Ah, yes. How do I get more online reviews for my business? It’s an excellent question and one that many small business owners have struggled with over the years. My goal with this article is to help you better understand the why’s and how’s of online reviews.
We’ll cover a variety of topics in this post all aimed at increasing your online presence particularly when it comes to customer reviews. We’ll talk about business listings, generating new reviews, and dealing with negative ones.
If you’re asking how to get more reviews, I’m sure you have a general idea how important they can be for your business. Here are a few facts nontheless to enlighten you further.
91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendationsBRIGHTLOCAL
Businesses can expect a 5-9% increase in revenue for each additional star rating it gets.VENDASTA
With stats like that, it’d be crazy not to care about online reviews.
Before getting more online reviews, we need to work on boosting your digital presence.
What is Google My Business?
It’s hard to dispute Google’s status as a powerhouse search engine. You can find almost anything with a simple Google search. Though they may be a powerful company, Google does stick up for local businesses like yours.
How you ask. Let me introduce you to Google My Business.
Google My Business allows businesses to publish important contact information directly to the SERP (search engine result page). In the case of the picture below, a local customer searching for hardware stores in Seattle. Google proudly displays the 3 best results for the search along with their store hours, address, and other relevant info. This group of results is commonly referred to as the 3-pack and is a great end goal for any review management campaign.
These results are based on Google My Business listings which appear in Maps results. The more complete your business profile, the higher the likelihood of appearing as one of the top results.
Let’s get started creating a Google My Business profile.
Head to Google My Business and sign in to your Google account. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll have to sign up for one at this point. Don’t worry, your personal email won’t be publicly accessible on your business listing.
You’ll then need to start filling out your basic business info. If you have a solid enough internet presence already, chances are Google knows who you are and you just need to claim ownership of the listing. Start by filling out your business name and either select the appropriate listing or create a new one. Follow the guided steps to confirm your business address, phone number, etc.
Once you’ve finished filling out the basic information, you’ll be asked to verify ownership. Depending on the type of business you are listing, you may be allowed to verify your identity by providing a phone number and typing a verification code in your browser.
More often than not, however, you’ll be sent a postcard in the mail to the business address. This card will provide you with a code that you can then enter into your Google account.
Either way, it’s crucial to verify your listing in order to be published. Don’t forget this step.
With your listing published, you can now post updates, set holiday hours, and view relevant statistics regarding the number of people looking for you online. Pretty neat, huh?
How do I get new customer reviews?
Now that you’ve established your business presence it’s time to launch a campaign. There are some great programs out there. Our personal favorite is Birdeye. We partner with them to provide our clients with the best tools for their review management campaigns.
Remember when we looked at some crazy statistics earlier?
Let me show you just one more.
85% of consumers think that online reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant.BRIGHTLOCAL
As a digital marketer, that right there is a crucial statistic. My number one priority for you is to get new reviews now. As long as you customers walking through your doors, you should have reviews added to your listings. Period.
That’s harder than it sounds though. How many times do you remind customers on their way out to leave a review? Do you post signs by the register or stickers on the door to remind them? How many other things do your customers have to worry about once they walk out of your office? Probably somewhere between 17 and a kajillion. Needless to say, your customers probably forgot.
That’s where a review management program comes in. With Birdeye, we set up an automated campaign to email or text your customers a few hours after visiting your business. This little reminder will greatly increase the number of reviews you receive. Frequent customers. No worries, we can set it to only contact your customers every so often.
The platform also allows you to choose the review sites your customer accesses. Want to increase reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor? Looking for something a bit more niche like Realtor.com or HomeAdvisor? We cater to a wide variety of review sites and business needs.
A Review Management Campaign – That Sounds Expensive
Stickers are cheaper. I don’t have money to spend on a marketing campaign. I’ve heard it all before.
That’s why I wanted to show you something a little more visual.
Hopefully with this calculator, you can see the impact a few more reviews could have on your bottomline. Keep in mind, this calculator is displaying your return on investment which means the cost of a review management campaign has been factored in. Any percent increase means more money in your pocket.
Want to try it out?