Getting Positive Online Reviews For Your Business
For today’s digital marketer, online business reviews are unavoidable. In fact, they have become an essential part of branding and marketing. Reputation can build trust in a way that sets a business apart from its competition. For this reason asking customers & clients for their good reviews must become a marketing priority!
Consumers are looking for every product & service imaginable online and when they do they also look for feedback. The immediate benefit is to make future customers feel confident AND (IMPORTANT) the more positive reviews the less any negative review will influence any consumer confidence.
80% of consumers say they research a business online before they commit to purchase. 90% say they are influenced by online reviews when making purchasing decisions. With this information, it is very clear that you need good online reviews. Marketers cannot afford NOT to participate! It’s time to embrace online reviews and to make a plan for how you are going to get them.
Google Listing Reviews May Be The Most Important!
Although there are several online review sites, Google is the leading resource for VISIBLE consumer reviews all tied directly to a local business listing account. Many believe that positive business reviews left on a Google based listing are not only the most influential for what search results get clicked, but also for actual buying decisions. Reviews can also help increase visibility online via any unique keywords used by the reviewer (that search engines index) AND also from when they share their reviews into social networks. This makes a positive Google listing review as potentially valuable as any signal!!
All that consumers need, in order to leave a review, is their own Gmail account. Think about this: more than 1.5 million Android mobile devices are activated a day (source: Larry Page, CEO, Google) and each come loaded with a Google/Gmail account. And while a business listing likely exists, a business must consider claiming it and carefully crafting the most detailed page possible. That detail should include a clearly laid path to the business website where a brand is best presented & detailed.
The tsunami of influential consumer driven reviews is growing. It’s time to get serious about tapping into the digital marketing power of happy customers. It’s time to identify and to ask customers to post a good review today! And when possible, try and know about all reviews when they happen, for instance via review alerts so that you can genuinely thank those that share them.
Honesty Is The Best Policy = Get Honest Reviews Or Else
While we all want as many good reviews as possible, NOTE that they all must be 100% authentic reviews from real customers. A genuine review will come from a customer who has truly experienced your business or product and has had a good experience. You should never fake, pay or incentivize anyone to leave reviews. Not only do consumers sense dishonest reviews, but any exposure for such behavior would destroy consumer confidence. PLUS, posting fake business reviews is now considered to be false advertising and can be punishable by law!
No matter how wonderful the business truly is, it’s probably healthy to assume that, for one reason or another, any business may get a negative review. And it shouldn’t make a business hesitant to pursue them. On the contrary, it is yet another reason to have a proactive plan for building the odds of this game in company’s favor. The more positive reviews the less that pesky negative review will hurt consumer confidence. With enough positive reviews, people will likely identify what is not an objective review and disregard it. When a negative review does appear, be proactive in contacting and communicating with the reviewer right away. Ask them how you could have done better and what you could do in the future to make it up to them. Invite them to come back and have a better experience. No review is written in stone. If they do come back, they can easily edit that negative review and turn it into a positive.
There are tons of variables when it comes to getting positive online reviews for your business, but there is no arguing with the conclusion. Love or hate them, reviews are a necessity! So ask for them! Make it easy for folks, maybe by directing them to an easily accessible website tab or graphic linked to a Google listing or Yelp page, and maximize those positive reviews!