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Online reviews are crucial to marketing your local business. In a 2013 study, 79% of consumers said they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.

Getting more (positive) reviews may seem like a challenge, but creating a strategy and following it through will pay off. It may take time, and should take some time, but generating more reviews is possible, and may even help you refine your business in the process. Below is a quick-and-dirty list of steps you can take to start getting more, and better, online reviews:

  • Pay attention to current reviews and mediate any issues within your business
  • Respond and resolve problems with online reviews
  • Respond directly and privately to bad reviews – fix the problem and offer them a reason to try your business again
  • Ask customers for online reviews or testimonials, especially if they have had a positive experience
  • Engage with customers online via social media
  • Go for quantity – bad reviews are just part of the game
  • Ensure you have your information fully completed on review sites – fill out everything you can
  • If you collect email addresses of customers, email them asking for a review after a purchase
  • Include a testimonial/review section on your website with a simple form submission
  • Put your review site links out there – on your website, email signature, social media, etc.
  • Add the reviews component to Facebook
  • You don’t need a ton of reviews 2-10 is the sweet spot (if they are mainly positive)
  • Previous reviewers/repeat customers may be happy to review you on other sites
  • Don’t get too many reviews too fast – they may get flagged.  Go for a few (3-5) per week
  • Make it easy for reviewers – have links to your online review sites from your site
  • Use your good reviews for marketing – quote them, put them on your website, anywhere you can

Online reviews are often the only way to differentiate yourself from the other businesses that appear in search results. Without reviews, or with poor reviews, it makes it increasingly difficult to improve your visibility online.

If you need help creating a strategy to increase your online reviews, contact Evoke Strategy LLC to assist with your local business marketing.

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