The business world has changed a lot in the past decade. Websites have gone from novelty to necessity. They are now the new "storefronts."
But there's one thing that hasn't changed. Google has been the deciding factor on a site's overall visibility for some time now. The methods by which one can rise in page ranking has evolved. But the need to do so is only growing as time goes by.
Likewise, the methods by which people get Google's attention has evolved over time as well. Today the most effective method to rise in page ranking comes down to online reputation management. It's a subject one could quite literally write a book about. But some of the most essential features are reasonably easy to understand.
One of the most important things to understand about Google is that they try to anticipate what any given person's reaction to a site will be. Your job is to convince google that as many people as possible will have a pleasant experience with your website. If Google thinks the average person will gain something from your site, they'll push it higher in their overall page ranking. This means that when someone runs a search related to your industry, they'll have a better chance of seeing you come up as the first result. Impress Google's algorithms enough, and you could even beat out paid advertisements.
Of course, it's easy to say, but how does one actually rise that far beyond the competition? The answer might come as a surprise to many people. A lot comes down to a combination of neuroscience and psychology. The best way to convince Google that people have a pleasant experience with your site or business is to get customers to vouch for that fact. But that leads to another question. How does one use psychology and neuroscience to convince customers to write up a positive review? One can get quite a bit of traction by using a few predictable elements of human behavior.
For example, people who answer yes to a question that presupposes a desired behavior are more likely to agree to it. One might assume that it's because of an inherent inclination to perform that behavior. But the results plummet if one doesn't prime the action by first bringing up the predisposing trait. For example, consider asking someone if they're interested in helping a company that's trying to provide excellent service. They'll probably say yes if they've had good experiences with that company in the past. By saying yes to that question, they're more likely to agree to answer a survey.
One can take this even further by tailing pronoun usage. An easy way to remember how to phrase correspondence is that one should focus on the personal aspect of personal pronouns. For example, using the term you or your helps customers focus on their own experiences. It makes them feel valued and vital. This, in turn, will often motivate them to act on behalf of the person who helped trigger those positive feelings.
This obviously needs to be tailored to an individual business. But the general concept will give satisfied customers a push to complete surveys. And in turn, this will provide one with data about customer satisfaction. This data will serve as a good source for mining a positive sentiment. From that point, it's just a matter of following up on the most enthusiastic replies with a link to google's review box.
Of course, Google prefers people to spontaneously offer up reviews. One way they've made it a little harder to prompt customers is by removing star ranking parameters from the review URL. It's fairly easy to just prompt customers for a five-star review, though. This is also where the earlier data mining comes in. The term management is part of online reputation management for a good reason. Proper categorization based on sentiment can ensure one is only dealing with the happiest of happy customers.
Of course, this is just the start of a successful campaign. But one doesn't have to be at the head of a race from the very beginning. By only following these tips, one should gain a huge advantage over the direct competition. This will, in turn, offer additional momentum for one's progress in the future.