A good review generation strategy will result in potential customers feeling like you’re a business they can trust, which will help you stand out from competitors.
A pull quote demonstrating why you should generate reviews to stand out from the crowd.
Users who search for products and services online value reviews when making purchasing decisions because social proof is considered more trustworthy than simply taking the business’ word for it.
Not only that, but you can repurpose reviews on your website at key points in the customer journey for a compelling conversion driver. Some ad platforms even allow you to feature reviews in your ads, which can result in higher click-through rates and cheaper clicks.
Distributing your business information across the long list of business listings online is only the first step, you'll need to actively chase star ratings to really make your profiles shine.
Semrush’s own Local SEO Rankings Study revealed that the number of Google Business Profile reviews was a far more important ranking factor than average rating.
Average number of reviews businesses had based on 5,624 business-oriented keywords analyzed in Local Pack results in Google Maps.
Distance from the user and relevance play a key role, but businesses that actively generate reviews clearly fare better in the local results than those that don’t.
Some business owners fret about a one-star review bringing their average down, but a consistent stream of good reviews is better for local SEO than a handful of perfect scores.
It’s important to track the impact of your review generation. If you’re new to marketing analytics, Semrush’s Review Management tool offers a simple way to report your progress in the Local Rankings tab. You can also visualise your position based on the user’s exact location.
Semrush’s Review Management tool’s Heatmap shows your position based on location
In short: the best way to get customer reviews is to ask for them. Users are generally happy to leave a review when a business reaches out, as long as the process is simple.
Text messages have the highest open rates, with some reporting figures as high as 98%, compared to around 20% for email, making this the most effective way to generate reviews.
Your message to encourage customers to leave reviews can be as simple as, “Thanks so much for choosing [your business name]! We’d love to know how you feel about your experience with us: [link to review site]”.
For a personal touch, take the time to customize your requests and ask for reviews as part of a prior message thread or email conversation you were having. Bonus tip: Automate the review generation process by including review links in emails the customer already receives at the end of their journey, such as receipts or delivery confirmations. You’ll want to send the review request when your customer is in the best mood, and this will differ depending on your business. Typically, you’ll get more reviews if you reach out once their experience is complete: when they’ve just seen the results of their garden makeover, for example, or returned home from their meal. It’s easier for customers to dismiss review requests if it’s left too long after the last interaction.
Focus your review generation on sites you know your customers use to find you. If it’s clear that Google is driving the majority of your traffic, you should probably start by requesting Google Business Profile reviews. You might also want to get customer reviews on industry-specific review websites, such as Tripadvisor for the travel industry.
Semrush’s Review Management tool allows you to generate reviews from a wider range of platforms, because it’s a lot less work to reply to them all in one simple interface.
Review generation software makes it easier to create review requests. You can create review templates and automate your requests to save you reaching out to customers one by one. Most review generation platforms will show you detailed analytics including open rates so you can see where you need to improve to get more reviews.
Generate reviews by sharing this Google link
It’s very important that your responses are professional and you don’t react emotionally to a bad review. You’ll always get the occasional negative comment, but a defensive or accusatory reply can be more harmful to your reputation than the review itself.
Let it go. You can’t please everyone.
Remember, your ultimate goal is to increase client loyalty and brand reputation, not just get more reviews for the sake of it.