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The importance of getting reviews for your local business cannot be stressed enough … and it isn’t as difficult as you might think to get more reviews. A recent survey by BrightLocal found that 7 out of 10 consumers said they would provide a business with a review if they were asked. This reinforces the need for a business to have a proactive strategy for reputation marketing and management.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”If asked, approximately 71 percent of consumers will leave a review for a business. ~ @sherrybonelli” quote=”If asked, approximately 71 percent of consumers will leave a review for a business. ~ @sherrybonelli”]

If you want to get more reviews on Google and other sites, simply:

  • Focus on providing a great customer experience
  • Ask for reviews (if permitted)
  • Make it super easy by providing links to review sites

Below are instructions for creating your links on some of the various review sites (of course, you need to claim your listings first):

  • Click here for instructions to create a Google review link
  • For Facebook, go to your business page and add /reviews/ to the end (Ex: https://www.facebook.com/{your business page}/reviews/)
  • For Angie’s List, login and search for your business and click on the review link (Ex: https://member.angieslist.com/member/reviews/edit?serviceProviderId={your service provider ID})
  • For the Better Business Bureau, search for your business on their website and look for the Submit a Review link on the right, copy the link, which should look like this (Ex: https://www.bbb.org/{city}/business-reviews/{category}/{business}/reviews-and-complaints/?review=true)

How to Get More Reviews on Google

Fortunately, according to Google’s Policies, unlike Yelp, businesses are NOT prohibited from asking for reviews; however, since that could change at any time, you may want to take advantage of it now.

One thing that Google does specify is that you cannot “discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.” Of course, that language is open to interpretation

Note: Keep in mind that it IS against Google’s review policy to offer incentives or to set up “review stations” at your place of business. Reviews that are found to violate the policy may be removed… and your listing could be removed as well. 

Here is a good proactive strategy that we recommend to help you get more reviews:

1. Build a list.

If you aren’t already collecting your customers’ names, email addresses, and phone numbers, you need to start now. Whether you have ten clients or thousands, you must gather this data.

2. Pick up the phone.

Start calling your customers. This can be done over a period of time; and, in fact, it is better to make this an ongoing process. Ask your customers if they have been satisfied with the service they received. If they say no, this is your opportunity to correct the problem.

3. Follow up with an email.

Now that you have resolved any problems they had, you should have happy customers. Thank them for their business, thank them for their time in answering your call, and ask them if they would take a few minutes to leave you a review. Make it easy for them by including a direct link to Google. Click here to learn how to create the link.

4. Respond to the review.

Making the task of asking for reviews part of your marketing process can help further the customer relationship as well as send signals to Google that your page is actively managed, which will hopefully reward you with more exposure for your listing.

  • It is important that you follow up and respond to every review, good or bad.
  • Remember to thank them (again) for taking the time to leave a review.
  • Always be courteous and polite no matter what the reviewer had to say… remember, potential customers will be reading your response, so you MUST stay calm and professional.
  • Keep your replies brief. People want to be acknowledged and are looking for genuine replies; however, you can overwhelm them with a lengthy response.
  • Finally, do not try to sell, upsell, or promote yourself. This is not the time for that.

How to Get More Reviews on Yelp

As we mentioned above, Yelp’s review policies are much much more strict than Google’s when it comes to reviews … so asking for them is out of the question. DO NOT DO IT! Here is what Yelp says:

  1. Don’t post reviews of your business or of competitors — our content guidelines prohibit it.
  2. Don’t offer freebies, discounts, or payment in exchange for reviews.
  3. Don’t work with companies or 3rd-party vendors offering to “fix your reviews.”
  4. Don’t ask anyone to write reviews of your business, including friends, family, and customers.
  5. Don’t pressure (or pay or sue) people into altering or removing critical reviews.

Wow, that’s a lot of Don’ts! Here is what they recommend that you do instead:

  1. Do provide a great experience and engage with your customers.
  2. Do enable Request A QuoteCheck-In Offers, or Yelp Deals to connect with future customers and grow your business.
  3. Do request free Yelp signage, show off your official People Love Us On Yelp window cling if you’ve earned it, and embed your favorite reviews on your website and social media.

How To Get More Reviews on TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has free tools, tips, and advice to help your hotel or travel-related business collect more reviews on their website.

How To Get More Reviews on Facebook

We recommend the same process that we listed above for getting more reviews on Google and that you provide a Facebook link in the same email to offer them a choice. Make the process as easy as possible by providing the link to your Facebook page as well as giving clear instructions on how to leave the review. It also makes sense to pay attention to your comments … if you see a happy customer, gently guide them towards your reviews tab.

More Ways To Get More Reviews

Asking for and getting more reviews is definitely something that you can DIY; however, if you would prefer to automate this, we recommend GetFiveStars.com with solutions starting at just $40/mo.

Finally, if you need help responding to your reviews (what a great problem to have!), please fill out the form below to request more information about service providers we recommend.