Whether you’re a large and established company or a small local start-up, online reviews are crucial to your success. Reviews and ratings have made recent headlines in the marketing industry because of their increased importance in consumer purchase decisions. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90% of consumers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. If a consumer is already in the market for your product or service, customer reviews can make or break their trust in purchasing from your company.
Review generation has become paramount to the success of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With reviews being so important to consumers, search engines now take into account their quantity and quality when ranking search engine results. Search engines now show a business’s overall star rating in search results and make reviews easily accessible to consumers when an ad shows up as well. Reviews also contribute to your online authority which also boosts your ad ranking in search engine results.
Not only are consumers looking at overall star ratings and reading reviews that are available, they are also looking at the volume of online reviews. The more reviews your company has online, the more credible you are seen as among consumers. With reviews having such a considerable impact on businesses, it is necessary to incorporate a review generation strategy into your online marketing campaign.
Strategies for Generating Online Reviews
Offline Customer Service
Customer service is the backbone of earning online reviews and business owners want to ensure their customers are receiving the care and attention they deserve. The most direct way to generate and increase your volume of online reviews is to ask for the customer’s feedback when your employees notice a happy customer. When doing so, you’ll want to make sure that the customer is able to provide their feedback as simply as possible. Regardless of how satisfied the customer is, if it requires too much of an effort they most likely will not leave a review.
Utilize Online Channels
Word of mouth spreads faster than ever thanks to the internet. Social media, for example, provides an unfiltered and immediate channel for consumers to voice opinions and share thoughts. Although you won’t want to bombard your followers with constant requests for reviews, something as simple as a star rating pop-up on your page that links to other review sites can help your company earn ratings. Email is also popular when it comes to requesting reviews. Emailing a form that can be filled out without re-directing the customer to other places online is a simple way to gain in-depth and useful feedback and reviews. Not only will you be reaching your customer directly, they will be more likely to provide feedback if the opportunity is convenient for them and if they do not have to spend extra time navigating around web.
Continued Review Management
Once more reviews start coming in, it may feel overwhelming. Many companies make the mistake of neglecting reviews, both positive and negative, that can negatively impact their reputation. Continued review management is best done with an agency that has proven software specifically dedicated to managing your online reviews.
Strategic Marketing offers SmartRep, a proprietary online review generation and reputation management platform that has helped a number of clients manage their online reputation. SmartRep makes it simple to generate online reviews. Our system contacts your customers via branded email and asks them for a review. Once reviews are completed, the system presents a seamless path for positive reviews to be pushed to your website as well as directs customers to other sites such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Negative reviews are redirected away from online publication and back to the business owner to be addressed. SmartRep offers robust reporting and analysis features, available 24/7, allowing you to track your company’s progress so you are always in the know.
If you’re ready to deal with online reviews and manage your business’s online reputation, contact us today for a free demo or to learn more about our platform. Our team manages SEO campaigns for a number of different clients from many different industries, while focusing on review generation and reputation management. We can increase your brand’s online visibility – contact us today.