When customers look for a new business, product or service, where do they go? Online. They do some research. Part of that research involves reading reviews and nearly 90% of consumers trust them as much as personal recommendations.
Google also loves online reviews and they help bump up your website in search results. This means that the more reviews you get, the more likely that searchers will find you.
But how do you ask your (happy) customers to write a review (if they’re not already) and where should that review appear online to have the most impact?
Where to start
There are many review sites out there, but right now, there are two primary places where you want to get reviews: Google (your Google My Business page) and your business Facebook page.
Reviews on these sites show at the top of results if someone does a search for something like, “Tony’s Plumbing Adelaide reviews”.
If you’re in the restaurant or hospitality industry, websites like Trip Advisor are important. Yellow Pages also has a place for customers to leave reviews, which help get your name into search engines and boost your rank, too.
How to get more reviews
So how do you go about getting more online reviews from your customers? Ask them! Customers and clients are usually happy to share their opinions and help promote you online.
Ask your favorite clients to post a review when you see them in person. You can also print up small cards, flyers or posters at your business location asking for reviews.
Other options include sending a quick email to select customers, or adding a quick request at the bottom of your receipts, invoices or other pieces of client communication.
A few best practices
Getting reviews from customers can be easy, but there are still a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to online reviews. Here are some best practice tips:
- Basically, the golden rule is that referrals should be natural, not forced, and made over time. You want searchers to see that customers consistently have a good experience – not that 100 people wrote reviews in March, which can seem fishy.
- Be sure that the IP address of the reviewer is not the same as the one for your business. (In other words, don’t have a customer use your business computer to write the review, or try to post one for them.) This is a red flag to Google that you’re trying to boost your own business by writing a great review for yourself!
- Don’t pay for reviews. Ever. And don’t harass or send a mass email people to requesting reviews. Just find an easy way to prompt customers that if they’re happy, they can jump online and post a quick note. Some will do it anyway – particularly in consumer businesses – but a gentle prompt never hurts.
- Unless they’ve had a bad experience and want to rant publicly, customers won’t always seek out a place to post a review. So, if you’re sending an email or making a request, be sure to give them a direct link to the review site to make it easier for clients to give you some love.
Need more ideas or some help encouraging clients to promote you? Contact Breathe Marketing today.