As we’ve discussed in previous local search articles
, reviews play an important role in search engine optimization (SEO) and attracting more customers. Not all reviews, however, are given equal weight by Google because depending on how the review was collected, where it came from, and who wrote it, your business can suffer negative consequences. There are good and bad practices for collecting more reviews. In this article, we’ll show you which practices you should avoid and the steps you can take to get more reviews for your business.
Harmful Practices for Collecting Reviews
Getting customers to leave a review can be challenging but it’s important to do it right in order to protect your reputation, rankings, and revenue. Make sure you avoid these harmful practices to ensure your business isn’t hurt by misleading or fraudulent reviews.
- Paying for reviews, whether it’s a customer or marketer
- Paying people to pose as customers
- Reviewing your own business
- Asking staff to review the business
- Setting up a review kiosk in your place of business (when a single IP address is shared among multiple reviews, the reviews can end up flagged and removed)
- Reviewing competitors
- Having a sudden, mass influx of reviews on a platform (not only does it look spammy, but you’re probably violating the platform’s guidelines)
- Focusing on only one review platform
- Replying with unprofessional responses to negative reviews
- Ignoring the review platform’s guidelines
- Faking reviews on your own website
You may be able to get away with these sneaky practices for a short time, but they’ll ultimately hurt your business. While quality reviews on multiple platforms are a valuable component of SEO, they’re also a major factor in how your business is perceived by potential customers.
Good Practices Getting More Reviews
Have you ever noticed that reviews tend to be either extremely positive or negative? “Meh” experiences often don’t prompt customers to leave a review but if you make them happy or angry, they’re much more motivated to leave a review. Below are steps you can to take to entice customers to leave positive reviews.
- Delivering great products or services
- Using signage in your place of business to encourage reviews
- Collecting email addresses when completing a sale and following up within a few days to ask them to write a review about their experience
- Training staff when to appropriately and politely invite the customer to leave a review
- Making it easy for customers to find your business online to leave reviews (e.g. Google business listing is set up; Yelp profile link on your website)
- Showcasing links to your third-party review profiles on your website or creating a separate reviews/testimonials page on your website with those third-party reviews
- Responding to reviews in a professional and timely manner
- Tracking your review acquisition strategies and tweaking your approach
- Seeing how your local competitors get reviews and adopting the strategies that work for them
- Auditing your website to see how easy it is for customers to leave reviews and if there are any missed opportunities
- Focusing on collecting fresh reviews (customers may give pause to your business if the last review is several years old)
- Using a Google-licensed review collection tool
Online reviews influence rankings and conversions which is why it’s a smart move to create a review acquisition strategy rather than winging it. It’s not enough to create a strategy though, you should track which tactics work and don’t work for your business in order to generate the best results.
Review Acquisition Strategy with SMT
When you have a reputable online reputation, you’re in a better position to collect more positive reviews at a steady rate. Let SMT help you identify weaknesses in your review acquisition strategy and create actionable solutions that will help you collect more reviews to enhance your SEO and attract more potential customers. Call our office at 407-682-2222 or fill out the contact form
for review acquisition services.