Reviews Matter. A Lot.
Today, many shoppers on the Web start, not with a Google search of the Web, but searching a review site such as Yelp or Angie’s List. They’ll use reviews to decide which businesses to consider, then go directly from the review site to the businesses’ sites. That’s right, you’ve done all this work to get a high position in search engine results, and now they’re not even using the search engine and won’t see your wonderful, effective Web site unless you have good reviews.
In addition to providing a path to your site for prospects who don’t use search engines to find businesses, reviews also help your position in search engine results. Review sites are typically sites of a lot of authority, so a link from a review site to your site will increase the authority of your site, and improve its position in search engine results.
I’ll Write Them Myself
Don’t even think about faking your reviews. First, the people who read reviews are becoming more sophisticated about reading them, and are getting better and better at sniffing out fakes. Even worse, the review sites depend for their success on genuine reviews, so they are investing big time at detecting fake reviews. These are well-financed companies with lots of smart people and lots of resources (think Google, for example), working on issues that are central to the success of their companies. Do you want to bet that you can outsmart them? And, having outsmarted them once, do you want to bet that you’ll continue to outsmart them?
How to Get Reviews
ReviewInc has done some interesting research on when customers are likely to be willing to give feedback to a business. And the most likely time is…when they are asked! 43% of surveyed customers said they are most likely to give feedback when asked. That request can come through email or a text message, or directly from a person. Here are the details:
to Of course, we all want to get positive reviews, so the answer to that question expands a bit. The best way to get good reviews is to ask someone who is happy with your business to give you a review.
The chart mentions incentives. Don’t offer incentives for reviews–most of the review sites consider that incentives for reviews mean that they are not fully voluntary reviews, and can penalize you if they discover that you’re offering an incentive.
The Bottom Line
You need reviews. Actually, you need good reviews. So ask happy customers to give you reviews. Don’t fake them and don’t reward them.
But Wait There’s More
Coming soon is Dave’s Certified Reviews, a new service that will allow you to obtain lots of genuine, good reviews, monitor your reviews and respond to them. It’s been in work for a long, long time, but finally, it’s almost complete.