Last week we explored how to turn a negative review into a positive experience for your business.
But what about good reviews? How does a business go about getting them?
Good reviews are important for many reasons. They communicate to potential customers that you are a business worth their time and money. Good reviews highlight your expertise, professionalism and success. Respected Australian Internet Marketing Consultant Steve Cartwright advises that “positive feedback is better for sales than almost anything.”
And he’s not wrong. A survey conducted by Search Engine Land found that 72% of consumers trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations, with 58% of consumers trusting a business which has a positive online review.
Do Reviews Improve Google Rankings?
From an SEO perspective, the jury is still out as to whether good reviews improve Google rankings. However, a positive review is is more likely to increase website traffic. For example, positive reviews on Google+ are one factor that could see your business placing higher on Google Places results.
“The three biggest factors in local listings appear to be the number of citations, the number of reviews (primarily on your Google Places listing, though other places do count), and how positive the reviews are overall. From what I’ve seen, positive reviews will trump citations, so persuading your customers and clients to leave great reviews on your Google+ Local page is the single most important thing you can do.”
Think of good reviews as part of an overall marketing strategy. They are a powerful way of attracting potential customers and require no financial input. When developing a marketing strategy, consider how to leverage marketing activities into positive reviews.
Always Say Thank You
if you’re dealing with a customer in a professional setting, send them a thank-you email when business is completed and provide a link to review websites. If they’re happy with the service, they’re more likely to click through and leave a positive review. Similarly, links can be added to weekly newsletters or on an employee’s email signature.
Amanda Stillwagon from Small Business Trends recommends that when businesses “communicate with customers in these ways, they’ll easily be able to leave reviews while your company is on their mind.”
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and a myriad of websites such as Yellow Pages, True Local, WOMO, Google+ or Yelp, invite businesses to setup profiles and ask for reviews at no cost. roi.com.au can help with setting up and optimising business pages on social media, as well as strategies to build your fan base and a creditable business narrative.
It is also important to remember not to pressure a customer into providing a positive review. This can make them feel uncomfortable or may unknowingly elicit a negative review. Instead, explain in a causal manner why a review is beneficial to the business.
Simon Dell from MYOB recommends the following as an example: “We hope you’ve enjoyed your experience dealing with X company and that we’ve delivered above and beyond your expectations. If you have a spare 5 minutes, we’d really appreciate you providing a positive account of your experience on this website: www.___”
Dell’s sample highlights the importance of a casual and engaging way to ask a customer for a testimonial. It’s good manners to thank customers for providing a positive review and shows you are serious about good customer service.
The Generation Game
Younger generations are more likely to share their experiences online with their friends. They are also far more likely to seek out review websites. While this age group doesn’t need much prompting to post online reviews, other generations might.
It’s also vital to never pay for reviews or create multiple accounts and write fake reviews. These tactics can often be found out by the review websites and could backfire badly.
Finally, the most important thing is to focus on providing good service to customers to make sure they leave with a smile on their face and are happy to write a glowing review for your business.
- 6 Steps To Make A Bad Review Good For Australian Businesses
- How Much Do Online Reviews Affect Sales?
- How Can You Measure the Effectiveness of Your Content?
- 3 Ethical Ways to Boost Positive Online Reviews
- How To Encourage Customers To Write Reviews
- How to Solicit Customer Reviews Without Pissing People Off