Whether it’s a restaurant, a new product, or a repair service, we all check out online reviews first to see what others are saying. A lot of businesses understand the importance of online reviews, but they may not understand exactly WHY they are so important to your online presence. So today we’re going to share with you an effective, yet powerful way to get a steady stream of online reviews for your business.
Welcome to Marketing and a Mic. We’re here to give you a variety of digital marketing tips, trends, and useful guides to help your business get results. By the end of this blog, you’ll understand the importance of online reviews, and one of the easiest ways to generate more reviews for your business.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE REVIEWS
#1 Social Proof Drives Purchases
Reviews work as a tool of social proof or reassurance of the credibility of a product or service they’re considering. Customers are looking for a reason to choose you over the competition, and you need to give them one. And nothing speaks louder than hearing what other people have to say about you. We’re more likely to make a purchase if we see others agree it’s a good decision. Reviews have become a primary source of information that customers use to decide what to buy. Many won’t even make a buying decision until they’ve read reviews online. Online reviews are the biggest source of social proof and having lots of positive reviews can directly lead to more sales.
#2 They Make You Look Trustworthy – A Big SEO Factor
Online reviews aren’t just trust signals for customers, they can also be one of your most powerful SEO weapons. Collecting online reviews and showcasing them in multiple places helps improve your SEO efforts. Let’s explain. Google and other search engines use various off-site signals to measure the relevancy, authority, and trustworthiness of your brand. Off-site signals are any actions you take outside of your website to help build your digital footprint. These are things like social media, backlinks, or even creating a separate review platform Knowing that factors like relevance, trustworthiness, and authority play a role in a page’s ability to rank, reviews can help crush that criterion in building your online presence.
Why is that? Reviews are based on people’s experience with your brand, and their review summarizes their trust or lack thereof from that experience. So, when you look at Google now factoring trust and customer experience into their SEO recipe, and reviews provide that exact element, you can see the importance of online reviews for your SEO.
#3 They Make Your Business More Visible – Another SEO Boost
Most shoppers use search engines like Google and Bing, and even social media channels to search and buy products. Search engines have unique ways of indexing, but one common element is they all value fresh and original content. A steady stream of customer reviews helps feed that fresh content machine keeping your business in good standing with algorithms. So, when you have a steady pipeline of positive reviews, search engines will boost your website higher in their search results. When you rank higher it means more people will see your website, which leads to more exposure to more people
HOW TO GET MORE ONLINE REVIEWS
Even with your best customers, reviews can be difficult to get. This is why having a system in place to help is so important. If you’re not actively improving your online reputation, you’ll quickly be outdone by your competitors. The key to getting online reviews for your business is by making it easy to build a review funnel for your business. Here’s how.
#1 Create Business Profiles where reviews are available
This includes Google, Bing, Social platforms, Yelp, etc. Go to all the review sites that you want to be listed on and make sure you claim an official profile and make it look pretty. So, when people search for you, a nice little description shows up giving potential customers more information about your business.
#2 Create Easy Options for Customers to Leave Reviews
Most people won’t bother to leave a review unless they are super angry and can’t wait to share their bad experiences. To avoid just having those few angry customers listed, it’s important to make it very convenient for customers to leave a review. One option is by creating a review system, like what we offer our clients.
Our Review System
A review system provides multiple ways to improve the customer experience and gather online reviews by integrating customer feedback options on the sites that matter. When you provide multiple ways to add reviews about your business, you will be able to make a lasting impression with potential customers.
DISPLAY REVIEWS ON YOUR WEBSITE
The first step is to add and display reviews on your website. Anyone visiting your website will instantly get to see what others are saying about your business. It’s an easy way to build authority about your brand to new prospects.
AUTOMATICALLY CONTACT CURRENT CUSTOMERS
Our review system will load your customer database and automatically contact your current customers to obtain online reviews. This is such an easy and seamless way to reach out to those who already use your product or service, and are most likely satisfied with your business and more willing to leave a positive review
TEXT OR EMAIL OPTION TO SEND TO CUSTOMER
Because people prefer to rate your business in different ways, our system allows you to send a review request via email, text, or both. It is all customizable. You can choose how many requests you want to send out to each customer and the amount of time between requests. You will want to work with us to strategize what is best for your business, so you don’t wear out your customers.
SET UP A UNIQUE REVIEW LANDING PAGE
Setting up your own unique landing page to obtain reviews helps you in several ways. You can generate a “leave a review” button anywhere on your website. By doing this you invite people on your webpage to leave a review on the spot. Once the customer clicks the button, they will be redirected to a submission form where they can leave a user rating and provide feedback about their experience
What’s even more amazing is that with this review page, if a customer leaves a positive review, it will post directly on Google. However, if they leave a bad review, instead of it posting directly on Google, they will be redirected to a separate area, where you will have the opportunity to contact the customer and avoid the bad review posting publicly.
SHARE THE REVIEW LINK TO GENERATE MORE REVIEWS
With an active link, you can broaden your option, even more, to get more people to get more reviews. Here’s how:
- Send the link directly to your customer via email or text
- Post the link to your social media pages
- Generate QR codes with the link and display them in-store or on promotional material
Create Review Cards with the QR code and distribute them to your sales team or field crew. When they meet face-to-face with customers, they can present this card at the end of the sale and ask customers to scan the QR code and leave a review on the spot. Review cards can also be a way to incentive your reps to generate more sales. (i.e., the rep with the most positive reviews wins a gift card)
ACTIVELY RESPOND TO REVIEWS
It’s not enough to simply set up a review system and walk away. You need to be aware of what people are saying about you and actively respond to those reviews. Always engage with the people who leave you a review, whether their comments are positive or negative.
For positive comments, be sure to thank them and show gratitude for doing business with them. For negative comments, address the issue in a respectful manner, and try to provide a way to make the situation right again. You may also encourage the customer to contact you directly so the conversation can continue offline. By responding equally to both positive and negative reviews it shows the audience that you care about what they have to say
Those are 3 key takeaways on the importance of online reviews and how you can create a review system to get a steady flow of reviews. If you need help getting more reviews for your business, we’ll love to talk with you and see how we can help. Don’t forget that our podcast also goes live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and you can catch the replay on Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more resources to help your digital marketing plan.