How to Generate Online Reviews

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It’s always nice to hear positive feedback.

And it’s even better when other people (*cough* potential clients) tune in to the niceties and decide your business is worth a shot.

The #1 place you need people talking about how awesome you are is in online reviews.

Think about it — how often do you hear about a new dinner spot and do a quick Google search to see how many stars people give them?

Or maybe you’re looking for a printing service.

Do you pull out the Yellow Pages (wait, they still have those, right?) and start calling around, or do you pretty much just go with the top spot from your search engine results — zeroing in on the ones with some nice stars beside them?

Same.

And same for your customers. In fact, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as the personal recommendations of friends!

Bonus fact: people also tend to spend more money with businesses with a beefy online review presence.

Not only do online reviews help sell you, they make you visible

By the way, did you know a huge part of those sites landing the top spot on your Google search is the very fact that their business is generating online reviews?

It’s true!

Search engines “reward” businesses that garner a nice flow of online reviews with higher rankings on search results.

If you’re after local SEO optimization, beefing up your business’s online reviews has to be part of the game plan.

So online reviews are essential to your Las Cruces or El Paso business because they:

  • Tip the scale so people decide to click on your website instead of your competitor’s (the fancy term is organic click-through rates)
  • Impact customer decisions with the same punch as a friend’s advice
  • Actually cause people to spend more money with you than they would otherwise
  • Boost your local SEO rankings

Feeling motivated yet?

So how do you get people to write online reviews?

Ask people ever-so-politely to give you a review.

My HVAC technician had a really cool technique for this. His invoice had a “tip” line printed on it, but as he walked through it with me he crossed it out.

Then he said, “Actually, online reviews help us more than tips, so I’d appreciate it if you left a Google review.” Then he handed me a little card with instructions to search the business name and leave a review. His company had a bonus policy tied to technician names in positive reviews.

Brilliant. Performance feedback and more online reviews.

You can also add a friendly request for a review on your receipts — just make sure to point them out.

Even better: personalize a thank-you note or email after you serve a client, and include a request for online feedback. Something like, “We just want you to be happy! We appreciate your feedback, so we invite you to share your experience on one of these review sites.”

Make the most of the online reviews you receive

If you see a consistent theme in the reviews you receive, like:

  • “The wait was long, but … ”
  • “Jimmy is super cute”
  • “They even remembered my name”

You’ve just received a priceless look into what people do and don’t love about your company.

Build on the info you receive and take the opportunity to keep making your business even better as you learn more.

The good, the bad, and the cringeworthy

I know what you’re thinking.

What about the possibility of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad reviews?

Well, it’s gonna happen.

But you need to know two things about negative reviews.

  1. People are more likely to remember to leave a review after a negative experience … unless you’re proactive about reminding your (hopefully happy) customers to leave online reviews.
  2. Negative reviews are an opportunity to grow and show how classy your business is with a well-crafted response. You can learn more about handling negative reviews with class here.

Time to get people talking

Go forth and multiply your online reviews!

Take advantage of this tremendous free advertising tool that will give your company a trustworthy reputation and make you into an SEO powerhouse.

We’d love to help you identify areas to strengthen your business’s reputation and create opportunities for you to shine.

Contact us today to set up a free 2-hour business consultation.

If you already partner with 8 Signal, drop us a line and let us help you get more online reviews!