How proactive are you about harvesting local reviews and ratings from your customers across Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol and the rest of Northeast Tennessee? Research from top SEO experts repeatedly shows that positive online ratings and reviews are a vital factor for attracting new business, regardless of your industry or specialty. Real people want to know what other real people think of their experience with your company. 

Review Content Matters 

You may wonder why we’re focusing on the content of your online reviews. Obviously, what is written in your reviews matters. Positive reviews that describe superior products and service are what other potential clients want to see – and that influences their decisions. Poor reviews also matter, as do how you address them in the review content stream. 

But your review content matters because Google also weighs this content. Google My Business reviews and rankings are the number one things consumers are browsing to help them make spending decisions. Local references, positive comments, keywords used in the written review and how you respond to reviews all affect how Google ranks your website. 

Engagement is Vital 

Engagement is vital with social media, and you can lump your engagement with reviews into that entire scenario. Consider engaging with reviewers just as important, if not more important, than your communications with those who respond to your social media posts. Thank reviewers for positive comments and ratings, and mention the specific things they write about. 

Conversely, do the same for those who leave negative reviews. Ask specific questions to engage in a dialogue about what caused the poor review. Apologize for their negative experience and ask for recommendations for improving their next experience. You can also offer a discount coupon or some other enticement to return. Research shows that 89% of consumers are willing to change a negative review based on how you respond.

Reviews = Clicks = Visibility 

Another way reviews can improve your overall SEO is because positive reviews increase your click-through traffic. Since more than half of all consumers pass over companies with a less than 4-star rating, strive to create exceptional experiences and earn 5-star ratings. As your ratings improve and stay high, consumers will choose your business over lower rated competitors. Marketing gurus are not sure how it works, but they do agree that Google rewards websites with a high organic click-through-rate. Having good reviews can increase your website traffic, which in turn boosts your SEO ranking, creating a positive feedback loop.

Ask for Reviews 

Do you need some motivation before you’re willing to step out and ask consumers for reviews for your business?  

Having more reviews is much better than having fewer reviews — unless, of course, most of your reviews are negative. Having a few reviews is better than not having any at all.” 

According to Online Reviews Statistics: 

  • 4 in 5 Americans read reviews before making a purchase decision.
  • 79% do so to make sure the product or service is good, 61% read reviews to make sure the product or service works, and 53% read reviews to make sure they don’t get ripped off.
  • 83% of shoppers discover new products every month through reviews. Moreover, 7% of consumers need to read at least 20 reviews before they put enough trust in a company.

Growing numbers of positive reviews are a huge factor influencing your SEO. So, doesn’t it make sense to ask consumers for reviews? And, consider this: 

“Reviews… have a longer shelf life.

18 minutes is the median lifespan of a tweet. 75% of engagement with a Facebook post occurs within the first 5 hours. As for reviews’ shelf life? It’s around 3 months. 69% of consumers believe that only reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant.

Simply put: what customers said on Yelp! or TripAdvisor two weeks ago is likely to carry more weight than what another customer said on Twitter or Facebook two days ago.”

You can ask consumers for reviews by: 

  1. Email campaigns specifically to ask for reviews
  2. Social media posts that ask for reviews
  3. SMS messaging that asks for reviews
  4. Landing pages on your website that ask for reviews
  5. Website widgets that ask for reviews
  6. Feedback at the point of sale that automatically becomes a review 

Remember, not only do you want great reviews of your business on your website, you want clients to post great reviews on Google, Yelp! and other professional review sites. Many of these sites have guidelines for how you can or cannot solicit reviews, so be sure to read their policies and abide by them. 

Of course, handing all this reputation management labor over to a professional digital marketing agency like 1-FIND removes the headaches and provides you additional time to do what you do best – run your business! Why not call today and ask about marketing assistance with your website, social media, reviews and more?