What is Review Generation?
Review generation is the process of getting more customer reviews on your business locations’ online review pages, on sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, among others. This can be done by:
- Sending emails to customers asking them to rate and review your business.
- Including feedback forms or customer feedback surveys on your site.
- Promoting your presence on online review sites by adding links to your profiles on marketing materials (ex. email signatures) and collateral (ex. review handout generator).
- Sending SMS messages to customers asking them to review your business.
- Having on-site kiosks where customers can leave feedback and write an online review.
Why is review generation so important? Reviews help improve and maintain a positive brand reputation. Reviews also help you rank well in local SEO searches. And reviews are an important research tool for consumers: by providing customers with more reviews (and hopefully more positive reviews) on your profiles, you give them more reason to choose your business when they’re doing their research.
Oh, and there’s one more reason. In addition to SEO, brand reputation, and research, reviews help businesses understand their customers. That’s a big deal. The more reviews you have, the more feedback you have. If you take customer experience seriously, you need to listen to your customers—and reviews help you do just that.
Remind Me, What Is Local Search?
Local search is when a search engine shows local business results in response to your query. Search engines like Google will give priority to relevant, reputable brick-and-mortar locations that are highly rated and nearby.
According to the 2017 ReviewTrackers Local Search Report, 35 percent of all searches are local. Moreover, 53 percent of searchers typically visit a business within 48 hours of search.
Thin about it: one out of every three searches you make is about a local business. If you search “tacos in Chicago,” a list of restaurants will show up in a certain order. How does Google know which Mexican restaurants to show? One of the major factors that contribute to that order is online reviews, according to Moz.
It’s not just about having a high star rating. Google looks to see that your reviews are fresh. You want to have a healthy amount of new, incoming reviews every month. This is one reason why it’s important that reviews are generated as often as possible.
Online brand reputation is crucial to the success of your business because when customers search for a business, they will read its reviews as part of the customer journey.
Customers want to know if the staff is friendly, if the food exceeds expectations, if the doctor listens, if customer service fixes their problem, and if the experience is worth it. We live in an age of choice. Customers will decide for themselves whether or not they can trust your business through online research. If they feel they can’t, they’ll choose a different business.
If there’s a consistent stream of overall positive reviews on your business locations’ pages, then that will help customers see you are relevant, and that for the most part, customers enjoy doing business with you. Keep in mind that some negative reviews are good to have on your pages, too.
The consistent production of online reviews will also help increase your average star rating when you ask your happiest customers for feedback.
Concourse Sports increased the amount of Facebook and Google reviews on their pages by 2,800 percent in two months to increase their star rating and gain insight into the customer experience. Their sales increased 22 percent in August 2017 because of several factors, including a positive online brand reputation, a revamped retargeting strategy, and win-back campaign.