How To Get More Online Reviews

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With more people relying on search to help them decide where to eat, what to buy or where to take their next vacation it’s vital for all businesses to be visible in search. Google has actually stated that the more reviews your business gets the higher your rankings will be in their Search Result Pages. This means more traffic and more sales.

To emphasize the power of online reviews, a 2011 study form Harvard Business School discovered that restaurants that improved their rating by just one star, increased their revenue up to 9 percent.

However, there is a right way and a wrong way to increase the amount of reviews your business receives. We want to help you do it the right way. Our E-Book “How to Get More Online Reviews” includes topics on:

• Doing it the Right Way
• Important Rules for Online Reviews
• Guidelines to Follow
• Strategies for Increasing your Online Reviews

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How To Get More Online Reviews

  1. 1. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 1 www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook How to get more online reviews
  2. 2. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 2 Table of contents 1. Doing it the Right Way - 3 2. Rules - 5 3. Guidelines - 7 4. The Good Stuff - 9 5. How Standard Marketing can Help - 15
  3. 3. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 3 1. Doing it the Right Way
  4. 4. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 4 Online reviews are growing in popularity and that means two things. First, online reviews are becoming more important for businesses than ever before. And second, there is an increasing amount of fake reviews and deception emerging on review platforms. The latter is growing into such a problem that the State of New York is collaborating with various businesses to curb deception and punish those that post fake reviews. In a 2011 study, Harvard Business School discovered restaurants that improved their ranking by just one star, increased their revenue up to 9 percent. Even though the results are tempting, it’s highly recommended that businesses do not partake in submitting fake reviews. Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, called the fake reviews and deceptions “worse than old-fashioned false advertising.” So now that we got that out of the way we wanted to share some tactics for getting more bona fide online reviews without becoming an internet outlaw. However, first to reiterate some ground rules we’ll introduce some rules and guidelines that you should keep in the back of your head while building up your reviews.
  5. 5. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 5 2. Rules
  6. 6. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 6 No incentivizing reviews You can’t offer discounts or giveaways in exchange for reviews. No in-store kiosks You can’t have a computer or tablet in store for facilitating reviews. This is because Yelp and other review based websites track referral URLs for suspicious activity. Filters for the Over Enthusiastic Review platforms have filters in place for hiding reviews that seem suspicious or overly enthusiastic. 321
  7. 7. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 7 3. Guidelines
  8. 8. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 8 Provide your customers with options i.e. yelp, G+, yahoo, Facebook - This helps to encourage reviews because if someone has a Yelp account and no Gmail it’s likely they will opt to review you on Yelp and not Google+. This also helps to encourage variety in review platforms and it seems more organic if your business has reviews on multiple channels. Don’t have big expectations – Building up your reviews takes time so don’t get upset after asking 100 customers to review your business and you only receive 10. Focus on wowing your customers and eventually they will be sure to spread the word. Don’t Wait too long before you ask – Make sure to act quickly after the transaction because people are less likely to review your services a month later. Try to reach out for feedback as soon as possible so the experience is fresh in the customer’s mind. Encourage more reviews by listening – Don’t ask your customers for reviews if you aren’t going to pay attention to what they are saying about their experience. Reply to their praise and criticisms on the same platform that they initially used. Do not become offended if someone gives you a poor review, turn their problem into your opportunity by encouraging them to come back. Use this opportunity to exhibit outstanding service and turn that frown upside down.
  9. 9. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 9 4. The Good Stuff:
  10. 10. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 10 Yelp provides information in their privacy policy that states they monitor referral URLs (section II A). There is speculation that Google does the same with their reviews. This applies to the rule of not having a review kiosk in your store as mentioned above. Include a Feedback Page on your Website We recommend introducing 3 to 5 options for your visitors to choose from with instructions on how your visitor would make their review.
  11. 11. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 11 Offer Free Wifi in Exchange for Email Address – If you offer free Wi-Fi make the landing page an opt-in form that simply asks for their name and email address in exchange for internet access. This allows you to follow up with them afterwards and ask for a review via email. The request should be coupled with specific instructions on how to submit the review for each review platform presented. Don’t Wait till they’re done, Ask Beforehand – Introducing the review concept to customers before or during the transaction can plant the seed that reviews are important to your business. Of course, you need to be the judge on whether or not the situation is right for requesting a review or not. For example: “We’ve been working on improving our customer experience and we’ve been told that getting more reviews is the best way to do this. We really take our customer’s feedback seriously and we would appreciate it if you could let us know how we did.”
  12. 12. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 12 Advertise with Signage Placing a simple Yelp or Google Reviews sticker in the window of your business could help introduce that fact that you welcome reviews. Placing tent cards on the front desk can also help remind customers that you are active on review platforms and would appreciate feedback. Display old reviews Print either your favorite or old reviews and proudly display them on your bulletin board, by the front door or even in the bathroom. Try to place them in a place where your customers are idle to encourage reading. Add reminders on receipts Including a reminder on the bottom of your receipts or invoices is a good way to remind people that you welcome their feedback.
  13. 13. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 13 Encourage Check-Ins Giving incentive for reviews is off limits but no one said anything about giving incentive for checking in via social media. Offering a discount for checking with your smartphone via Foursquare could encourage people to check in which could also lead to new reviews. Include a review of the month in your social media Publicly thanking your customers via social media is a good way to show appreciation to those that took the time to review your business. It also provides the opportunity to showcase your favorite review of the month. Provide handouts to curb confusion Sometimes explaining how to write reviews can be tricky especially to those that aren’t familiar with social media or online reviews. Print out instructions to help customers write reviews without confusion and in a timely manner. Once your customer becomes confused they are more than likely to lose interest and not write a review.
  14. 14. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 14 Be Smart about Email To kick off the process send feedback requests after the service or product has been purchased. If you have a bunch of Gmail addresses make sure you include Google+ reviews at the top of your list of review platforms. This will help make the review process easier for some of them. As mentioned above, when emailing customers with the intention of seeking reviews, make sure to include more than one review platform so they have options. Even though they have a Gmail address they may be more active on Yelp. Include Review Widgets in your Web Design Including a review widget in your website’s footer will reinforce the fact that you appreciate feedback. It will also serve as a reminder to current customers that haven’t already reviewed your business. For emails in general, you can also try including a link in your email signature to where customers can review you.
  15. 15. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 15 5. How Standard Marketing can Help
  16. 16. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 16 We Get To Know Your Business - First we get a good understanding of your business, your clients, your needs and goals. We’re not here to reinvent your company but to build on your strengths. We Look At Your Entire Internet Presence - Then we look at your whole internet presence – your website, your social media, your current rankings on Google, and every link on the internet that points to your website. And we look at your competition. We look at the whole picture. We Show You What’s Right For You - So many people make Internet Marketing complicated saying things like “You need Facebook”. We say “Maybe you do, maybe you don’t”. It’s a traffic strategy. That’s all it is, one of many. We look at all the possibilities - all the traffic strategies, all the contact information strategies, and all the closing strategies for your particular business, for your target clients, and for this particular time. And if it’s appropriate we fit Facebook into your strategy in terms of priority, and how it works with all the other parts of your strategy. We Do The Most Effective Things First - Then we pick the Traffic, Contact Information, and Closing strategies that will make you the most money in the least amount of time, and we do those first. 604 722-9375604 722-9375 info@standardmarketing.cainfo@standardmarketing.ca Let’s talk about how we can help your business grow.
  17. 17. www.standardmarketing.ca Standard Marketing - ebook - How to Get More Online Reviews Page 17 By Anthony Baisi Anthony Baisi manages social media & customer relations at Standard Marketing. He’s also responsible for developing clients’ content strategy and carrying out their Search Engine Optimization. He strategizes each client’s content to address the needs of their target audience while establishing a professional and consistent persona for the brand. He’s an important part of our marketing strategy team. Written by Anthony Baisi Follow me on Twitter @anthonybaisi

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