Online Reviews Open Doorways to Your Business

Nov 4, 2016

The Value of Reviews

There’s no denying that we are in an age dominated by mobile devices, nor is there any question that people are using mobile searches to make purchasing decisions more than ever before. Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that so many people have come to rely on online reviews to decide where to shop, eat, and seek services.  According to a study in Adweek, 93% of Millennials read reviews before buying a product, 59% leave reviews on products to share very good or very bad experiences, and 41% pass these reviews on to friends and family through social media. They also trust online reviews like those on Google Maps much more than the reviews you include on your branded website.

Doorways to Your Business

Harnessing the power of online reviews is a great way to bring in new customers and clients. Think of each review site as a doorway to your business, and good reviews as satisfied customers holding those doors open and inviting new customers inside.

Google, Facebook, and Yelp are the most-used points of contact for potential customers who are checking online reviews to decide which businesses they want to visit.

Google is the first place people go when they have a question about where to get a product or service. How many times have you gone to Google to find nearby restaurants or stores? Probably too many to count, and you’re not alone in that. That’s great, because any time someone searches the name of your business or uses keywords that bring up your business in the search results, that user can see the reviews your satisfied customers have left. As we already know, a huge portion of your audience will make their purchasing decisions based on customer reviews, so it works in your favor that Google will display those reviews in the search results for your business.

Facebook has more users than any other social media site in the world, and it’s the perfect place for people to share their experiences with friends, family, and your potential customers. Facebook reviews increase your relevance by making it more likely that friends of people who review your business will see your page. The more Facebook reviews you have, the more exposure you’ll get to potential new customers and clients – and since they’ll be able to see that someone they know recommends you, they’ll be more likely to come to you if they need a similar product or service.

Yelp is one of the top sites people visit when they’re looking for reviews. This can help you be more visible in other ways since Apple Maps displays aggregated Yelp reviews in search results for your business.

Encouraging Reviews

So, we know how important reviews are and where people look for them. Now, how do you make sure there are reviews for them to find?

The first step is to make it easy for customers to leave a review where they prefer to do it. This is why it’s important to have an up-to-date presence on all review platforms, especially Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

Leverage the communication tools you already have to ask for reviews and display the ones you’ve gotten. You can include links to your review pages in thank-you emails, newsletters, and other communications. You can include a space on your website’s front page where recent reviews are displayed, which will improve your first impression with potential customers. If you have a 5-star or nearly-5-star rating on a review site, include that in your promotional materials so potential customers can see that previous customers have enjoyed their experiences with your business.

Make sure you pay attention to customers who refer others to your business. These are customers who get such value from your services that they feel confident recommending it to their friends and family. Reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to write an online review. And don’t forget to thank them, especially if they leave a particularly good review!

You can also use goals and incentives to encourage people to leave reviews. In an email or newsletter, you can send a message to your customers and clients asking them to help you reach your goal for a certain number of online reviews. You can offer incentives to customers, such as being entered in a raffle for leaving a review; you can also offer incentives to your team, such as a reward for the staff member who reminds the most customers about how important reviews are to your business.


How Instant Reviews Can Help

Instant Reviews offers one of the easiest, simplest, fastest ways to encourage your customers to leave reviews. You don’t even have to wait for them to receive thank-you emails or newsletters, and you don’t have to worry about them finding the right review page. With Instant Reviews, each customer simply receives a text that includes a link to your Google page, and all they have to do is click on the link and leave a review. Instant Reviews also integrates your Yelp and Google accounts, gives you monthly reports on your progress, and provides you with a follow-up email review system.

Online reviews are more important than ever, and now, with Instant Reviews, it’s easier than ever to get them. Let Instant Reviews open the doorways to your business today.

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