Visual People Blog

Why Online Reviews of Your Business Are So Important and How to Get More

You have a group of happy, satisfied customers, and your business is in good shape. Why should you worry about increasing your online reviews?

1. Reviews establish your trustworthiness.

If customers take the time to say things about your business, it means that you’re doing something right. People searching for your product or service want to do business with a company that is doing things right.

Also, the more reviews you have that offer real information, the better. (For example, “Bob’s House Painting stuck exactly to the schedule they promised and the color they helped me select is perfect. I’m very pleased with the quality of work they did and the way they cleaned up completely afterward,” carries much more weight than, “Bob’s a great guy! I like him.”)

2. Google likes it.

These days, online reviews are an important signal to both consumers and search engines like Google that you’re doing things right. Google can drive a lot of traffic to your business website, so it’s nice to know what things will help your rankings.

Google has some pretty complex algorithms that determine where your site shows up for a given search. One of the things that factors into that formula is how much your customers like you – so online reviews, especially positive ones, help reinforce that you’re a legitimate business.

3. Reviews let you communicate things about your business that you can’t say as effectively.

In the example above, having a customer testimonial that says your company arrives on time and cleans up after themselves is more convincing than having you tell people how great you are. While your marketing copy should certainly explain the benefits of working with you, real reviews that drive home those points can help emphasize why you’re the best choice to work with.

So, now that you know why you need reviews, how do you get them?

You have to be careful about how you ask customers for reviews. Many review sites frown on you offering something in exchange for a review or even having customers create reviews from your physical location.

Here are a couple ideas for getting reviews:

1. Make requesting reviews part of your follow-up meeting.

Many service businesses check in with their customers after the work has been done, to make sure there are no issues. This is a great time to ask for a review.

2. Set up a page on your website at YOURDOMAIN.com/reviews.

This is a handy way to put all the info you need to give a customer about leaving a review in one place. You can explain (briefly!) why reviews are appreciated, ask that customers who were dissatisfied with you talk to you and give you a chance to make it right before reviewing, and link to the various review sites, including Google, that you use. Check this out for an example of a car dealer that used this technique effectively.

3. Create a review card.

The card can have information about leaving reviews, as well as the logo and link for each review site you prefer.

Making online reviews a more important part of your business feedback can help you improve, can help your potential customers feel better about deciding on your company and can jump up your rankings in the search engines.

What do you think?

 Textile help

Does Thumbtack Work for Getting New Leads?

Does Thumbtack, an online service for matching up small service businesses and customers who need that service, really work? Not always in the way you think, but your business may be able to benefit from using it. We look at others’ experiences and some best practices for using the tool.

Read the rest »

What Can Your Business Do With Short Videos?

What can you say in 6 or 15 seconds to communicate to potential customers? You’d be surprised! Here are tips for creating short videos with Vine or Instagram and embedding them in your site, as well as some good ideas for topics that can work for your small business.

Read the rest »

How often do you need to update your website?

How often do you need to update your website, and how can you get it done when you have so many other priorities? Visual People’s Golden Rules for Website Updates may help you plan and schedule what you need to do to make your website most effective for customers and for search engines.

Read the rest »

Four bad approaches to creating content for your small business website and how to stop

Quality content on your website is important, both to rank in search engines and to appeal to potential customers. So why are so many small business owners creating the wrong stuff?

Read the rest »

The one page you need to add to your business website

If you write one new piece of content for your website this year, or revise something that’s currently on your site, it should be your FAQs.

Read the rest »

What is your small business mobile strategy?

The ways customers find you can vary depending on your business and industry, but it’s clear that people use mobile devices to look up companies and make purchases. A Google study from earlier this year found that 1 in 5 people who search for local businesses on their phones made an online purchase; over half called the business; and 49 percent looked up the business on a map.

Read the rest »

Why just any image won't do for your small business marketing

Don’t use stolen, common-use or stock photos for your important marketing materials, especially online. Here’s why original images can help you sell more and boost your search engine rankings.

Read the rest »

When do you use a smartphone?

What are you doing to welcome people looking for your business through their mobile phones? Here are five things to make sure you do:

Read the rest »

Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts

Small business blogging is hard work and there are no easy shortcuts to creating good content. But the rewards are worth the work. Here are eight tips for writing a good blog and getting posts up regularly.

Read the rest »

Should your small business be on Pinterest?

Pinterest is the latest social media networking tool to gain attention, but should your small business jump onboard? Here are five considerations for whether you should be “pinning.”

Read the rest »