I bet the last time you bought something on Amazon of the main things you looked at was the customer’s reviews to find out other peoples opinions on the product and customer service?
A product at the right price online with lots of positive reviews is a very compelling proposition?
Customer reviews are therefore extremely important for your business and Local SEO.
According to Mike Blumenthal’s Study:
See Mike’s full survey at:
Lots of positive customer reviews on your Google Places listing (as long as they are done in the right way) generally have a very positive impact on your Google Places ranking.
If you have a well-set up listing and get more reviews than your competitor’s, then this is one of the factors that will help you rank better than them.
The devil though is within the detail as:
Despite though the difficulties in getting reviews, the rewards are worth the effort!
Still having a little doubt, find out why ‘Online Reviews Are The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Small Businesses‘.
Whilst I’m sure all your customers love your business, in reality, most will not post you a review unless you ask them to.
Collecting customer reviews and asking them to post them online should, therefore, become a normal part of your day-to-day business – this will help you online and be hugely valuable for all your other marketing materials.
Google even offers its own tips on how to generate a review. Click here to see what they have to say.
If reviews are positive to Google rankings, then it’s obvious that people will put up fake reviews to boost their rankings and reputation.
Google and other review websites are therefore becoming increasingly sophisticated in catching fake reviews; and discouraging practices that encourage fake reviews.
If they catch you at best you’ll have the review removed, at worst you’ll have your listing taken down!
Just a few things not to do:
You get the picture.
Are you worried that you may receive a poor review? Find out ‘Why You Can’t Really Trust Negative Online Reviews‘
There are lots of places where customers can put reviews, from on your own website to other review sites such as Review Centre, Qype, etc.
So where should you ask your customers to place reviews?
Google Reviews are the best – but there are problems!!
As you would expect, it is the Google Reviews that carry the most weight in your Google rankings directly affecting the position of your Google Places listing.
So you would expect that my recommendation would be to just get all your reviews in Google?
My advice is to not get all your reviews in Google for the following reasons:
10 reviews that appear on other websites with less review strength are still far better than 10 reviews on Google that do not show!
I recommend a strategy that promotes regular customer reviews on a range of online websites. For a little extra insight and guidance, please click here.
You need to ask customers to post reviews in a place that is convenient for them.
Google Places does sometimes ‘pull in’ reviews from third-party websites so these do have SEO value.
Check out the ‘Top 10 Review Websites to Get More Customer Reviews‘
The following section lists some ideas for getting customers’ reviews; there is no definitive way of getting reviews doing this as every business is different, though the following should give you a few ideas as to how you could get your review process going.
For your customers giving an online review is an effort – to make it easy for them
One way to make Google Reviews easier is to give your customers clear instructions on how they do actually give the online review.
Whitespark has created a fantastic tool for creating personalised review instructions for Google Places; follow the link below and use it!
If you have physical premises, put a sign on your counter or pay points along with business cards your customers can take away which tells them nice and clearly how to actually give the review.
(Forget the QR code though, that does not really work)
Have you ever noticed a QR code before? Whilst they may not be appropriate for reviews, find out ‘What Is A QR Code And Why Do You Need One?‘
Similar to No 1, but within your printed marketing ask for a Google Review.
Maybe after a customer has bought something from you send them a thank you card and ask for a review?
You could try and incentivise your customers to do this, but you do need to be very careful as this is against Google guidelines and if you are found out your listing could be barred!! So if you do it be aware of the risks and do not get caught, which means keeping this offline.
Incentivising customers to give you reviews is against Google’s guidelines, so do this at your own risk!
Find out more about the dangers of incentivising reviews here.
Email your customers to ask for a review.
The advantage of this method has is that you can include links in your email to web pages which makes the process for your customer much easier.
The disadvantage is that people generally take less notice of emails; so you may need to send out a lot to get a few people doing something!
Check out this helpful guide for how to respond to both good and bad reviews – https://blog.hubspot.com/service/respond-to-google-reviews
Review pages on your website can be a great way to make the review process that much easier for your customers.
Collecting customers reviews is an activity which generally is best carried out by the business themselves; for this will help you to really connect with your customers, though to get maximum benefit we do recommend getting as many of these reviews online as possible (for this is where your customers will see them!).