Your business’s online reputation plays a huge role in today’s digital world, as more and more people look at reviews before making any decision to purchase products or work with businesses. In fact, according to a study by BrightLocal, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
It’s important to understand that the unfortunate truth about digital ratings is that unsatisfied/irate customers are more likely to leave a review about your business than a satisfied one. These negative ratings can have a significant impact on your online reputation, which is why you must make an effort to encourage reviews from your happy customers.
Earning positive reviews on popular review platforms is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy, and with so many different review sites out there, it might be hard to decide where you need to make the most of our customers’ voice. Here is a list of the best places to get online reviews for your business.
Google My Business
You had to know that Google would be on here this list! Getting ratings through Google My Business (GMB) is crucial for a lot of reasons, including (but not limited to):
- Your star rating in Google Maps results
- Your overall placement in Google search results
- Your website traffic (based on a study from Yotpo)
As a business, you need to take it upon yourself to understand your Google profile and set it up correctly. This includes verifying your business’s location, add high-quality photos of your products or business location, and detail your business’s information like you would on your website.
Once this is all set up, you can then encourage customers to leave you a review. You can do this a lot of different ways (including creating a direct link for customers to leave a review), so get creative or just ask directly.
Review websites like Yelp, Houzz or HomeAdvisor may not impact your star ratings in Google Maps, but they do affect your search rankings. Therefore, it’s wise to steer your customers to rate you on these kinds of sites as well.
Industry-related rating websites are great for people who are looking for your specific service or product, and you can find a pretty comprehensive list of these kinds of sites here. To avoid overwhelming your customers with where they need to review your service, you can periodically rotate which sites you would like to them leave a review on. For us, we usually list out all the places they can review us and let them choose where they’d like to. If you are finding you’re getting an overload of reviews on one website over the rest, merely stop referring to that site.
The power of social media reviews cannot be denied. Facebook Local, for example, has made it imperative for brands to get reviews on social networks, and many people (especially millennials) use social profiles to determine if they want to do business with a brand. If you do receive ratings on your social media pages, here’s what you can do:
- Share them. It’s called social media for a reason; share your positive reviews with your followers. However, it needs to be done tastefully and with purpose. When you share your reviews, highlight the customer instead of your brand. As you know, social networks are a place to see what’s new with friends and family, so respect the platform’s focus and let your customers shine.
- Respond to them. Join the conversation people are having about your brand. If they wrote a positive review, praise them and thank them for being a customer. If it’s a negative review, here’s how to handle it like a pro.
- Use social media as your customer service platform. If you’re finding the review is detailing a negative situation that you would like to resolve, don’t take it offline. This will look like you have something to hide from your other followers. Of course, you shouldn’t reveal personal information through public social posts, but by publicly acknowledging your customers’ needs, it will demonstrate your attention to your followers.
Now more than ever, online reviews shape your digital reputation. As a business, no matter how tech-savvy you are, as long as you offer the best possible service, products and customer service, it will shine through your reviews.
To learn more about online reputation, contact us today!