Customer reviews are an important aspect of your online marketing but if you're not careful, you can spend a lot of time and energy accumulating reviews that aren't necessarily as helpful as they could be for your business.
Well, all positive online customer reviews are good, regardless of where they are found online. Your potential customers trust other people, and their reviews, much more than they trust a business. Once they become a customer, trust is built, but before that, potential customers need to see the social proof that reviews provide.
So really, all positive reviews are good to have.
When it comes to increasing your online visibility, not all review sites are created equal. Customer reviews can be found on several sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google+, as well as specialty sites like Angie's List or Zomato. It's a good idea to have reviews on each of them, but Google+ reviews will help your local SEO efforts more than the others will.
There are many businesses that focus on Yelp reviews. Yelp is a great platform for reviews but if all of your reviews are on Yelp, you're holding your site back. Yelp and other customer review sites carry some weight for Google searches, but of course, Google gives the most weight for Google+ reviews. You won't see the SEO results you want unless Google+ reviews are included in the mix.
So how do you get your customers to write Google+ reviews?
It just takes a little direction. When you normally ask for reviews, whether in a monthly newsletter or a weekly email, link to your Google+ page instead of leaving it open ended. For many small business owners who work closely with clients, personally asking for a Google+ review in conversation can be as effective as you can get. Happy customers are usually glad to write a short review, as long as it's easy and convenient so the more specific you can be with your request, the better.
Are your customer reviews serving you well? If you have a question, leave a comment below and we'll get back to you!