Customer reviews are an important part of Internet success for businesses. Having lots of positive customer reviews can significantly improve the bottom line for businesses. If you are not actively trying to get customer reviews, then you should start right now! When a Google result page returns a list of local businesses, reviews and the star ranking play a significant role in getting the all-important click. The more clicks the more opportunity to convert and increase sales.
Getting reviews is not as straightforward as it may seem. For customers to leave reviews they need to be logged in to accounts at the websites hosting the reviews. This is true for Google, Yelp, and most of the other quality web services that have customer reviews. If customers do not subscribe to any of these services, it is tricky to get them to take the time just to write a review. Many are not willing to do it, so a lot of energy may go into getting a few reviews.
The difficulty of getting reviews is compounded by the fact that you cannot offer incentives to get reviews. Although there are ways around this, generally speaking, you need to ask and hope that the customer will give you a nice review. Getting caught providing incentives or getting links in ways considered to be link spam, may hurt your website.
There are some review services and companies that allow you to post reviews in your vertical without the login restrictions, but they are risky at best and the value of a review posted at these sites certainly do not have the value of a review posted on Google, Yelp, et all. Tempting as these places are, they should be avoided.
I tell my customers they should try to get reviews the straight forward way: politely ask the customer to write a review on one of the main review sites. I think this is a safe and reliable method and in the long run be much more beneficial than taking shortcuts.
What do some other bloggers have to say about reviews? I’ve listed a number of articles and blog posts that are good further reading about getting reviews.
- Great how to get customer reviews article from Search Engine Land.
- Another nice list of ways to get reviews.
- Dealing with competitor spam reviews.