In a lot of small business marketing articles, you’ll be advised to decide which is more important to you: quality or quantity. And while that can be good advice in some situations, your online review presence is not among them.
Of course you need quality, 5-star reviews – that’s a given. But be aware that the value of those reviews is largely determined by the number of reviewers. A study from Search Engine Land revealed that while people tend to read only 2-3 of your available reviews, the credibility of your star rating is greatly increased when it’s echoed by more reviewers.
So, how do you get more reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Places, OpenTable and other social media sites? Ask for them. As a Hubspot blog post on the topic advises, “it’s just like getting an inbound link or closing a sale. You might get some organically, but if you expect perpetual success, you need to ask customers to write reviews of your business on these sites.”
Here are a few methods to try – soon!
1. Think outside the web. Let’s be honest – customers who had a perfectly nice experience with you are not as motivated to remember to review you as those who had a negative one. So try to get these folks while they’re still with you – by putting a review site’s logo (Yelp and OpenTable are good ones) on napkins, receipts, and check-out counters. (Ingaged)
2. Post reviews on your website and social media sites with a link back to the review site they came from. This will remind people that they, too, could leave you some love online.
3. Include links to review sites where you have a presence already. This could include in the email signatures of everyone at your company or your blog (Hubspot). And, of course, any email marketing campaigns you send out.
How effective have you found online reviews to be? Do they bring you business directly?