In today’s competitive digital landscape, having a solid online review management strategy is imperative. This not only improves your brand presence but also boosts conversions. An online review strategy helps you build a strong connection with your audience while promoting positive reviews that’ll result in winning more customers.
Consumers rely heavily on online reviews. This is how they gauge the credibility of your business. Generally, you get online reviews based on the quality of your products and services. However, you can be more proactive with your customers. Take the initiative and ask them about their experience doing business with you. Find out what they like about your products and services? Ask them how they feel you can improve your service offering? Let them know how much you value their opinion. In return, make sure to follow-through on all your promises.
Importance of Online Reviews
Promoting online reviews creates a positive digital footprint. In one of our previous posts, we provided some of the key statistics of online reviews. Now, let’s recap the importance of online reviews for your business:
• Social Proof Leads to Purchase – Nearly 90 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This only shows online reviews have become one of the most significant forms of social proof today and clearly have an impact on sales.
• Online Reviews Make You More Visible – In local SEO, online reviews matter. In fact, it’s one of the top search ranking factors. Take note, however, that Google and other major search engines can easily detect fake reviews. Google’s affinity for reviews is almost similar to the way search engines score websites receiving backlinks from other websites. Simply put, the more people talk about your business, the higher the score you get from Google.
• Expand Your Network Reach – Encouraging customers to review your business is an effective way to expand your network reach. When people share their experience, it creates more engagement, which eventually drives more leads to your business.
• Create an Impression – Online reviews give customers ideas about your products and services.
• Prompt Prospects to Action – More than 70 percent of consumers take action after reading positive reviews. On the other hand, a single negative review can cost you about 30 customers. This is how online reviews can affect your prospect’s purchasing decisions.
• Product Development – Customer reviews can help you improve your products and services.
Developing a Solid Online Review Management Strategy
Online review management is an on-going task. The objective is to create, cultivate and maintain a spotless brand identity across all platforms. Just like traditional public relations management, it’s all about creating the right impression to your target audience.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to develop a solid online review strategy to improve your business:
Step 1: Brand and Campaign Monitoring
Generate a list of all your online accounts. This includes your accounts on social media, forums, online review sites and other digital platforms. Monitor your engagement activities closely. How do people respond to your posts? To which posts are they reactive? How’s the engagement score for each campaign? Keep track of the conversations to have a clear grasp of your reputation. The key here is to get valuable insights from your audience. Find out which current strategies are working and the areas of improvement.
Step 2: Online Review Tools and Software
It’s nearly impossible to develop and effectively implement your strategy without the right tools at hand. As mentioned earlier, online review management is an on-going process. Take advantage of the tools available. Check the features they offer and choose the best ones that suit your needs and preferences. Some of the recommended online review management tools include Moz Local, Okendo, Capterra, Djubo and Review360.
Step 3: Boost Your Brand Presence
When customers can easily find your business’s review section, it encourages them to leave their own online review regarding their dealings with your brand. Optimize your profile across all digital channels. Empower your content marketing strategy by placing your brand on Google’s most trusted online reviews sites. This includes Google My Business, Yelp, Glassdoor and Hubspot. You can also explore your opportunities in local SEO strategies.
Step 4: Clean Up The Mess!
Your focus is to create a business foundation based on trust. Review all the feedback and brand mentions and work on your review response strategy. Make sure to reply to every comment and review, including negative feedback. When reading negative online reviews, you may feel attacked and frustrated. Regardless of the reason, it’s best to move forward and take it as an opportunity to rebuild trust with your audience.
Be professional when responding to negative reviews and make sure not to sound defensive at all. First, acknowledge their bad experience and offer resolutions. This reflects good customer service and may convince the person to alter or even remove the negative feedback.
Let’s check out these examples:
Additional Reminder: Google review policy does not allow paid reviews. Business owners can get penalized by altering their customers’ feedback.
Step 5: Promote Positive Review Campaigns
Again, proactiveness is the key ingredient to encourage customers to create online reviews. There are many different ways to request reviews. Carefully select the best review platform for your business. Apart from joining popular review sites, consider launching different online review campaigns. For example, email marketing has become an effective way to ask customers for business reviews. Social media marketing is also a great platform for online reputation management.
Step 6: Evaluate Your Strategy
The final step is to evaluate your online review management strategy. Check your current insights and compare them from previous campaigns. Remember, numbers don’t lie. When it comes to online review management, you need real-time data and in-depth analyses.
It’s evident that online reviews can bring about a positive and meaningful impact on your business. Having a solid online review management strategy requires time, the right set of tools and proper execution. This should always be part of your business model. The entire process can be tedious. If you don’t have the time to execute the tasks involved properly it’s best to hire a professional. Rize Reviews offers an all-in-one solution to manage your online reputation. Rize also provides advanced online reputation management software, making it easier for business owners to closely monitor their campaigns.