In a world where consumers can find information about pretty much any business, product, and service online, it’s not easy for a local business to capture the spotlight for long. Building a collection of positive customer reviews is one of the best and easiest ways to gain visibility online and convert consumers into customers.
Reviews Are the Best Way to Establish Trust
Why is this? Because reviews build credibility and demonstrate value to search engines as well as potential customers. Bright Local revealed in an earlier study that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. This holds especially true for today’s largest generation of consumers, the mobile-focused millennials.
Unhappy customers are definitely willing to hit the street spreading the word about how a business messed up. For businesses looking to get more love from customers, the hard part is encouraging happy customers to take the time to write reviews.
Fortunately, local businesses can generate more reviews by making a few small changes to their website!
Four Simple Website Changes that Encourage Customer Reviews
1. Display Customer Reviews
There are several great reasons for showcasing customer reviews and testimonials on a business’ website. Not only do they provide social proof to potential customers browsing your website, but they can also inspire other customers to write reviews of their own.
There are plugins you can use to import reviews directly from review sites and social media to a website. If you’re using one of those, make sure you follow general SEO best practices, Google’s guidelines, and the guidelines available on the site you are importing reviews from. When a customer gives the business a glowing recommendation, simply request permission to share it on the website. Then paste the comment to an appropriate location on the website, such as a testimonials section or relevant product page.
2. Make it Easy to Leave a Review
A sure-fire way to get more reviews is to remove any obstacles that might prevent a customer from leaving a review. Smooth out the process by providing suggestions that customers can write about. It could be as simple as asking them four quick questions that they can summarize in a two sentence format. For instance, suggest leaving a comment about what they liked about their latest in-store experience or ask them to contact the business to share their thoughts on a new product.
If the business has a resources or testimonials page on its website, include a list of local review sites where the business is featured. Then, make it even simpler for customers to take action by writing out step-by-step instructions for how to leave a review on each site.
3. Add Review Buttons and Widget Embeds
Link customers to the various profiles on review sites, such as Yelp, Google My Business, and Angie’s List, along with the business’ social media profiles. If the site offers a badge to include in the bottom of emails and on the website, be sure to use them. Some sites, like Yelp, provide review badges that businesses can place on their websites to both showcase reviews and direct traffic to their profile to capture even more reviews. This helps the customer to quickly find the business’ profile on the review site and reminds them that they can write reviews of their own.
4. Simply Ask!
Sometimes the easiest solution is also the most obvious. Even though most customers already know reviews matter to businesses, they don’t always think to write one themselves. Including a straightforward call-to-action on the website, as well as in an email and on the bottom of receipts, is an easy, quick way to generate more reviews.
Happy customers won’t be offended or annoyed by this simple request, and asking them to write reviews will increase the percentage of those who take the time do so. If you do receive a negative review, be sure to respond right away. Unsatisfied customers tend to leave reviews more often than their satisfied counterparts, so it’s important to handle them accordingly.
Getting more reviews means you need a solution in place to manage them! That is where a reputation management tool like ours can help out significantly. We make monitoring, responding, and sharing reviews easy with our local presence management solution. Request a demo TODAY to learn more.