So you want to get more online reviews? We know how to and we can help!
But first, it’s important to understand…
Why Are Online Reviews Important for My Business?
The average customer says they’re willing to shell out 31% more money at your business if it has great online reviews. And customer interest in reviews continues to grow.
In 2020, 87% of consumers said that they research reviews of local businesses online. In 2019, 81% did and in 2018, only 86% of consumers were likely to read a review. A whopping 93% of customers consulted an online review in 2020 before making a purchase. And if they read a poor online product review? Ninety-four percent say this would convince them to avoid your business.
Are you willing to risk losing 22% of potential customers because of just one negative review? Then it’s fair to say that how actively you manage your online reputation matters. A LOT.
Where is the Best Place to Get Online Reviews?
If you’re aiming to get more online reviews, there are tons of places your customers might leave a review. But generally, you should choose a few review platforms to focus on when building your online reputation. Ask yourself which type of reviews are most important for your business and where your audience might discover them. Witty Kitty, for instance, mostly aims for reviews on Google and Facebook, as that’s where our customers often find us.
Google and Yelp are the most trusted platforms for reviews, so if you’re scratching your head start there!
Here are some popular places your customers will find reviews:
- Google My Business
- BBB (Better Business Bureau)
- Consumer Affairs
Where Can I Get Industry-specific Reviews?
Prospective customers might also be searching for your business on relevant industry review sites. In fact, 36% of consumers have used an industry-specific reviews site to research a local business.
The industries that benefit most from reviews are:
- Medical & Healthcare
- Restaurants & Cafés
- Hotels & Bed and Breakfasts
Restaurants/ Food and Beverage Reviews
Property Owners/ Hotel and Hospitality Reviews
- Air BnB
Car Dealership and Auto Reviews
Home Services Reviews
- Angie’s List
Recruitment and Employee Reviews
How Do I Get More Online Reviews?
If you want to get more online reviews, you’ll definitely need to set up a digital marketing strategy to accomplish your goal.
How will you ask customers for reviews? Who’s responsibility is I to ask for a review? What types of customer feedback are you looking for? Are you willing to pay for a service that helps you collect customer feedback?
These are just a few important questions to ask yourself. Here are some quick tips to help inform your review strategy.
1. Ask For Reviews Immediately
The most detailed, valuable reviews happen when the experience with your brand is fresh.
- Ask for reviews at the point of purchase
- Offer a fun bonus or freebie to complete a customer satisfaction survey
- Send an email or message immediately following a purchase.
2. Use Email, Text, and Social Media Messaging for Reviews
Did you know that 80% of online reviews come from follow-up emails? And 89% of customers would prefer using messaging to communicate with your business. That’s including requests for a review. Unfortunately, only 48% of businesses are actually equipped to talk to customers via messaging.
The easier you make it to leave a review, the more people will oblige. Provide your customers with a direct link to submit their review via email or messaging and explain briefly why their opinion is important to you. You can even (carefully) elicit the type of feedback you most seek by suggesting they comment on customer service, product quality, or perceived value!
3. Encourage Influencers to Review Your Products
Influencers have sway. That’s why they’re called influencers! You can send free products, offer a deep discount, or even sponsor honest influencer reviews of your products. This can be a worthwhile strategy, as 49% of consumers depend on influencer reviews and recommendations when they make a purchase.
4. Respond to Reviews Promptly
Even though replying to 25% of online customer reviews can increase revenue by 35%, almost 75% of businesses don’t take the time to respond to their reviews. Even fewer still will respond to reviews promptly.
This is a huge missed opportunity. Why? Well, 89% of customers will read your response to a review. And 20% of consumers who leave online reviews expect to receive your response within 24 hours. If you’re slacking on responding to those reviews, make it a priority, and hire help if you need it!
5. Always Address Negative Reviews Politely
Did you know that businesses with 15-20% negative reviews actually average 13% more revenue than businesses that have only 5-10% negative reviews? That’s because negative reviews let customers know that your reviews aren’t fake. And that you’re authentic. Everyone makes mistakes, right?
What matters is how you respond to poor reviews. No matter how rude the customer may seem, always respond politely and do your best to remedy the situation. If you address the issue directly and satisfy the unhappy customer, they may change their review and sing your praises.
Even if you can’t change their mind, all hope is not lost. Negative reviews will often encourage loyal customers to jump in and give their positive opinions about your product.
6. Automate the Process—with Caution
Reviews management software can help you automate your process to request and respond to reviews more easily. But beware—your SEO performance and can actually be negatively impacted by reviews if Google or Yelp find that you’re soliciting reviews in bulk or providing incentives for positive reviews. The guidelines for this are still somewhat murky, but a good rule of thumb is DO NOT discriminate against bad reviews. As we have already discussed in this article, they can actually be great for your business!
Here are a few popular reviews management software options:
Once I Get Reviews, How Should I Use Them?
If you’re going to the trouble to get more online reviews, make sure you’re using them to your full advantage!
Use Reviews On Your Website
There are plugins you can add to your WordPress website, like Google Reviews Business Plugin and WP Business Reviews that automatically display your most recent or highest-rated customer reviews on your website. You could also make a Testimonials page like the one we have on our website. Some review sites—like TripAdvisor—even have badges you can add to your site to show customers that you’re a trusted business and have won awards based on your performance.
Feature Reviews on Social, Email, and in Ad Campaigns
Whip up a quick social media post that displays recent positive reviews from followers! Or, a negative review that you improved through customer service. Your customers are definitely looking at your social media to see if they can trust your brand. What will they find?
Add testimonials and reviews to your email campaigns to encourage customers to trust your brand and take advantage of that sales promotion or upsell.
Some of the highest-converting ad campaigns feature testimonials and positive reviews. That’s no surprise when 37% of online consumers say they use social media for “purchase inspiration”. How can you revamp your social media and PPC ads to persuade them to trust your business?
Attract Better Employees with Reviews
Do you have stellar employee reviews on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or Indeed? These are worth their weight in gold when it comes to recruiting talent. It could cost your business 10% more per hire if you have a poor online reputation on these types of sites. After all, doesn’t everyone want to work where they feel appreciated and valued? Ask your employees to talk about their positive experiences with your company through online reviews.
It’s not exactly easy to get more online reviews, but it is worthwhile. Learn more about Why Online Reviews Matter and How To Use Them in this article. Or drop us a line! We can help you improve your SEO with online reviews, feature reviews on your social media, and display reviews on your website and in ad campaigns to convert more customers.