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7 Steps to Increase (and Automate) Small Business Reviews Online 

 May 12, 2021

By  Josh Lenz

Most review tips online just regurgitate the same old “ask” every customer when you’re face to face and they’ll remember when they get home…

Sound familiar?

In this blog post you will learn how to create a reviews system that will earn you more (and better) reviews for your small business beyond just the normal, “ask.”

Here we’ll cover the most critical review platforms, as well as tips on getting direct links from those sites into an email campaign or landing page.

And we’ll also look at some simple ways to utilize the physical space around your store for more reviews!

Proactive is the key.

Ready?

Let’s dive in.

1. Focus on the Right Review Platforms

There are a few key platforms that you should focus on to get more (and better) customer reviews: Yelp, Google, Facebook TripAdvisor, and more, play a different role depending on your type of business.

Where should you place your focus?

You should look at this citations list from Moz.

These will not all be review platforms but they are a short list of websites where your business needs to be mentioned and look great to get more free traffic and sales.

a list of important platforms to get more reviews

Unfamiliar with citations?

A citation is a mention of your business on the internet. They are important for SEO and your overall “branding” on the internet. Citations are a simple fundamental to knock out and you can learn more about them and more quick marketing wins for small businesses here.

Then the question is how do you get more reviews on these important platforms?

You create direct review links.

2. Get Direct Review Links

How do you get more reviews on the major platforms?

You create direct review links!

Almost every review platform has the ability to create and share a direct link to leave a review for your business.

This is an important step in getting more reviews because you need to make it easy and convenient for customers to leave a review. And, you need to get them to do it right away!

When you share a link that lands in the exact location for your customers to leave your business a review, there’s as little room as possible for them to get lost and forget.

Google My Business (GMB) even gives you the ability to create this review link in your GMB profile.

Note:

If you don’t have your Google My Business listing optimized, click here to learn how step by step.

Once you’re logged in to GMB, click the home button and then under the “Get More Reviews” card click “Share Review Form.”

share review form in Google my business

A popup will appear and when you place this link in an email, or from any other place on the web, your fans can immediately leave a review for your business on Google.

request reviews link gmb

Note:

If you don’t see the “Click to copy link,” use Chrome. For some reason (probably Google wanting to control everything) this link doesn’t appear in every browser.

In addition to Google you can create direct links with most other review platforms by visiting your profile on the platform and clicking leave a review.

direct review link for facebook

But don’t send these links yet, and I would highly discourage sharing them on social media.

Do this first!

3. Build a Reviews Landing Page

What’s a reviews landing page?

A landing page is a specific page on the internet that has only one goal, to funnel an exact action.

A reviews landing page has two parts:

  1. The Reviews
  2. The Landing Page

But first a warning:

This trick has been on the books for years and it’s one of the key elements the businesses that are beating you are absolutely doing. It takes effort, but it’s powerful work!

This landing page’s singular goal is not to sell additional services, provide access to your website menu, follow you on Instagram, or anything else, it is to funnel people to leave a review for your business.

In addition to funneling to get more reviews, the reviews landing page will also help you to intercept potential reviews that are less than four stars.

Why less than four stars?

Because if your review average is less than four stars, more than half of all potential customers won’t do business with you.

Which is the first goal of this reviews landing page:

  • To entice bad experiences to communicate with you privately instead of on a public review platform.

The second element is to direct positive reviews to the platform that needs a reviews boost or more fresh reviews. This is where your review platforms list from step one comes into play.

Phase One is to first get a solid reputation on Google, it is always the most important. When potential reviewees click the four and five star buttons, you will want this click to open the direct Google My Business review link so happy customers can easily leave you a review.

But, you don’t want to stop there, look:

After you achieve recent (a decent amount of reviews in the past few weeks) and above a 4-star average on Google, change the link from Google to one of the other review platforms that needs a lot of reviews for your business.

You want to spread your positive reviews around the important platforms for your business and you accomplish this by making the four and five star icons buttons, when clicked, land on the platform where you want the review boost to occur.

But don’t forget to change the link back to Google after a week or two, you always need recent reviews on Google for more sales and higher rankings on Google maps and more.

Note:

If you want to outsource this landing page creation and review monitoring, you can learn about outsourcing this somewhat tedious review management service here.

How do you build a landing page?

To build a landing page you need a landing page tool. These tools range from a few dollars a month to hundreds of dollars per month.

The least expensive way will be to utilize a marketing tool you already possess. Here’s a few ideas.

Your current email marketing software may have the ability to create landing pages included in your plan. If you don’t have an email marketing software or would like an option that includes landing pages, I highly recommend Awebers free plan.

Additionally, your website platform may have the ability to create landing pages that don’t have menus. If you’re with WordPress, there are a lot of free and premium landing page builder options.

Elementor is a good free option and the best is the Thrive Suite because it’s simple and also has split testing functionality.

If you want to seriously level up the building of landing pages, two great “standalone” options are:

  1. LeadPages and,
  2. Clickfunnels Platinum plan.

The Clickfunnels Platinum plan will also empower you with the ability to automatically send emails and texts to people to drive traffic to your landing page.  Which is the next step in this system.

How do you get people to your landing page?

4. Create a Reviews Campaign

Rate customer experience review. Service and Customer satisfaction. Five Stars rating.

To get more reviews you need to ask not just once but, often, up to three to four times.

How do you ask for reviews three or more times without pestering?

An email drip campaign.

Using Aweber, ConvertKit, or another great small business email platform, input a section of the email addresses you have for your business, twenty or so, and write a few emails asking how your service was.

Why only a couple of dozen at a time?

Because you don’t want to get a hundred reviews this week and none the next week. That looks like you held a party with your friends and got these buddies to leave you a positive review.

When you create and send an email every other day or so to your prior customer email list clearly and concisely asking for feedback on your service, you will get more higher than four star reviews this week!

Here’s two important tips to improve this campaign:

  1. Space reminders out a few days
  2. Cancel the reminders after they “click” your review link in the email (any good autoresponder will have the ability to automate this)

Sometimes your first email will land in their inbox at a bad time, set up second and third emails to go out after a couple of days at a different time to bump the review me email back up in their inbox.

Cancelling these additional emails is super important after they click. They likely performed the review action if they clicked and it’s no fun being asked to do or buy something you have already done!

Remember, use the review landing page link in your emails to filter out reviews and have the ability to “spread” the reviews around on all of your important platforms.

5. Review Your Value

In addition to asking customers that have given you money for reviews, you likely deliver an experience in value more than you often realize.

The new game is authority marketing and you probably already offer free classes, training, workshops, contribute at Chamber or other local networking events, and more.

woman helping successful people be more successful

Each of these events are an experience of transformation from your expertise.

You helped people along their journey of becoming healthy, getting financially fit in life or business, learning marketing, music, enhancing their home, and thousands of more potential ideas.

This is exactly what the products and services you offer in your business do. “Education” is a product and value received is an experience.

Add these value recipients to your email autoresponder sequence, give out your review landing page URL at the event, or use any other means to ask them to leave you a review online.

6. Utilize Your Physical Real Estate

QR codes, flyers, receipts, and other “traditional” pieces of actual paper methods are available for you to print on, hand out, or deposit in placeholder stands around your place of business are just a few examples of utilizing your physical real estate.

You could even put a link to your review landing page on your business card!

Personalized letters are also a good physical option as they stand out among the clutter of other materials people receive in their mailbox.

Which connects with the final way to always improve your reviews.

7. Create the Best Experience

This is the easiest way to get reviews and, while not a guarantee it will work for everyone or every business type (like retail), can be an effective tactic in your arsenal.

In addition to good food, your favorite restaurants provide an experience. The CPA that turned your business around will likely be invited to your funeral. The marketing coach or service provider that helped it all to make sense you want to engage with at happy hour, and more examples.

You will get beat on price by global competitors with deep pockets every time, but when you cultivate a culture of experience within yourself and your business, great reviews will occur automatically!

Conversely, when you deliver an experience that sucks, your email filtering system may not be fast enough to catch the negative public review.

They are probably writing the negative review from their phone before they leave the parking lot!

And the super compelling reason of all to create and deliver astounding experience is this:

Happy customer tells 3 people; and unhappy customers tell 12 people on average, and as high as 20+.

Create the best experience that results in uber happy customers.

Improve and Adapt

Just like success in life and your business, a great review system is fine tuned over time. The most important step is to start.

Any action is always better than procrastinating—for another week or month or year!

Get your direct review links generated, create your landing pages, and begin automating this system.

If you desire guidance in what platforms you should focus on or anything specific for your business, you can book a free review audit by clicking here.

By your side in helping you crush this critical success step,

Josh

 

 

Josh Lenz


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