It’s not secret reviews have a large impact on your brand and your local SEO.  Google and Amazon reviews have revolutionized the way we rank, whether it’s a local business or a business selling a product.   Reviews matter and the way you respond to them are just as important.

How do Reviews help a business?

Reviews not only influence a potential buyer / customer they increase credibility.  Reviews encourage customers to do business with you ultimately leading to more revenue and more profits.  There is a big correlation with reviews and revenue.  The average number of reviews is 82, a business that has more then average number of reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue.  In short, if you are looking to maximize sales its probably a good idea to start thinking about how you can generate more reviews.

Online Reviews Matter for Local SEO

According to builder.org, here are some fascinating statistics for 2021.

  • Customer reviews can increase conversions by 270%.
  • 92% of consumers will hesitate to buy a product if there are no reviews left by customers.
  • 97% of consumers report that the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions.
  • 95% of all travelers read online reviews before booking.
  • Consumers trust customer reviews 12 times more than manufacturers’ reviews, according to consumer trust statistics.
  • About 5%–10% of consumers write reviews, influencing around $400 billion of the total e-commerce sales revenue.
  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends.
  • 82% of shoppers specifically seek negative reviews.
  • 94% of consumers refuse to patronize a business because of negative reviews.
  • 75% of people online trust a business after seeing a positive review.
  • People spend up to 49% more money at a business that reply to reviews.

 

After reading through these statistics, you may want to take a closer look at your online reviews.  Ask yourself these important questions.  How many reviews do I have?  Do they appropriately reflect the number of years I have been in business?  When was the most recent review left for my business?  What is my average star rating?  You may quickly start to realize that you need to start focusing more efforts on building reviews.  The good news is it will not cost much and will likely bring you increased sales.

 

How do I generate more reviews?

Generating more reviews requires some effort from a business owner or management team.  Below are 8 great tips on how to generate reviews for your business.

  1. Encourage your employees to ask for reviews from your customers. Even the most well-intentioned customer can forget to leave a review.  Asking for reviews works and is appropriate.  The worse that can happen is they forget or do not write one at all.
  2. Solicit more reviews through email and text campaigns. Review Campaigns are being used more and more by local businesses.  If your marketing campaign doesn’t include building reviews you need to rethink your strategy.
  3. Add a Leave a Review call to action button on your website. It’s very common for a customer to look on your website if they want to leave a review.  Make sure your call-to-action button is clear and easy to find.
  4. Create a Google reviews page on your website. Doing so will show customers that leaving a review for your business matters.  Reputation Arm’s dashboard not only makes it easy to solicit reviews with text and email campaigns, it will provide a widget for you to embed on your website.
  5. Include a leave a review link in your surveys. If a customer is taking the time to fill out a survey asking them to post a review at the end is most appropriate.  They are already in the mind set of providing feedback so why not take advantage of the opportunity.
  6. Ask your social media followers for a review. Many of your followers are current or past customers.  Take the time to post a 5-star review on your page and ask the customer to provide their feedback.
  7. Include your Google review link in your email signature. Adding a link to review your business on Google within your signature is great way to ask your vendors and partners to leave a review.  It’s also effective if you use email to communicate with your customers.
  8. Respond to all your reviews. Responding to reviews lets potential customers know that you are listening to the feedback and showing them it’s an effective way to provide their feedback.

 

There isn’t one best practice, there are many that a business needs to actively work on.  Business owners needs to understand that generating new reviews isn’t a one and done task.  These tips should be worked on all year round to ensure a solid review rating.  Google isn’t just looking at the overall rating.  Google and other review platforms focus on a business’s number of reviews and the rate at which a business generates new reviews.