45 percent of customers say they’re more likely to visit businesses that respond to their reviewsOnline Reviews Survey
At its very core, the purpose of proactive reputation management is to secure additional business, grow customer loyalty, and improve your products and services. Securing additional business always takes first priority, and it is a topic for which we receive many questions. Business owners, regardless of size, want to know what it takes to convert review readers into purchasers of their product or service.
Today we will share with you a few tips to help your business capture and direct leads from online review sites, and direct them through your doors and to your cash registers.
Diversify Your Review-Site-Based Lead Origination
When it comes to growing a business, there is much to be said about diversification. Frequently, business owners make the mistake of placing all their eggs in the same basket and abandoning resources that could otherwise point new customers to their businesses.
If the goal is to capture the attention of more potential customers and direct them to your business, then take time to understand all possible lead origination websites, and do not underestimate the amplification value of engaging in all sites, instead of just picking and choosing. Underutilized lead sources are a great loss for small to medium businesses, where every new customer counts. Here is your most comprehensive guide to take over the most important review sites.
Own Each Review at Every Review Website
According to a recent report published by TripAdvisor, businesses that respond to online reviews enjoy 17 percent higher levels of engagement and are 21 percent more likely to receive a booking inquiry than those who don’t respond to reviews. By simply taking the time to make current reviewers feel appreciated, and going to the next level by providing remedy-oriented, customer-focused responses, you can significantly impact the number of new customers you are able to engage and convert into purchasers and, eventually, loyal patrons.
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, many venues completely neglect their review-site profile management. Not once do they take the time to upload high-quality photos and videos that best represent their offerings in a way that is appealing to potential buyers.
Don’t let reviewer photos be the only messaging that supports your branding efforts. While some of the candid photos provided by reviewers can be appealing and representative of your brand, many are of poor quality and are actually a deterrent to conversion. Make it a point to maintain a 2-to-1 ratio of image and video upload. That is, for every one photo submitted by a user, your shop should consider submitting two, up to the maximum allowable number of images, for any particular review site.
As technologies evolve, you also need to be cognizant of the importance of videos. Yelp, for example, now allows users to upload videos. This conveys aspects of your business such as ambiance and noise level. In order make the best use of this marketing opportunity, consider loading professional videos highlighting your products and services, as frequently as your marketing budget permits.
One good avenue to display videos is the Google My Business profile. Within it, you can directly point current and potential customers to your branded YouTube channel.
There is a direct association between dense, high-quality descriptive content and increased levels of engagement on review sites. Make sure each review site is representative of the quality of your brand. Your content should provide customers with answers to their most frequently asked questions, and it should highlight what makes your business special. When it comes to creating high-quality content for your review sites, there are a few things you need to remember:
- Do not duplicate content across review sites. Each site should contain original high-quality copy, drafted against the specific needs of users most commonly searching on each site.
- Your content should be drafted with search engine optimization in mind. Make sure it has relevant keywords included and takes into account search behavior associated with your product or service.
- Your content should not be a duplicate of the competition. Be original and intentional.
- Your content should be double checked for grammatical accuracy. Poor writing is a turn-off when it comes to first-time customers.
Take Advantage of Free Marketing and Promotional Tools
Many review sites and location-based review sites allow you to engage with current and potential customers via upgraded features that equip your business to extend specials designed to increase engagement and conversion, and drive new customers to your shop. First, use those available at no cost, and then consider, after careful analysis, taking advantage of paid services with a proven history of increased customer acquisition and a low cost per lead.
Study the Competition
Make it a point to know what is working for others. Stay on top of the reviews of businesses with whom you are competing for wallet share. Learn from their successes and their failures, and create ways to optimize your customer engagement based on your findings. There is a treasure trove of information for the taking, and you should always maximize it to your business advantage.
Managing your online reviews is about growing your business. Begin today, and enjoy the fruits and rewards of a job well done.