I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I’m guessing you’ve read at least one online review before buying something.
But have you ever actively tried to get more reviews for your company?
If not, it’s time to turn your online reputation into an asset for your business using sites likes Google, Facebook and Yelp! (These are the top three review sites on my list, but others could be more important depending on your industry.)
Online reviews reassure potential customers about what they can expect when purchasing your product/service or working with you.
Consider these stats from a 2016 BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey:
So, how do you up your review game?
Make it easy
Provide a link where all the reviewer needs to do is click a button – literally. And always include simple instructions, so reviewers know exactly what to do. Don’t assume they’ll figure it out on their own.
Active approaches are going to be the most successful. So, first and foremost:
Send personal emails individually asking clients, vendors and partners that you have a good relationship with to submit a review. Don’t be scared to straight up ask for 5-stars! We did this recently and doubled the number of 5-star Google reviews we had by getting 15 in less than a week!
If the person you reached out to doesn’t want to review you, no problem. They can ignore the email. I doubt you caused any friction by just asking.
Want to give them a stronger reason to comply with your request? Consider scratching their back by giving them a review first before asking for one in return.
After your initial push, keep the momentum up. Create a system for ongoing requests. Maybe every time someone gives your business a compliment, you open the conversation. Or If you’re feeling shy, offer incentives to employees who get customers to provide a review. Outsourcing at its finest!
Here are some effective passive approaches (that may take a little longer to see results):
Add it to your thank you page
Use your thank you page to collect customer reviews. You have one, right? As in, when someone makes a purchase or completes a download, they are taken to a page with a message of gratitude.
If you’re nodding your head, add links to one or more review sites on your thank you page. If you’re out of the loop, read this thank you page post from our blog archives.
Create a kiosk
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, set up an area with a laptop or iPad, so visitors can quickly review you on the spot. Make sure to point this station out to people or it could end up gathering dust.
Add a page to your site
If you’ve got space for a link in your footer or on your homepage, create a web page that includes links to your various profiles where you want reviews.
Include links in your email signature
Each time you email a client, they will see your request for a review. Pro tip: If you include the link on a graphic, it will get more attention.
Here’s an example:
We’re hoping for email newsletter sign ups, if you can’t tell.
Create business cards
Some businesses hand out a card that includes the URL for an important review site. But this means you’re counting on the reviewer to type in the URL or scan a QR code and then give a review. That small extra step will probably mean this tactic will have a lower adoption rate. Pro tip: Don’t spend a lot of money getting the cards printed!
Don’t stop there!
Once you’ve got some reviews, show them off! Put them on the applicable pages of your website – homepage, product pages, you name it. Use them in case studies. Make graphics for social media. The sky’s the limit – promote yo self!
If you’ve benefited from our monthly Business Trend article series (peruse all of them under “related articles” in the column to the right) or our weekly blogs, do you mind clicking a couple buttons on our behalf?
For Google, click this link, the 5 stars, and then “post.” You can also leave a sentence or two of feedback, if you want to go the extra mile!
For Facebook, click this link, the 5 stars under “tell people what you think,” and then the “done” button. Once again, you can write a sentence or two of feedback, if you feel so inclined!
See what I did there? I’m putting that ongoing request system into action!
Taylor Hartley is marketing and communications director at Papercut Interactive, a web development and digital marketing company founded in 2001. Papercut services include custom website design, marketing strategy, and digital marketing. Learn more at papercutinteractive.com.