More than 90% of customers say that their purchasing decisions are influenced by online citations (also known as user reviews). We also know that Google uses the same reviews as a ranking signal.
This means two things:
- Positive reviews on Google and independent review websites can prove your trust among buyers. This can positively influence people to purchase from you.
- Depending on which review platforms you’re using, your star ratings can positively influence your ranking on Google. You’ll stand out on search rankings, giving you a better chance of converting traffic.
What you should know, however, is that Google can differentiate between trustworthy and untrustworthy reviews. They know that some marketers pay imposters to write numerous positive reviews about their businesses. So, the search company has come up with a strategy for filtering out those “made up” reviews and provide an average star rating of a business based on genuine reviews only.
Some of the top review websites used by the Google search engine when determining a company’s star rating include Yelp, Trust Pilot, Trip Adviser, and Revoo. Unsurprisingly, these are the same websites buyers usually turn to when looking for trust signals.
The idea, therefore, is to find ways to get as many online citations as possible on these review platforms as well as other trusted sites your customers are likely to check.
How to get those online citations
First, it’s important to understand that you can’t maintain an active presence on all the review platforms. So, you’ll need to choose a few that promise the best returns. Also, not all platforms submit their reviews to Google. It makes sense then, to choose platforms that Google does get reviews from.
Secondly, some review websites such as Yelp discourage marketers from directly asking customers to leave a review. They want the user to leave a review because he or she wants to do so, not because you told them to. On the other hand, platforms such as Google Reviews encourage marketers to obtain reviews.
Whichever platforms you finally settle on, never solicit positive reviews from customers. Even those websites that encourage marketers to obtain reviews are against the solicitation of positive reviews.
That said, there are multiple legal ways of generating positive user reviews;
- Automate the process
When a customer makes a purchase, send them an automated email suggesting that they leave a review. A majority will review you positively.
- Compensate for a bad first impression
Did you get off on the wrong foot with your customers? If you can compensate for whatever wrong you did them, you may change their perception of your business.
- Engage them on social media
Some people, especially the younger generation, might not have time for review websites but might be open to following you on social media. If you can get them to join your Facebook fan page, they might find it easier to review your business from there.
- Learn to deal with negative reviews
Maybe the customer had a really bad experience with your staff. Instead of firing back at them, you should thank them and get their opinion on how to fix the issue. Believe it or not, they will appreciate your efforts.
- Reach out to negative reviewers directly
If you can reach the negative reviewer directly by phone or email, that would be even better. They will be happy to explain their actions and even willing to help you improve going forward.
If after this you’re still struggling with online citations, contact Simple Machine at 479-286-1377 today and let’s help you solve the problem once and for all.