How to Generate Great Online Reviews

As a small business owner, you know from firsthand experience and industry research that customer reviews are one of the most important ways to generate new leads. 85% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and positive reviews have a real impact on where consumers choose to spend their time and money.
The great news is that, while you can’t directly participate in the review process, there are a number of things you can do to facilitate online reviews for your business. These 3 simple steps will help get you started.

1. Ask People to Review Your Business

Even your most loyal customers are likely to forget to write you an online review unless you give them explicit direction to do so. Make it a habit to ask for reviews at various times during a customer’s lifecycle. A few ideas include:

  • Ask for a review after a purchase
  • Prompt readers to review after downloading a piece of content
  • Include links to your review properties in your email signature
  • Send a dedicated email campaign encouraging reviews

2. Give People a Place to Review Your Business

All the reminders in the world won’t generate reviews if it’s difficult for customers to find an outlet to provide them. Make sure to claim your listings on review sites and social media channels so that you can direct patrons to accurate pages for your business. You can also create a review board on your website, which gives you more control over what content gets posted and how it looks.

3. Share Reviews With Potential Leads

Once you’ve built up a solid library of glowing reviews, put that content to use by sharing it with potential leads. There are countless ways to repurpose reviews for your business’s benefit, such as:

  • Compiling reviews into more formal case studies
  • Writing blog posts featuring comments or recommendations from users
  • Featuring reviews in your e-newsletters
  • Sharing quotes from reviews on your social media accounts

The Bottom Line

Although you can’t force customers to write great reviews for your small business, you can encourage your patrons to participate in the process, make it easy for them to share feedback, and use that feedback to generate new leads for your small business—all without spending too much time or effort.