­­­10 Steps To Get More Reviews Today!

Reviews have become central to the today’s business world. Before the internet came along, people could use customer comment boxes or helplines to give feedback about the products and services they used.

However, reviews have never been as influential as they are in today’s web dominated world.

They are particularly important for local SEO, since they are one of the key signals used to determine your position in Google’s local listings. This means that the local businesses with the best reviews will be more likely to dominate the listings in any given market.

Reviews are powerful for consumers because they reduce the uncertainty they feel when purchasing. They do this by providing ‘social proof‘.  In moments of uncertainty, people often look to others to work out what is the best or most appropriate action. To the consumer good reviews are ‘proof’ that an item is worth purchasing. For this reason, they can be a very powerful driver of conversions. However, it also means that bad reviews can be disastrous, because other potential customers will take it as evidence that the item is not worth purchasing.

Consequently, it is beneficial to try to increase the number of good reviews you receive and decrease the number of bad reviews. The upside of this is that unlike most SEO practices, increasing your good reviews doesn’t require spending money or having a great deal of technical expertise. The downside is that you are dealing with something which is to a large degree outwith your control.

Despite this, there are still things that you can do to improve the situation. Generally speaking, there are two ways of doing this. One is to focus your energies on bad reviews which are dragging down your overall ratings. The other way is to encourage more satisfied customers to leave reviews, thus boosting the number of good reviews you receive. It’s best to use both methods at the same time. Below set out some of the best ways to do this.

1. Make Sure the Review Form Is Mobile-Friendly

When designing a webpage it can be easy to forget that it will be viewed in many different ways, including on different browsers and devices. Nowadays, testing for mobile devices is increasingly important. If there is a problem here it could significantly affect the number of reviews you receive.

The stats show that nowadays people are even more likely to view your site on a mobile device than on a laptop. It’s therefore vital that you make sure that your review form works on mobiles. Tools like Screenfly can be used to show you how a page looks in different scenarios. Google’s Mobile-Friendly test allows you to optimise pages for mobile devices.

2. Make It Easy

It’s important to make it as easy as possible for the user to leave a review. Remember, they’re doing you a favour, and it won’t take much frustration to put them off. The less steps involved the better.

3. Choose the Right Time and Place to Ask for a Review

You can boost your reviews simply by being smarter about when and where you ask for them. Tests have shown that the best day to ask customers for reviews is Monday. The worst, by contrast, is Saturday. Also, the best hours are between 1-3pm, probably because it’s just after lunch.

4. Give Customers Rewards for Reviewing

The problem with reviews is that they’re reliant on customers giving them out of the kindness of their heart, and they don’t always want to. One way around this problem is to give them some encouragement, i.e. a gift in return for a review.

Offering discounts or coupons in return for reviews is usually very effective. You could even offer another discount or coupon for sharing the purchase details on social media. This is good because it both gives you a new review and helps to improve awareness at the same time.

5. Ask Them

To get reviews you have to ask for them. You have to know the right situation in which to ask. One good place is in a confirmation email sent when a customer receives an order. You can also put calls to action asking for a review on various pages of your site. However you ask, make sure that you get the tone of the text right – keep it light, informal and friendly.

6. Ask customers to Review Their More Expensive Purchases

If customers buy more than one product, ask for reviews of the more expensive one. Studies have shown that people are more likely to review expensive purchases.

7. Ask People on Your Personal Facebook Account to Leave Reviews

You may as well leverage any resources you have available. Why not leave a personal update on your personal non-business Facebook account asking your family and friends to leave reviews on your business Facebook page. This will especially valuable if you’re just starting out.

8. Set Up Profiles on Multiple Review Sites

Make sure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Making your products available for review on multiple sites ensures that all demographics are able to easily review your products or services. In particular, make sure that you are in all of the main sites relevant to your industry. Some sites to consider are LinkedIn, CitySearch, Google Local, Yelp, TrustLink, Yahoo Local, Trustpilot, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s List.

9. Respond to Reviews

A few particularly negative reviews can drag down the overall rating of a product. This can be frustrating, especially if the reviewer’s experience doesn’t reflect that of most customers. The good news is that responding to this small number of reviewers gives you the opportunity to directly address what issues they have, whilst at the same time making others aware that you are doing this.

You can also thank those who leave positive reviews, and hopefully this will encourage them to stay engaged with your business in the future.

When replying, the goal is to build goodwill between the business and its customers. To achieve this, it’s important to get the tone of the reply right. You should be nice, approachable and helpful, even when responding to the most negative reviews.

10. Re-Post Positive Comments on Social Media

Why not turn social media comments into positive reviews! Search for reviews on Twitter, Instagram or any other social platform, and cross-post these comments on all your channels. E.g. you could retweet positive comments and also post them on your Facebook and Instagram pages. You could also do the reverse, posting reviews from your own webpages on social media.

Conclusion

These are just some of the best ways to improve the reviews you receive, both to get more good reviews and to deal effectively with the bad ones. Unlike many other aspects of SEO, this doesn’t have to be complicated. A few changes to your website can make all the difference. If you have any questions or advice, feel free to leave a comment below.

About the author

Jack Cairney is the CEO & Founder of Befound (managed SEO software for small businesses)