Positive reviews can help you win new customers or clients. People trust recommendations from other people (friends and even strangers!) more than they trust your marketing message. Positive reviews can also help you rank better in search. Follow these 4 steps to build positive reviews for your business.
1. Identify Review Site to Target
Start by identifying the sites where you want to get reviews. For most businesses this starts with:
- Better Business Bureau
- LinkedIn (personal)
- Industry sites:
- Trip Advisor (travel)
- Zomato (restaurants)
- Houzz (home + interior design)
Start with the most important site for you to target first. Once you have built up a positive reputation on one site you can expand to the next.
If you aren’t sure where to start, consider:
- Which review sites already show up in Google search results for your business (e.g. your business + reviews)?
- Which review sites show up in search results for your competitors(e.g. your competitor + reviews)?
- What industry sites do people visit?
- Which sites show up in searches for the category (e.g. Hotel in Amsterdam)?
2. Determine Ideal Number of Reviews
Look at how your competitors are displayed on the site as well as the characteristics of the review site itself.
- How many reviews do competitors have?
- How many reviews does it take to display a star rating?
- What is realistic for the size of your business?
3. Initial Ask of Reviews
Start by asking people who you know have had a good experience with you and are likely to give a good review. You’ll want to have a base of positive reviews to start with.
- Ask them personally (mass messages are not great)
- Set a clear goal for yourself
- Ask 3 people per week
- Build over time – some sites will think it is not natural if you suddenly go from 0 reviews to 40 in one week and could suspend your account
- Tell them EXACTLY where to write the review and how
- Make your request personal and authentic
AVOID THE TEMPTATION TO LEAVE FAKE REVIEWS! Most networks can spot these and they won’t be published or may even lead to your account being blocked. Some businesses have also landed in legal trouble for leaving fake reviews. Ask happy customers – this is a better strategy in the long run.
4. Operationalize Reviews
Build a strategy for your business to ask for reviews on a regular basis. Companies that have the best reviews often have a specific strategy to ask customers to leave them. There are four steps to operationalizing your review process:
a) Touchpoint analysis – What are all of the touchpoints you have with a customer when they could leave a review?
b) Optimal experience – Determine when in your experience with a customer is the ideal time to ask. You may have more than one. Is it when they receive your product in the mail? A few weeks later? After they attend your class?
c) Segment the ask – Consider segmenting the ask so that you are only asking people who you KNOW have had a good experience. For example, you can send an email after purchase with two links –ask if they had a good experience or have ways for you to improve. If they have ways to improve send them to a form on your website. If they had a great experience send them to a review site.
d) Get Alerts – Get alerts for when reviews are left for the most common websites. This will allow you to know if your ask strategy is working and if there are any reviews that you should pay attention to.
* Power Tip: Get more Google Reviews by creating a link for users to leave a review easily in one click. Follow Google’s easy step-by-step process here:
http://bit.ly/create-review-link (see how it works – click the image to the left and leave a review for Boot Camp Digital) OR use this free tool to generate your link: https://whitespark.ca/google-review-link-generator/