By now, you’ve probably heard all about the magical powers of business reviews. “You’ve got to get more!” “Get more reviews and rank higher!” In all honesty, most digital marketing companies sell client feedback short of its actual purpose, to create trust in your company brand. Tack on the amazing benefits towards local search and brand awareness, and you have the makings of fantastic marketing success!
Today, we’re going to step through a three part guide on how to set up, collect, and manage your company reviews. We’ll also reveal some terrible mistakes to avoid at all costs! If you’ve struggled to earn client reviews in the past, be sure to read along closely.
Step #1: Choose Your Review Sites
The clear and hard-knocking truth is that reviews are not created equal. A glowing review on an obscure blog doesn’t carry the weight of feedback in Google Reviews. The search engine used to be the ultimate authority in client feedback. Now, Google has voluntarily broken that quasi-monopoly on reviews in order to spread attention to other popular platforms.
In other words, the search engine now listings with multiple reviews sources.
The question then becomes: Where should DFW business owners focus their efforts when it comes to reviews sites? There are countless sites that collect feedback from consumers around the nation, but only a small handful are worthy of your attention.
Top Sites for Collecting Business Reviews
Some companies, especially contractors, can also earn some helpful feedback through Angie’s List. These may be harder to take advantage of in our strategy later on, however. We’ll have more details in a bit!
Starting Reviews Collection
Google My Business / Google Reviews
First things first. Prepare your Google My Business account as soon as possible. These listings are conveniently free, but they are absolutely mandatory if you want to perform well in local search! For many consumers, Google Reviews are still the preferred venue for feedback, so it pays to offer them a convenient way to praise your business.
While this form of feedback looks a little bit different than your typical 5-star system, Facebook’s Recommendations also pack a powerful punch. When it comes to social media feedback, people tend to feel more personally invested in their wording. That makes a wonderful opportunity for glowing reviews and constructive criticism to flow freely.
Recommendations are very shareable too! If you feel like turning your best Facebook Reviews into ads, you’d be amazed how effective feedback can be as user generated advertising.
BBB, Yelp, Etc.
Many homeowners and restaurant connoisseurs swear by Yelp. While Yelp Reviews occasionally get spotlighted for the odd consumer scandal, they still govern popular opinion in many industries. That’s why creating and managing citations in these sources is a no-brainer for most businesses.
Foursquare reviews, Yelp reviews, and BBB reviews are worth cultivating, so make sure you continue to direct your clients toward your profiles. Having profiles link back to your main company website also adds a little extra power behind your DFW SEO!
Bad Review Collection Practice
Don’t leave reviews up to chance, or worse, ignore them altogether. Client feedback is one of Google’s key indicates of company trustworthiness. If you don’t have any reviews posted online, your chances of seeing page one rankings drop significantly. At the very least, you should set up your GMB account and a Facebook page!
Step 2: Ask for Service Reviews
You’d be amazed how many DFW companies complete miss this step! With so much at stake (your local search rankings, for instance), there’s nothing to lose by asking for a little feedback. While you can simply ask your clients for a review after each project, sale, etc., there are a couple easy ways to improve your collection process.
How to Increase Your Reviews
- Send a text with links
- Provide an email with links
- Submit a business card with links
- Place links on the client’s bill
Links, Links, Links!
You’ve probably noticed the pattern here. On average, only one or two clients will respond to a verbal request for a review. Even ecstatic consumers often put off and ultimately forget to review their contractors and service providers. Even worse, their enthusiasm may fade over time, resulting in lower ratings!
You can’t put off asking for reviews either. The most dedicated reviews tend to be the harshest critics. When it comes to collecting feedback, timeliness and convenience are the two most important factors. Whether it’s via text, email, fancy business card, or whatever, be sure to ask for a review the day of or after a project. Businesses should train their employees to inform clients of the review process, the importance of feedback, and the need for immediacy.
How to Fail at Review Collection
Don’t ask at all. Thousands of businesses shoot themselves in the foot by ignoring the collection process and leaving their success to fate. These companies usually earn a handful of reviews (if any) each year, and negative feedback tends to dominate their listings.
Even companies with one or two employees can compete online if they consistently ask for reviews. So ask!
Step 3: Harness Company Reviews
There’s even more local search power to be gleaned from client feedback. When companies use them correctly, higher rankings, deeper trust, and stronger conversion rates are all within reach. That’s why the smartest businesses never let their feedback just sit dormant.
Top Ways to Harness Business Reviews
- Integrate them into the website
- Turn negative reviews into long-term customers
- Showcase favorite reviews
- Turn glowing reviews into ads
Integrating reviews into your website is very easy to do. Even embedding a handful of your favorite client ratings can be very effective, if you place them well on your homepage. Some companies steer away from the scrolling review bar (seen in the picture above) because they’re afraid of negative feedback.
How to Handle Feedback
If you’ve done your job and continue to collect reviews consistently however, the occasional negative review actually helps your business.By showing all your reviews, consumers are more likely to trust that your 4-4.5 star rating actually represents how people feel about your brand. So many fake reviews are circling the internet, people simply want to know that your reviews are trustworthy.
Speaking of negative feedback, make sure to consistently monitor and answer reviews. Even irate customers can be turned into lifelong clients if they feel heard, respected, and cared for. Never respond out of anger or frustration, and people will respect your commitment to impeccable customer service!
Of course, you can always take advantage of those 5 star reviews and use them for ads! Facebook is a particularly wonderful tool for taking glowing reviews and promoting them as advertising campaigns. Nothing speaks more highly of your brand than an enthusiastic customer!
How to Destroy Your Brand
Ignoring client feedback, especially negative reviews, leads to dangerous brand corrosion. Lack of interaction implies that a business isn’t interested in caring for their customers, and consumers will likely take their business elsewhere as a result. With so many opportunities ingrained inside reviews (be they Google, Facebook, or BBB), why not take advantage of them?
Need Help Managing Your Reputation?
Our team at DFW SEO supports dozens of businesses throughout the metroplex, and hundreds more throughout the country. We provide invaluable services for local search improvement, higher rankings, and stronger traffic. Clients enjoy front page rankings and impressive lead generation.
We’d love to serve you too! If you’ve struggled with collecting business reviews, or if you’re worried about negative feedback, consult with one of our seasoned experts for free. Simply give us a call at (800) 231-4871 to get started!