How many times have you used your mobile device to find a local business and then thumb to the reviews before you decided on which business to patronize? Odds are, it’s been quite a few. Now, imagine that you are a customer of your business. What are the reviews saying about it?
Many small business owners overlook the importance of customer reviews in their local SEO strategies. However, it could very well be one of the most important elements of the entire effort. Real customer reviews provide your business with the word of mouth advertising that you need, but on a much larger scale than you ever thought possible. This means that not having any reviews or only having a handful of reviews is working against you.
So, how do you get more customer reviews?
Before you go any further, read the next sentence twice: DO NOT PAY FOR CUSTOMER REVIEWS!! Not only do search engines pare out and ignore or ban companies that pay for positive reviews, if you do make it through, customers are quick to recognize a fake review when they see one and will avoid your establishment like the plague if they think you are trying to dupe them. Your company’s reputation will be irreparably harmed.
In order to get more legitimate customer reviews, you have to ask for them.
As a business owner, you work hard to ensure that the products and/or services you are providing are top notch. You know that this is the only way that your business will be able to stand out from the competition. However, few customers are compelled to write good reviews based on good service. They may be more moved to write one if they get great service, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be taking to the World Wide Web if they have a terrible experience. Knowing this, it is vital to ensure that your business is solidly focused on providing top notch customer service. The next step is to learn how to ask for a good review.
For businesses that cultivate more personal relationships with their customers, asking for a positive review is a fairly easy and straightforward process. However, for businesses that don’t, all hope is not lost. Find new ways to solicit customers for reviews. The key is to make it easy for customers to do so. You can encourage it by having associates ask customers to leave reviews. You can provide a statement at the bottom of your receipts asking for feedback. Get creative.
While it may seem like a lot of effort, every positive review you get will have a huge impact on where your company appears when a local, relevant mobile search is conducted. And, the more you ask for reviews, the easier it will become. Start small by asking customers you are more familiar with and then ask them to ask people they know and so on. Pretty soon, you’ll have tons of positive reviews for your business and will be skyrocketed to the top of the SERPs.