5 STRATEGIES TO GET MORE REVIEWS FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS May 30, 2023 | Marketing , Social Media | client satisfaction , Google , Facebook , SEO By Zach Vesper, Senior SEO & Marketing Strategist Let’s say you’re heading out to eat in an unfamiliar city. You want to try something unique and high-quality, but searching online leaves you with an endless list of options. Mood and taste will certainly come into the picture, but how do you make your final choice? Check the reviews. Across all industries that rely on pulling in new clients and customers consistently, online reviews are crucial for instilling confidence in service quality. Adding positive reviews on websites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp improves where small businesses rank on Google and increases overall visibility through SEO. According to marketing analysts at Entrepreneur.com , 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. To start improving upon your online advocacy channels, here are some great strategies for getting more reviews online. Ask For Reviews In Person Though it may seem obvious, inspectors should get into the practice of asking for reviews in person at the end of their inspections. Especially when clients seem satisfied with their experience, direct them towards your Google and Facebook to leave feedback while explaining how much reviews help your business. Clients are more likely to leave reviews if they are simply prompted to do so, but the biggest hurdle that might dissuade them from leaving a review is when the process seems too difficult or time-consuming. Owners should make leaving a review as easy as possible by providing direct links to their Google or Facebook business page. In addition, marketing materials with QR codes can be customized to make the review process easier than ever. Incorporate asking for reviews at the end of your closing process, and you’ll start seeing more reviews naturally. Ask For Reviews Through Email Once your clients start hearing that consistent reminder to leave reviews, you can follow up after the fact in a number of different ways. Email campaigns that are focused on gathering reviews from your core client base is a great place to get started! Emails can capitalize best on ease of experience since they can feature simple single-click buttons that take your audience directly to your Google, Facebook, and Yelp pages. In these campaigns, it can also be useful to remind your clients that their reviews don’t need to be too long or complicated! Expressing their experience in simple terms, even through just a few short sentences will be substantially beneficial to your business! In addition, links to your business website (which should be included in all of your campaigns) can feature past reviews and display calls to action, prompting your website visitors to leave additional reviews. When your website, your email campaigns, and your social media are all working together, positive reviews can come in from all angles. Ask For Reviews Through Social Media Speaking of social media, occasionally prompting followers to leave feedback is another great way to access your existing audience for your business’ benefit. Though you should be sensitive to not spam your audience with self promotion or overly “sales-y” content too often, odds are that your followers already hold a positive opinion of your services. Again, direct links in these social media posts should be added so that your audience is burdened with as little effort as possible in this process. They are doing you a favor, after all! Another method of promoting reviews on social media is by sharing five-star reviews either through custom graphics or through various services that can automatically convert reviews into social media posts. Followers who see that other positive reviews receive a shoutout may be incentivized into doing the same for a bit of extra interaction. Social media platforms are all about interaction, and all indications suggest that it’s through a responsive policy that businesses appear more human and likable online. Invite Reviews By Being Responsive This brings us to how you should operate directly on your review platforms. Best practices on Google, Facebook, and Yelp are to always craft a response to every review received - whether they are good or…not so good. One-star reviews are something that no business owner wants to see–not only does that mean a client or customer was dissatisfied with their service, but it can seem like a big red flag telling future potential clients to “turn away, now!” The truth is that one-star reviews aren’t always as bad as you think. Some have suggested that a perfect five-star score can actually appear suspicious, and that most clients actually expect imperfect review histories. 1-star reviews provide an opportunity for your business to publicly display how you handle disagreements and, when conducting yourself with professionalism and maturity, a strong 1-star review response can actually be a boon for your business! According to online review software company Reviewtrackers , 45% of consumers actually said that they are more likely to visit a business if they respond to negative reviews. Consistently providing good service and being responsive to reviews will motivate clients to leave positive reviews and, over time, you can build your sterling online reputation. Provide Excellent Service Finally, the most important motivator that contributes to more positive (five-star) reviews is simply doing your job well! SEO experts at brightlocal.com explain that the number one reason why consumers leave a positive review is that they feel the business went “above and beyond” the expected service. Although all of the previously mentioned strategies are sure to help bring in more reviews, they will work much more effectively when supported by top-of-the-line service. For more help building your online marketing strategy, reach out to your Omaha marketing team . today! If you’re interested in learning more about franchising with NPI, get your free info packet . About the Author Zach Vesper, Senior SEO & Marketing Strategist Zach brings twelve years of content marketing and nine years of search engine optimization (SEO) experience to the NPI in-house marketing team. His areas of expertise include building marketing plans that increase franchise sales, optimizing web content for search, crafting effective paid search campaigns, reputation management, and content strategy. Zach is always more than happy to answer your questions about all things Google and considers this the most important and enjoyable aspect of his job.