10 Commandments of Getting Online Reviews for Your Business
by Kathryn Good
We scour Amazon reviews before we buy something. We read reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor before we eat at a new restaurant. We see what Google has to say before trying a new salon or tire store. Even when we get the review from a trusted friend, we still rely on the backup advice of the Internet. So, believe us when we tell you that people are looking online for reviews on your business.
Reviews are also advantageous for business sales and search engine placement. They increase search engine rankings and click-thru rates to your site. They can increase digital trust and authority of your business and have the potential to drive more sales.
But … it isn’t that easy to get reviews. Here are our 10 commandments for getting more Google reviews (or Facebook, Yelp, you get the idea…)
- Send request after customer engagement. Within 72 hours of service, send a review request. You don’t want customers to see this as a to-do list item but a natural follow-up to your service.
- Ask for feedback in multiple ways. Your clients may respond to review requests in different ways – email, texting, Facebook messenger, phone call, etc. Test various ways and do what works for your customers.
- Make it easy. Give a direct link to your review source of choice. If you ask for the review in person or over the phone, follow up with an email or text that gives instructions and a link. Add an easy to find “Leave a Review” button on your website and email campaigns.
- Explain the importance of reviews. If you have a few customers that know and love you, explain what reviews mean to your business. It’s also a good idea to do this after you receive positive feedback.
- Respond to all posts – good or bad. It’s always good to say thank you for a positive review, and we’ve found that people will stop and think about leaving a negative review if they know the owner is reading the reviews.
- Don’t offer incentives for reviews. Contests, prizes, coupons and other ways of soliciting reviews can create biased content, which is exactly what Google and Yelp are trying to prevent.
- Don’t prohibit negative reviews. It used to be that many software programs allowed you to direct negative reviews away from posting on Google. This practice is now a no-no. Online sentiments are supposed to be what your customers honestly think.
- Don’t solicit reviews in bulk. Google says this specifically.
- Reuse positive reviews. Re-purpose your positive feedback on your website and other branding materials as testimonials and customer quotes.
- Provide good customer service. This makes it easy for people to want to leave good comments about your business, which is the simplest way to review success.
You may be tempted to break the rules and do whatever you can to get reviews, but break Google’s policies and you could have all your hard work removed. We encourage you to do the hard, honest work and let people speak the truth about your business.
Keystone has a variety of tools and tactics we offer our marketing clients. Let’s talk reviews.