October 7, 2020 by Alan Rabinowitz
The following online review tips we share with you below will help your website convert more traffic into sales.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Now with studies showing that 82% of customers read online reviews for local businesses, it’s always shocking when we come across business owners who operate without an online reviews strategy.
And it’s true: Online reviews can make or break your business; they can determine whether new customers either buy from you or buy from your competitors.
If you don’t know where to start, keep reading. Below we share a few helpful insights and online reviews tips that’ll help your business improve its overall online image while boosting conversion rates.
Why Are Google Reviews Important?
The majority of your customers are social creatures who need validation from their peer group and the general public.
When they don’t know what to buy, they go online and look for social proof from an online community.
Online reviews are essential for many reasons:
Search Engines Love Online Reviews
It’s simple: The more customer reviews your business publishes; the more search engines love you.
Search engines want to show users what is most relevant to them.
If your company is receiving a lot of online reviews online, that tells search engines that your business is attracting customer feedback; meaning customers have put trust in your brand.
But this doesn’t mean that your domain will earn the top spot. Your overall reviews rating will determine whether or not you’re viewed as a trusted source online.
Online Reviews Serves Fresh Content
One of Google’s many algorithms is fresh content. It often ranks websites by how relevant and up-to-date they are.
Google reviews also show that your business is still in business and is, therefore, fresh and up-to-date.
Alongside encouraging people to review your business, you can also keep producing regular blog content on your website.
Online Reviews Gets You On The Local Pack
The Google Local Pack is the map section of the Google search results which is usually above the organic results.
Google will generally show the top 3 local businesses for each query; featuring contact information and their 1-5-star ratings. Generally, the sorting of listings starts at 4.0 and higher.
For example, if you searched for an SEO agency in NYC, the top 3 SEO agencies with Google My Business accounts nearest to you will appear in the local pack first.
Online Reviews Make You Trustworthy
Because people now have more options than ever before, they tend to do their homework before giving their business to a specific company.
When you have online reviews from real customers, it shows prospective purchasers that your business is legitimate, has been validated by previous customers, and is trusted.
Online Review Tips
- Sign Up For A Google My Business Account
The first thing you want to do to increase your business reviews is to first make sure you can receive online reviews in the first place.
For Google Reviews to be possible, your business needs to create a Google My Business account.
The process is simple. Google even provides a guide to make sure any business owner – tech-savvy or not – can manage it.
Once your business account is verified, any customer that is looking for your business will find all the information they need. Like the following:
- What you offer
- Service options
- The address
- Opening hours
- Phone number
It’s also worth noting that the number of online reviews and your current star rating is shown directly under your business name in the search results, which gives users an immediate first impression. A user will most likely click on a 5-star company over a 2-star company.
- Encourage Customer Reviews
Most customers are aware of online reviews and that they can review businesses online; be it through Google, or another platform like Yelp.
But most of the time, customers are not incentivized to write an online review or prompted to do so. Don’t feel ashamed to remind people that the option is there.
It’s important not to make people feel pressured into leaving a review, but, planting the idea can be all that it takes.
As they leave your store, or after they make an online purchase, you can say something as simple as, “thank you for your purchase, and if you’re happy with it, feel free to leave a Google Review.” See? Not complicated, not pushy, but can ultimately lead to more reviews and a higher ranking.
3. Don’t Be Discouraged By Negative Reviews
The reality is, many people are going to look up your business with the sole intention of leaving an online review if they are not happy with their experience.
That’s the nature of the beast. However, your aim should be to make sure the number of positive reviews is higher than the number of negative ones.
Don’t be discouraged by disgruntled customers.
Instead, use them as a learning opportunity to improve your products and services so you can prevent their issue from being one in the future.
You can also reply to negative reviews as well, share your side of the story and give readers context.
4. Don’t Be Fooled By All Positive Reviews
If you’ve been looking at your competition, frustrated at how they managed to achieve a perfect star rating across hundreds of reviews, then don’t be concerned.
According to research, a perfect score can actually decrease the trust of a business.
It sounds strange, but with the prevalence of fake reviews, having an average score of between 4.5 to 4.7 can make your business seem more trustworthy than one that achieves a perfect 5-star rating.
5. Reply To Google Reviews
A Harvard Business Review study found that if business owners respond to a customer review (be it a positive or negative one), they can see a rating increase.
Remember, you can learn a lot from all reviews that customers leave, so engaging with them on a public platform can have more of a positive impact than you might think.
Be transparent about any mistakes you may have made, and, thank them for taking the time to leave the review.
Ask questions if the information is unclear, and offer a solution to their problem. You can even humanize the response by putting your name at the bottom of it.
Responding promptly is also quite important, for it shows your customer that you respect the decision they made to come forward and value what they have said.
6. Advertise That You Have A Reviewing Platform
If you’re struggling to drum up reviews for your Google My Business account, try positioning or marketing to your audience that your business has a reviews page.
You don’t have to take out a full-page ad in the newspaper, but small, discrete links in emails and on your website can often be enough.
Remember, you’re not trying to drum up a positive review, but a review in general. By providing a link for people to click, you’re making it easy for customers to leave an online review, which will help you improve your overall online imageimprove your overall online image.