How to attract more customers with online reviews

by | Oct 18, 2018 | Local SEO

Can online reviews really make a difference to your business? A dramatic one, as it turns out.

In fact, it is estimated that 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before making a buying decision and a whopping 88 percent of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In other words, not having customer reviews can deprive your potential customers of the information they need to make a buying decision.

Without insights about your business from reviews, your customers may gravitate towards your competitors who do have a rich review history online.

 

ONLINE REVIEWS MATTER

Clearly, online reviews do matter—and here are some more hard facts to prove it:

  • Customers are likely to spend 31 percent more on a business with “excellent” reviews.
  • 72 percent of consumers say that positive reviews increase their trust in a local business.
  • Approximately 92 percent of customers will use a local business with a rating of at least 4 stars.
  • Roughly 86 percent of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.
  • A one-star increase in Yelp ratings correlates to a 5 to 9 percent increase in a company’s revenue. Similarly, a negative review can cost a business 30 customers.

>> Implementing a review aquisition strategy is one of our 11 Local SEO Essentials for 2019

Here, we’ve rounded up our best tips and tricks to help you get more reviews from your customers.

1. Set Up Profiles on Relevant Review Websites

If you’re going to start asking your customers for reviews, it only makes sense to have your business listed on review websites that are relevant to your industry. These include for example Yelp, True Local, Google My Business, Facebook and industry-specific review sites such as TripAdvisor and RateMyAgent.

General review sites, such as Trustpilot, can also be great to join.

2. Don’t Expect—Ask

It’s probably the most common mistake that businesses make when it comes to online reviews—expecting, rather than asking for them. More often than not, business owners are reluctant to ask for fear of having their request ignored—or, even worse, of receiving negative reviews instead of positive ones.

But that’s not usually what happens. Most customers understand the importance of reviews for growing businesses. They’re often happy to provide them as long as writing a review is simple and convenient. It’s important not to wait for too long to ask, though. Customers are more likely to leave a review soon after receiving their product or service.

Depending on your business and/or products, you may be able to ask for reviews in more than one place—for example via email, in person, and even on social media.

3. review requests via email

Here are our fail-proof tips:

Make it personal

Turn an informal request from the company into a personal one from an employee—or, even better, someone the customer has interacted with.

 

No distractions 

Have a clear call-to-action link/button. Make it a one-click-step to get to the page to leave a review.  Remember to keep the email focus on one goal only – your review request. Don’t distract them with other information, social media or website links.

 

Don’t get fancy

Skip the HTML email and choose plain-text format instead. No fancy formatting or images.

 

Test what works 

A/B test your subject line and email copy. As with any call to action, it’s a good idea to test the subject line you use, as well as the email text to ensure the highest conversion rate from your request.

A Double Purpose

Reviews aren’t just an extremely powerful marketing tool — they serve another purpose, too. They’re an invaluable way to get more insight into how your business is performing, and whether there are any areas that need improvement.

If your business is receiving consistently negative reviews, take notice and investigate — and, most importantly, reply to those comments as courteously as possible.

As negative reviews are in the public domain it’s essential to address your customers’ concerns politely and appropriately. Others are likely to judge your response to the negative review as importantly as the review itself.  

 

Need help with online reviews?

If you’d like help developing and implementing a process to boost your reviews as part of a monthly SEO package, we’d love to hear from you.

Author - Maz Hancock

Maz is a SEO Specialist based on the Gold Coast and enjoys working closely with digital marketing teams and ambitious local business owners to implement SEO in a way that’s results-focused, simple and effective.

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