Online business reviews can influence internet search engine results. This is crucial for small business owners wanting to increase local seo results. Search engines such as Google take into account how many times your business is mentioned in reviews. Your business getting alot of mentions usuually translates into appearing higher in search results than a business that isn’t reviewed often. Research suggests that consumers generally trust peer recommendations more than they trust advertising.
A recent Nelson survey found that of 25,000 internet consumers from 50 countries 90% trusted recommendations from people they know, while 70% trusted consumer opinions posted online.
I’m not going to lie. Getting reviews is not always easy. In fact, I find it to be challenging for a number or reasons. 1.) Who has the time to find your review site, compose a review, and get it posted quickly? 2.) Some of your clients no doubt love you and your product but they just aren’t skilled writers. 3.) Transparency is always an issue. Have you ever read an online business review that just felt fake? False reviews are tacky and will actually hurt your seo results.
That being said, here are 4 painless ways to encourage online reviews for your business:
Encourage your customers to leave ratings and reviews of your business if they are satisfied with your work. Send them a simple email after a service is rendered, give them a flyer at checkout, a call to action on your website or a phone call or direct text message. Don’t be shy. You’ve done a wonderful job. Asking for an endorsement is fine, as long as it is authentic. 1.
Provide customers with a variety of sites to post reviews about you. For example, if you are asking for a review via email, send the appropriate links in the body of your message so that they can easily click on the site and get typing directly. Instead of just providing links at the bottom of your email signature, why not kindly encourage and/or ask for a review? make this the SUBJECT OF YOUR EMAIL, not an afterthought or closing comment.
Respond to Reviews. The Good. The Bad. And The Ugly. Be proactive about responding to all reviews. Say thank you. Say you’re sorry. Say something! If the comment is a postive one, thank the customer for their feedback and encourage them (by name if appropriate) to use your services again. If the post is negative, explain that you appreciate their honesty and ask the customer to get in contact with you about their concerns so you can address their problems directly. And do that. I love seeing when business owners show the negative posts and their susbsequent tactful replies. Through your replies, customers can get to know you as an individual, not just ‘business x.’ Transparency and authenticity are gold in the business world.
Never ever post false reviews. False reviews are eventually discovered. Because of their obvious generic transparency, you risk the chance of losing visibility in search engines. Worse yet, the visibility you do get will not be the kind you want. Exercise patience and be consistent with points 1-3 and eventually you will build a strong business online review sampling.