Online reviews… as a company you will either love them or hate them.
Reviews can make or break a business online. Lots of positive reviews will instill a trust in potential customers while too many negative reviews can damage your reputation.
This is especially true for services firms, whose marketing needs to give potential clients a good idea of what they can expect. A good review can set positive expectations and encourage a potential client to investigate further. A negative review can turn a prospect off immediately.
There used to be a time where word of mouth and referrals would be enough to keep regular business ticking over. Now people are much more diligent in their research. When you’re recommended to someone these days, they will often look at your website, your social media channels and more importantly, what other people are saying about your business.
As well as reassuring people that you are trustworthy, a recent piece of research by SEO software company Moz has found that there is a clear link between reviews and local search ranking factors.
In fact, reviews have the biggest increase in importance of any factor, with a 21.5% increase since the study was last conducted in 2015.
So what does this mean? Basically, Google will now take the reviews you have across the web into account when placing your business for local search terms.
How, therefore, can you start to generate reviews for your business?
Well we have the perfect strategy for you…
Ask your customers directly
There are now a lot of different ways that a person can review a company or service online. Google, Facebook and independent review websites like Trustpilot and Yell all have the facility. Google collates these reviews and adds them to your Google business listing so when someone searches your company, all of the reviews from across the internet can be shown in the search results.
The chances are that you will already have lots of happy clients that will be more than happy to say some positive words. The only obstacle to gaining all these amazing positive reviews is the reviewees themselves.
The vast majority of people don't immediately think to go online and review your company unless they have had an extremely positive or negative experience.
In fact, most people will just need a polite push to give a review. So go ahead and ask them directly!
We suggest sending out a short email to your customers which could look something like this:
Subject line: We’d love to hear what you think!
Here at [company name], we are always keen to know what our clients think about our service.
As a valued client, we would like to think that you regard us highly as a business and wouldn’t mind spreading the word a little...
If you have a spare two minutes today, we would really appreciate it if you could write us a short review on Google. (Link to your company’s write a review)
Simply click on the 'Write a review' (Link to your company’s write a review) button on the right hand side and leave any comments you may have about [company name], then give us a star rating - we’d love to hear what you think!
Alternatively, if you would like to discuss any aspect of our service in more detail then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Thank you in advance; we look forward to reading your responses.
Send this email out to a few receptive past clients and see how it goes. The majority of the time, if they had a good experience, they will leave a review.
Our template references Google, but feel free to send people to whichever channel you see as most useful.
Hopefully you should start to gain some really nice testimonials which not only boosts your SEO, but also your authority and reputation.