Online reviews have become a crucial part of any marketing strategy. Reviews are the best way to promote your business through “word-of-mouth.” 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 important, it puts pressure on business owners to continuously be accumulating positive reviews. So, how can this be done? These are a few different strategies that have been found successful in gaining reviews.
While it is unethical, and actually forbidden by review sites to offer anything in return to customers for a review, that doesn’t mean you can’t offer incentives to your employees. Start a fun contest within the company to see who can get the most customers to leave a review. This will incentivize employees to remind customers when leaving that it would be greatly appreciated if they left a review and mentioned their name. Whoever accumulates the most reviews by the end of the month will receive a cash or prize bonus.
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. This is something that your employers can hand out, and help them out in the contest!
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 no 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 Should you 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.