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Have you ever been to a restaurant you saw an ad for and it turned out not to be what you expected? The floors are dirty, the staff is slow and unfriendly, and the menu is underwhelming. You then go to tell your friends about it and their response is that the same thing happened to them the week before. If only you had asked around to see if anyone had tried the restaurant! Asking around could’ve saved you time, money, and satisfaction. That’s the importance of reviews. Additionally, you want to express your negative review about that restaurant because you want to save your friends and family from the same experience as you. That’s the importance of reviews.  

Think about the last time you went to go search for a business or service. Did you choose the one with 1 star and 5 reviews, or the one with 5 stars and 50 reviews? According to research done by Qualtrics, 92% of consumers search online before making a purchasing decision. Without great online reviews, chances are your potential customer won’t choose your business.

The same principle goes for small businesses. Whether customers are shopping for insurance, a new accountant, a doctor, or even a mortgage broker, they want validation. Validation gives them confidence in their decision, or saves them from making a mistake. So where does this validation come from? In today’s world, it all comes from online reviews. In fact, 48% of customers looking for online reviews only pay attention to the reviews written in the past two weeks, according to Bright Local. Furthermore, Bright Local shares that the average small business in America has 39 Google My Business reviews. That’s a great number, but you shouldn’t stop there. And to top it off, businesses listed as having a 5 star rating will receive 39% more clicks than those with only 1 star. Hopefully now you can see the importance of reviews.  Here are five ideas on how you can easily generate 5 star reviews for your business.

Ask your current customers to leave a review. 

Seems obvious right? There are a handful of great ways in which you can ask for reviews. Some to take into consideration would be sending out a personalized thank you note. Within the thank you note you can politely ask for a review. Thank you notes are a great and effective way to show your appreciation and ask for a review. Another example could be through an email or text series. A follow up email or text message including a link or a button to your review page gives that extra little push to your customers that can help drive more reviews. Even social media posts and direct messages can be a tool to receive more reviews. Whether it be direct or indirect, a reminder to your customers will lead your ratings to increase.

Remember to use and share your online reviews.

Sharing the positivity you’ve already received inspires others to continue the trend and leave a review about their experience! Great ways to share these past positive reviews would be anywhere online your company is represented. For instance, social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook. These platforms are great for sharing photos and commentary about your positive reviews. Another great way to share would be on your company website. On your website you can share on your main landing page, or even on a video embedded on your site. Whatever way you choose, pick a top review to highlight to put at the forefront. Help your customers also understand the importance of reviews.

Offer incentives.

Giving a little extra here and there is a great way to encourage others to leave a positive review and remind them you care about their business. Try offering an extra discount, free services, or coupons/gift cards to local places. Sharing these small “gifts” with your clients will show your appreciation and make them more inclined to leave a review when you ask. 

Make writing a review an easy experience.

If a customer has to navigate through your website just to leave a review, the odds of them actually writing the review become slim. Make it easy for them by walking them through the process, step by step. Send follow up requests, give clear directions and don’t forget to express your thanks!

Join a service that helps you navigate your reviews.

Services like Lift Local work to get the reviews you need in order to grow your business and generate more leads. It’s difficult to rely on your clients to leave reviews on their own, so why not give them a little push? We’ll help you reach out to your customers to ask them about their experience. 

With a simple click approach, Lift Local makes leaving a review easier than ever. We’ll send a 100% personalized review request email or text to your customers that looks like it’s coming directly from you. This personal touch gives a huge increase in open and response rates.

When trying to get found and noticed online, reviews are one of the best things you can do for your business. Google gives priority to businesses who are getting consistent reviews over time. This means the more reviews you generate, the higher your ranking will rise, and the more inbound calls you’ll see start coming in. But it’s important to start now and to not wait to begin putting effort into your reviews. 

A strong online review generation strategy is critical when it comes to growing your business. Good reviews will give you credibility, a great online presence and ultimately more leads and revenue. If you have any questions on getting started with online reviews, we are here to help! Fill out the form in the sidebar to learn more and get a free review strategy for your business.