Nowadays, consumers are surrounded by advertising at every corner. With the increasing competition in the marketplace, the choice of products and service providers becomes more complicated. Naturally, people turn to the good old word of mouth. Online reviews are truly the greatest reflection of your business’s reputation.
Online reviews have become a crucial part of any marketing strategy. Not only do potential customers trust the opinion of others, but these reviews now also have an impact on your SEO. As they become more and more prevalent, it puts pressure on business owners to accumulate more positive feedback. So, how can this be done? These are a few different strategies that have been found successful in gaining reviews.
Needless to mention, pressuring customers into leaving reviews online is unethical and strictly forbidden by review sites. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage your employees. Start a fun contest within the company to see who can get the most customers to leave a review. This will encourage employees to remind customers that it would be greatly appreciated if they left a review and mentioned their name.
Creating a postcard that you hand out to happy customers after service, with the URL of your review platform or a page on your site that will lead them there, reminds them to review while their experience is still fresh in their head. If you wish to focus on Google reviews, check out this great tool for generating custom printouts.
Follow Review Site Guidelines
In the process of trying to rapidly gain online reviews, it’s important to make sure that you’re abiding by the site’s best practices, and not breaking any rules in the meantime. For example, most review sites do not allow you to offer anything in return for customers leaving reviews. You also may not leave reviews on your customers’ behalf, even if they wrote you an email with a testimonial, you may not copy and past that to your Yelp page. Lastly, you may not set up any sort of review kiosk at your business, making it easier for customers to leave a review. Most review sites can detect that, and you’ll find the penalties much harsher than the rewards.
Which Review Sites You Should Focus On
While there are many review platforms online, if boosting your rankings is your main goal, you should focus on Google reviews. Yelp is also a popular, and important source as it is a large source of referral traffic for local businesses. Bing Local also uses Yelp reviews as its main source of their rating scale. So, make sure you refer your customers to the platform that makes the most sense for your kind of business.