Here's why it's important to not generate too many reviews too quickly.
Knowing how to increase online reviews is critical when it comes to establishing a strong online presence. However, it's important to remember not to generate too many reviews too quickly.
Think of gathering online reviews as a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency over time is how you're going to move up the ranks on Google, establish a strong online reputation and get more inbound calls and emails.
Here are three reasons why getting too many Google reviews too quickly is dangerous:
1) You'll run out of prime customers to ask for a review. Your happy customers are a precious resource for your agency. If they all review your business at once, you'll enter a feedback famine. Yes, you'll always have new customers in your pipeline that can leave you a review, but these customers haven't had the chance to really get to know you or your agency yet. They might not be as ready to leave you a good review as those that have been with you for some time.
2) Google's algorithm will mark the activity as suspicious. Google's algorithm determines how Google finds, ranks and delivers relevant search results. It relies on ranking signals to know what listings to show to a searcher. Some of these ranking signals include your Google My Business listing, social media activity and, of course, customer reviews.
Since Google monitors these signals, they can tell when something isn't right. For example, if your agency gets a huge batch of reviews all at once, Google will notice the abnormal pattern and might even remove some of your reviews. Stay on Google's good side and maintain the marathon approach rather than trying to sprint to the finish line.
3) Consumers value recent reviews. About 85% of consumers believe reviews older than three months aren't relevant, according to Learn Hub. Again, this is why it's so important to space out your reviews over time.
One of the most exciting things about generating online reviews is that they can seriously boost your conversion rates. Learn Hub also reports that 54% of consumers visit a local business' website after reading a recent review. Great conversion rates come from consistent, positive reviews.
If getting online reviews is a struggle, here are a few ideas to try:
- Follow up. After a conversation or interaction with a customer, follow up and see if they are happy with the way everything was handled. If they are, ask them to leave a positive review for your agency.
- Say thanks. Always respond to positive feedback with gratitude. People are more likely to leave a review for your agency if they know their efforts will be acknowledged with a thank you.
- Highlight. On your website, set up a page dedicated to displaying your current reviews and testimonials. Help your customers understand how important reviews are to your agency and invite them to leave a review on Google.
- Don't get discouraged. No one likes to get a negative review, but even the best agencies have a few. It may seem counterintuitive, but having a negative review or two can actually make your agency appear more authentic in a consumer's eye.
- Respond quickly to every review. Try to respond to both negative and positive reviews within a day or two of receiving them. Address the reviewer by name and acknowledge their main points.
- Get outside help. There are quite a few services available that can help you manage your review generation—a great option for busy agency owners!
Abby Bledsoe is marketing director at Lift Local, a Trusted Choice® marketing partner.