Reviews are kinda important for small businesses. As KissMetrics show, social proof is a massive deal, with more than 90% of customers saying that an online review has a huge impact on their ultimate buying decision. The more positive reviews you have, the more people will be inclined to buy from your business.
But there’s another big reason why you need to leverage customer reviews. According to Moz, online reviews help your website rank better, and helps your overall local SEO ranking ability (see more about how local SEO works here). This means that the more positive reviews you have, the higher you’ll appear in Google’s search results. This means more views, more conversions and - potentially - more sales, because 4 out of 5 of us want to be able to use Google to find a local business just like yours in Tulsa.
This is all well and good, but there’s one clear snag: How do you get more reviews for your Google listing? In this article, I’m going to take a look at how to create an awesome review generation campaign that works.
It sounds simple… but for some businesses, it also sounds a bit rude.
However, there’s nothing wrong with asking your customers to leave a positive review, and it always amazes me how many businesses don’t bother to do this.
If a customer has had an awesome experience with your company, the chances are very high that they’ll leave you a glowing review if you just ask them.
Yelp let’s you do this, provided there’s no incentivizing going on.
The best way to ask for a review is to do it in person. If a customer has just told you how pleased they are with the service you provided them, now is your chance to ask them if they’d be happy to leave you a review.
If they have said no such thing, try engaging them in a conversation. If they’re happy with the service you’ve provided, go and ask them if they’d be so kind as to leave you a review.
Alternatively, you could do it via email. This is trickier because you might end up requesting a review from a customer who isn’t happy, and such a request will aggravate them. However, if you don’t get to spend much time face-to-face with your customers, email is your next best option.
I recommend sending easy-to-follow instructions on how to fill out a review with you email. A predesigned attachment along with kind words will go a long way. Whitespark has a great tool that helps you generate your own customized instructions. In fact, it’s so good, that we have used this within our review campaigns in the past.
It’s 2018, but a lot of your customers still don’t know how to leave a Google review for your Tulsa based local listing.
This is problematic. The customer might want to leave a positive review - but they can’t because they simply don’t know how to.
Instead of hoping they’ll go home and figure it out by themselves, educate your customer inside your building. For example, you could make a printout on how to leave customer reviews on Google available on your front desk.
Alternatively, you could have a page or blog post on your website dedicated to educating your customers on how they can leave reviews. Make sure that your instructions are simple, clear and bulleted.
Respond to Reviews
The thing with reviews is that everyone is watching. Some businesses don’t respond to any reviews - both the positive ones and the negative ones - but it makes them look as though they don’t care.
It’s all about perception. If you respond to customer reviews - both the good and bad ones - it shows that you care about your business and that you’re actively engaging and interacting with your customers. This can encourage others to leave reviews, too.
Responding to negative reviews is key. It’s very easy to either get on the defensive with negative reviews, or even ignore them. However, the best thing to do is to remain calm and respond positively. Apologize, thank them for speaking up, acknowledge their concern and explain how you’re going to address it. If the customer starts to get angry, move the conversation elsewhere.
Just Hire Somebody!
If all of these tactics are beyond your scope, you don’t have time, or you simply just don’t want to do it, then hire a talented consultant or agency to help. A competent agency should be able to put together a review campaign strategy that tastefully employs tactics to ensure that reviews are consistent, quality, and frequent.
Jared Carrizales leads Tulsa-based SEO company, Heroic Search. In addition to working on SEO for Tulsa businesses, Jared serves as digital marketing coordinator for KariMirabal.com, handling end to end marketing and advertising campaigns for the brand.