In today’s digital world, having a robust online presence is critical to the success of a business. A strong online presence can help attract new customers, build brand awareness, and boost sales. And besides social media profiles, blogs, and websites, online reviews play a significant role in helping businesses succeed online.
As a matter of fact, about 90 percent of search engine users look for and read customer reviews before visiting or using a business. That’s because potential customers trust the opinions of other consumers more than they trust advertising. In fact, nearly 60 percent of consumers say they would avoid a business entirely if it had negative online reviews.
So, if you’re not paying attention to your online reputation, you could miss out on valuable growth opportunities. Now that we know how important online reviews are to the success of your business, where should you look for them?
What are the top online review platforms that you should be monitoring? And how can you leverage them?
Google Business Profile
Previously known as Google My Business (GMB), Google Business Profile is the foundation or starting point for your online review marketing strategy. Online reviews submitted to your GMB profile decide the star rating that your audience sees in Google Maps and organic search engine results pages.
The total number of online reviews and star ratings is an important factor in ranking your GMB profile in the Google local pack. If you don’t think this does not impact you because your business is not local, you’re wrong.
Greater online visibility or web presence in the Google local pack can lead to more website traffic. In fact, according to a study involving 30,000 websites, investing in online reviews increased organic traffic from 5,500 to 8,000 in less than a year.
Thus, it should go without saying that great customer service and superb products are a must here. Customer service must be part of your company culture because it is the lifeblood of your business profile and online reputation.
Customers are more likely to leave a review if they had a great experience with your company. Likewise, customers are more likely to leave a negative review if they have had a bad experience.
Aside from developing the best product as much as possible and vetting your customer service, there are several steps you can take to make the most out of your GMB profile. Let’s start by setting up your profile.
Claim your Google Business Profile
If you have not already done so, go to Google My Business and sign in with your Google account. Then, create or choose the account you want to be linked with your business.
Then, enter your address and name to search for your company. Don’t forget to click on the correct location. Otherwise, you might create a duplicate listing. Finally, click the “Mail me my Code” button to verify your business.
You will be asked to provide information about your company, such as the category, hours, and phone number. Be as accurate as possible to avoid confusion for customers.
After you have provided all the necessary information, click “Finish.” And that’s it! You have successfully claimed your GMB listing.
We can help you optimize your business profile for maximum visibility so it appears higher in Google search results. We are an SEO marketing agency that can help you manage and grow your online presence.
How to encourage customers to leave a review
The best way to encourage customers to leave a review is to give them a direct link where they can review your company.
You can add a link to your email signature, website, or even physical receipts. The key is to make it as easy as possible for customers to leave a review.
Product Review Sites
These third-party websites are designed or aimed to help businesses earn customer reviews while vetting them for authenticity. The advantage of product review websites is twofold:
- Customers are more likely to trust these product review sites knowing they are not manipulated.
- Customers are more likely to leave an online review knowing it’ll be published and vetted by a third party.
Earning many positive reviews on these websites can generate more positive brand sentiment and conversions than reviews on other websites. The best product review sites will help to increase your brand sentiment and conversions. Here are some of the best ones:
- Amazon Product Reviews
- Angie’s List
- Consumer Reports
These platforms are designed to be transparent and trustworthy, so customers can make informed decisions about the products and services they’re interested in. But when you’re looking for a product review website to generate more leads, it’s important to consider how each one works.
For example, Yelp is a popular platform that helps customers find local businesses. Amazon Product Reviews is another well-known site that allows customers to leave reviews for products they’ve purchased on Amazon.
Angie’s List is a site that helps customers find service providers in their area, and TripAdvisor is a platform where customers can leave reviews for hotels, restaurants, and other attractions.
Each of these platforms has its own strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the right one for your business is important.
Industry-specific Review Sites
Although these review websites don’t directly influence or affect your star ratings in Google’s local search results and Google Maps, they have the potential to impact your business indirectly. This is because these review sites are designed to cater to various industries so that customers can find businesses that fit their needs more easily.
Many industry-specific review websites are available here and there. However, you should find sites relevant to your business and where your customers are likely to search for reviews.
Start by searching your industry name, reviews, and ratings. Plus, your competitor’s name, reviews, and ratings. Then, look for directories and review sites in the search results.
Sure, customers will generally leave reviews wherever they can. But, if they’re frequenting a specific review site for their industry, you want to be there too. So make efforts to funnel customers to one location by adding a link to the site on your website or in your email signature.
It’s also important to keep tabs on what’s being said about you and your competitors on these industry-specific review sites. Google Alerts is one way to do this. Search for your business name, competitor names, and relevant keywords related to your industry and set up daily, weekly, or monthly Google Alerts so you’re always in the know.
If you don’t have a presence on industry-specific review sites, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with your target customers. These sites are often where customers find information and make decisions about which businesses to patronize.
So, take the time to set up a profile on relevant review sites and actively encourage your customers to leave reviews. Doing so could help you attract new business and stay ahead of the competition.
Social media is another way to connect with customers. It can be used to create a connection with potential and current customers. It can also help promote your product or service, build brand awareness, and create a community around your business.
And because people are now on social media more than ever, it’s the best place to find reviews about your business. You can see what people are saying about your business in the “Reviews” section on your Facebook Business Page. You can respond to them publicly or privately.
To encourage customers to leave positive reviews on your social media channels, it’s important to stay active and engage with them. Show that you’re listening to their feedback and take action accordingly.
It’s called social media for a reason – so get out there and start being social!
So, how do you get reviews for your business? It can be tricky to balance getting legitimate reviews with not annoying customers. But it’s definitely worth the effort. Here are a few tips to help you get started. First, make sure that you ask customers for reviews in a polite way and don’t feel too pushy.
Try providing an incentive for leaving a review, such as a discount or a coupon code. And finally, always respond to customer feedback – good or bad – to show that you appreciate their input and care about your business’s reputation.
Feel free to contact us if you need any SEO (search engine optimization) help to get your business’s website search engines ranking higher in search engine results. We are an SEO company offering Local SEO services Los Angeles.
You can rely on us for all your national or local search engine optimization services needs, such as creating a local SEO campaign that will help boost your local search rankings. Visit our website or give our SEO agency today to learn more about what we can do for you!