specifically for lawyers to build their client-base. Potential clients may go directly to Avvo, so make sure that you have some reviews for your law practice available on the site.

How to respond to negative reviews

Negative Reviews For Lawyers

When you are looking to build your business, of course, you want positive reviews, but you cannot always control what clients say about your business. That being said, getting a negative review about your law firm is not the end of the world; in fact, it makes your business seem more attractive when you have a few negative reviews. This means that you are not purchasing reviews to make your company look good and those actual clients are giving their opinion about your services.
As long as the majority of the reviews that your business attracts are positive, you will still interest new clients. In fact, 90 of the individuals who need a lawyer would still hire you with a few negative reviews under your belt. The main thing that you need to do is monitor the reviews for your business. A single negative review can cost you up to 30 clients, but if you handle the situation correctly by responding to the negative review, you can build a relationship as well as trust with potential clients.
Always directly address the issue and apologize to the client who left the bad review for the negative experience that they had. If there is a way to make the situation better, then do it because making the unhappy client satisfied will only put you in a better light for potential clients to see that your clients are important to you. Some negative reviews are unavoidable, but most can be addressed and rectified.

Final Thoughts On Lawyer Reviews

Running a law firm is not only about keeping the client base that you currently have because they are not always going to need legal assistance; you need to have highly regarded client reviews that will draw in clients that need your legal assistance and advice now. Follow these tips to boost a number of reviews for your business, and you will see just how much of an impact online reviews can have for your practice.

Broadly online review management software demo

Importance Of Reviews For Dentists

It’s now a universal truth that your presence online is as critical to your business as the goods or services you provide. Few things in the modern world are as important to businesses as online reviews. People not only seek out reviews, but they also seek them out in multiple venues, read them—and they take them seriously. Too many negative reviews could hurt your business in ways you might not fully appreciate it.

Think about it. Most people have access to the internet, whether on their computer, their smartphone or tablet or even on their gaming consoles. People expect quality and convenience, and no one likes to operate in the dark. Before settling on which business to use, most people scour the internet in search of reviews to inform them on which option is the better choice. Online reviews for dentists have become word of mouth in the twenty-first century. It’s important to never lose sight of this.

Dentist Online Review Case Study

 Online Reviews For Dentists Infographic

Importance of online reviews for dentists

 

Effects Reviews Have on Your Dental Practice

People take reviews seriously. People trust reviews online—even from strangers—as much as they trust recommendations from people they know. Eighty-four percent, in fact, put such trust in online reviews. The days of knowing and gauging a person are over. Now, starred reviews on the internet can make all the difference. Reviews alone won’t suffice, nor will an overabundance of reviews if many of them are low rated. Good reviews are key. Eighty-seven percent of people won’t even consider using a business if it doesn’t have an aggregate of three to five-star reviews.

Let’s break this down so you can better understand the effect, and the importance, of positive online reviews. Let’s say you’re hungry, but you can’t decide on which restaurant to visit. Two new diners have opened in town recently, but you don’t know anyone who’ve tried them. Do you flip a coin and hope for the best? Or do you jump online and seek out reviews? If you’re like most people these days, you open a search engine in your browser and start reading.

Of the two new diners, one has fifteen five-star reviews, and the other has nine two stars reviews. What is your reaction to these findings? Do you buck the trend and try the diner with lesser reviews or do you view it with skepticism, assuming so many low rated reviews from strangers might indicate larger problems. It’s possible that you’ve done something similar in regards to a restaurant, business, or even a book or movie. And you wouldn’t be alone.

Online reviews help inform people these days. They can turn you on to a new experience, or they can warn you to avoid an unpleasant one. If you’ve ever responded to online reviews, if you’ve ever allowed them to inform your opinions, then you shouldn’t assume you’re alone. As a dentist or an administrator running a dental practice, you absolutely shouldn’t assume that your patients and potential patients are somehow exceptions to the rule.

How To Ask For Reviews

How to Get More Reviews for Your Dentist Office

Getting reviews is only tricky if you overthink it—or if you bank on statistics. The latter might make sense. If you service enough patients, this line of reasoning goes. Certainly, some will feel compelled to leave a review. Chance alone, however, might yield reviews in the single percentile. Or they might not yield any reviews at all.

It might sound too simple or obvious, but the best way to get more online reviews is to ask for them. Believe it or not, asking works. Seventy percent of people will leave reviews if you ask them. It’s astonishing to think it’s that simple, but by all indications, it is indeed that simple. If you do ask for reviews, never ask for positive reviews—and don’t attempt to dissuade people from leaving negative reviews. Simply ask for honest reviews.

Although you can’t control the tone or tenor of a patient’s review, you might be able to influence it—at least to a degree—in how you ask them for a review. If you’ve just extracted a tooth from a grumpy man who mutters while you’re cleaning up, it’s probably a good idea to refrain asking him to chronicle his experience online. Instead, approach your patients when they’re no longer nervous, upbeat, even happy. Since timing is crucial ask them when the appointment has concluded, while they’re still experiencing positive emotions or sensations from your conduct—which was undoubtedly professional.

You can ask for reviews or feedbacks in the form of email newsletters, snail mail, or a suggestion or feedback box located in your office. When reviews of your dental practice appear online, read them and pay attention to what your patients said. Interact with your patients. If their reviews were positive, thank them and express humility. Display empathy and a willingness to address their problems or complaints if they wrote a negative review.

Check out more dental online review statistics.

Dentist Online Review Case Study

Most Important Review Sites for Dentists

Although a dental practice is a niche business, it’s not without an online presence. You can utilize several dental websites to increase your exposure and monitor reviews.

Yelp Reviews

Yelp! is one example. In fact, many dental practices seem to dismiss or underplay the importance of Yelp. As a site dedicating to providing reviews of businesses, it’s an important venue you may overlook. In fact, fifty-one percent of all dentists allow their Yelp pages to go unclaimed. If you don’t claim your Yelp reviews page, if you don’t promote it, then you might lose out on crucial and important reviews from satisfied patients.

Google Reviews

Google + is another important venue. It’s a social media page combining the personal and friendly atmosphere of Facebook with the business sensibilities of LinkedIn. Like Facebook, people post reviews, compliments, and recommendations of businesses. It’s populated by millions of people and could play an important role in your business. On G+, you can interact with patients more in-depth than on a page like Yelp. As with Yelp, forty-five percent of dental practices haven’t claimed a Google review page. Imagine the patients and potential patients you could interact with if you joined Google’s social network.

Facebook Reviews

Facebook is the most visible and populated social media site on the internet. Millions of Americans visit it on a daily basis. They discuss nearly every facet of their lives on there, sharing details and events both large and small with their online friends. Praise and complaints of local businesses, including dentists, are posted and traded daily. These posts could shine a positive or negative light on your practice, either helping or hurting your reputation.

Check out these Dental blogs and forums to stay up to date on everything in the industry.

How to respond to negative reviews

How To Handle Negative Reviews

Despite your abilities, experience, and bedside manners, you’re bound to deal with patients who won’t have wonderful things to say about you or your practice. You can’t please all the people all the time, as the cliché goes—and it’s true. No matter how hard you try, no matter how professionally you behave, you’ll inevitably encounter patients who you seemingly can’t satisfy.

Some of them will take their complaints online. Although you should make it a point to thank people who leave positive reviews while appearing humble and expressing humility, you should also not ignore negative reviews. Even if you disagree with a negative review, even if it upsets you, you should approach it with an evenhandedness and a level head.

Personally, respond to each negative review. Express empathy by articulating that you understand their frustrations, complaints, and so on. Apologize. Reiterate the key points of their complaints to convey that you’ve weighed and considered the issues are troubling them. If possible, try to offer help or a way to correct or rectify the situation that upset them.

This personal touch could inspire people more than the slickest marketing campaign. Remember, people read reviews. Chances are, they’ll also read your response to reviews. If you respond with empathy, sensitivity, and professionalism, it might change the minds of those who wrote the negative reviews. It could also inform the opinion of people casually reading the review and your response, winning you new admirers and possibly even patients in the process.

Don’t pay lip service, however, Treat every negative review as a learning experience. If negative reviews inundate your practice across several social media sites, then you might consider seriously taking the central complaints to heart. Perhaps you’re behaving in some way to alienate your patients. Perhaps your practice ushers people and in and out in cold and uninviting ways. In addition to addressing reviews online, you should set your ego or pride aside and try to listen to complaints and learn from them.

Online review management software

Conclusion

Dental marketing isn’t simply dumping money into ad campaigns. It entails how you interact with your patients, how you inspire them, how you respond to their praise and criticisms. Creating an online presence on a variety of platforms could increase your exposure. Knowing how to handle and respond to review—both good and bad—could win you new patients and increase the loyalty of existing patients.

As we pointed out above, more than 8 in ten people trust online reviews and nearly 9 in ten won’t consider a business with less than three to five-star reviews. How you operate your business and treat your patients isn’t isolated to your office. It spreads outside, into the virtual and real worlds. The opinions people express about you, and your practice could increase your reputation and grow your clientele.

Broadly online review management software demo