Business reviews are critical to your storefront success in ranking well on search engines. The more reviews you have and the more positive they are, the better you will rank. This is a key factor for ranking high when someone is searching for a type of store (retail, restaurant, car service, doctor’s office) in their local area on Google and Google Maps. Your ranking is based on many factors, but this is an important one to rank above a competitor down the street.
Additionally, lots of positive rankings are a psychological factor that people recognize as a winning business. You need to take these seriously.
Ideas For Generating More Business Reviews
1. Make it Easy For Your Customer
Creating a review is sometimes not easy. It’s hard to find a link and know where to go. For any of these services, you usually have to be signed in to their service as well. In other words, its a pain. People have to go out of their way. So make it EASY for them. Put the star reviews on your website and links to each of the review services (Google, Yelp, FB, Amazon, wherever).
One of our customers Pinch A Penny does a great job of this for all of their store locations. They show the stars the store has and where to click to leave a review.
2. Create an Incentive
As I mentioned, everyone except your biggest fans don’t want to take the time to create a review. But with an incentive, they will be much more likely to leave a review, and a positive one at that. If you run a coffee shop, it might be a free latte, or maybe one of your great cookies. If you run a car service franchise, offer a discount on an oil change or a free full-service car wash.
Your customers, especially these customers are coming back regularly, so they have a larger lifetime value. Go the extra mile when they go the extra mile.
3. Ask For Reviews at the Right Time
This is much easier for store locations. It could be at the time they walk in the door, or when they are paying to leave. Simply asking the question if they are happy with your service and if so, would they leave a review. It may be after they have been back a few times and you get to know them.
- You can run an email campaign to regular customers to ask and provide the incentive. Don’t email everyone. It needs to coincide with the product or service they bought and the experience they had.
- Try running a Facebook campaign for a specific audience of customers and include a big video thank you message.
- Run a personalized print mail campaign thanking them for the business and asking for a review.
- Stay away from asking every single customer, especially if you don’t know much about them or how they perceive your service. If they aren’t happy, they may be more inclined to leave a bad review.
4. Respond to Reviews
Good and bad, respond to reviews. I’ve seen bad reviews removed by angry customers because the company reached out to them to make it right. It also shows people reading reviews that you care. That is a big key. They want to know you care about every one of your customers.
5. Share Positive Reviews
Sharing the actual review on your website, in emails and other communication is a very positive psychological motivator. They have been shown to really help people make decisions, especially when they don’t know you.
Fort Knox Storage Units does a great job of showing recent reviews from their customers and it really helps the business compete with the franchise storage facilities in the area.
6. Ask Your Customers
This is a simple and obvious one, but a crucial part of the process. You can’t simply post a sign asking for reviews. It’s not going to happen. You have to personally ask your happy customers to do a review. You’ll increase the likelihood of it happening much greater. Don’t be afraid, just ask.
7. Use Multiple Review Services
There are a lot of Review services out there. The biggies are Google Business and Yelp. Get on both of these if you aren’t already. They impact your local search results waaaay over any other. It doesn’t mean ignore others for your business, but these are the key ones affecting search results.
So why should you think about using more than these two? First, they are probably industry-specific where your customers go regularly to look, but second, they are links to your website. Those links do help your SEO as well in many cases as an upvote for your site. So be sure to make them part of your strategy.
Want Help Generating Reviews?
If you want any help putting this into practice or any other SEO efforts, there are a lot of things our team here can help improve your storefront search engine rankings. Just reach out.