Review generation becomes increasingly important with each year that goes by. Not long ago, we wrote an article on the subject titled “Are People Reading Reviews Before Contacting Lawyers?” This article doesn’t exclusively pertain to lawyers. Any local service can gain insight into whether their potential leads are reading their reviews before inquiring about services. Plenty of evidence shows that having good reviews affects not only your offsite SEO in the form of local maps, positioning, and visibility on some directories and aggregates but the criteria for Google’s preferred content quality guidelines onsite (read more about that here as well).
What’s our obsession with reviews and constantly hammering the importance of having a plan in place to generate them? As a refresher, we have the following information from a survey we conducted just a few months ago that we refreshed the first week of 2019. Here were the questions:
On a scale 1-10, how important would it be to read reviews about a LAWYER prior to contacting them? 3 months ago: 7.415 Now: 8.17
What is the minimum rating you would want to see for a lawyer on Google? (0.0-5.0, including decimals) 3 months ago: 3.8875 Now: 3.84
What is the minimum numbers of reviews you would want to see for a lawyer on Google?
3 months ago: 14.1 Now: 20
On a scale 1-10, if you narrowed down two lawyers you liked but one had MUCH better reviews online, how much would that impact your final decision? (we didn’t ask this question before)
Again, it seems the emphasis is just on lawyers, but we believe these trends would carry over to businesses in almost every industry.
Moving into 2019, we know that reviews are important because people say that they are, but what are some other reasons?
- Showcasing on your website positive reviews from numerous sources not only has a strong and beneficial impact on website visitors but when linked correctly back to their sources, could provide a boost SEO-wise because of Google’s new content considerations that follow the Expertise-Authoritativeness-Trustworthiness criteria.
- Positive reviews in places such as Google Maps has a strong correlation on being able to show up locally on the map pack, as surmised heavily by hundreds of SEO experts across the globe.
- Ability to receive and unlock quality awards, accolades, and badges on different websites when a certain quantity of reviews are received.
- Ability to use more positive reviews as testimonials on the website and other marketing collateral.
OK reviews are obviously important – now what?
Now that you understand why reviews matter, you can take any of several approaches to accumulating more reviews. You can start by doing it yourself (use our guide as a reference), using a third-party tool to assist with generating reviews and doing it yourself, or using a third-party tool and having someone do it on your behalf. As you would imagine, the biggest difference between all of them are the costs associated with getting the job done.
Why do most initiatives fail when people attempt to do it themselves? If you’ve been wondering why your follow-up emails for reviews normally don’t pan out, you probably have at least one of the following issues:
- Email template doesn’t make it easy to link to places to review
- No follow-up emails or automation process to check back in with people who didn’t check the review request email the first time
- Company emails that come off like solicitations rather than genuine emails on behalf of an unbiased third party
- Poor email or template formatting
- The content of the email doesn’t get to the point
- No use of text messages to follow up with clients
- Sending emails at the wrong time of day
- Emails that end up in the spam folder or are being flagged for spam
- Attempting to get reviews at the place of business by setting up an iPad for that purpose and failing to realize clients are creating accounts just to leave reviews, which then get flagged as spam by the platform on which the reviews are left. When this happens, the review site (such as Yelp) logs the IP address along with everyone else’s and immediately flags reviews, leading them to go up for a short period or not at all
After attempting to get reviews on behalf of many companies for over 3 years, using a professional platform to create a review generation process is the way to go. Many platforms cost as little as $50-$100 a month to use.
What do these campaigns look like for our clients? Here are some examples of our more recent campaigns:
We’re proud to have generated 1,247 reviews across all sources averaging 4.6 in the past 12 months. Generating reviews is just one of the many ways businesses can stand out from other competitors in their industries, particularly among potential leads who value reviews when making informed decisions on the services they will use.
Find out how the digital marketing experts at Market My Market can help you generate more positive reviews by contacting us for a free consultation.