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Small businesses live and die with customer reviews.

Being rewarded for good service will come in many forms. Return business, bigger contracts, and good press, to name a few. One of the most important things for reputation building is a good customer review.

It’s easy for someone to do, but not that many customers actually take the time to do it. In this post, we’re going to tell you 5 effective ways to get more reviews. They’re crucial to getting customers in your door, but also to improve your online presence and build awareness around your brand.

Don’t be the company that nobody knows about any longer, start getting more online reviews.

How to Get More Reviews

What’s the first thing you do when you hear about a business? You Google them and look at how many reviews they have and their star rating. You’re more likely to do business with a company that has a 4.5-star rating on a few hundred reviews than the company that has a 3.9-star rating on 15 reviews.

That’s just the instant reaction to online reviews. If you want your business to succeed in the online world, then you need to work on your search engine optimization (SEO).

Your reviews on listings sites are a big part of SEO, but they can be surprisingly hard to accrue. You’ve got to make your customers want to give you a good review, but how do you do that?

1. Use Different Platforms

Encourage your customers to review you on whichever platform they prefer to use. Some people will want to do it over Facebook, some directly on Google, and others might use a listings site like Yelp.

It’s important that you claim all of your business listings so that you can officially promote the reviews. To do this properly, make sure that all of the details are completely consistent across every platform. This way, all of the reviews will be attributed to your business.

2. Be Appreciative

Be appreciative and ask your customers to leave you a review if they’ve had a satisfactory experience. Some sites pull up the page to leave a review directly after their customer has checked out.

Making it easy to fill out a quick review will give you a lot more of them. If it’s a chore to write you a review, then your customers aren’t likely to actually do it.

3. Incentives

Creating incentives is a popular way of garnering more reviews. Try to avoid giving any discounts to those that leave reviews because you’ll either get reviews that aren’t reflective of the customer’s experience or you’ll just lose a lot of money.

You don’t want to pressure your customers into leaving you a good review. They should still feel the need to do it themselves. But, entering them into some sort of social media contest in exchange for a review (positive or negative) is a good way to get feedback.

4. Emails

Another popular way to get reviews is by sending an email after the fact. Most customers won’t want to leave a review directly after they’ve purchased something, but if you wait a few days until they’ve received their purchase or they’ve had time to let their experience sink in, you can send a friendly email reminder.

Again, make it easy to leave the review directly in the email. You can still incorporate some incentive within the email to encourage the customer to take some time out of their day to help you out.

5. Engage With Them

One way to show your customers that you’re actually listening to their opinions is by engaging with the reviews. This will show future customers that you take what they think seriously and you appreciate their business and take their suggestions seriously.

A quick response to a negative comment will show a customer that you’re listening and a quick thank you to a positive comment will let the customer know that you’re not just asking for reviews to improve your online visibility.

Get Those Reviews and Promote Them

Once you get more reviews and a solid star-rating, then you can start promoting them. Creating a testimonial page on your site that displays some of your positive reviews is a great way to showcase your products and services to new customers.

Good reviews are going to take your small business and raise it above your competition. This is how you stay alive in an increasingly digitally-focused world. Give good service and get good reviews.

To get help with SEO and digital advertising for your small business, contact us at HONE Marketing.