How can I get reviews for my business?
Glad you asked. We put together a short guide to getting reviews on sites like Google My Business. But first, let’s talk about why online reviews are so important in the first place.
Every business needs customer reviews. After all, 92% of customers consult customer reviews before making any kind of purchase decision. The more reviews you have, the better the online reputation you have, and the more trustworthy your business looks to potential customers. A business with a hundred reviews looks a lot better than a competitor with three.
Let’s talk about how you can get new reviews and make a great first impression on anyone who stumbles on your business online.
Get New Reviews Authentically
Remember, customers trust reviews because they’re an authentic representation of real customer opinion. All of the steps that we lay out in this article are meant to get you more reviews from your customers so that you can grow your business authentically.
Some businesses resort to buying reviews instead. This is a bad idea for several reasons. First off, if customers suspect that you’re reviews are not legitimate, chances are that they probably won’t trust your 5-star review anyway.
Plus, you’re taking some serious risk as a business. Google can penalize your business in rankings, making it much harder for potential customers to discover your business on search.
Luckily, you don’t have to resort to any shady tactics in order to get new reviews. There are ways in which you can get more authentic reviews and build a trust-based relationship with your customers.
The first step to getting new reviews is making sure your business can get discovered on various different review sites. Let’s go through a couple of easy things you can do to make it easier for customers to discover your business.
Set Up a Google My Business Profile
This is a simple piece of advice that we recommend in lots of our articles. Though it might sound obvious, studies have shown that only 44% of businesses have claimed their Google My Business profile.
When you’ve claimed your Google My Business profile, you can add contact information to help customers find your business such as phone number and address. You’re also more likely to show up higher on local search ranking. According to Moz, Google My Business factors are the single most important factor determining local search ranking. This increased visibility can make it easier for customers to discover you and get the information they need to pay your business a visit.
Google creates profiles for existing businesses. Most of the time, all you’ll have to do find your profile and claim it. If you need to create a new Google My Business profile, click here for a quick guide.
Claim Your Facebook Page
Your customers aren’t only going to only discover your business through Google. BirdEye found that in 2018, while Google was far and away the site where most customer reviews were posted, Facebook had the 2nd-biggest share.
Just like Google, Facebook has unmanaged business pages that get created when customers check in to your business. Again, by claiming these pages and updating it with relevant information, you can make it easier for customers to discover your business.
Find review sites in your niche
You shouldn’t just focus your attention on the major sites. After all, customers can discover your business in a wide variety of places.
Even though there might be less potential customers on these smaller sites, customers visiting these industry-specific sites are usually further along the path to purchase. They probably already know what they’re looking for, they are just deciding between a few different options. Just be sure that your business will be there to convert.
Keep track of review sites that cater to your specific industry. To do this, Google a term related to your industry. You can see a drop-down arrow to the right of relevant results. Click on this to see similar results and find the relevant sites.
I Claimed My Review Profiles. Now What?
Now that you’ve claimed all of your review profiles, you need to send more review requests. These are texts and emails that you can send to your customers encouraging them to leave a review of your business. By sending review requests to all your customers, you can collect more authentic reviews across all your profiles on review sites.
Three Tips for Sending High-Converting Review Requests
Not every review request you send is going to turn into an actual review. Sometimes customers are just busy or just don’t want to leave a review. However, there are a few things you can to make sure the review requests that you do send are as effective as possible. Here are three steps to sending the best review requests possible.
Make sure to send requests to all your customers.
Some businesses are tempted to send review requests only to a select group of customers. This is not the right way to move forward. This kind of review gating is prohibited by Google, and you might face a penalty if your business is discovered doing it.
Plus, if you’re being selective with your review requests you might be missing out on customers who would leave a positive review of your business. By sending requests to all your customers, you can make sure to get lots of quality feedback you might not have expected.
2. Pay close attention to timing.
When it comes to sending review requests, timing is everything. The longer you wait to send the request after the sale, the harder it will be for the customer to remember what actually took place. This means that they’ll be less likely to both leave a review and give you feedback that is actually relevant and can help you improve operations in the future.
3. Use a direct short link to your Google My Business page.
You want to make the process simple and easy for your customers. Even a happy customer might not want to go to the trouble of having to look for your business on multiple different review sites.
But don’t make your review URL a long string of numbers and letters. You want your URL to look clean and easy-to-click. Google recently started rolling a feature that allows businesses the ability to create a direct short link to send to their customers. Having a direct short link makes it easier to share your Google My Business profile on both marketing materials and review requests.
Why You Should Send Automated Review Requests
Manually sending review requests every day is hard. With all the work that goes into running a business, it can be pretty much impossible. There’s just no time to sit down and manually send a review text or email to every customer who walked through your store on a given day.
Luckily, there’s still a way for your business to get lots of new reviews. Instead of sending review requests manually, you can send review requests automatically with an online reputation management system like BirdEye. BirdEye can integrate with Customer Relationship Management system, sending review requests to customers at the end of every business day. You can get lots of customer reviews without having to lift a finger.
Click here to see the results that businesses have seen from BirdEye’s automated review responses.
How BirdEye Can Help Your Business Be the Best Business
BirdEye helps businesses get new reviews and so much more. BirdEye helps you handle every aspect of customer feedback. With BirdEye, businesses can get new reviews, manage and respond to reviews from over 150 sites in a single dashboard, automatically share posts on social media, and receive actionable insights through Natural Language Processing.