Online reviews are one of the most important pieces of your sales and marketing strategies. 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations and 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and they also hold a lot of weight in the current search algorithm.
More, better reviews = Higher search rankings, more leads and sales, and increased revenue.
If I’m a potential customer, I want to know that I’m going to have a good experience before I decide to work with you. And who better to base that decision on than people who’ve already worked with you?
Lets look at why reviews matter:
|90%||Of consumers read reviews before visiting your business|
|88%||Of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation|
|72%||Of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more|
|58%||Product page visitors who read reviews convert at a 58% higher rate|
|Reviews help you rank better on google|
|Reviews hHelp you understand your business better|
85% of users don’t trust reviews which are more than 3 months old and 40% of users look only at reviews from the past 2 weeks – fresh updated reviews are very important! Continue asking for reviews keeping them fresh an high.
How do you do that?
Here are a few tips:
- Ask customers directly for a google review. You will be surprised how much customers will be happy to write a review for your business, especially if they were happy with your product or service. When you ask for a review, request also a short comment. Although a 5 star rating is great, adding an extra sentence builds credibility and ensures other readers that this review is authentic.
- If you have a brick and mortar business create a small sign on your desk with a request to leave a review. While you are charging your client or writing up an invoice ask them to leave a review. Make it as easy as possible for them to do it with their mobile phone and a QR code.
- Send a follow up email – be personal and thank your customer. State how important reviews are for your business and how much a review from a happy customer can help. Provide a direct link so it’s easy to add a review (more on this below).
- If you visit customers at their office or home leave behind a folder / flyer with more information about your business and instructions and details about leaving a google review, including detailed instruction on how to write a google review, either by visiting a link or scanning a QR code.
- Add a review link in your website to drive in more reviews. Create a link in your header or footer or even a popup window asking your customers to leave a review by clicking a link. The link will take them directly to your business review page – it’s that easy.
- Follow up on your review requests multiple times – if you sent your customer a review request and he hasn’t responded – chances are it’s not you. Maybe it was bad timing for your customer or maybe the customer forgot. Set up a plan for sending 2 follow up emails after the initial review request. It’s good to keep you company fresh in the customer’s mind and adds another point of contact between you and your customer.
- I got a bad review!! What can I do?? – first off, keep you cool. Don’t attack back don’t tell stories and excuses. Accept the responsibility and promise to correct the issue. You can turn a 1-star review into a 5-star by being a good human, showing empathy and doing things right.
- Respond to your reviewers – you got a review, great! Say thank you
You got a bad review – Respond, Address the issue, apologize and resolve privately.
Responding to reviews builds customers trust and Google acknowledges companies who respond to reviews. See what Google has to say about this.
How to create a Google review link:
- Look for your company here: https://developers.google.com/places/place-id
- Once you’ve found your business, copy the Place ID
What’s a Google place ID? A place ID is a unique identifier given to your local business address by Google. Place IDs are available for most locations, including businesses, landmarks, parks, and intersections.
- Add the place ID into the end of this link: http://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=<PLACE_ID>
In the end it will look like this: http://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJdRVn94UtK4gRh9tJZ4cwuXw
- You can add this link to your website as mentioned in item 5.
- If you would like to create a sign with a QR code, there are a few more steps needed: (1) shorten the URL with a URL shortener like bitly.com. (2) create a QR code from the shortened URL with a service like https://www.qrcode-monkey.com/
Why shorten the URL? The longer the URL is the more complicated the QR code will be and that means lower success rate of decoding that QR code. SO, it’s best practice to shorten a URL before creating a QR code from it.
After creating the QR code, download the file (jpg or png) to your computer and create a word doc or use your favorite editing software to create a sign with a request to leave a review and a QR code.
Want a template? Click here for a free one (docx file).