Business owners often struggle with learning how to get reviews when they’re just starting out. While most businesses understand the value of new business reviews, they are often at a loss for how to get them. So, how do small businesses get online reviews?
In this article, we answer the how and the why of business reputation management and review generation. We’ll study the common challenges and strategies to get reviews for small businesses and multi-location businesses.
Before we delve into how to get reviews for a new business, let’s first take a look at why it’s important.
Here are some convincing statistics that prove how online business reviews can be of great value to your company:
- Eighty-two percent of people read reviews about a local business.
- On average, people read 10 reviews before trusting a business or brand.
- Ninety-one percent of people are more likely to use a product or service if it has lots of positive reviews.
Why New Businesses Should Focus on Getting Reviews
Getting online reviews is challenging enough for a tenured brand, so generating reviews for new businesses could prove twice as challenging. However, experts and successful marketers have found that there is not much difference in approaching business reputation management for an established business from a new one. It might take longer to get reviews for small businesses at first, but the methods remain the same.
One advantage of small businesses over big brands is its freedom to be as creative and unique in implementing marketing strategies like review generation. While popular brands might be doing what’s expected, a new business has the opportunity to do the exact opposite, gaining attention as a result.
Three Reasons You Should Get Online Business Reviews as Soon as You Open Shop
- Online Reviews Drive Local SEO
Google has said, in so many words, that online reviews help increase your visibility in search results. The search giant has encouraged business owners to respond to online business reviews as a way to boost visibility across the search engine results pages (SERPs), and to get as many online reviews for your business as possible.
Listing your website on Google My Business (GMB) increases your chances of getting discovered by people near you. If you have great Google My Business reviews, people are more likely to click on your site. This platform is the most common resource to get reviews for small businesses.
The more interaction there is on your review page, the higher your chances of ranking on the first page of Google SERPs. Updated Google My Business reviews can also boost your website’s domain authority, which is another ranking factor for Google SERP visibility.
To get more information about setting up a business listing on Google and getting Google My Business reviews, visit the FAQ page for Google My Business.
- Online Reviews Build Customer Trust
If you’re a new brand, chances are most people have not heard about you. With the power of online business reviews, your potential customers can discover the quality of your product or service from customers who have bought it and experienced your brand firsthand. The advantage of this is you don’t have to make much effort in convincing people to buy your product. You get reviews for your business by simply providing a great product and making your customers happy.
- Online Reviews Boost Conversions
Studies show that online reviews have a direct effect on conversions and sales. Get one or two glowing reviews and you’re on your way to getting more leads and conversions. The more positive reviews, the more sales and revenue growth. A Spiegel study found that a business is 270 percent more likely to sell if a product has at least five reviews.
How To Get Good Reviews For Your New Business
Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of online reviews, the question remains: How do small businesses get online reviews?
It’s easy to doubt your ability to get reviews for your business when you are just starting out, but remember that all successful businesses started out just like you – with a grand total of zero reviews. Most business owners, even popular brands, had to learn how to get reviews for a new business when they first started. There’s truly no secret formula for how to get good reviews, but you do need to understand what shapes a customer’s opinions and what leads them to writing a review.
The important thing to remember is that reviews don’t happen without investing time, resources and strategies. You have to proactively push for your customers to leave reviews. Getting reviews from customers is not as hard as you may think. In fact, BrightLocal’s 2020 Consumer Review Survey shows that 72 percent of customers will write a review when asked, which brings you to the initial step in getting your first online business review:
Ask Your Customers for Reviews
It sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how many businesses fail to do this. You likely want a steady stream of customer reviews, so you need to learn how to increase reviews over time.
Asking customers for reviews is the simplest way to consistently get online reviews for your business. There are many ways to implement this online review strategy. Here are a few examples:
- Via email campaigns and customer feedback surveys
- Via SMS after completing a transaction or purchase
- Via a review page on your website or product page (on eCommerce sites)
- Via a digital review form at the checkout lane (for physical stores)
Note that third-party review sites like Google, Facebook and Yelp have their own review guidelines, so study these to avoid violating review rules. Take Yelp for example: This platform, specifically, does not allow businesses to ask their customers to leave reviews as they want reviews to be fully organic and authentic.
Focus On a Goal-Oriented Online Review Strategy
If you don’t know how to get online reviews for your small business, you might be tempted to try one approach after another, without getting solid results.
Rather than be in a constant trial-and-error phase, specify a goal that seems realistic to you. How many reviews do you want to get in a month? A great way to answer this question is to track how many sales you made and how many of those sales you would want reviews from. When you have the answer, create a strategy for generating these reviews that makes sense for your business.
It would help if you devised a step-by-step method of creating your online review strategy. Basic review generation tips for an online review strategy start with:
- Choosing a Review Platform
Which review platform do you think is easiest for you to get online reviews for your business? Choosing the right review platform might show you how to increase reviews for your business.
Do you want more reviews on Google My Business or other sites like Yelp or Facebook? Are you thinking about getting more authentic reviews from your customer via email, SMS or in-person surveys? Your choice of review platform can help you focus on a strategy that delivers better results.
- Selecting a Review Management Tool
People are often at a loss when brainstorming how to get reviews for a new business because they don’t realize that there are tools to make it easier. Most businesses use a reputation management software to monitor and manage online reviews. Others have enough people to create a reputation management team who personally checks and replies to customer reviews.
As your business grows, your methods might change depending on the need and your ability to afford an upgraded system. However, the goal should remain the same: manage new business reviews in a timely and efficient manner.
How To Get Good Franchise Business Reviews
Now that we’ve answered the question: “How do small businesses get online reviews,” we must discuss a different kind of business: franchises.
Other than new businesses, owners of franchises also struggle to generate reviews. With several branches spread across the country, review generation is often a challenge for most franchise owners and they might not be sure of how to get good reviews for all of their businesses.
Most methods of getting great franchise business reviews are no different from typical businesses. However, there are some key areas that need to be more focused when it comes to implementing reputation management for franchise businesses.
Communication Is Key Between Branches To Ensure Customer Satisfaction
Multi-location businesses work separately from each other, but they need to deliver consistent service that is aligned with the company’s overall standards. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Too many moving parts and not enough communication between branches can affect the quality of service provided to customers, affecting customer satisfaction in the process.
Franchise owners need to train all employees to ensure that they meet and even exceed the quality of service they provide customers. Only then will the business succeed in generating positive franchise business reviews.
Create and Implement a Reputation Management Plan Across Locations
When developing reputation management for franchise businesses, the challenge is often that it might be too complicated or difficult to implement consistently across all locations. To make sure that all your employees understand and carry out your strategy, make it simple yet efficient. Eliminate unnecessary steps and streamline the process of employees collecting reviews as well as customers giving them.
For instance, offering a survey form during checkout might not be convenient for a customer in a hurry to leave your store, so you could send the survey via email or SMS instead.
When you focus on getting your staff and your customers excited about generating great franchise business reviews, you are more likely to achieve your goal.
Hire an Online Review Management Expert
Reputation management for franchise businesses is not always a top priority for franchise owners. While they understand the importance of generating franchise business reviews, they simply do not have the time, knowledge or resources to dedicate to it.
This is why hiring a reputation management company that offers its ORM strategies for franchises is an ideal solution that provides great results with minimal effort and investment. Not only can they help generate reviews, they can also help you figure out how to increase reviews to improve your review ratings and search engine rankings.
Start Developing Your ORM Marketing Strategy Today
Whether you want to learn how to get new business reviews or franchise business reviews, the best and fastest route would be to hire an Online Reputation Management or ORM marketing agency. An award-winning reputation management company like Rize has proven experience in generating reviews for any brand or business. You’ll get expert guidance on how to get online reviews for your small business or franchise with better results.
From review generation to small business reputation management, Rize can help you achieve a positive reputation for your brand. Contact Rize today for a free demo and get started with implementing a profitable ORM marketing plan.