You know that online reviews help drive customers to your business. But did you know they also improve your visibility in online searches? It’s true—Google looks for reviews about your business across a variety of sites when it determines where you rank in searches.
So now is the time for local businesses to go after more reviews, spread across more sites that publish reviews–not just Yelp, but Google+ Local, Angie’s List and other local directories like DexKnows.com.
In other words, you need fans, and quick.
Lucky for you, if you’re doing business right, you’ve got fans:
- repeat customers
- members of your loyalty program
- customers who left compliments on your Facebook page
- customers who open your email newsletter
- customers who have already written positive reviews
Make a list of your fans (you’ll feel great!), then try these steps to gently push them toward writing reviews:
Step 1: Ask for a Review!
Yes, it can be that easy. Remember, they’ve already expressed an interest in your business. A good time to ask for a review is just after a purchase or service call, before concluding business. Other options include a follow-up phone call, an email or in a customer survey. And if you spot a good review or kind comment about your business online, thank the customer promptly.
Some etiquette about asking for an online review: Don’t ask for a good review, rather ask the customer to describe their experience with your business.
Step 2: Make It Easy to Review Your Business
Show the customer where to go. In emails or on your website, display links to your profile pages on sites, where clients can write a review. QR codes enable clients to take a picture with their smartphone and jump directly to a specific landing page. Try incorporating QR Codes into your collateral that bring your customer to the major review sites to make it easy for them to post a positive review.
Always request reviews on multiple sites, and remind clients to be specific in their comments and give a description of actual experiences.
And finally – you knew this was coming – make your business worthy of good reviews. A recent survey for Search Engine Land asked consumers what traits prompted them to recommend a business. “Reliable and professional”, “friendly and welcoming” and “cheap at the price” led the list. But 16% of the consumers said they gave a positive review just because “they asked me”.
So give it a try and ask.
For more information on getting more customer reviews check out our latest article on 5 Easy Ways To Increase Online Reviews.