Online Reviews – Why They’re Important and How to Get Them
Any business owner knows good word-of-mouth reviews from happy customers are the key to organically building a great reputation that will result in more sales. But did you know getting good reviews online can also help make your website easier to find?
Reviews Boost Your Local SEO
Getting to the number one spot of Google is a real accomplishment but if you’re a local business with a brick and mortar location it isn’t going to do you much good for someone thousands of miles away to see your site first. That’s where local SEO comes in – increasing your site’s visibility specifically for your location so your site gets seen by real potential customers. You can boost your local SEO by keeping your social media pages up to date, customizing your content to include local keywords, claiming your business listing on Google, but most importantly for this topic is getting and featuring reviews of your business.
There are many places you can get online reviews depending on the kind of business you have: Yelp, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon, TripAdvisor, and many other review-centric sites. Two of the most important places to get reviews as a business owner in 2018 are Facebook and Google My Business.
Collecting reviews on your Google My Business is a crucial part of building local SEO. Google is the most used way of finding a local business and with proper maintenance and curation your Google My Business profile will appear right in the search results. A profile with complete, accurate information and a great review score will really make you stand out.
Facebook is another good spot to encourage reviews and discussion with your customers. It’s still the most widely-used social network and most people have become accustomed to searching for local businesses on it to look for photos, reviews and customer comments. Being active on your page will create an easy way for potential customers to find you and ask questions that might make them more likely to walk through the doors.
Feature Your Positive Reviews
If you get an especially glowing review that’s worth featuring, you should consider setting up a Testimonials page on your website. You can collect the most positive reviews you think accurately reflect your business to further boost your on-site SEO. Remember to include a link back to the review itself so your users can see the rest of the reviews as well!
Reward Satisfied Customers for Leaving Reviews
While you can’t outright buy positive Google reviews without getting punished if/when Google finds out about it (and they will), you can absolutely encourage your satisfied customers to consider leaving you a review with a reward system. One method you can use is to stock up on gift cards for Starbucks and tell your customers that you’ll be drawing a random winner every week from your new reviews to decide who wins one. Sometimes all it takes is a cup of coffee to convince someone to share their positive experience with others!
Resist the Urge to Fight Back
There’s nothing more discouraging and frustrating than a negative review that’s right out in the open for all to see. As mean and nasty as an anonymous reviewer may be, always be the bigger person and don’t take the bait to get into a war of words. These scuffles can quickly get out of control and as Barbara Streisand can tell you, trying to hide something on the internet tends to make matters worse. Engage with your negative reviewers in a positive, helpful way and show potential customers that you’re willing to own mistakes and make them right. While this might not have a direct effect on SEO, it’s a good practice to keep in mind.
If you’re interested in learning more about local SEO, set up a consultation with ITD Interactive today! We’ll discuss your business model with you and find the best way to increase your bottom line.