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Reviews Matter: How to Get More Reviews and Improve Your Online Reputation
Running a small business is no easy feat. With so much competition out there, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd and attract new customers.
That’s where online reviews come in. In today’s digital age, reviews have become a crucial component of a small business’s success.
When it comes to making purchasing decisions, customers turn to online reviews as a trusted source of information.
There’s a reason people have no problem making the drive to Miles Through Time Automotive Museum, the museum my husband Sean and I started. It’s off the beaten path, yet it still gets a steady flow of traffic…and the 264 reviews on Google definitely help.
In fact, a whopping 97% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase.
That’s why having positive reviews can make all the difference in attracting new customers and building your business’s reputation.
But online reviews don’t just help you get more customers. They also have a big impact on your search engine ranking. The more reviews you have, the higher your business is likely to appear in search results. This means that having a strong online review presence can help improve your visibility and bring more traffic to your website.
So, if you’re a small business owner looking to grow your business, online reviews should be at the top of your priority list.
I’m Torie Mathis, marketing agency CEO, digital marketing coach in the Smart Arsenal, and collector of museum reviews, and in this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can get more reviews, the best places to get them, and the biggest mistakes to avoid along the way.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- The Benefits of Online Reviews
- Ways to Get More Reviews
- Places to Get Reviews
- Biggest Mistakes Businesses Make When Trying to Get Reviews
The Benefits of Online Reviews
Online reviews aren’t just helpful for attracting new customers, they also provide a host of other benefits for small businesses. Here are three key ways having a positive online review presence can help boost your business:
Increased Credibility and Trust
When customers see positive reviews about your business, it builds trust and credibility in your brand. It shows that others have had a positive experience with your products or services, making potential customers more likely to choose your business over a competitor. It’s like having a group of satisfied customers vouching for your business – who wouldn’t want that?
Improved Search Engine Ranking
Search engines like Google take online reviews into account when determining search rankings. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your business is likely to appear in search results. This means that having a strong online review presence can help improve your visibility and bring more traffic to your website.
So, not only do reviews help attract new customers, they also help boost your online presence.
Increased Customer Engagement and Loyalty
Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows that you value your customers and their feedback. It gives you an opportunity to engage with them and build a relationship, which can lead to increased loyalty and repeat business. Plus, when customers see that you care about their feedback and are actively working to improve their experience, they’re more likely to recommend your business to others.
Having a positive online review presence can help build trust, improve your search engine ranking, and increase customer engagement and loyalty. So, start encouraging your satisfied customers to leave reviews and watch your business grow!
Ways to Get More Reviews
Tips and Tricks for Small Businesses
Now that we’ve covered why online reviews are so important, let’s dive into the different ways you can get more of them. Here are five strategies for boosting your review presence.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
This may seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing: the best way to get positive reviews is to provide excellent customer service. When customers have a positive experience with your business, they’re more likely to leave a glowing review. So, make sure you’re treating your customers like royalty and providing them with the best possible experience.
Ask for Reviews
Asking for reviews is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get more of them. But timing and medium are key. Ask for a review when a customer is most likely to be happy and satisfied with their experience, such as right after a purchase or service. And make it easy for them to leave a review by providing a link or instructions on how to do so. Email, text message, and in-person requests are all effective ways to ask for reviews.
Make it Easy for Customers to Leave Reviews
Speaking of making it easy, don’t make your customers jump through hoops to leave a review. Provide links to your business’s profiles on review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. You can also create a landing page on your website specifically for reviews, with easy-to-follow instructions for leaving a review.
While you can’t offer incentives for positive reviews, you can incentivize customers to leave a review in general. For example, you could offer a discount on their next purchase or enter them into a giveaway for leaving a review. Just make sure you’re following the guidelines of the review site you’re using – some prohibit incentivized reviews.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is a great way to engage with customers and encourage them to leave reviews. Share positive reviews on your business’s social media profiles, and encourage customers to leave a review by mentioning it in your posts or stories. You can also use social media to ask for feedback and suggestions, which can lead to more reviews in the long run.
By providing excellent customer service, asking for reviews, making it easy for customers to leave reviews, incentivizing reviews (within guidelines), and utilizing social media, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong online review presence.
Places to Get Reviews
Where to Get Reviews: The Best Places for Small Businesses to Focus Their Efforts
Now that you know how to get more reviews, it’s important to know where to focus your efforts. Here are the top five places for small businesses to get reviews.
Google My Business
Google My Business is one of the most important places to get reviews. When customers search for your business on Google, your Google My Business profile will appear at the top of the search results. Having positive reviews on your profile can help attract new customers and improve your search ranking.
Yelp is another popular review site that can help attract new customers. While Yelp has had its fair share of controversies over the years, it’s still an important site for small businesses to focus on. Yelp reviews can appear in search results, and many customers rely on Yelp when deciding where to eat or shop.
Facebook is a great place to get reviews because many customers are already on the platform. Plus, having positive reviews on your business’s Facebook page can help build trust and credibility with potential customers.
Depending on your industry, there may be specific review sites that are more important to focus on. For example, if you run a restaurant, you may want to focus on getting reviews on OpenTable or TripAdvisor. Do some research to find out which review sites are most important in your industry.
Third-Party Review Sites
There are also a number of third-party review sites that can be helpful for small businesses. Sites like Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, and Houzz are great for businesses in the home services industry, while sites like G2 Crowd and Trustpilot are more focused on B2B businesses.
By focusing on these top review sites and industry-specific sites, you can build a strong online review presence that will help attract new customers and improve your search ranking.
Biggest Mistakes Businesses Make When Trying to Get Reviews
Don’t Make These Mistakes: Common Pitfalls When Trying to Get Reviews
While getting reviews can be hugely beneficial for small businesses, there are some common mistakes that can actually do more harm than good. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid when trying to get more reviews:
Not Asking for Reviews
Believe it or not, one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make when it comes to reviews is not asking for them in the first place. Many customers are happy to leave a review if they’re asked, so make sure to train your staff to request reviews from satisfied customers.
Being Too Pushy or Incentivizing Dishonest Reviews
On the flip side, it’s important not to be too pushy when asking for reviews or to incentivize dishonest reviews. This can actually hurt your credibility and reputation in the long run. Instead, focus on providing excellent customer service and letting genuine reviews speak for themselves.
Ignoring Negative Reviews
While positive reviews can be great for attracting new customers, negative reviews can be equally powerful. Ignoring negative reviews can make your business seem unresponsive or uninterested in customer feedback. Instead, make sure to respond to negative reviews in a professional and empathetic manner, and work to address any issues raised.
Failing to Respond to Reviews
In addition to responding to negative reviews, it’s important to respond to positive reviews as well. This can help build customer loyalty and show potential customers that you value their feedback. Make sure to thank customers for positive reviews and address any specific feedback they may have provided.
Not Verifying Your Business on Review Sites
Finally, it’s important to verify your business on any review sites where you have a presence. This helps ensure that your business information is accurate and up-to-date, and can help prevent fake or inaccurate reviews from being posted.
By avoiding these common pitfalls and focusing on providing excellent customer service and building genuine relationships with your customers, you can create a strong online review presence that will help your business thrive.
Wrap It Up: Reviews Are a Must-Have for Small Businesses
In conclusion, reviews are an essential tool for small businesses looking to build credibility, attract new customers, and retain existing ones. By following the strategies outlined in this article, including asking for reviews, utilizing social media, and responding to feedback, you can create a strong online presence that will help your business succeed.
Remember to avoid common mistakes such as being too pushy, ignoring negative feedback, and failing to respond to reviews. And don’t forget to verify your business on any review sites where you have a presence.
At the end of the day, building a strong review presence takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it in the end. So take action today and start implementing these strategies to get more reviews for your business.
And if you’re looking for even more digital marketing resources, including training, templates, and hands-on help, be sure to check out the Smart Arsenal. With over $10k DFY templates and a community of experts, you’ll have everything you need to take your business to the next level.
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
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