Unless you’re Bob Perini, you’ve probably gotten a bad review before. After all, we (minus Bob) are only human. (Bob, in case you are wondering, is superhuman.) In the past, you mostly just had to worry about bad word-of-mouth reviews. Nowadays, if you get a bad review, it’s seen all over the Internet.
Platforms like Yelp, Angie’s List, BBB, and Google+ all give consumers an opportunity to rate and review your services and products. Positive ratings and reviews serve as strong social proof for your company, building trust in your brand and reducing the risk others take when they try out your business for the first time. Alternatively, no reviews or negative reviews can do the opposite—causing consumers to hit the back button faster than a lubed-up fat guy going down a 140-foot waterslide.
Unfortunately, if you’re like most businesses, when someone searches your brand name, your Yelp listing—bad reviews and all—is probably the second search result that comes up after your homepage. That’s simply because Yelp’s profiles are better optimized and better at ranking than similar sites like Angie’s List.
The Only Way to Push Down a Result Is to Get Other Results to Rank Above It.
Yelp isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon, and trying to bury your bad reviews with paid reviews is going to hurt you more than help you if and when you get caught. So when it comes down to it, the only way to push down your Yelp page is get other results to rank above it.
If you think about the Web as real estate, your website, social media sites, and profiles on review sites like Yelp can be thought of as your online properties. The more online properties you have, the better. This is especially true since Google has updated its algorithm to limit domain crowding—which occurs when multiple pages of the same domain crowd the first page of search engine results. As a business, however, the more of those listings you can occupy on the first page, the fewer spots your competitors can occupy.
Is your website the only real piece of online real estate you have? No wonder your Yelp page comes up so high. Work on building out (or hire someone else to build out) the following online properties for your business:
A lot of companies—especially those with multiple business lines—opt to have more than one website. These companies tend to have a main or primary domain complemented by one or more microsites.
A microsite (sometimes called a minisite) is a website used to supplement a company or organization’s primary domain. More often than not, the microsite will have a URL distinct of the primary domain and has its own unique design and navigation.
Microsites can help you target different buyer personas, appear more relevant and authoritative, as well as get multiple listings in organic search results.
For pushing down a Yelp listing, you’re going to want to create a microsite with your brand name and get it to rank for similarly branded search queries. My coworker Alex Perini (yes, she’s related to Bob Perini the superhero and therefore is one-half superhero) recommends the following branded microsites:
Yourbusinessnamecares.com: a website about all of your charitable donations, organizations you support, community events (like 5Ks), etc.
Yourbusinessnamecareers.com: a jobs/careers/new hires website
Yourbusinessnameprojects.com: a website showing before and after photos, descriptions, and testimonials from recent projects
Keep in mind that each microsite will require unique content in order to avoid duplicate content issues and actually rank in the search engine results.
You already know about social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But depending on your industry, there are other social sites you should consider joining to increase your chances of showing up on the first page of Google. Pinterest, Houzz, Google+, and Tumblr are good examples.
We’ve seen well-built out social profiles easily overcome Yelp in the search results for branded terms many times:
In order to improve its own customers’ user experience, Google likes to display a wide variety of media in its search results—including videos. A video is 60 percent more likely to get ranked in a search result than a landing page on the same topic.
For branded search, video testimonials or other company videos are a great way to get videos in the search results for your brand name while simultaneously pushing unfavorable Yelp reviews further down the rabbit hole.
Let Your Best Side Show with Search Engine Marketing from Blue Corona
If you have negative reviews on Yelp, you don’t want them to be the first thing your potential customers see! At Blue Corona, we can help you optimize your other online real estate to out rank Yelp and push your negative reviews towards the bottom of search engine results.
Contact Blue Corona today for search engine marketing. Alternatively, if you’d like bad reviews of Lexie Bond, contact my parents or one of my ex-husbands.
About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
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