If you own a business, especially a small or local one, than you have probably wondered how reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Facebook can help your business. You may have also wondered, or even tried, to get more customers to review you. More often than not, when small businesses attempt to gain more reviews on their own, they fail to capture quality reviews or to use them in an effective way to help their business grow. We’ll be taking a look at why reviews are so important, review worth, and how we get our clients on the map with our reviews and SEO strategy.
Why Reviews Matter
Word of mouth is one of the most effective means of driving new business, word of mouth has evolved over the last five years and has become it’s own marketing channel: in the form of rankings, ratings and reviews. In it’s current form, word of mouth is now broadcast globally, shared easily, and lives forever.
The Customer is king these days, consumers are empowered, demanding, and have the ability to make or break a business. Customers are now savvier than ever, and don’t always trust what you say about your business or product completely, but rather, trust other people just like themselves- Enter Reviews. 72% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as insights from friends and family. In addition, a recent study found that 55% or more of consumers felt that the opinions of people like themselves had the biggest impact on their purchase decisions, and an astounding 4 out of 5 consumers reversed their purchase decision based on a negative online review. With those kinds of statistics it’s easy to see why reviews are so important.
The Value of Reviews
Online reviews have a huge influence over potential customers that are performing online research, their opinions matter in a big way. A recent study explains that a half star improvement on Yelp’s 5-star rating makes it 30-49% more likely that a restaurant will fill all of it’s seats during peak hours. In addition to the buying influence that online reviews create around a business, it will also create better visibility, getting reviews is one of the most effective and affordable SEO tactics available. For the smallest of businesses it could only take a single Google review to put them on the map.
Why Reviews are Written
There are many misconceptions about when and why our consumers write reviews, and many business owners feel as though only unhappy customers write reviews, well that simply isn’t true. Customers share a wide variety of reasons for rating and reviewing the products and services they receive. Believe it or not the majority of online reviews are in fact, positive. As a marketing company we struggle with the negative reviews of our clients being over-represented and not properly balanced.
Reviews, unless obtained in an immoral way, are completely voluntary on the part of the reviewer, so why do people write reviews? As stated previously, they have many motivators. Some people find that helping others is satisfying and are looking to help their peers discover the products that they know and love. On the other hand, some write reviews to punish a business for bad service. So, whether it is to acknowledge an amazing experience at your establishment or for a more personal interest, all reviews are beneficial to a business, and are very critical marketing tools for those of us behind the scenes trying to improve your company’s SEO.
…and NOT Written
We’ve been exploring what reviews are, why they are important and why people write them, but why don’t they write them? You’ve asked customers to do so, you’ve provided excellent service for years, gone above and beyond, customer service is your business model, so why aren’t reviews just happening? The number one explanation given to us by customers is “I forgot to write a review”, shortly followed by “I didn’t have time.” Let’s look at how to crack the mold and get our customers writing reviews and voicing their expert opinion on your great products and services!
How to Get More Reviews
At Advantage Internet Marketing we take the “review funnel” approach to gain reviews, and use reminder strategies and incentivizing to ensure that customers do not forget to write reviews and actually want to do them for you. The funnel that we speak of is three tiered and focuses on providing our clients with a way to ask customers for reviews, that drives them to a controlled online environment, and easily guides each reviewer through selecting the best possible review site and its completion.
- Remind customers to write a review
- Make it Easy
- Monitor and Respond
So How Do You Do It?
With the information our clients provide we systematically invite customers to leave a review on their recent experience, remind them when they forget or don’t have time, make it simple and fast, then monitor and respond to both positive and negative reviews when necessary.
We expertly craft strategic messages that engage customers so that they genuinely want to leave feedback on your business. We understand the complex rules and regulations involved with requesting and attaining reviews, we will not buy reviews but rather, insure that your best customers take the time to leave their opinions for your new impressionable customers.
We take the guess work out of leaving a review. Some business owners may ask a happy customer to go online and leave a review, later they might try, become overwhelmed or confused, and give up. We limit their options to the review sites you are focused on, direct them immediately to your business on that site and follow through on our promise, it’s the funnel system and focus on the customer that works so well for our current clients.
We help you create a great reputation by generating authentic positive reviews, we have our finger on that pulse and know when and how to take action.
“Our hope for all of our clients is that we provide them with excellent tools that build growth and provide them excellent ROI.”
– Jennifer Lleras