As the internet grows in popularity, businesses are using it as a tool to further their reach and expand their audience. Online reviews are a great way to get your products and services in front of more potential customers, while also helping you build trust with those who might not be familiar with your company. 

However, just posting your business on sites like Reliable Reviews, Yelp, Google Places, and TripAdvisor isn’t enough to drive new customers your way. You need to work hard to achieve a high rating on these sites by asking reviewers for constructive feedback, reaching out personally to every person who leaves you a review, and constantly monitoring your presence on these sites. 

If you want to improve your online reviews strategy for your business, read on for some useful tips that will help you get started.

Online Reviews Quick Background

Reviews represent an important part of the customer experience, and they can make or break most purchases. Eighty-six percent of consumers read online reviews, and fifty-six percent say that they are more likely to buy a product if it has positive reviews. 

With the growing popularity of the internet, we’re seeing an increased number of people going online to find out about products. Online review websites are becoming hugely popular, and they offer businesses a chance to get real feedback from customers about their experiences.

A Marketing Tool

The first thing you need to know about online reviews is that they are a marketing tool. This means that you need to approach the review process strategically to ensure that your marketing goals are met. Some companies just ask for reviews, while others offer special promotions for those who leave feedback. 

You’ll need to figure out which strategy is best for your business based on your goals and target audience. At the end of the day, you want to approach online reviews as a marketing tool to drive traffic to your website and get more customers. 

This is why you should follow the advice below to make sure you approach online reviews correctly.

A Research Tool

Another important thing to remember about online reviews is that they’re also a research tool. This means that you should take advantage of online reviews to gain valuable insights into your potential customers and their buying process. 

You can do this by looking at the overall sentiment of your reviews, and trying to figure out why some customers gave you a certain rating. For example, let’s say that you have five reviews, and three of them are 5 stars and two are 1 star. 

You should try to figure out why the 1-star reviews came about and see if there is something that you can do to fix the problem. Moreover, you should also try to figure out why your 5-star reviews came about so that you know you are providing a high-quality product or service.

Tips For Conducting Online Review Research

If you want to collect online reviews, you need to make sure that you’re collecting them from the right kind of customer. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re collecting reviews from happy customers who are likely to leave positive reviews. Here are some tips for conducting effective online reviews research:

Ask Your Customers For Feedback

First and foremost, you should always ask your customers for feedback after they have used your products or services. This feedback can be used to improve your products and services, as well as to help you spot problem areas that you might have missed in your own business. 

You can ask customers for feedback in person, on the phone, or through email. Just remember that you want to be honest and genuine when you’re doing this. If you ask for feedback and then don’t use it to improve your business, customers will know and it will hurt your reputation.

Send An Email To Your Customer Base

If you already have a customer base, you can use email marketing to reach out to them and ask them to leave reviews. You can send an email to your customer list letting them know that you appreciate their business and would love it if they left you a review. 

This might feel a little pushy, but it is important to be direct. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to leave you a review. You can even provide them with a link where they can find your business on review sites, and then leave you a review from there.

Establish A Presence On Review Sites

If you have a physical business, you can collect reviews on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. To get started, create an account with each of these sites, and then verify your account with Google My Business. 

Once you are verified, you can start collecting reviews. You can also respond to reviews, and you should respond to every single one that you receive. When someone leaves a review for your business, you want to make sure that you respond to it. 

Responding to reviews lets customers know that you care about their feedback, and it allows you to fix any issues that they might have had with your business.

Monitor Your Presence On Review Sites Constantly

Once you have posted your business’s information on review sites, you need to monitor your presence there constantly. This is critical for ensuring that you respond to every review, as well as keeping an eye on your rating and making sure that it is high. 

Before you have posted on a review site, you can use a review monitoring solution to gather data about your business. This way, you can look at your rating and gather information, such as the number of reviews you have and their average star rating. 

Once you have posted on review sites, you can use the same review monitoring solution to get data about your business and your competitors’ businesses. This data can help you spot trends, such as which products or services your customers like the most, or if there are any areas that customers are having issues with.

Learn From Your Own Mistakes

No matter how hard you try, there are always going to be mistakes in your business. As you conduct review research and collect reviews, you will likely see areas where you can improve. 

One way to learn from your own mistakes is to read the online reviews your business collects. You can read what customers are saying, and then use that information to improve your business. 

If a lot of customers are saying that your prices are too high, you can use that information to lower your prices.

Advantages Of Online Reviews

There are lots of advantages to putting a strong focus on online reviews. First and foremost, online reviews are great for increasing your overall traffic. This is because more and more people are looking for online reviews when shopping online. 

A good review from a trusted source on a site like Yelp or Google Places can be just what a customer needs to push them over the edge and convince them to buy from you. Another huge advantage to online reviews is that they are relatively cheap. 

Compared to other marketing strategies, online reviews are incredibly cheap, and you can get them for free with just a little bit of work. Last but not least, online reviews give you an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand personality.

Disadvantages Of Online Reviews

Now that you know the advantages of online reviews, you also need to know about their disadvantages as well. First and foremost, online reviews can be very time-consuming. You will need to find places to leave reviews and then respond to every single one of them. 

Moreover, a few bad reviews can also do significant damage to your brand. A single bad review can convince lots of people to stay away from your business. The last disadvantage of online reviews is that it’s really difficult to control the outcome. You might put in a lot of effort, but you won’t be able to control how the review is written. 

You also won’t be able to control who leaves reviews on your page, which means that a negative review from a problematic customer could be the first thing new customers see when they go to your page.

How To Use The Collected Reviews

Once you’ve collected reviews, you need to use that information to your advantage. There are several ways you can use your reviews to improve your business.

Review And Respond To Your Reviews

When you receive a review, respond to it as soon as possible. You can also reply to your reviews regularly. By doing this, you’ll show your customers that you care about what they have to say.

Track Your Review Ratings

Now that you have a ton of reviews, you need to track how your review ratings are changing over time. You can do this by setting up a Google Sheet, or by using an online review monitoring service.

Use Your Reviews To Spark New Ideas

If you want to spark new ideas for your business, go through your reviews, and look for common threads. When you know what your customers want, you can make adjustments to your business so that you’re better meeting their needs.

Have Your Reviews Printed

If you have a large number of positive reviews, you can have them printed out and displayed in your store, or on your website. This will help your customers see what other people have to say about your products or services.

Change Your Branding

If your business is associated with a branding that people don’t like, your positive reviews will help you to change that branding.

Use Reviews To Attract New Customers

When people read your positive reviews, they’ll want to do business with you.

Use Your Reviews As Social Proof

Social proof is a marketing concept that proves that you’re a legitimate business. With social proof, you can show your customers that you have many satisfied customers.

Final Thoughts

Reviews play an important role in online shopping, and businesses should be doing everything they can to encourage customers to leave reviews for their products and services. 

If you want to improve your online reviews strategy for your business, start by conducting online review research. From there, you can work to establish a presence on review sites, and then constantly monitor your presence on review sites so that you can learn from your own mistakes. 

With these strategies, you can boost your online reviews and drive more customers your way.

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