How to Get Reviews to Improve Your Online Visibility
Why are Reviews Important?
In 2016, most people search for their service providers (like service of process) online. As you probably know, businesses that rank higher on Google get more traffic and therefore have more opportunity to acquire new clients. Google prefers to list businesses that have several reviews so that it can suggest the most legitimate businesses to its users; positive reviews will help your business rank higher than your competitors. And wouldn’t you trust a business with positive reviews over one with none?
So all business owners should be working on getting reviews in combination with other online marketing efforts. But how do we do this? Why aren’t my clients leaving me reviews already?
Watch my recent ServeNowEDU webinar: Local Search Optimization Basics
Learn about local search optimization, what it means, how it differs from traditional search engine marketing, and how to get started. In this webinar, online marketing coordinator Kelsey Johnson will walk you through how to claim your Google business profile, what it takes to get listed online, and how your NAP, social media, reviews, and having a mobile-friendly website can influence your ranking.
Setting Up Review Options for Your Clients
Your clients don’t have any reason to leave you a review, particularly if they don’t know how important it is to your business. So ask!
There are three main places where people search for reviews (and are therefore important for Google rankings):
You will need to set up a business page/listing for each of your locations or claim the ones that exist already. Click on the links above to get started. Each site has different rules so the process might take longer than you think.
How to Encourage Clients to Leave Reviews
There are a couple of ways you can encourage clients to leave reviews. If you have Facebook or Twitter, you can post there. Many people these days are regularly on a social media platform and Facebook reviews can be the most simple to submit.
You can also send follow-up email requests for reviews. Many business owners are now regularly sending emails after providing a service to ensure their client had a good experience. Be sure to state that you sincerely appreciate their feedback, even if it’s negative, because it will allow you to see more clearly ways in which you can improve as a business.
Feel free to use this email template:
On behalf of [your business name here], I would like to thank you for your business. If you like what we do, please consider helping us to reach others by adding a review of our services on your favorite site:
We hope to hear from you again soon!
Keep in mind that a few good reviews can bring you more business than paid advertising. The next time a customer compliments you, kindly remind them that leaving you a positive review is the best thanks you can get!
What if my client doesn’t know how to leave reviews?
Although many people read online reviews, not many actually know how to leave one. And the less time it takes them, the better. Make sure your website has links to Yelp, Google, and Facebook, and give your not-so-tech-savvy clients simple, step-by-step instructions like these.
- Go to google.com and search “Insert your Business Name Here.” On the right side of the page, you should see our Google Business listing.
- Click the “Write a review” button on the bottom right of our Google Business listing.
- If you are prompted to sign in to Google and you don’t have a Google/Gmail account set up, click “create account” towards the bottom of the window. This is a one-time process that should take two to three minutes
- Once you have signed into your Google account, select the amount of stars you feel we deserve (5 being the best), and write a review about your experience with us.
- Visit “Insert your Business Name Here” review page. (NOTE: You can send your client a direct link to your review page.)
- Once you are on our Yelp page, click on the “Leave a Review” button. If you’re already signed in, you’ll be able to select however many stars you’d like to give us (5 being the best), and write about your experience with us.
- If you’re not signed in and don’t have an account, follow the instructions provided to create an account. This shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes.
- Visit “Insert your Business Name Here” page. (NOTE: You can send your client a direct link to your review page.)
- Once you are on our Facebook page, click on the “Leave a review” button on the left-hand side. If you’re signed in, you can select however many stars you’d like to give us (5 being the best), and write about your experience with us.
- If you’re not signed in and don’t have an account, follow the instructions provided to create an account. This process should take less than 5 minutes.
Responding to Reviews
Your hard work has paid off! One of your clients wrote you a review. Make sure you check Google, Yelp, and Facebook at least once a month and respond to all reviews, negative or positive. If you need help, Google has some great suggestions for responding to reviews.
- Reviews are important because Google uses them to rank your business and potential clients and customers trust them.
- You should make it as easy as possible for customers to leave you reviews by providing links to your review sites and offering step-by-step guides for not-so-tech-savvy customers.
- Positive reviews can be more beneficial to your business than paid advertising.
- Keep in mind that the best way to get glowing reviews is by delivering top-notch services and customer support.
- Follow up with bad reviews and thank people for the good ones!