As social signals and social proof become more easily measurable by search engine algorithms, positive reviews are playing an increasingly prominent role in strong search rankings. Sure, you can do a great job, provide a great service and hope for the best, but what if you had secret strategies to help secure the number of positive reviews that can make as much of a difference to your search rankings as it will to your annual income? Read on.
1. Publish Positive Review Trophies on your Site
Nothing encourages people to leave positive reviews like positive reviews. Publish your five-star ratings like the trophies they are in full view for everyone who visits your website and happy customers will be only too keen to follow suit.
2. Publish Review Website Badges
We all have social sharing buttons on our website, but what about review sharing buttons? Many sites such as Yelp.com have a badge business owners can use on their pages to encourage people to click through and spread the good word.
3. Encourage People to Leave Reviews Offline
Another commonly overlooked idea (and this one is for client-facing companies) is to have signposts, stickers or even a laptop stand available for visitors to leave positive reviews if they’re happy with the service you provided. It’s all about making it easy and removing the resistance.
4. Offer Links to Review Websites in E-Mail Signatures
How many e-mails does your company send out each year? Imagine if all those e-mails from all of your staff had links out to review websites and an accompanying text something to the effect of “Thank us by leaving us a positive review”.
5. Practice Asking for More Reviews
It can often feel awkward asking for a review. This is indeed a skill so try different methods of tactfully requesting happy customers for reviews. You’ll usually finds people more than willing to share their good experience if you provide them with a link to the appropriate site and a simple request.
6. Create an Incentive System for Reviews Left
Depending on how high a ticket item or service you’re offering, it may be worth incentivizing reviews with Amazon vouchers or perhaps smaller Starbucks gift cards. Remember, this is a marketing investment so don’t be too tight with your cash.
7. Request Reviews Via a Mass E-Mail (Leading with Value)
If you have an e-mailing list, consider sending out the mass e-mail requesting for reviews. Remember though, just like any other content marketing strategy, it’s important to lead with value. Consider sharing a high value article or e-book in the e-mail to win over the recipients and encourage them to reciprocate.
8. Include Calls to Action in Content Marketing
Likewise, your best blog posts should have a simple call to action underneath them. If you deliver some high-value material to people and they’re already customers, they’re more likely to reciprocate by leaving you a quick review.
9. Always Responds to Negative Reviews
Many small businesses become despondent when faced with a bad review. Nothing goes further to smooth things over than a professional response or rebuttal from a company looking to make things right.
10. Indirectly Request Reviews Via Social Media
If you’re active on social media (as your business should be) don’t be afraid to quest reviews via social media. This can be done indirectly by actively linking to and thanking people when they do leave those five-star ratings as it will encourage other happy customers to do the same.