How to Grow Your Online Reviews: Part 1

If you read our last blog post, you now have a better understanding of why online reviews are so important for your business. Now, we want to help you take the next step and start growing your online reviews!

Fortunately, managing online reviews doesn’t have to be so difficult- and our 2-part series will make it even easier. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer or e-commerce business, you’ll be sure to benefit from this series.

In Part 1, we’ll go over how you can get up-and-running on review sites and start driving traffic to them.

1. Become Active on Review Sites

There are hundreds of review sites out there, but the good news is, it’s not necessary (nor is it effective) to be active on all of them. Stick to a few review sites that are popular with customers and/or are a good fit for your business. Keep in mind that Google, Yelp, and Facebook are the most popular review sites, so you should focus on at least one of these before moving on to other review sites.

 

To help you decide, here’s a list of several popular review sites and what you need to do to start accepting reviews on them.

  • Google

To get reviews on Google, you’ll first need to create an online listing with Google My Business. The listing can then be found by people using Google Search or Google Maps.

Google Reviews are a great way to boost your SEO, which means that your business will rank higher in Google search results. Better SEO means more visitors and more sales!

  • Yelp

Yelp is highly trusted among customers, which makes it a great option for building your brand’s reputation. To start using Yelp, you’ll need to claim your business listing, or have it added to the site if it’s not listed yet.

  • Facebook

This social media giant is sure to be familiar to your customers! By enabling Facebook reviews, you’ll also have the opportunity to start posting social media content to further raise brand awareness.

Similar to Yelp, if a Facebook page exists for your business, you will need to claim it. If not, you will have to create one. Once you have access to the page, you will need to go into Settings to enable reviews and then add a reviews tab to your page.

  • The Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is another good review site. Claim your business to start earning reviews, and you’ll also have the option to apply for accreditation from the BBB. Accredited businesses are able to display a BBB badge in their store and online, which is a symbol of honesty and trustworthiness to the public. Research shows that 8 out of 10 consumers recognize the BBB seal and are likely to purchase from a business that displays it.

If you become accredited with the BBB, it’s vital that you closely follow your customer complaints. If a customer files a complaint with your business on BBB, you will need to respond and resolve the issue- or you’ll risk your accreditation getting taken away.

  • Industry-Specific Review Sites

You may also want to consider using review sites that are specific to your industry. For example, Angie’s List is a good option for home services businesses; TravelAdvisor is a popular site for travel, entertainment, and restaurant businesses; OpenTable is great for restaurants; and CarGurus is valuable for auto and car dealers.

 

2. Make it Easy for Customers to Review You

Once you’ve become active on review sites, you should start encouraging customers to leave reviews. And fortunately, there are some quick and easy ways to do this:

  • Put links/widgets/badges on your website

Post links to your review sites on your website, your social media platforms, and in your emails to customers. Many review sites offer free badges to make this easier and more appealing.

If you’re active on social media, start posting call-to-action content requesting users to write reviews.

Widgets are another option for websites, as they are larger than badges and can display the full text of reviews. Some widgets even give site visitors the option to write in a review right then and there.

  • QR codes

Some POS systems and e-commerce platforms allow you to add a QR code to the customer’s receipt, which they can scan with their smartphone to instantly open up the review site.

  • Be Mobile-Friendly

Make sure your website is optimized for mobile, so that it’s easy and effective for customers to look through it and write reviews on the go. Any links to your review pages should be fully visible.

Now that you’ve gotten started on review sites, the next step is reaching out to customers directly to request reviews. Look out for Part 2 of the series!