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How to Get Good Online Reviews for Your Business (Without Offending Google)

Yelp

Good reviews are an important part of a digital marketing campaign, especially for small, local businesses.  Getting those reviews can be tricky.  Google, Yelp and other review sites forbid any incentives be used to obtain reviews.  Reviews must not be coerced but be generated freely by real customers.

So how do you encourage your clients to go online and post a good review?

There are several ways to do this:

  • After they complete a transaction (make a purchase, leave an appointment, etc.), email them a Thank You note and include a link to your most important Review Site(s), such as your Yelp listing.  That makes it easy for a customer to Click and go right where the review can be posted.  If you notice that they post a review, send them another Thank You email.
  • Hand out printed cards containing the same information.  If you’re a pizza restaurant, attach them to the boxes of only your regular customers.  These are the people you see repeatedly buying your product, so you know they must be fans.
  • Personally greet some of your favorite customers and fans and mention that online Reviews are important to your growth and how much they are always appreciated.
  • Post on your Facebook page.  This is a particularly wonderful time to do this.  You might try something like “Thank you to all our 2014 customers.  We love you all.  If you’ve loved our products (services) and want others to know, please feel free to post a review.  Our Yelp is located at…”

As word gets around your online reputation will build.  Should a negative review appear at one of your review sites, be sure to respond to it immediately in a positive manner.  Don’t appear argumentative.  Do your best to appease the customer.