Nobody would argue about the importance of your business being found online, nor would they argue about the high volume of online searching from people who could eventually become your newest customer.
As a business owner, your job is to make sure of two things:
- That you show up in those searches
- When web searchers click on your link, the information they find is accurate
In this article, I’m going to give you an overview of how to address both of those things. Specifically, we’ll cover how to manage listings and reviews, how to respond to negative reviews, strategies for obtaining reviews, and will offer a sampling of listing sites that technology companies might want to consider.
Making sure your business can be found online
Let’s talk about being found. One of the most common strategies for ensuring your business shows up in searches is through SEO — search engine optimization — which is simply the incorporation of keywords on your web pages and in your content. And of course, those keywords should reflect what your customers and potential customers are searching for. SEO is a topic unto itself and will be covered in a separate article, but check here for some SEO basics for B2B companies.
This is Google’s SERP (search engine results page), which users see when they search for a particular term, in this case, “IBM.” Search results include a mix of paid ads, organic listings, and Google My Business listings.
There is another often overlooked channel that helps your business show up, and that is through listing and review sites. Today, roughly 90% of potential customers look to product review sites before buying a product online. Even more convincing is the finding that 88% of potential customers trust reviews of other customers as much as they trust a personal recommendation.
Where to begin? A great place to start is to claim your Facebook business page and your Google My Business page listings. These listings will help you connect with customers and prospective customers through phone calls, messaging, chat, or responding to reviews. You’ll also see how customers are responding to and interacting with your brand, and you’ll be able to feature products, updates, or anything noteworthy about your company.
Managing your technology services listings
Today, buyers use a variety of apps and websites that include reviews to find the information they’re looking for. Sometimes these listings and associated reviews are automatically generated, and other times your customers may create them.
As the business owner, you’re able to take control of these listings by “claiming” them — which is often as simple as clicking a button and submitting requested information that proves the business is yours. Make sure all information is correct and up to date across all sites by manually updating contact information, uploading photos, or sharing promotional or event updates. This activity can feel a little unwieldy and time consuming, so be sure to check out our guide for claiming your company’s listings and reviews.
Make sure you prioritize getting your listings right. The last thing you want is for someone to find incorrect information as it could cause you to lose credibility, or, ultimately, new business.
Responding to reviews — both positive and negative
With the proper information in place, you’ll need to carve out some time to manage and respond to your reviews. Today’s consumers expect companies to respond to their comments. They took the time to review; you should take the time to respond…now
Your natural inclination will be to jump on the negative reviews. Quick, thorough, and comprehensive responses are key in the instance of a less-than-complimentary review because even if you can’t prevent that particular customer from leaving, potential customers who are reading these reviews will study your responses. Showing you care in a straightforward, non-defensive manner can convince potential customers to give you a try.
Don’t ignore the positives however. Communicating with happy customers can help you reinforce certain messages you want your potential customers to see.
Either way, investing time in managing and monitoring your reviews helps you create a platform for open and transparent dialogue with customers, can help you highlight your brand’s strengths, and can draw attention to promotions that in turn bring in new business.
Asking for reviews for technology services
Securing reviews is important for the natural forum they create for interacting with customers and promoting your brand. But how to secure reviews is the question.
Your sales and business development teams can and should encourage customers to share their feedback. Not a fan of asking directly? Consider asking for reviews in your emails (in your signature or within your email templates) and on your website.
Don’t shy away from the direct request though either. Customers are often happy to share their feedback and even the smallest of incentives can serve as a nice reward.
What listings sites should I be on as a technology company?
When it comes to volume of traffic, Google My Business is the top-ranked review site for businesses of any kind. Beyond that, what listing sites you prioritize is a function of where your audience is found.
Taking the time to identify the channels your target customers turn to when looking for solutions is of paramount importance when answering the question of where you should be listed. Performing an online search around “top listing sites for XYZ industry” or “top product review sites for XYZ industry” is a great starting point.
The bottom line
Online listings and reviews help your business show up as a credible source, provide a visible platform for positive engagement and are a natural place to promote the key points you want your potential customers to understand about the strength of your company and the services or products you sell. In that way, listing and review sites have a big role to play in turning digital seekers into new customers and deserve a front seat when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.
For more guidance on marketing your technology services business, check out our comprehensive technology services marketing guide, The Download.