How to Receive (Great) Online Reviews

70% of online customers rely on reviews to make buying decisions. Reviews help your site rank higher in search engines, allow you to connect with customers, and help bring in more business. Happy customers write great reviews, which attracts even more customers. Here’s how to make your business stand out.

Before you start asking for reviews, make sure your business is ready for them. Do your customers have positive experiences with your brand? Focusing on customer experience is absolutely critical to get your customers to say great things about you online.

Once your business is on good shape, it’s time to get some reviews. And all you have to do is ask! If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. One of the most underused tools is a personal, transparent ask.

Reviews could be on Facebook, Yelp, Google Plus, or an industry specific site like Angie’s List. Determine which sites already have the most reviews for your company or your competitors and target those. Then, start sending your customers to those profiles! You can create a page on your site that includes links to your profiles on some review sites, add the links to your email signature, or post about it on social media.

If you already do a follow-up email with a customer after they purchase, use that time to ask for a review. Look out for social media mentions and check ins at your business, and add a comment thanking those customers for their business and asking for a review.

Posting on social media is an easy way to encourage reviews. Try sharing some particularly positive reviews you’ve received, then ask customers to add their own review on their preferred site.

There is a right way and a wrong way to ask reviews. You should never specifically ask for a “good” review, which could turn a customer off and make them feel like you’re manipulating them. Instead, ask for an honest review.

A mixed bag of reviews gives you an opportunity to improve your business. It also helps establish trust and credibility with all the customers you ask for reviews from, and will make them feel more comfortable leaving reviews. Negative reviews also allow you to try and make it right with that customer, replying to their comment and offering a discount code or other incentive for them to visit your business again.

If you don’t get responses the first time around, don’t be afraid to ask again! Don’t take it personally if customers don’t add reviews right away. Post every few weeks on your social pages asking for reviews.

If you’re having trouble getting customers to leave reviews on their own, try offering an incentive like coupons or free gifts. You could even try holding a contest, where anyone who gives a review is entered into a drawing for a big prize, like an iPad or a gift card. It will be well worth the expense to buy a prize your customers want.

Getting online reviews for your business is a necessity in this digital age, both for search engine optimization, and for attracting potential customers. With these steps, you’ll create a glowing online profile in no time.

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