Grow Your Small Business with Online Reviews

January 5, 2021

About 96% of Americans rely on research before making major life decisions. About 25% turn to other people for advice. Over 90% report reading customer reviews and ratings before buying a product or service for the first time.

In fact, 88% of people say reviews improve their consumer confidence. 

Do you want to boost your business to the next level this year? With online reviews, you can generate brand awareness and your online reputation. You can even start gathering more leads, conversions, and sales.

You don't have to keep searching "how to grow my business online." Instead, discover the top benefits of learning how to get online reviews for your business. We even have the tips you need to discover how to get reviews on your website.

Ready to boost your business? Get started with this guide to generating online business reviews today!

The Benefits of Online Reviews

Learning how to get online reviews for your business can set your brand up for success. More people will learn about your business. Meanwhile, you can build brand trust and loyalty to retain long-time customers. 

On the fence about learning how to get reviews on your website? Here are the nine top benefits you can experience with online reviews.

1. Improve Your SEO Ranking

Over 50% of all website traffic starts with a search engine like Google. Almost 80% of people who complete a local search visit a nearby store. About 50% of local mobile searches look for business information, including reviews.

Unfortunately, 75% of consumers never look beyond the first page of results. 

One of the top benefits of generating online business reviews is its ability to boost your search engine ranking. A higher search engine ranking can help you:

  • Build brand trust and recognition
  • Generate website traffic
  • Appear ahead of competitors on search pages
  • Establish yourself as a credible resource in the industry
  • Build brand trust
  • Help you generate leads, conversions, and online sales
  • Develop brand loyalty to retain long-time customers
  • Improve your ROI

A higher ranking will position you ahead of competitors. Consumers will see you as a trustworthy resource in your industry. Brand trust and loyalty will improve as a result.

As people click on your website, Google will take notice. You can increase your ranking further by improving your clickthrough rate and dwell time. As visitors read customer reviews on your website, your ranking can improve.

As your ranking improves, you'll continue reaching more customers.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a cost-effective marketing strategy. As you learn how to get reviews on your website, you can improve your ROI. Then, you can spend more time and money on other marketing strategies.

2. Generate More Brand Awareness

Are you struggling to generate word-of-mouth marketing? Learning how to improve customer reviews could help. In fact, over 80% of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from a friend.

As your SEO ranking increases, you'll appear for a range of different searches. Each time you appear in a search, you'll generate brand awareness. In time, brand awareness will become recognition.

Consumers will start to associate your brand with the product or service you provide. The next time they need your product or service, they'll visit your website directly. Direct website visits can improve your SEO ranking further.

Without brand awareness and a strong SEO ranking, consumers might not know you exist. They'll see your competitors instead. You could miss a chance to attract business as a result.

You can also boost brand awareness by building your online presence on different digital channels. Ask customers to post their reviews on different review sites, local directories, and social media sites. Spreading the word about your business will help you attract new customers.

3. Gather Helpful Feedback

Take a look at your Google My Business (GMB) listing. What are people saying about your business?

Online reviews can help you gather useful customer feedback. You can use their feedback to make improvements to your business. As you make improvements, consumers will take notice.

They'll recognize you care about their wants and needs. Appealing to customer needs can help you build brand trust and loyalty. You can develop stronger relationships with your customers as a result.

Ignoring your customers, however, could cost you. You'll continue making the same detrimental mistakes. Your customers could grow frustrated and choose your competitors instead.

What problems are your customers experiencing? What do they like or not like about your products/services? What impression did you leave on your previous customers?

The changes you make can help you learn which products are most popular. You can determine how people are using your products, too.

You can even use negative reviews to show customers you're willing to make a change. Then, you can mend your relationships with these customers. 

If they think you're unwilling to make changes, however, they won't come back again. 

4. Develop a Stronger Online Reputation

Why should customers trust your brand? Why should they choose you over your competitors? Learning how to get online reviews for your business can benefit your online reputation.

Remember, almost 90% of customers feel more confident about a brand after reading a review.

Online reviews will help you establish your credibility in the industry. You can set yourself apart from competitors and give people a reason to trust you. If you're asking "how to grow my business online," consider your reputation. 

Remember, reviews give you a chance to learn about your customers, too. Why don't they trust you? What can you do to improve their confidence in your brand?

Positive reviews can show on-the-fence consumers that your previous customers trust you. In time, you can turn brand trust into loyalty. Loyal customers will choose your brand for years to come.

Retaining customers can improve your ROI. You won't have to spend time and money attracting new customers to your business.

Instead, you can review your online reputation to grow your business. 

5. Attract Brand Ambassadors

Your happy customers can vouch for your business. In addition to improving brand awareness, they can also help you build trust and loyalty. You can choose happy customers as brand ambassadors, too. 

Consumers don't like brands that use too much self-promotion. They might not trust your word. Instead, let your happy customers speak on your behalf. 

Over 40% of internet users say reading reviews from other customers will increase their likelihood of purchasing a product. 

You can post user-generated content and reviews instead of self-promotion. Consider working with an influencer in your industry, too.

Influencers already have an audience of loyal followers who trust their recommendations. An influencer in your industry can speak up about your brand. Their audience will turn toward your business to learn more about what you can offer. 

6. Gather More Website Traffic

Improving your search engine ranking can help you generate more website traffic. Remember, attracting more traffic can further improve your ranking.

It also helps to have people talk about your business on other websites. If they post links to your website, you'll generate backlinks. Google looks for backlinks when determining your credibility and authority.

The more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank. Then, consumers will see your website more often. 

If your website isn't on the first page of a search, however, you could struggle to generate traffic.

Reviews on different platforms will help you attract traffic from different sources, too. Google also considers where your traffic originates from. By gathering reviews on multiple platforms, you can further improve your ranking. 

7. Remain Honest and Transparent 

Consumers care now more than ever about transparency and honesty. If you're not transparent, they might not trust your business. Remember, you need brand trust to develop brand loyalty.

You can respond to your online reviews to show customers you care. People watch to see how you'll react to their comments. If you don't care about their concerns, they'll turn away.

Your competitors can gather those leads and sales instead.

It's important to learn how to improve customer reviews. Otherwise, you might fail to respond to your customers correctly. 

8. Influence Buying Behaviors

Once you attract at least five reviews, the likelihood of future purchases increases by 270%. When there are comments on your higher-priced products, conversion rates increase by 380%. Once you have over nine reviews, you could earn 52% more revenue.

With over 25 current reviews, you can generate 108% more revenue.

Reviews can help your customers feel 71% more comfortable making purchases, too.

Gathering reviews can help you impact buying decisions. Remember, customers research brands before making purchases. What they find can impact their decision to choose your business.

You can use positive reviews to help people learn more about your product or service. Then, consumers will feel more comfortable and confident choosing your brand. You can then influence buying behaviors and grow your business. 

9. Generate More Leads and Sales

Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business that has excellent reviews. In fact, 92% of consumers will use a local business that has at least a 4-star rating. Another 72% of consumers will take action after reading a positive review.

If you have negative reviews, however, 86% of your prospects will hesitate.

As you influence buying behaviors, you'll also generate more sales. Generating customer reviews is more cost-effective than digital advertising. You can boost your brand without blowing through your budget.

Your ROI will improve as a result. 

Learning how to get reviews for your business can help you generate leads, conversions, and sales. As people linger on your website and click around, you can boost your SEO ranking further. Then, you'll reach even more customers. 

How to Get Online Reviews for Your Business

Now that you know the benefits of generating reviews, let's discuss how to get reviews. Learning how to get online reviews for your business can help your business grow.

It's important to continue using these tips throughout the year. Otherwise, a 10-year-old review might not resonate with your prospects. Consumers look for recent reviews instead. 

Here are the tips you can use to learn how to get online reviews!

1. Update Your GMB Listing

First, take the time to update your Google My Business listing. Your GMB listing takes up prominent space in the top right corner of a search. Consumers can use your GMB listing to find your:

  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Directions to your business
  • Business hours
  • Photo and video content
  • Customer reviews

If you haven't claimed your Google My Business listing yet, you can start the process here.

Without a GMB listing, you'll fail to give people a place to post their reviews!

Make sure the information on your GMB listing is up-to-date, too. Otherwise, people might call the wrong business or visit the wrong store. They could become frustrated, costing you a potential sale.

Take the time to update your GMB listing regularly. You can post fresh photos and videos to encourage people to engage with your listing. If they engage, they might feel inclined to leave a comment.

Make sure it's easy for your website visitors to find your GMB listing, too.

Create a dedicated page on your website for your reviews. You can post the reviews manually or use a plugin. Then, create an eye-catching headline and CTA button.

Link the button to your GMB listing and prompt customers to post their reviews.

2. Learn How to Ask

If you want to learn how to improve customer reviews, you'll need to learn how to ask for them, first. Many of your customers would likely love to share their positive experience with others. They might not know how to, though.

First, learn how to ask your customers in person. Pay attention to how people respond to your business.

Did someone thank you for your help? Did they rave about one of your employees?

Ask them to share their experience on your Google My Business listing or on social media.

Learn to ask for reviews in a multitude of ways. Diversifying your strategy will help you gather even more reviews. Otherwise, you might miss a chance!

In addition to asking in person, you can also use mobile marketing to automate text messages. Otherwise, consider using an email drip campaign.

If someone posts a review using a website form, make sure to send them to a thank you page. You can also request reviews on social media.

Consider adding a message on the bottom of your invoices and receipts, too. You can even include a QR code to make it easier for people to access your GMB listing.

Make sure to create an easy, convenient process for your customers. The easier it is for them to post their reviews, the more likely they will.

Ask Again

Are you nurturing your leads and sales? Nurturing your customers will keep you top-of-mind. It can also help you find new opportunities to ask for online reviews.

Consider sending your customers a follow-up email after they make a purchase. Don't use a cookie-cutter template. Instead, personalize your emails.

Personalized messages are more likely to resonate with readers. Otherwise, your email might sound cold and distant. People might not feel inclined to leave a review.

You can also create an email drip campaign that urges people to leave a review on your GMB listing.

Consider asking more than once as well. Don't ask too quickly, though. Instead, give it about a week.

Waiting too long could cause people to forget about their experience. Asking too often can frustrate consumers. Asking more than once, however, can help you perfect your timing.

If the customer was too busy to post their review the first time, you can get them later on!

Try asking for reviews on multiple platforms, too. For example, you can create an eye-catching animation for social media. Animations are a great way to draw people in.

Then, you can link to your GMB listing and prompt them to post their reviews.

3. Leave a Thank You

Do you appreciate your customers? Let them know! Sending your customers thank you notes can help them recognize your gratitude.

At the end of your thank you message, ask the customer if they wouldn't mind sharing their experience with others. 

Make sure it's easy for people to reach your GMB listing. Again, you can use a link or QR code. Consider shortening your link with a web tool to ensure it's easy to type.

4. Use a Pop-Up

After someone makes a purchase on your website, have a pop-up message appear. Make sure your pop-up is optimized for mobile devices. Otherwise, website visitors might struggle to navigate your site on smaller screens.

You can use pop-ups to encourage people to leave a review before they leave your website. 

Add a strong call-to-action to your pop-ups. Link your customers directly to your GMB listing. Remember, it's important to offer ease and convenience.

Otherwise, they might think leaving a review is more trouble than it's worth.

5. Improve Your Customer Service

Over 50% of customers who have a bad customer service experience stop buying the brand's products and services. One of the best ways to get online reviews for your business is to give people a reason to leave a review.

Take a look at some of the negative comments you received. Why are people frustrated? How can you improve?

Ensure customers you want to make a positive change.

Then, follow up. Show them you want to offer the best possible customer service.

Improving your customer service will ensure you wow customers. They'll feel inclined to rave about their experience. Then, you can learn how to improve customer reviews without trying!

6. Avoid Purchasing Reviews

As you use these tips, it's important to avoid purchasing reviews.

Google frowns on purchased reviews. They can make your brand look ungenuine and fake. Consumers might think you're trying to hide something, too.

7. Review Other Business

Do you work with vendors? Rave about them by posting reviews on their GMB listing. Then, they might return the favor, helping you generate genuine reviews. 

8. Use the Right Tools

As you strategize, consider equipping yourself with the right tools. 

Are you tracking the reviews you receive? Are you following up quickly? 

You can use an automated tool to request reviews for your website. You can receive direct customer feedback and reduce negative reviews, too.

You can learn more about how it works here.

9. Respond to Your Reviews

Take the time to respond to every review you receive. Let customers know you appreciate their feedback. 

Reformat the reviews you receive for social media, too. Then, thank the person who posted your review within the post. You can even tag them to generate more engagement!

You can learn how to respond to both positive and negative reviews here. 

10. Don't Delete Negative Reviews

Are you starting to notice a few negative reviews on your GMB listing? Learning how to improve customer reviews can help. It's important not to delete the negative reviews you receive, though.

Instead, try responding to the negative reviews you receive. Show consumers you care about their concerns. You could change how people perceive your business. 

In fact, about one-third of consumers will delete their original, negative review and replace it with a positive one.

Unfortunately, 22% of consumers won't purchase your product or service after reading one negative review. Four or more negative reviews can cost you 70% of your prospects. You need to develop a strategy for responding to the negative reviews you receive. 

Instead of deleting negative reviews:

  • Respond quickly
  • Highlight your unique value and strengths
  • Write like a person (not a business)
  • Remain real and transparent
  • Admit your mistakes and try to provide restitution (if possible)
  • Correct any inaccuracies politely
  • Remain consistent
  • Ask your loyal customers to share their experiences

Remain polite when responding to negative reviews. Try to avoid sounding defensive. Instead, genuinely admit there was a mistake and promise to correct it.

Showing consumers you're willing to correct your mistakes will help you generate trust and respect. Denying your mistakes, however, can have a negative impact. 

11. Promote Your Reviews

Start promoting your reviews by:

  • Using review widgets
  • Placing site collateral (Yelp stickers, Tripadvisor certificates, etc.) at your business location
  • Adding links to your GMB listing on printed literature, emails, and newsletters
  • Using social media integrations

Make it easy for future customers to find and post their own reviews.

Give Your Business a Boost: Start Growing Your Business With Online Reviews

You don't have to search for "how to grow my business online" anymore. Instead, use these tips to grow your business with online reviews! By generating reviews, you can boost your brand awareness, sales, and more.

Need help? Make it easier for happy customers to leave their reviews. 

Discover our pricing today to get started!

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