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How to Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

Before you can worry about using reviews to your advantage in local SEO, you first need to make sure you have reviews coming in. It’s a common practice and there isn’t anything wrong with encouraging customers to give feedback on their experiences. Coming up with a strategy to get consistent new reviews is the first step to using them to boost your local SEO.

Be sure you are always asking for reviews after service. This can be done through training employees to ask for reviews while completing a transaction or leaving a note at the bottom of a receipt. To add incentive for customers to take the time out of their days to do this, you can add a perk - a discount on their next visit or a small free item - if they show you the review online the next time they come in.

You can also send emails or texts to your customer list after certain high business periods and ask them to leave reviews. Direct them to a particular review page to leave their comments - your business page, Google Reviews, or your Yelp! Page. Or, you could create an online survey for them to take with guided questions asking them to rate certain categories of their experience. Use the reviews gathered and post them on your website or social media pages. To incentivize them, gather contact information like names and email addresses to enter them into a drawing for a giftcard or something similar. Additionally, you’ll now have additional customers to add to your marketing lists.

Elements to Include on your Reviews

When potential customers are reading reviews, there are certain things they look for in weighing whether or not to give you their business. The first thing tends to be a score or a star rating. Most reviews are ranked on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. If a business has a star rating below a 3, someone may think twice about going there.

Rating isn’t the only factor, though. The quantity and quality of reviews is also important to customers. A business may have a 5-star rating, but only a small number of reviews that don’t tell much about their overall experience. If a review is maybe only a 3-star rating, but the review is detailed and describes what their particular issues were, that’s vital information for a potential customer to be reading. Maybe the 3-star review was because of a small or fleeting issue like a special dish being unavailable or there being long lines. The quality of the review could make up for the rating.

Recency of reviews is another thing potential customers will look at when considering a business. If a business has poor reviews but they are all a year or more old, and all of the recent reviews have better ratings and positive comments, it could be a deciding factor. A business without any recent reviews might raise eyebrows and lead potential customers to wonder what the current situation is or maybe even if you are still in business.

Using reviews to help boost your business is a smart marketing strategy, and it all begins with making sure you have reviews to use. With a few simple steps you can ensure your customers are sharing their feedback and experiences for others to use when considering your services.

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