Customer reviews are important…scratch that…they’re critical. No matter your business nor industry, well-managed customer reviews have become an integral part of any effective web presence.
Now, a big mistake many businesses make is they underestimate that whole well-managed part. They think that as long as they have a few reviews up on their site, they’ve done their part.
But trust us, we’ve been doing search engine optimization and website design in NJ and NY for a while, and you need to take it more seriously than that nowadays. You need to have a plan in place to start encouraging reviews, and to then keep them coming once they start pouring in.
There’s no harm in asking.
You can’t simply allow reviews on your site and then just sit back and hope they start coming in. You need to be ready to just come right out and ask your online audience.
That could mean putting a pop up or separate web page with links to review sites on your website, sending out emails with links in them, encouraging and linking through your social media marketing, putting the information on your business cards, etc.
And it’s not just about asking your online audience to leave reviews online either; you can ask people in person as well. If someone’s leaving your store or place of business, for example, that’s a perfect time.
Think about it, as long as you did everything you could to make their experience worthwhile, then the positive feelings are fresh. So let them know how much you appreciate their presence and ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review online.
Find the best review sites and then keep an eye on them.
Now, before you start encouraging customers to leave reviews, you need to find the best review sites for your industry. Research industry keywords and phrases and check out your competitors and industry leaders.
See which review sites pop up high in the search results and where industry peers are getting reviewed a lot. Trust us, as NJ SEO experts, you’re better off narrowing down the sites you focus on to only those that’ll help you the most.
Then, create profiles on these sites when necessary and, from there, it’s critical to keep track of them, and there are tools out there to help.
For instance, Google Alerts lets you enter some keywords related to your business and the kind of content likely to be found in a review so that you’ll know when they happen as they happen and you can stay on top of them.
Don’t get discouraged by a few duds.
Also, don’t be afraid to to respond to negative reviews. If you’re doing your part, then it should be an aberration. If it’s anything more than that, there may be larger problems at hand.
For more information on the best ways to handle a bad review, check out our previous post: Got a Negative Customer Review? Here’s What You Do…
The bottom line is, potential customers gain a certain amount of comfort when they learn about positive experiences with your company from people who were once where they are now.
So, you need to do all you can to find the right review sites and encourage customers to go to them, keep track of the reviews when they start coming in, and manage and reply to them when necessary.
But first and foremost, you need happy customers. If you don’t have them, then you’d be far happier not looking at your reviews so much.
About Us: Climb The Search, a full-service SEO company serving the NJ / NY area, offers the total search marketing package, including content marketing, inbound marketing, and video production. At CTS, we strive to help businesses grow, every day.