As a small business owner, you know that word-of-mouth is key to driving new customers through your door. In the internet age, people rely on online reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations.
- Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
- 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.
- ‘Negative Sentiment in Google Reviews’ is a negative ranking factor.
So if you're not paying attention to your online reputation, you could be missing out on some serious growth opportunities.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to get more reviews and make sure that your current ones are working for you. Keep reading to learn more about how online reviews can benefit your business and how to encourage your customers to leave feedback.
The Benefits of Online Reviews
There are many reasons why you should work on getting more online reviews, but here are a few of the most important ones:
Improved search engine rankings:
One of the main benefits of having lots of positive online reviews is an improved search engine ranking. When potential customers do a search for businesses in your industry, Google will take into account the number and quality of your reviews when determining where to rank you in the results pages. This means that if you want to attract more organic traffic, one of the best things you can do is focus on getting more 5-star reviews.
Increased social proof:
In addition to helping your business show up higher in search results, online reviews also act as social proof for your products or services. When potential customers see that other people have had positive experiences with your business, they're much more likely to take the plunge and try out your offerings for themselves.
Increased credibility and trustworthiness:
Along similar lines, online reviews can also help increase the credibility and trustworthiness of your business in the eyes of potential customers. In our review-driven world, people are looking for reassurance that they're making a good decision before handing over their hard-earned cash. If you can give them that peace of mind by prominently featuring glowing customer testimonials on your website and social media channels, you'll be much more likely to close the deal.
Encouraging Customers to Leave Feedback
Now that you know all about the advantages of online review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, it's time to start thinking about how you can encourage your satisfied customers to leave feedback. Here are a few ideas:
Send follow-up emails:
After someone has done business with you, send them a follow-up email asking them how everything went. You can even include a link directly to where they can leave a review. Just make sure that the email feels genuine—no one likes being bombarded with automated messages after making a purchase!
Include CTAs on receipts and packaging:
If you own a brick-and-mortar store or sell physical products, include calls-to-action (CTAs) on receipts and/or packaging encouraging customers to leave an online review. You could even offer incentives like discounts or coupons for those who take the time to provide feedback.
Make it easy for mobile users:
According to BrightLocal's Consumer Review Survey 2018 report, 58% of consumers have used their smartphone to write an online review in the last year. So it's important to make sure that it's easy for mobile users to find and use your company's preferred review platform (hint: Google My Business is usually a good bet).
Use clear CTAs and buttons, hyperlink key words, and avoid using CAPTCHAs , which can be difficult for mobile users to complete .
Create a QR Code:
If you want to make things even easier for your mobile customers, create a QR code that takes them directly to your Google My Business listing or another review site. You can then include this code on receipts, business cards, flyers, and other marketing materials.
Online reviews are one of the most important tools at your disposal when it comes to attracting new customers and growing your small business . Fortunately , there are lots of easy ways to encourage happy customers to leave feedback . By sending follow - up emails , including CTAs on receipts and packaging , and making it easy for mobile users to find and use your company 's preferred review platform , you 'll be well on your way to reaping all the benefits that customer feedback has to offer.