It is easier than ever for customers and clients to share a review detailing their experience at your business. These reviews, and reputation management, are essential to the success of companies large and small, because research shows that 92% of customers read online reviews before buying! But as any business owner will tell you, accruing multitudes of positive testimonials is hard work, and requires constant attention. We’ve compiled some of the most common questions we receive about the benefits and fallbacks of marketing with reviews. Spoiler alert, our opinion is that reviews are worth their weight in gold (or bitcoin). Here is how to make the most of your customer feedback!
What Are the Benefits of Online Reviews?
Contrary to popular belief, reviews offer your business more than just a rating. The rating is important, of course, but even negative reviews can be beneficial for your business!
- SEO Boost. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has evolved quite a bit over the last decade. We miss the days where some tastefully placed keywords could get websites top ranks. Now, Google requires a little more finessing, and Google Reviews are part of all of our client’s SEO plans. In short, customer feedback leads to more keywords associated with your business. Even more importantly, Google often shows businesses with the highest number of reviews first, because reviews lend credibility to the authenticity of a business. Want Google to notice you? Get more reviews!
- More Clicks. As a business owner, one of your top priorities should be to get more clicks directing to your website. Recent studies show that 56% of customers click on businesses that have online reviews! The bottom line is that negative ratings lead to fewer clicks and positive ratings lead to more clicks.
- Customer Feedback. Feedback, either positive or negative, can be monumentally useful for a business owner. One negative review can be an anomaly, but several less-than-favorable reviews pointing out the same issue can help you fix a problem before it seriously impacts the success of your business. Conversely, positive reviews indicate what you are doing right!
- Build Trust. Reviews add a layer of credibility to your business. It is concrete evidence that you not only perform the services or sales you claim to provide, but you are patronized by people who enjoyed those sales and services.
I Want to Focus on Reputation Management and Getting My Business Reviews! What’s the Next Step?
Great question! First of all, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to review your business. You can do this by simply verbally requesting a review when they visit your business. However, there are several other effective platforms to get in front of your consumer for a review, including:
- Text Message
- Email Campaigns
- Reward Programs
- Review Software
- Website Link
Getting reviews is only the first step. The most important part of getting reviews is managing them! That’s where reputation management comes into the picture. JBC regularly monitors client reviews and generates personalized responses to each reviewer.
SEO Bonus! Even your review responses contribute to your SEO. JBC incorporates keywords pertaining to your business into each and every response.
What Should I Do if My Business Gets a 1-Star Review?
Negative reviews are an unfortunate fact of life. They happen to every business owner eventually, and they almost always come as a disappointing surprise. But don’t panic! Even negative reviews benefit your business (just as long as you don’t have too many of them).
- Recovering/Responding. First and foremost, a negative review gives you the opportunity to recover a customer! If you contact the customer in a timely fashion to politely resolve the issue, they may decide to independently remove or improve their original rating! The bottom line of reputation management is for businesses to be able to connect with their customers. This means connecting with both satisfied and dissatisfied patrons.
- Credibility. Believe it or not, a negative review can make your business even more trustworthy, especially if it’s buried in a slew of 5-star reviews. It indicates that the positive reviews are real and you are an authentic business. Usually, if your business is generally well-received, potential customers understand that the occasional one-star reviews are a fact of life and will likely not be something they experience.
- SEO. That negative reviewer was trying to drag you down, but the joke’s on them! Even negative reviews positively affect your SEO. Responding to negative ratings gives you even better potential to improve your Google rankings. Additionally, Google trusts businesses with more reviews. If that negative review was able to pump up your numbers without taking a toll on your overall rating, then it’s a win.
- Business Improvement. Sometimes negative feedback feels spiteful. Other times it is a truly constructive perspective! Learn from every negative review, and your business will inevitably improve.
Can I Get a Negative or Inaccurate Google or Yelp Review Removed?
- Hate Speech or Inappropriate Content. Threats, harassment, lewdness, and bigotry are strictly off the table.
- Relevance. The review must be relevant to the business.
- Conflicts of Interest. Reviews should not be written by friends, family, or employees.
- Privacy. Reviewers may not post private information about the business, employees, or other patrons.
- Plagiarism. Reviewers cannot post unoriginal content, or content/images they do not own.
- Self-Promotion. Reviewers cannot use a review to promote their own business or products.
Google has a few more content guidelines than Yelp, including the following:
- Impersonation. Reviewers cannot write a review pretending to be someone else.
- Terrorist Content. This rule applies specifically to terrorist organizations who, naturally, are prohibited.
Contact JBC for Your Reputation Management Needs!
Reviews are an integral facet of your marketing plan. JBC offers reputation management services to help you stay on top of your reviews and connect with your customers. Contact JBC for a free consultation to learn more about how reputation management can help your business!