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Jan 10 2023
Some businesses assume that if they have a good product or service word will spread and they will generate positive reviews. This isn’t the case. Businesses that want to create a powerful and positive online presence must have a proactive strategy to generate positive reviews.
When it comes to reviews remember that the best defense is a good offense. Aim to generate positive reviews so that if (or when) you get a negative review it is offset by positive reviews and doesn’t impact your overall star rating. Many businesses go into crisis mode when they have a single negative review that impacts their overall rating. If you have many positive reviews, the negative ones won’t be so impactful.
Avoid the temptation to leave fake positive reviews! In the US the FTC has fined businesses and agencies for leaving reviews without disclosing that there is a conflict. Many review sites (like Google and Facebook) require profiles and have algorithms to detect fake reviews. It is also unethical. Invest the time and effort to generate positive reviews – it pays off!
To generate positive reviews for your business, there is a 4-step process that you can use.
There are many review sites that you could target. Start with one site that ranks well in search engines, and once you’ve built some reviews there, move on to the next site.
For most businesses Google, Facebook, Yelp, GlassDoor, The Better Business Bureau, and LinkedIn (for personal professional recommendations) are good sites to target.
Decide how many reviews you want to target for your business to have a clear goal in mind. At a minimum aim for ten reviews to generate enough reviews to have an impact.
Beyond that look at how many reviews your competitors have, how many reviews it takes on the site to display a rating, and choose a realistic number based on the size of your business and the number of customers you have.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for. As a starting point make a deliberate effort to generate your target number of reviews. This will give you a base of positive reviews to start with.
Some tips for generating positive reviews:
Ask happy customers or long-term/repeat customers and clients first. Let them know you are working on your online presence and that it would mean a lot for you.
Most websites have terms of service that prohibit businesses from incentivizing reviews. That means that you can’t offer a discount or incentive for a positive review.
Build a strategy to ask for reviews regularly. This will help your presence to grow over time. To do this, start with a touchpoint analysis where you look at all of your interactions with clients or customers. Next, determine which part of the experience represents the best time to request a review. When are they at the height of their experience with you? Consider segmenting the ask – make sure that you are asking people who will leave a positive review.
Several years ago I worked with a dentist who had over 100 reviews on Google and showed up first in search results. It wasn’t because he was the best dentist. He used a service to email review requests to happy patients after their appointment. By having a system to generate reviews he grew his positive reviews and his business over time.
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