Online Review Do’s and Don’ts

Online Reviews Can Help With Small Business Marketing

Ever since Amazon starting using reviews, the idea of peer-to-peer recommendations has become an important and influential source of referrals for customers. Most of us have read the reviews about a company or product before buying, as it is a great way to learn about it before spending your own money. Small business owners can also benefit from reviews online, and it can be one of the best free marketing tools available. But there are rules,photo of tablet showing review page and if you don’t follow them, you can end up being banned from some review sites. 

Google and other services will flag or remove reviews if they think they are bogus. Google’s review guidelines explain why:

“Reviews are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased … Don’t offer money or product to others to write reviews for your business or write negative reviews about a competitor. We also discourage specialized review stations or kiosks set up at your place of business for the sole purpose of soliciting reviews.”

Definite Don’ts

Don’t Offer an Incentive. If you give your customers a gift, a discount or something else in exchange for the review, that’s a paid endorsement. Not only will it cause your reviews to be blocked by search engines, but it also violates the Federal Trade Commission’s Guidelines.

Don’t Create a Review Template. Business owners want to make it easy for their clients to write a review, and customers or clients appreciate a shortcut. But if you give them a form to fill out to make reviews easier, the services will catch that. It is not hard to spot reviews that have the same format. Resist the temptation to hand out a pre-written review to customers, even if they ask.

Don’t ask your clients to remove a bad review. Even if you fix the issue or resolve the problem, the review sites will see that as review manipulation. While you can’t pay for a positive review, you also can’t pay or give an incentive to remove a bad one. 

Don’t ask for reviews from your location. Reviews will incorporate the IP address, which is tracked by the review sites. It will show that they all came from the same place, and that’s a red flag for review sites.

Don’t ask clients to write reviews all at the same time. If several reviews come in during a short period of time, it will be a red flag for the review sites. A slow, steady trend of reviews over time is a better strategy than all at once.

graphic of thumbs up

Things To DO:

Do Report Fake Reviews. Rev
iews that violate the policies of the review site will be removed. If you suspect a competitor or former employee is behind the posting, you can report it and it may be removed. 

Do Encourage Your Customers To Give Reviews. After the work is completed, it is a good idea to remind clients that you appreciate their honest reviews on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, etc. 

Follow Up After The Sale With A Reminder. If you regularly send out customer surveys, include a reminder about posting a review of your services. For example, “please visit us on Facebook or Google and leave a review so others will know about your experience.”

Ask For Reviews on Social Media. Google+ and Facebook have convenient ways for customers to leave a review, so occasionally post a request for a review. 

Using Color to Improve Your Website Design

How does the color blue or green make you feel? Safe, calm, peaceful? It might if it were the color scheme of the website you just visited.

As website design goals attempt to influence customer behavior, more and more designers are looking to the psychology of color to help them create websites.

There’s no shortage of studies touting the effects color plays on our moods and behavior. Similar principles of color psychology are being deployed by marketing strategists with regard to website planning and marketing, with the potential to influence customer buying and decision-making habits.

So is it actually true? Can you really use particular colors to enhance your customers’ moods, influence clicks, establish brand recognition or sway purchasing habits? shutterstock_92900206 (1)

According to Entrepreneur.com, a study by Satyendra Singh determined that a customer forms an opinion about a product in just 90 seconds, and as much as 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone.

Of course, there is no right color for a button or conversion text, but testing has revealed that bright primary and secondary call to action colors (red, green, orange, yellow) have higher conversion rates, while darker colors like black, dark gray, brown, and purple have lower conversion rates.

If your business’ market reach is primarily of one gender, then you might have a leading edge in your web and campaign designs. According to Entrepreneur.com, women don’t like gray, orange or brown, but they do like blue, purple and green. And men don’t like purple, orange or brown, but they do like blue, green and black.

Jared Christopherson, in a Mashable.com article, suggests companies use the 60-30-10 rule when designing a website. By choosing three different colors and using them in the ratio of 60, 30 and 10 percent, a professional color scheme for your brand can be achieved.

With the 60-30-10 rule, (background, base and accent colors, respectively), make the accent color your boldest color and use it to guide customers to take a particular action. Use it in your call-to-action button, on your hyperlinks or in other places where you want your customer to do something specific. Don’t overuse the accent color,  however, or you will defeat its purpose of drawing attention to a specific action. Decide what your most desired action is, and use your accent colors to accentuate that action.

Below is a list of website colors and the emotions and feelings each is thought to elicit. The trick is to think about your customer and what type of feeling they would like to be experiencing when surfing your site or after purchasing your product or service. With a specific feeling in mind, match it to any of the colors in the chart below, and make those colors either your background, base, or accent color of your site.

Color Mood or emotion evoked
Yellow Fun and friendly. Cheerful, attention-getter, associated with liveliness and energy.
Orange Energetic warmth and ambition. New beginnings, enthusiasm, creativity. Can create a sense of haste or impulse. Sometimes, orange is interpreted as cheap.
Red The most emotionally intense of all colors. Boldness, love, life. Don’t overuse as it can portray warning.
Green Most intuitive color. Nature and organic. Easy on the eye. Associated with safety, optimism, growth, harmony, wealth, luck, and stress relief. The color of outdoors, eco-friendly, the environment. If the focus of your website has anything to do with nature, environment, organic, or outdoors, green should be your color of choice.
Blue Most commonly used. Trust and loyalty. Tranquility, depth, honor, productivity. Decreases one’s appetite. Calls to mind feelings of calmness and serenity. It often is described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.
Purple Royalty, nobility, power, wealth, spirituality
Pink Femininity, love, tenderness, romance. Produces a calming effect.
Brown Solid, dependable, confident, conventional and sophisticated
Grey Conservative, traditional, serious
Black Authority, sophistication and elegance. Mysterious. Gives a sense of luxury, value, elegance, sophistication, and power. If you are selling high-value luxury consumer items on your website, black probably would be a good choice.
White Purity, cleanliness, sterility, youth. Used for negative space in design.

In the end, the main thing is that when beginning a new website or branding project, think about who your target audience is. Take time to consider the color meanings and how colors might affect your viewers. What kind of emotion do you want your visitors or customers to feel, and look for colors that might evoke that feeling.

Finally, color is powerful. It influences not only how people feel, but also what they do. The psychology of color can help strengthen your brand, encourage actions, soothe and calm emotions and even guide visitors toward specific pages or actions on your website.

If used properly, color can be extremely beneficial to your marketing success.

Is it time to update your website? Deppe Communications can help. Contact us today for information and an estimate.

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