How to Get More Online Reviews for a Local Small Business
One strategy of growing your small business is to make sure that you have an online presence to help people discover your business. Getting online reviews, both on third party sites like Google Maps, Yelp, etc. as well as on your own website can be a great way to attract new customers.
It can also be an easy way to get legitimate feedback on how your business is performing for your customers, which can help you can improve your business.
Local business owners need to learn the complete dynamics of reviews. There are three steps to it, which includes requesting customers to leave their reports, monitoring the reviews and finally responding to both positive and negative reviews. This article will act as a guide for small local businesses on how to manage the entire review process.
Benefits of Online Reviews
Reviews help in building a business’ level of credibility
Customers often know what they want from a product or service and therefore choosing a vendor. The difference between winning that potential customer’s business often comes down to the reviews they find online.
In the case of many positive reviews, the customer will feel reassured that your business will deliver as expected. Positive reviews can also build word of mouth traffic as more people share their good experiences with their friends.
Reviews are a means of interacting with customers
Reviews are an interesting communication method from different perspectives. When a customer leaves a good rating about your product or service, the business owner should take the time to respond to the customer to thank them for their positive feedback. On the other hand, a negative review can help the business owner recognize potential issues with their products or services that need to be addressed in order to stay successful.
Reviews accentuate a business’ SEO
For a robust online presence, a company should focus on its Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is how business is ranked for online searches. Reviews are common searches, so ranking for those keywords can be a major source of potential new customers. An important element for getting your site’s review pages to rank is to incorporate schema markup. This is a coding method that Google favors for adding star reviews to your website. If your site is built on WordPress you can easily add a plugin to create schema markup for your reviews.
Sites such as Yelp consider firms with the best recommendations and numerous reviews when ranking businesses. Having a strong listing on Yelp is important for SEO because it has a high authority in Google so it has a good chance of ranking for a local search result.
Five Strategies for Generating More Local Reviews
Now that you know why reviews are so important for your business it’s time to focus on ways in to create more online reviews.
Use social media to attract reviews
Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are a great way to interact with your customers. Each of the platforms provide a comment section for your customers to leave feedback and Facebook even enables customers to leave their reviews and recommendations. When a customer leaves a comment or review you can ask them if you can use it on your website. You can also ask them to review your business on Yelp and Google Maps to help boost those profiles. Checkout Creating The Essential Social Media Toolbox for 2019 for more social media tips.
Making it easy for customers to leave their reviews
Make sure your business website has an easy to find form to leave reviews. Most businesses make the mistake of not incorporating a review form or if they do have one not making it easy to get to. This reduces the number of reviews you will receive.
Using polite and non-invasive language when asking for reviews
In this case, small business owners should replace the word ‘review’ with ‘feedback’ and instead of ‘asking’ for reviews; they should ‘invite’ customers for feedback. Moreover, whether replying to negative or positive reviews, it is essential first to thank the customer for their review, and then go ahead to respond to the issue at hand.
Incentivizing for reviews
Another thing to consider is giving a discount or a gift to the first person to leave a review on a new product or service. Such gestures could motivate customers to add reviews to your business pages.
Addressing old reviews
Focusing on correcting old negative reviews of your business is vital for improving your business’s credibility. It will not only help your overall ratings but also shows new customers you take feedback seriously.
Hopefully you now understand the importance of online reviews for building your business reputation and have discovered a few new methods to grow your positive reviews. If you have any other methods I’d love to get your feedback below in the comments.