Reviews are essential for ranking in local search results. Plus, they help convince searchers to choose your business. Google ranks local businesses with reviews higher than those without because
- Listings with reviews are more likely to be accurate than a listing without reviews. A customer is less likely to leave a review on a listing that contains inaccurate information. So reviews bolster trust.
- Listings with reviews are more helpful to users than listings without them.
- Recent reviews ensure the business still exists. Why would a customer bother to review a business that no longer exists?
But how do you get reviews? Your approach should be two pronged. First, when a customer transaction is complete, send the customer an e-mail asking for a review. Make sure the e-mail has links to online profiles (like your Google Local Listing, your Yelp.com profile, etc.) where they can leave their review of your business.
Here’s a template.
Dear (customer’s name),
Thank you for choosing to do business with me. (If you want a better response rate, specify what service you performed or product you sold). It would really help me tremendously if you would take a few seconds to write a short review of your experience.
Here are a few places you can leave a review:
(Your company’s) Yelp profile:
(Your company’s) Google page:
Any other listings you have out there
You should also include those links on your site, so people who lost/deleted your e-mail can still find them.
You could also consider handing out cards to your customers as they leave your store/office asking them to review you. Include a link to the page on your site where the links reside.
Here’s another great resource for learning more about how to get reviews: Getting Your Business Reviewed.