Too Many Reviews, Too Fast
If there’s one thing out there that isn’t going to get Coronavirus… it’s the internet. Toilet paper is gone, but your customer reviews will remain.
The internet has evolved to be so much more than just a place to view websites. It is now an interactive platform where consumers evaluate products and services based on the opinions and feedback from other consumers.
This brings us to customer reviews. Over 90% of people who read positive online reviews say it’s the reviews that help convince them to make a purchase. In fact, the average consumer trusts third-party, online reviews just as much as a recommendation they’d get from a friend. Knowing how to increase online reviews is critical when it comes to establishing a strong online presence. However, it’s important to remember to not generate reviews too quickly. Think of the process of getting customer reviews as a marathon, rather than a sprint. Consistency over time is how you’re really going to start seeing results. There are 3 main reasons why getting too many Google reviews in a short period of time could be detrimental to your business.
1. You’ll run out of prime customers to ask for a review from.
Your happy customers that will be willing to give you a great review are a precious resource for your business. If they all review you at once, you’ll enter into a feedback famine so to speak. Yes, you’ll always have new customers in your pipeline that can leave you a review… but these customers haven’t had the chance to really get to know you or your business yet. They might not be as ready to leave you a review as those that have been with you for some time.
2. Google’s algorithm will mark the activity as suspicious.
Google’s algorithm is basically how Google finds, ranks, and returns relevant results. It relies on ranking signals to know what listings to show to a searcher. Some of these ranking signals include your Google Business listing, social media activity and of course, customer reviews. Since Google monitors these signals, they can tell when something isn’t right. For example, if your business gets a huge batch of reviews all at once, Google will notice the abnormal pattern and might even remove some of your reviews. Here’s Google’s official criteria when it comes to online reviews:
Reviews are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased. (For example, business owners shouldn’t offer incentives to customers in exchange for reviews.)
3. Consumers value consistent and recent reviews.
Recent statistics show the average consumer reads 10 reviews before starting to trust a business. That means your potential customers will pick up on any odd review patterns and notice any reviews that seem artificially generated.
In addition, 84% of consumers believe reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant. Again, this is why it’s so important to space out your reviews over time. Success happens when you have a fresh review constantly in your feed. Consistency trumps quantity when it comes to a great review strategy.
One of the most exciting things about generating online reviews is that they can seriously boost your credibility. Studies show that when a business has at least five recent reviews on Google, they can get conversion rates as high as 58%. When a company has ten or more reviews, its online foot traffic increases by 20%. While the number of reviews is somewhat significant, the time the review was given is more critical when it comes to conversion rates — the more recent the review, the better.
How Can You Get Reviews?
Consider the following methods to encourage current and former clients to leave a positive review on your online profiles:
- Make it a habit to ask every client if they are happy with the service they’ve received. If they are satisfied, ask them to leave a positive review on your business’s listing or profile. If clients aren’t happy, ask how you can improve the service for them.
- Always respond to positive online reviews with gratitude. People are more likely to leave reviews for your company if they know their efforts will be acknowledged with a thank you.
- Ask new customers if they would tell their friends and family about you, and to then leave a positive review on Google.
- After a conversation or interaction with your customers, follow up and see if they are happy with the way everything was handled. If they were, ask them to leave a positive review for your business.
- If clients leave positive reviews, send them a handwritten thank you card. This will definitely encourage more referrals for your business.
- On your website, set up a page dedicated to displaying reviews and testimonials to highlight customer satisfaction.
Getting online reviews doesn’t need to be hard. All you have to do is ask and make it easy for your clients to leave their feedback. Responding promptly can also go a long way to making your clients feel appreciated. This will help encourage them to generate referrals for you. The more visible your business is with positive online reviews, the more leads and traffic you will generate for your business.
What About Negative Reviews?
No one likes to get a negative review, but even the best businesses can have some on Google. It’s not the end of the world. However, if you get a lot of negative reviews, something might be going wrong with your business. You may need to change your strategy or customer service protocols. But in some cases, former disgruntled employees, or shady competitors will try to flood your online profiles with negative reviews by creating multiple fake profiles and accounts. If this happens, you can appeal these fictitious reviews and have them removed. Google’s team is very responsive when it comes to these issues.
It may seem counter intuitive, but having a negative or critical review or two can actually make your business appear more authentic in the searcher’s eye. Negative reviews aren’t always a lead killer, either. Sometimes, one person’s negative feedback can offer some insight into what your business has to offer. This might be just what another person is looking for.
If you do get a negative review, you might want to consider responding to it diplomatically. But do it in a timely fashion. Don’t wait for weeks to respond. That can look opportunistic or inauthentic. Instead, try to make a habit of checking your reviews once a week and responding accordingly. Whatever you do, don’t lose your temper on the critical reviewer. Remain calm and try to address their concerns either directly, indirectly, or in a private message.
We help hundreds of our clients get the right amount of reviews, at the right time, appearing in all the right places. Rather than giving you instant results that fade over night, we’ll give you a lasting foundation and presence for your business. Feel free to feel out this form to learn more about how we can help you stand out from your competition.