Warren Buffet said “It takes 20-minutes to build a reputation and 5-minutes to ruin it”. Today, one angry customer can destroy your reputation within seconds and you must have a system in place to build and maintain a 5-Star business reputation online. Not only is generating 5-Star Reviews important but gaining customer reviews every month is critical for getting to the top of your local search results.
Reviews are Mandatory
92% of consumers now read online reviews and 86% of consumers will hesitate to buy from a company that has negative reviews. If you do not have a system in place to create and maintain a 5-Star online reputation, you could be missing out on customers passing you up because of one negative review that does not represent your business accurately.
Havard University conducted a research study to identify the impact that your online customer review rating has on revenue and found that each overall 1-Star improvement correlates with a 5-9% increase in annual revenue. The potential to grow your business is massive.
How Are Reviews Influencing Local SEO?
10% of the local search ranking formula is based on reviews posted about your business and there are about ten things that search engines are considering when measuring the importance of your customer reviews, below are some of the major factors:
The Number of Reviews
Our advice is to get as many reviews as possible, but according to a recent survey, it takes 7-10 reviews for consumers to begin trusting you. It also takes 5 reviews on Google for your stars to show.
The Speed in Which You Generate Reviews
If you get too many reviews too fast, you will be dinged. If you keep a steady flow, you will be rewarded. Make sure the frequency and amount posted are consistent every month.
The Number of Review Sites Where You Have Reviews
Search engines consider the number of sites where you have customer reviews posted. Make sure to encourage your customers to post on more than one review site.
The Number of Review Sites Not Owned By Google
It is also very important to have reviews posted on review sites that are not controlled by Google.
Keywords Used in Customer Reviews
If your customers are using service or product keywords in their reviews this will also have a large impact on boosting your search ranking for those specific keywords.
Are Negative Reviews Bad For My Search Ranking?
Negative reviews actually do not have a negative impact on your search ranking, but they do scare customers away.
Negative reviews are inevitable. When you receive a negative review online, we recommend responding to the customer by apologizing immediately and taking the conversation offline. If you attempt to argue with an angry customer by posting a combative response they will most likely respond and pretty soon you will have a negative conversation that has overwhelmed the review page. All of your 5-Star customer reviews will be pushed to the bottom of the page, and people will only see this one negative review.
Always, apologize then tell them to contact a direct contact at your business so that you can resolve their issue and improve. Make sure to leave a name and phone number for them to contact your business.
How To Get More 5-Star Reviews
You can immediately train your staff to request that customers go online to leave reviews, but this is a very slow and ineffective process. We recommend having your staff gather emails and cell phone numbers so that you can send weekly requests to your customers encouraging them to leave reviews on sites like Google, Yelp and YP.com. You can use an email marketing system or a text message platform to solicit reviews, but there is more than just the message that gets them to leave the review. At ClearTail Marketing, we have created a streamlined process with a series of landing pages that achieves a very high conversion rate for getting your customers to write reviews online. We handle review solicitations for hundreds of local businesses and we have mastered this process to deliver immediate results.
We hope you now have an understanding of how online reviews can impact your local search ranking. Go ahead and use our free tool that will deliver a full report on your online review presence and some guidance on where you can improve: Click Here To Get Your Free Report