How to Get Reviews for Local SEO

How to Get Reviews for Local SEO

Online reviews are crucial. They enhance user trust, offer social proof of your brand's credibility, and boost your SEO efforts.

To get reviews for local SEO, you can:

  • Ask ‘who’ you know
  • Ask in person
  • Ask online
  • Ask in a subtle way

In this article, we will discuss these strategies in detail and explore actionable tips on engaging your audience with the reviews.

Why Does Reviews Matter?

Reputations, good or bad, spread fast. You don’t want a bad reputation, nor do you want the customers to overlook your brand.

Reviews give brands a cost-free method of building a reputation for responsiveness and customer service. They improve SEO and influence potential clients purchasing decisions.

Negative reviews are also valuable. They show how you address challenges—a key factor for reasonable clients. They also offer direct feedback to improve your business.

Leverage critical reviews to enhance your offerings and customer experience. This will be reflected in your overall review profile and will boost client satisfaction immediately. If your customers dislike the coffee in your lobby, consider changing it.

How to Start Gathering Reviews For Your Local Business

A common concern among our clients is how to encourage their customers to write reviews without bothering them or risking negative feedback.

Here are a few quick tips on how to secure reviews for local SEO.

Ask 'Who' You Know

Seems simple, right? Just ask, and you will receive.

But who should you ask?

Well, consider these potential sources:

  • Clients
  • Customers
  • Colleagues
  • Business partners
  • Personal contacts (depending on the platform)

Asking people you already know is a fantastic approach because you likely have a solid relationship with them. This makes them more inclined to leave a positive review.

While Google doesn't permit reviews from non-customers, Facebook doesn't restrict reviews to paying clients. So, feel free to ask industry partners, your neighbor, or even your mail carrier for their feedback.

Remember, though, authenticity is crucial. Don't ask anyone to fib. Instead, if they're not clients or customers, encourage them to highlight your integrity, professionalism, personality, or character instead of focusing solely on a brand-specific experience.

Ask in Person

The verbal approach of asking lets you gauge if someone would give your business a positive review.

You can casually ask a customer or even call them.

Before requesting a review, start by thanking them for their business and seeking their feedback to show you value their experience.

Ask Online

The digital method lets you select who you want reviews from.

You can ask via email, text, or directly on social media.

Not everyone will leave a review, but it's an easy way to gather positive feedback.

Ask in a Subtle Way

Utilize your reception area, flyers, and printed materials to subtly prompt reviews.

Incorporate a QR code that directly leads to your review page.

Enhance it with social proof, such as a top review, star rating, or a message explaining why you encourage them to scan the code for increased engagement.

Tips When Requesting Reviews

  1. Personalize Your Message: Include a real human contact to provide an opportunity for addressing any concerns before they leave a public review.
  2. Keep it Concise: Respect their time by keeping your request brief. People don't have time for lengthy explanations.
  3. Follow Up, but Don't Overdo It: It's acceptable to follow up if they haven't reviewed you after a few weeks, but avoid being annoying. You don't want a negative review just because they're irritated by your persistence.
  4. Add Personal Touches: Personalize your request with relevant details, but avoid being too personal or potentially embarrassing. Keep it professional and relevant to their experience with your business.

Review Management Tools

Numerous review management tools are available to assist you in soliciting, organizing, and addressing online reviews.

When utilizing a third-party tool for requesting or responding to reviews, exercise caution to ensure they adhere to ethical practices for displaying and managing review content.

It's worth noting that some review management platforms have faced scrutiny from the FTC for practices like "avoiding the collection or publication of negative reviews," which violates FTC guidelines. 

Therefore, choosing a tool that operates transparently and ethically is essential to maintain compliance and credibility.

Strategies for a Positive Review Profile

Strategies For A Positive Review Profile For Local SEO
  1. Respond to all reviews: Show you care by engaging with feedback, whether positive or negative.
  2. Know your customers: Build rapport and spot fake reviews by understanding your customer base.
  3. Simplify the process: Provide clear instructions for leaving reviews. This is especially useful for less tech-savvy customers.
  4. Encourage honesty: Avoid bribery and guilt-tripping in reviews. Encourage genuine feedback to identify areas for improvement.
  5. Personalize your requests: Before asking for reviews, show genuine interest in your customers' experiences. This would encourage stronger relationships.

What to Avoid When Seeking Reviews for Local SEO

  1. Cater to your audience by offering multiple review options without overwhelming them.
  2. Uphold ethical standards by refraining from any form of compensation for reviews.
  3. Never ask for fake reviews. It's unethical, damages your reputation, and can have serious consequences.
  4. Avoid leaving fake reviews for competitors. Such behavior is unethical and can harm your own credibility.
  5. Don't disregard feedback. Negative reviews provide valuable insights for improving your business. Embrace them as opportunities for growth.
  6. Avoid using Facebook's autoresponder for reviews. Automated responses may come across as insincere and erode customer trust.
  7. Resist the urge to delete negative reviews. Instead, use them as a chance to demonstrate your commitment to addressing concerns and improving your business.

Takeaways on Online Reviews for Local Business

Why do reviews matter so much?

Simply put, they make or break your business’s public perception. Maintaining a stellar reputation is crucial in a world where word of mouth can travel at the speed of a click.

Reviews boost your visibility and improve your SEO, making your business more noticeable in a crowded market.

Moreover, reviews provide invaluable feedback and influence potential clients. They also offer a candid look at what works and what doesn’t within your business.

Negative reviews, while challenging, are opportunities in disguise. They show prospective customers your ability to handle challenges. They also serve as a goldmine for improving your services.

Ultimately, online reviews are a potent tool for business growth. They drive lead generation, improve SEO, reveal customer expectations, highlight areas for improvement, and influence purchase decisions.

Embracing the good and the bad will refine your offerings and boost client satisfaction. Bliss Drive offers tailored SEO services to elevate your online presence. Enhance your visibility and attract more customers with our strategies that deliver results.

Richard Fong is a highly experienced and successful internet marketer, known for founding Bliss Drive. With over 20 years of online experience, he has earned a prestigious black belt in internet marketing. Richard leads a dedicated team of professionals and prioritizes personalized service, delivering on his promises and providing efficient and affordable solutions to his clients.
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