We’ve already established that online reviews are highly relevant for potential customers looking to make a decision about whether to choose your brand or one of your competitors. In fact, research has shown that online feedback from other users has three times as much impact on an individual’s choice than the brand’s own marketing efforts. Since Google+ reviews can appear directly alongside your local business details on Google’s first page of results, including negative ones, it should be a vital part of your SEO strategy to keep these under control.

We’re already looked at different ways of dealing with negative reviews, but how do you encourage more people to leave positive feedback to balance out the bad ones and boost your average rating? Well, it’s not just about bugging your favourite customers over and over again until they give in and agree to leave you feedback on Google+ or Facebook. In fact, you might not want to ask at all – people may appreciate it if you give them some space and avoid asking them for favours. However, if you’re smart with your website design and plan your customer journey correctly, you can make it very easy for someone to choose to leave you feedback without having to persuade them at all. People are usually most keen to do this after completing a successful purchase smoothly, so you might want to consider having the option to write a review presented to them at that exact point.

If you want to improve the rate at which you’ve getting these reviews, the first thing to focus on is fixing any issues that you have already identified. Negative reviews can actually be valuable because they provide an indication of what your customers feel strongly about. Any problems that have been brought to your attention should be addressed as soon as possible, whether it’s an issue with your products themselves or a customer service problem. Once you’ve fixed the problem, you have a chance to go back to that review and tell people that it’s all sorted, which really shows you take your customers’ feedback seriously and will encourage people to air their positive comments, knowing that someone will read them.  If you truly offer an amazing service to people, they’re probably going to be willing to do you a favour and leave a review.

Once you have some good reviews, it’s easier to get them to multiply. You should reply publicly to every review you receive, good or bad, and thank everyone for their feedback. Consider adding a section on your website to display some of your best reviews, or even include more detailed testimonials to provide more background information about success stories. If possible, use social media to share any good feedback you get so you’re showing your appreciation and spreading the word simultaneously. The most important thing to remember is there are no shortcuts to getting great reviews – you need to back it up with great products and outstanding service. If you get this right, however, there are plenty of benefits for you to enjoy later.

At 123 Ranking we offer we can help you more with online reviews by providing our specialist business help guides. These are included in our Rank 3 SEO package for free, along with a range of other services to help improve your online marketing efforts. Just let us know if you’re considering some of our services and we’ll be able to discuss your options in more detail.