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The importance of positive reviews and how they drive your company

You own a successful company. Your customers tell you they enjoy working with your company and that they would recommend you to their network. However, you’re not getting the traction you desire from your website. Have you considered your online review presence? What about your SEO presence? Is your company listed on the first page of online search results? Is your online review presence negative or minimal? These factors may be negatively impacting your business, and SEO might be one of your biggest areas for improvement in driving business.

According to a consumer review survey by SEO research company BrightLocal, 85 percent of consumers read online reviews and 90 percent claim that positive reviews influence their buying decisions. Online reviews matter, and in a world of web searching – especially for local companies – it can make a business stand out amongst its competitors.

Here are two ways online reviews improve your SEO.

  1. Reviews improve trustworthiness.

The more online reviews you have and the better representation you have online, the more likely customers will consider doing business with your company. It’s the power of social proof. People want reassurance that they are indeed making the best decision for their money. The more confidence you give prospects, the better chance they will choose you. A strong presence of online reviews influences your rankings in SEO.

  1. New reviews produce traffic.

Search engines want to see that your website is making new content, whether that’s through new landing pages, blog posts or customer reviews. They want to see that reviews are frequently added. A search on tripadvisor.com for best hotels in your area usually gives you the most recent and top-rated review for a specific hotel. The newer the positive review, the better it makes your customer feel about the recent activity of your business. This leads to your website getting more clicks, which in turn influences the consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Online reviews are important to the growth of your company and help generate a better return on SEO. ReviewMaxer is an online review management software application that helps companies manage customer reviews. ReviewMaxer monitors and collects your online reviews. Sign up today for a free demo or visit the ReviewMaxer blog for more tips.

 

Photo credit: Pablo

Written by: Justin Hamilton


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How to improve your brand and increase engagement

There's a very good reason that companies include testimonial pages on their websites. Did you know that research from YouGov has shown that 78 percent of Americans look at reviews before making a purchase, and 88 percent find reviews about as trustworthy as personal recommendations from their inner circle of friends and family? Those online reviews are powerful …which is why it's too bad that more businesses don't know how to use them properly.

The testimonial page is just one tool that should be in your online review toolbox. Let's talk about how to manage a broader, more effective review strategy by tapping into the social market.

Your industry and your reviews

While social channels are a popular breeding ground for reviews, it's a good idea to start by examining which channels you should focus on. Begin by asking yourself: Where do my potential customers go for reviews? Which channels will have the most impact when it comes to posting reviews? Relevancy is different for everyone, but here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Yelp is a powerful retail/restaurant review tool, but interest is starting to fade due to overuse and concerns about spamming, poor reviews, etc. For now, Yelp is still necessary for many industries, but expect it to be supplanted in coming years.
  • Google business profiles and Facebook are still requirements for nearly every industry. These are high-profile channels that directly impact both customers and your SEO. When in doubt, focus efforts here because these channels tend to have the most impact, even in B2B fields.
  • Be specific. Many industries have specific sites to garner reviews – think of Zagat for restaurants or Vitals for health care. Search for review sites unique to your industry and target them.
  • Use metrics. Examine your traffic: Where does it come from? What ads have the best conversion rates? This should point to social sites where you need to focus efforts.

A call to action for reviews

Once you know which social media channels you need to pursue – what’s next? A good review strategy requires effective calls to action. There are several places to put these calls to action. A solution that works for many companies is creating a landing page specifically for reviews, using simple forms that allow customers to quickly file a review. After a transaction, emails and links can point customers toward these landing pages with a simple request for a positive review about their experiences. Brick-and-mortar transactions can do the same with a little message on the receipt or an add-on to receipt emails.

Another powerful tool, especially for targeting specific networks, is a set of share buttons to allow customers to instantly share their reviews or visit the business profile where they can provide star reviews and messages for a particular social media site.

You should also consider incentives, especially when it comes to larger clients. Offering deals and discounts in exchange for reviews is common in many business circles; so don't feel bad about including rewards.

Using reviews when you have them

Positive reviews are starting to roll in thanks to your well-placed calls to action. Now, what do you do with them? It's smart to separate them into four different categories:

  1. Testimonials to share through website and email.

These are longer, more detailed positive reviews that are great for sharing in the right formats.

  1. Short reviews to share on social media.

These reviews are shorter and have excellent blurbs, ideal for posting on social media with a link to the review and a note about happy customers.

  1. Reviews that deserve a response.

These are reviews that raise important questions or comments that you should answer.

  1. Reviews you can ignore.

These reviews are far from useless and they contribute to overall review scores, but there's nothing much you can do with them, so don't waste energy on them.

Creating conversation

Finally, let's talk a little about poor reviews. Studies have shown that 4 out of 5 consumers back off from purchase decisions if they run across a negative online review. Here's what to do in response: answer poor reviews when possible. It doesn't matter if the review is unfair or doesn't make sense, post a reply, comment or apology. You aren't doing this for the poor review itself (although any toxic customer that you can convert is a win); you are doing this for new customers who are checking out reviews. If they see you are explaining or at least answering the negative reviews, they will be much less likely to let those reviews affect them!

Obviously, a successful review strategy requires a significant investment of time and labor (and it's probably not something you want to leave to interns). If you currently don't have the time to spare, consider using review management software to manage customer feedback and encourage positive customer reviews. ReviewMaxer is an affordable way to effectively manage your company’s reviews and online reputation – and it is extremely easy to use. Sign up for a free demo to see how this cloud-based software can save you time and promote your company online.



Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Written by: Nick Rojas


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How you can motivate your customers to review your company

Negative online reviews hurt. They hurt your reputation, your company’s sales and even your feelings. You work hard, and you know your employees do too. So why is it that you’re receiving mostly negative online reviews? Where are all the reviews from customers who’ve had a positive experience?

Unfortunately, customers who have negative experiences are more motivated to leave online reviews. They’re frustrated, and they want to be heard. So how can your company motivate or encourage customers who’ve had positive experiences with your company to leave reviews?

Here are four ways to motivate your customers to leave your company positive online reviews:

  1. Reach out to your customers via email.

Proactively reaching out to all your customers and asking for their feedback is the best way to gain more positive reviews. If customers receive a simple email asking about their experience and requesting their opinion, they’ll be more likely to review your company on important review websites and social media platforms. It’s critical to import new customer emails at least once a week (even better, daily) to ensure you’re consistently gaining more reviews.

  1. Request an online review via text message.

Send your review request directly to your customers’ phones. With your customers’ permission, simply text them, “How are we doing?” and include the URL that directs them to your review and social media websites.

  1. Order printed review invites.

These cards work best placed at a front desk or at your registers. Another way to utilize them? Have your field representatives use them as a leave-behind with customers. Include them in your presentations, packets, packaging and gift bags. These cards are a tangible way to direct your customers to the review sites you’d like to receive more positive reviews.

  1. Ask for feedback via social media.

Remind your fans and followers that you appreciate their feedback and that their experiences with your company are important to you. Simply request a review through Facebook or Twitter.

After your customers leave your company online reviews, don’t forget to thank them! Some companies offer a coupon as a thank you for leaving a review, while others make a charitable donation for an online review. Every company should reply to every new review.  

Review management software is a great product that helps you manage and increase your online reviews. Among other tasks, it can:

  1. Email and text message your customers.
  2. Order review invites.
  3. Create your custom URL that directs your customers to the review and social media sites you’re listed on.

ReviewMaxer is the secret tool for accomplishing it all.

Watch this free demonstration to see how ReviewMaxer software works and contact us if you have questions.

Photo credit: Pablo


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Reputation management software helps companies hear what customers are saying

In the real world, you hope that your satisfied customers would be kind enough to spread the word about your services or products. Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing if your customers actually use the power of their voices to tell others how amazing your company is.

But you can find out if they spread the word virtually. Customers are frequently leaving feedback on popular review sites such as Google+, Yelp and TripAdvisor for the entire world to see. Have you researched your company online? Did you know that 87 percent of people will not choose your business if it has a one- or two-star rating and/or several negative reviews?

Why your business needs online review management software

Through review managing software, you will be able to give your customers a voice. The concept is simple: After they do business with you, customers will receive a notification to review your company. With positive reviews, they will have options to post their feedback on the most popular and trending review sites, earning your business recognition and trust among consumers. And here’s the best part: If customers leave negative reviews, the software conveniently provides them with options to post on lesser-known review sites.

Reviews aren’t the only thing you should be concerned about; the stars play an important role too

Would you eat at a restaurant with a three-star rating? If given a choice, you would most likely select another one with a better rating. A three-star rating only convinces 57 percent of people of the credibility of a business, and most customers will pass on anything below that. Here’s the kicker: A business with a four-star rating will entice a whopping 94 percent of consumers.

What happens if your business has negative reviews?

According to researchers from Cornell University, unfavorable reviews can mean the death of your business. It’s harsh, but research doesn’t lie. New businesses are especially at the mercy of customer reviews if they want to remain in the race, but all business owners should seriously consider investing in online review management software to help them encourage positive feedback to counteract the negative reviews.

Don’t gamble with your business’s future!

It’s critical to manage and control online reviews and complaints on your business in order to protect your reputation. It’s also useful to increase your company’s star ratings and positive feedback on review websites to grow awareness of your brand. ReviewMaxer can do both. This powerful, cloud-based software provides its users with a proactive review strategy to quickly and easily manage reviews and comments from more than 500 sites. Sign up for  a demonstration to see how the ReviewMaxer software works and read the blog for more tips and resources to protect your company’s reputation and increase consumer recognition and trust.

 

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Written by: Paul Cook


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3 ways your company can gain more positive reviews

Facebook mobile now includes a company’s review star average, making positive online reviews even more important to businesses. The review star average is prominent, so when potential customers go to your Facebook page to decide whether they want to eat at, buy from or do business with your company, having a high review star average will be crucial.

According to Entrepreneur, a three-week survey of U.S. internet users revealed that more than one in three wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that had less than four stars. The internet plays a huge role in the consumer’s decision-making process. Let’s say you’re on vacation and you use Facebook to research the restaurants recommended by the front desk. One restaurant has three stars and the other has four and a half. Which restaurant would you try first?

Company reviews are very important to modern consumers, which is why Facebook made them even easier to access.

Here are three ways you can encourage more positive online reviews:

      1. Offer an incentive.

This is a win/win situation. The customer receives a coupon after leaving a review – positive or negative – for his or her next visit that encourages him or her to come back to your business, which could result in another purchase from that same customer. 

      2. Engage with your customers.

Customers want to be heard. For positive reviews, responding with “Thank you for the great review!” or simply liking the review goes a long way. For negative reviews, responding quickly and genuinely is important.

      3. Turn negative reviews into positive ones.

  • When a customer leaves a negative review, apologize and then offer an incentive for that customer to return. This gives your company a second chance to make a better impression, and hopefully the customer will go back and rewrite his or her review.

    You can accomplish all three of these tactics with reputation management software.

    We recommend ReviewMaxer. It’s proactive in reaching out to customers who had a positive experience but aren’t motivated to leave a review, while also reaching out to customers who had a negative experience before they go online and vent, potentially causing your review average to decrease. You can also offer coupons and discounts that encourage customers to leave reviews, and you can thank customers who left positive reviews as well as make amends with customers who left negative reviews.

     


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