6 Easy Ways to Get Online Reviews

The past few weeks we’ve been discussing why online reviews are a critical part of your online marketing and SEO. What we haven’t talked about is how to get them. Enter this week’s blog! When you’re focusing on your online reviews, it’s easy to get caught up in one or two bad reviews you may have. But the easiest way to combat negative feed back is by loading up on positive reviews. Below are 6 easy ways to get online reviews from happy customers, as outlined by Nellie Akalp in Forbes.

1. Set Up Profiles on Multiple Review Sites

Consider all the sites that are relevant to your business: Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Local, Yahoo Local, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, and CitySearch. Even if you don’t think you are in a review-driven industry like restaurants and hospitality, general review sites like TrustLink and Trustpilot are great (Trustpilot has the added benefit of showing up on Google).

2. Ask Your Customers

Want to know the best way to increase the number of reviews for your business? Just ask. Your customers understand how important reviews are to your business, and as long as you provide an excellent product or service, they won’t be annoyed if you ask for a review. Don’t wait too long: customers are more likely to give you feedback right away.

The next time a customer compliments you via email, phone, or in person, mention that you’d appreciate if they left the same feedback in an online review on Trustpilot, Yelp, or the review site of their choice.

3. Make It Easy to Leave Reviews

Unless someone has a negative experience to share, the average customer is not going to look for ways to leave your company a review. That’s why you need to ask them to post a review and make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places; for example, a follow-up email, newsletter, and your website. Yelp offers downloadable “Find us on Yelp” banners that you can use on your website or print out for your store.

4. Incent (but Don’t Buy) Reviews

Sometimes even your most satisfied customers need some extra incentive to take time out of their busy schedule to write a review. Offering a small incentive is a good way to show your appreciation. You just need to make sure your offer is for writing a review, and not for writing a good review. Monthly giveaways, where you choose one reviewer at random, are effective ways to encourage reviews, and there’s no semblance of a transaction where you are paying for a review.

5. Thank Your Reviewers

If the review site allows it, thank each person who reviews your product or service. In addition, you can even surprise a top reviewer by sending them a discount code or freebie after they’ve posted a review. This simple act will turn a satisfied customer into an incredibly loyal evangelist.

6. Make Reviews a Part of Your Work Processes

Make sure that all customer service and sales employees understand the importance of soliciting reviews from the customers they work with. At our company we saw the number of reviews rise after implementing an incentive program where employees receive a cash bonus for any reviews (for example, 3 reviews=$100; 15 reviews=$750).

Choose whatever kind of bonus and program makes sense for your business. It’s just an added incentive to help employees remember to ask for a review. Given the importance of reviews in the customer decision process, this is one of the most effective ways to spend your marketing dollars.

The One Factor That Will Improve Your SEO, Conversions, & Your Bottom Line

What is the one factor that will improve your SEO, conversion rate, AND your bottom line?

Online Reviews.

Think of how many times you’ve made a purchasing decision lately without consulting online reviews. Have you made a reservation to a new restaurant recently without turning to Yelp or OpenTable? How about making vacation plans without even glancing at TripAdvisor? Whether you realized it or not, online reviews have become a cornerstone of modern purchasing decisions.

Consumers love online reviews.

And Google and other search engines love online reviews for one primary reason, consumers love online reviews.

Online reviews have major implications. They affect:

  • Your local SEO rankings
  • Your click through rates on search results
  • Consumers purchasing decisions

In the coming blogs, we will discuss the many facets of your business that online reviews affect. Let’s first look at how important your online reviews are to consumers.

How Important Are Reviews to Consumers?

Just how many people are actually going online to read reviews?

In a study done by ZenDesk, 66% of all consumers reported reading online reviews. This may not seem like an overwhelming amount until you realize that 2 out of every 3 people that call or come into your business have probably consulted your online reviews before making that decision. And this study was done in 2013.

Looking at Yelp alone, in 2013 they had roughly 40 million reviews since their launch in 2004. By the end of 2015 they had over 90 million. The popularity of online reviews has exponentially grown in only the past few years.

While I must admit, some reviews are downright comical, most consumers do not look up online business reviews just for entertainment. You must understand that by the time someone has started looking at reviews, they are now in the process of selecting a business to fulfill a need or want they have already identified, and they have usually narrowed the down (whether by preference, location, or some other deciding factor) the businesses they will consider to fulfill that need or want.

The critical thing to note is that the mental gap between reading a review and making a decision to purchase from a business is ridiculously small, and typically results in a yes/no decision almost immediately. So as a small business, your online reputation can directly influence your bottom line.

So how do online reviews affect consumers?

According to the same ZenDesk study, a whopping 90% of consumers reported being influenced by positive online reviews and 86% reported being influenced by negative online reviews.

The majority of consumers read, on average, only 6 reviews before forming an opinion of a business, and over 70% of consumers report that positive reviews make them trust a business more. Consumers are placing as much weight on reviews as they would personal referrals. And they trust them just as much as if it was a recommendation from their friends or family members.

Hopefully this puts into perspective just how important online reviews are in helping steer consumer purchasing decisions for the better or worse.

In the coming blogs, we will be discussing why reviews are a major aspect of your local SEO and how they affect it, how to gather more reviews in a business- and SEO-friendly way, and how to manage your online reputation.

Why You Need a Review Monitoring System

What are Online Reviews

Company reviews have been around for as long as companys’ have been around. Pre-Internet, it was rare to garner opinions about a company or product from anyone other than friends or family. Consumer journals, Consumer’s Reports is one example came along in response to a need for information about products.

As more and more consumers become internet savvy, reviews will become a more integral component of the shopping experience. And the smart business owner understands that the shopping experience encompasses much more than the product. The consumer has begun to “shop” for their service providers including their healthcare providers.

Online Reviews in Healthcare are Nothing New

In 2004 Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppelman was a Harvard Business School student exploring ideas for promising startups when he caught the flu. His online search for a doctor eventually led to the creation of Yelp Inc.

While reviews of healthcare providers is not necessarily a new phenomenom consumers and providers have been slow to embrace the idea of reviews. There a probably a multitude of reasons for the hesitation.

    • Uncharted territory – For both groups this is new territory and while some people embrace “new” others are loath to change.
    • Look at me – Consumers are a little unsure about posting both positive and negative reviews so publicly. What if they post a negative review and then need to return to that particular healthcare provider?
    • The good, the bad and the ugly – Business owners tend to fear asking a consumer for a review only to realize the review isn’t a happy one.

Who’s Looking and Why?

The ways reviews affect business have not been fully understood—yet. But what is clear is that the posting and researching of a business via reviews is increasing.

Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

In “Scoring Healthcare: Navigating Customer Experience Ratings,” PwC found that 48 percent of 1,000 representative respondents said that they have read online reviews related to health care, such as: doctor ratings, hospital reviews, insurance company information, and pharmacy/medical device reviews. Of this 48 percent, 68 percent said that these reviews influenced their decision – and that they used the info to choose where to get health care.

Seven percent of Consumer Reports readers surveyed said they had plans to change hospitals after reading its recent hospital safety ratings story.

Reviews can function as a tie-breaker. All things considered equal, timely reviews and consumer feedback become an important—often decisive—ingredient.

Should I Wait to Monitor my Online Reviews?

Conversations about you, your business, the service you provide and the products you sell are taking place online everyday. You’re either a part of the conversations and to some extent controlling the conversations…or you’re not.

Review Monitoring by Obelis Media

We can:

    • tell you where you need to be.
    • set up a system to allow you to easily solicit reviews from your patients.
    • provide guidance on how to handle a bad review.

Click here for more information

 

 

1 in 4 Consumers Check Online Doctor Ratings

Sometimes someone says it much than I ever could.

From Kim Painter, health reporter and columnist,

“Online ratings of physicians haven’t caught on as much as ratings of books, movies and plumbers, but a majority of consumers know they exist and one in four consulted them when picking a primary care doctor in 2012, new research shows.

Just 5% have rated a doctor themselves online, according to a research letter published Tuesday inJAMA, a journal of the American Medical Association.

The findings are based on a nationwide, representative survey of 2,137 U.S. adults taken in late 2012. It’s likely that awareness and use have grown since then, says lead author David Hanauer, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan. Despite concerns by many physicians that the ratings can be misleading and harmful, they are here to stay, Hanauer says.

“We do have to accept that this is becoming a fact of life,” he says. “The view of consumers is that they should be able to view and leave ratings on just about anything they want online.”

The survey found:

• 65% knew ratings of doctors could be found online, but awareness was higher for ratings of cars (87%), books and movies (82%) and other service providers, such as plumbers and electricians (71%).

• 23% had sought out ratings to choose a primary care physician in the previous year. That rose to 36% among those aware of the ratings, compared with 46% for cars and 52% for books or movies. Those differences may partly reflect how often people seek the services or products, Hanauer says.

• 19% said online ratings were very important when choosing a primary care physician — behind every other factor researchers asked about, including insurance acceptance (89%), convenient location (59%), years of experience (46%) and word of mouth from family and friends (38%). An additional 40% called ratings somewhat important.”

The rest of the article can be found here.

Word of mouth always spreads much more quickly online than it does offline. The bad news is that not every review is a good review.  If you’re aware of what your patients are saying about you, good. If not, contact us, we can point you in the right direction.