You may have heard several weeks back about a major chain (no names here) hiring an SEO company to better their ranking. This SEO company did an amazing job getting them indexed #1 for hundreds of terms...that is until Google found out they were tricking the system. So how did they do it and how can you used whats learned to help you legitimately increase your ranking.
On of the 'tricks' used was writing customer reviews to review websites, and gaining links back to the companies website. Now if your thinking your going to do the same thing, the search engines are good. They caught on and fixed the bugs. But you can build a solid review campaign that will help tremendously. We actually started a review campaign about 3 months ago, and we are steadily gaining ground. Here are a few steps to get started and build your campaign.
First, decide which review site to start with. We started with Kudzu, its free and easy. Make sure to set up a complete profile with your address, services, website, physical address and phone numbers.
Second, When you sell a product, or you finish a service, go to your Kudzu business center and submit a review request. It takes all of 15 seconds, and their system will do the rest. You will be notified when you client or customer has submitted feedback. The trick here is making sure you actually provide good customer service.
Third, make sure you have a Google Places account set up. What will happen is Google pulls in those reviews and attaches them to you Place Page. As you move on to other review systems such as Yelp, Google Places will pull those in as well. So you build up this network of reviews, which makes your Google Places page more comprehensive. And all of this works in conjunction with making your website look better to search engines.
So no black hat tricks here! Set up your customer reviews account, set up your Google Places page, provide a good product or service, then ask for a review. It will take a while, but it will help tremendously.