Everyone has an opinion and most people love to share it. You may love getting personal testimonials but when your website needs a boost in traffic, your website needs reviews.
A colleague recently told the story of his client – a personal injury lawyer – who had no trouble getting good reviews. The lawyer would call the client to tell them that their check was ready to be picked up. “And by the way,” he’d add, “we would appreciate knowing how we did. Could you leave a review?”
Brilliant! He’s asking for a review when his client is happy (getting money usually means being happy). And he’s asked before they have the check (not likely to forget to follow through).
Let Reviews drive traffic to your website and business
- Reviews aren’t just about branding, good reviews show up in Google Maps and can give your site a bump in position.
- In an ordinary web search results, starred reviews are displayed and draw the eye. Which coffee shop do you think gets the web traffic?
- Unlike desktop search, Mobile search results are in part determined by the number of reviews your website has!
- Good reviews are an easy way to improve incoming links from authoritative websites.
Do’s and Don’ts
Before you run out and start faking a bunch of reviews – seriously don’t do that! – make sure you are doing it right.
Do have great customer service – a good review requires good service!
Do set up your Google My Business Account (The First Secret to Local Search 5/27/15). All of the other review services are important but Google should be first.
Do your research. Where are reviews from your industry coming from? You probably know that travel sites need to do well in Travelocity. Restaurants need to do well in Yelp. Contractors need to get good reviews on AngiesList and HomeAdvisor. Let Google help you find review sites.
Do ask for reviews. It may feel awkward but asking for reviews can become just part of your process.
Do make it easy to leave a review.
- Leave a Trip Advisor card on your counter top or near the cash register.
- Put a link to your Google My Business page prominently on your website – even include it in your email signatures.
- On your site: link to the appropriate websites.
- On your print material: include a QR code.
Don’t try to get all the reviews at one time. Google does notice unnatural actions.
Don’t offer to pay or reward for a review. Some review sites actively punish businesses that offer a reward.
Don’t tell anyone what to write. Fake reviews sound fake and you can have your reviews pulled.
Don’t tell anyone which review site is the one you want a review on.There are dozens of ways to get reviews where you need them. Let your customer use the services they prefer.
Respond, and do it in a timely way.
Monitor your reviews. At the most basic level, you can set up a Google Alert for your business being mentioned on the internet.
Reviews are (or should be) real people’s experience with your business or service. If you ignore a review you’ve just ignored that customer. Good reviews should always get a thank you. Bad reviews should get an answer.
If you do get a bad review get more active about getting new and better reviews to push a bad one down.