Find out how to build your business’ online reputation by encouraging customers to leave more reviews.
How to Get More Customer Reviews For Your Business
Author: Anne Murigi, Content Writer
Before you purchase a product or service, do you first take a look at the customer reviews? If you do, you’re not alone. Most people do the same. It’s a common practice because it gives a real-world perspective on the product or service you’re considering.
Customer reviews are like gold dust for any business, helping with SEO, building trust, and giving you insights into what your customers really think about your products or services.
But how do you get more of them?
Let’s dive into some smart and creative strategies for getting your customers to share their experiences and boost those reviews.
Why Are Customer Reviews Important for SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about making your website or online content more visible to search engines like Google. The ultimate goal is to rank higher in search results, which in turn, can drive more traffic to your website.
Customer reviews are a vital aspect of this process, and here’s why:
- User-generated content: Customer reviews are a fantastic source of user-generated content (UGC). This type of content is particularly valuable because it’s original, authentic, and diverse. Search engines love fresh, unique content, and having a steady stream of customer reviews can help keep your site updated and relevant.
- Keywords: When customers write reviews, they tend to use natural language and include keywords that are relevant to your products or services. This means that the more customer reviews you have, the more chances you have to naturally include important keywords that can improve your website’s SEO. Search engines can pick up on these keywords, helping your site rank higher in search results.
- Trust and credibility: Search engines prioritise websites that are trustworthy and credible. Customer reviews can help boost your site’s trustworthiness because they serve as social proof. When potential customers see that other customers have had a positive experience with your brand, they’re more likely to trust you, and search engines take note of this. The more positive reviews you have, the better your site’s reputation, which can contribute to a higher ranking in search results.
- Click-through rates and dwell time: Customer reviews can also influence click-through rates (CTR) and dwell time on your site. When users see a high average rating or positive reviews in search results, they’re more likely to click on your site. Moreover, once they’re on your site, engaging and detailed reviews can keep them there longer as they read through the experiences of others. Both CTR and dwell time are important factors in SEO, and customer reviews can help improve them.
- Local SEO: If you run a local business, customer reviews are especially crucial for your SEO. Search engines like Google pay close attention to reviews for local businesses when determining their ranking in local search results. The more customer reviews you have, the more likely you’re going to appear in the coveted “map pack” or “local pack,” which can significantly boost your visibility and traffic.
- Rich snippets and structured data: By incorporating structured data (like schema markup) into your website, you can enable rich snippets for your customer reviews. Rich snippets are enhanced search results that display additional information, such as star ratings and the number of reviews. Having these eye-catching rich snippets can improve your site’s click-through rate and overall visibility in search results.
Where Should You Ask Your Customers to Leave Reviews?
- Google Business Profile – With Google being the go-to search engine for most folks, having your customers’ reviews front and centre can make a huge difference for your business. Plus, this platform is crucial for local SEO, and having a ton of reviews can significantly impact your search ranking.
- Facebook – With its massive user base, it’s essential to have a strong presence on this platform. Mainly because more people today turn to Facebook to research businesses, and having a page filled with customer reviews can significantly boost your brand’s image.
- Yelp – This is another big player when it comes to customer reviews. People trust Yelp for its credibility, so having a solid presence there can really help your business.
- Trustpilot – Another fantastic platform for collecting customer reviews. With millions of users and a reputation for transparency, Trustpilot is trusted by both businesses and consumers alike.
- Industry-specific Review Sites – Depending on your business, there might be a go-to platform where people search for reviews. For instance, if you’re in the hospitality business, TripAdvisor and Booking.com are go-to platforms.
- Amazon and eBay – Reviews from these kinds of sites can work wonders. Just make sure to identify the relevant review platforms for your niche and capitalise on them.
Best Practices for Getting More Customer Reviews For Your Business
Here are some insider tips to score more of those oh-so-valuable customer reviews.
Verify Your Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a comprehensive online listing for businesses that appears on Google Search and Google Maps. It’s a powerful tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence and provide essential information to potential customers.
Creating and verifying your Google Business Profile demonstrates to potential customers that your business is authentic and trustworthy. This verification process ensures that your business information is accurate and up-to-date, making it easier for customers to find and engage with you. As a result, they are more likely to leave reviews about their experiences with your products or services.
Generate a Review Link
You first need to decide which platform you want to generate the review link for. Popular options include Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Each platform has a slightly different process; ultimately, pick the one that best suits your needs.
That said, here is how to go about generating a review link for Google.
- Log into your Google Business Profile using your Google account credentials
- After logging in, you’ll be directed to the main dashboard. Click on the “Home” tab if you’re not already there.
- On the “Home” tab, scroll down to find the “Get more reviews” box. You’ll see a button or link that says “Share review form”. Click on it and copy the review link. This link is a short URL that will direct customers directly to your Google Business Profile’s review form.
- Now that you have the review link, you can share it with your customers through various channels, such as email, social media, or even printed materials like business cards or flyers. Encourage them to leave a review by politely asking for their feedback on Google.
Remember to follow Google’s guidelines when soliciting reviews, as they do not allow business owners to offer incentives or manipulate reviews. It’s important to request honest and unbiased feedback from your customers to maintain the integrity of the review system.
Remind Your Customers to Leave Reviews
Here are some ways that you can remind your customers to leave reviews about your business.
Via In-Store Signage
Place visible and engaging signs around your physical store to remind customers to leave reviews.
You can place these signs at the entrance or near the cash register.
Leave A Review Link In Your Receipts/Confirmation Emails
Include a direct review link in your digital receipts or confirmation emails to make it easy for your customers to share their thoughts on your products or services.
Verbally Ask Customers to Leave A Review
Sometimes, the most direct approach is the best one.
When interacting with customers in person or over the phone, consider asking them to leave a review at the end of their visit or experience with your business.
Be polite and genuine, and express your appreciation for their feedback, whether it’s positive or negative.
Leave A Reminder on Your Website
Add a dedicated review section to your website. This can be a visible button or link labelled “Leave a Google Review” in the footer section, which directs visitors to your Google Business page to share their feedback.
Other ways you can do this is by integrating a review widget that showcases recent reviews, creating a pop-up window with a review prompt, and adding a testimonials section to your homepage,
Add The Review Link In Your Email Signature
Consider adding a review link in your email signature.
This is a subtle yet effective way to remind your customers to leave a review whenever you correspond with them.
Collect Email Addresses During Billing
When customers make a purchase, you can politely ask for their email address, explaining that you’ll be sending them updates, offers, or a request for feedback.
After their purchase, send a follow-up email asking for their honest review about the product or service they’ve experienced.
Incentivise Leaving An Honest Review
Offering incentives can encourage customers to leave honest reviews. It’s crucial to emphasise that you’re looking for genuine feedback, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
It’s important to explain that the incentive applies equally to both positive and negative feedback, so customers understand that they will receive or benefit from the incentive regardless of the nature of their review.
This approach ensures that you’re not just rewarding those who leave positive reviews, which goes against Google’s guidelines, but truly promoting transparency and encouraging customers to share their honest experiences.
When you fairly reward your customers for their opinions, you’ll not only increase the number of reviews but also build trust and loyalty towards your brand.
Leverage Your Social Media Audience
Social media platforms provide a fantastic opportunity to engage with your audience and request reviews.
Regularly post updates and reminders asking for customer feedback, making sure to include a link to your review platform.
Emphasise The Ease of Leaving a Review
Many customers may not leave a review simply because they think it’s a time-consuming process. To counter this perception, emphasise how easy it is to leave a review.
Offer clear instructions and a direct link to your review platform. Additionally, inform your customers that they can choose to leave a star rating if they don’t want to write a detailed review.
By streamlining your review process and making it as user-friendly as possible can encourage more customers to share their feedback.
Reply to All Reviews
Respond to every review, both positive and negative, as this will demonstrate that you value customer feedback and take it seriously.
When replying to positive reviews, thank the customer for their support and express your appreciation for their input. For negative reviews, offer a sincere apology and, if appropriate, provide a solution to address the issue.
This level of engagement can help build trust with your customers and also give you the opportunity to learn from their feedback and improve your business.
Provide A Great Experience
When customers are delighted with your product or service, they’re more likely to share their experience with others. So focus on delivering high-quality products, exceptional customer service, and a seamless user experience.
When you consistently meet and exceed customer expectations, you’ll naturally encourage more reviews for your business.
The Bottom Line
Getting more customer reviews for your business isn’t just about boosting your online presence or climbing up the search rankings – although those are big perks, too. It’s about building a bridge of trust between you and your customers.
When you have a wealth of reviews, it sends a clear message to potential customers and Google: “Hey, we’re trustworthy, and we’ve got a track record to prove it.”
But remember, the key here is authenticity. Genuine, unfiltered customer reviews are what potential customers want to see. So, let your customers speak for your business. Their voices can be your most powerful asset.
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