Gathering reviews is a great way to improve your SEO and build a reputation in collaboration with your customers. And because these reviews also power the overall company star ratings which show up in organic search traffic, it’s important to monitor and even have some control over them.
In addition to giving users a quick idea of how your services stack up against local competitors, these Google+ ratings are important because they boost your SEO and optimize your click-through rate, driving potential high-quality site visitors.
Aside from being in close proximity to the user and optimizing keyword variations by adding the city and state abbreviations, business owners can influence their GMB map ranking factors through local search optimization by encouraging customers to leave reviews after using their service. Review count, quality, and score factor heavily into local rankings.
Before companies can have a say in their online reviews, they must gather a list of customer emails. And since most residential service companies like homebuilders and plumbers will gather address and payment information but no email addresses, they miss out on one of the most valuable online ranking factors: frequent high-quality reviews. So, the big questions for these businesses are, “How do I gather email addresses from my customers?” and “How do I incentivise customers to leave a review of my services?”
While customers don’t think twice about giving service companies required information such as address, phone number, and payment information, email addresses are sometimes a different story. However, places like grocery stores and restaurants will offer to send receipts via email because it’s convenient for the customer not to have to keep track of a paper receipt. This provides a perk for both the customer and the business because that contact information doubles as an effective and long-term way to communicate through coupons, newsletters, and surveys. Customers will see the benefit of sharing their email address with their neighborhood grocery store, and because they’ve already reaped the benefits, they are likely to leave a review later on if asked.
The takeaway? Make providing an email address inherently rewarding for your customers.
An inherent reward, in this case, may be easy online scheduling, appointment reminders, invoice delivery, or online payment options. If your business does not have any of these systems in place, it might be a good time to consider it. You can also incentivise your customers to leave a review in other ways that we’ll discuss in the next section.
But what does “high-quality” mean in terms of online reviews? A high-quality review tends to be more than a couple sentences and maybe even reflects the unique personality of the reviewer. Most of all, the review has to be useful, recent, and include relevant details to be considered high-quality by both potential customers and Google. This can even mean giving a company five stars while still including some negative details. Here are two compelling facts about local consumer reviews from an extensive study performed by BrightLocal in 2016:
Homepage service request forms are one way to gather email addresses, however, customer email addresses scattered across different areas of your inbox need to be organized into a spreadsheet for easy access. Why? Because when it’s time to request a review, you’ll have an easily accessible, dated system to reference.
Sound like too much work? Fortunately, Effective Web Solutions can handle everything. Simply send us your list of customer emails and our reputation management team will put together a custom review system that lets you control which reviews are pushed out to Google+ and Yelp, and which ones go directly to you.
Reviews are critical to online business success, but asking customers to take the time to write thoughtful feedback is a tough sell, right? Wrong. The same survey performed by BrightLocal showed that 70% of customers said they would leave a review if asked. Tough sell or not, Effective Web Solutions does the work for you, taking several factors into consideration when managing your online presence.
We help you by:
For perspective, here are some numbers from clients who are currently participating in our online review management program.
Since starting their campaign:
Other internet marketing companies will offer similar review-capture services but are not careful about negatively affecting your citations and SEO efforts. Because we also handle your citations and SEO, your rankings won’t suffer.
Get a glimpse into what words customers are using to describe your business and use them in your overall SEO strategy. And gain valuable insight into what your customers like and areas where you can improve with our state-of-the-art reputation management services.