What is online review management?
In today’s digital world, getting and maintaining positive customer reviews is essential for businesses of all sizes. And to do this, you need to master the art of online review management.
Online review management is the process of tracking, monitoring, and responding to customer reviews across the Internet. It can be time-consuming, but it’s essential for businesses that want to succeed in the online sphere.
Online review management isn’t only for online businesses. It is essential for small businesses and local businesses to capture the attention of potential customers searching online for recommendations.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about online review management, how to track and respond to customer reviews, and how to develop a review management strategy for your digital marketing campaigns that will help your business thrive.
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The basics of online review management
As a business owner, you can’t just set up shop and wait for customers to come to you. In today’s ever-expanding online world, people often look for businesses online before they ever step foot in a store. One of the first things they do is read reviews.
Reviews are a powerful way for customers to share their experiences with a business, and they can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. Potential customers are more likely to trust a business with positive reviews. In fact, studies have shown that 82% of consumers read online reviews before making purchasing decisions.
Here are the three primary ways that testimonials and reviews can benefit a business:
- Improves search ranking. Positive reviews improve your business’s search engine ranking. When potential customers search for businesses like yours, they’re more likely to find you and buy from you if you have positive reviews.
- Enhances customer loyalty. Besides attracting new customers, positive reviews help improve customer loyalty. If happy customers have had a pleasant experience with your business, they’re more likely to come back and buy from you again.
- Builds credibility. Online reviews provide social proof that your business is trustworthy. When people see that others have had positive customer experiences with your business, they’re more likely to do business with you.
Now that you know the basics of online review management, let’s take a more in-depth look at how you can get online reviews for your business.
How do I get online reviews for my business?
You know that online review management is important, but how do you manage reviews if you’ve got no reviews in the first place?
Luckily, we’ve got some tried-and-tested methods to help you get reviews for your business.
1. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
The first step is to make it easy for customers to leave reviews. If they don’t know where they can leave a review, they won’t bother hunting it down unless they’re extremely pleased or extremely displeased with your service.
To make it easier for them, provide links to your business listings on your website and in your email signature. You can also encourage customers to leave reviews by sending follow-up emails after they’ve made a purchase.
2. Ensure you have pages on various review sites
Today, there are many platforms that business owners can use to get feedback from their customers, such as Google, Yelp, and even social media sites like Facebook. Make sure you have a presence on all the major review sites that are relevant to your business.
3. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative
When you get a review, make sure to respond to it quickly. While it matters how you respond to reviews–and this is an entirely different topic altogether–the important part here is that you do.
Whether the review is positive or negative, customers will appreciate the fact that you took the time to acknowledge their comments. Thank customers for their positive reviews and address any concerns that are brought up in negative reviews.
Responding to a review is a great way to show customers you’re paying attention and care about their experiences, which will prompt future customers to do the same.
4. Offer incentives to customers
One way to encourage customers to leave reviews is by offering an incentive. Of course, you should never buy reviews, as not only is this potentially illegal, it’s unethical, as well. Only offer small incentives in exchange for honest feedback.
Incentives could be in a small discount on their next purchase or entry into a contest.
While you don’t want to offer an incentive for every review–this could get expensive–you could consider doing it for the first few customers who leave a review, or randomly select customers to receive an incentive.
Just be sure to avoid offering anything of significant value that could be considered bribery, as this is against the terms of service for most review platforms.
5. Ask customers to leave reviews
Finally, you can simply ask customers for reviews in person, over the phone, or through email. When asking for a review, be sure to thank the customer for their business and let them know how much you appreciate their feedback.
How do I manage online reviews?
Now that you know how to get online reviews, it’s time to focus on managing them.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to managing online reviews the easy way!
- Set up Google alerts. The first step is to set up Google Alerts for your business. This will allow you to receive notifications, such as push or SMS, whenever someone mentions your business online, including when they leave a review.
- Claim your business profiles. Confirm your online presence by making sure your business is listed on major directories, such as Google Business Profile, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.
- Respond to reviews. Once you’ve claimed your business profiles, you can start responding to reviews. You may delegate this to a dedicated team member or outsource this task to a review management company.
- Monitor review sites. Continuously monitor review sites for new reviews. This can be done manually or with the help of a review management platform.
- Monitor your social media. Besides monitoring review sites, it’s also vital to keep an eye on what’s being said about your business on social media. There are a few different ways to do this, such as setting up Google Alerts or using a social media monitoring tool.
- Take action on negative reviews. If you see a negative review from unhappy customers, take action immediately. Ask them about their experience and how you can solve their issue. The sooner you address the issue, the better.
- Encourage positive reviews. Don’t forget to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews by sending an email after they make a purchase or including a review link on the invoice.
- Be proactive. The best way to manage online reviews is to be proactive. This means taking steps to prevent negative reviews and encouraging positive ones. Consistently provide excellent service and follow-up with customers after their purchase.
Why should I use an online review management tool?
An online review management tool is a platform that helps businesses track, monitor, and respond to online reviews.
Using a tool like this has plenty of benefits. Here are just some of them:
- Saves you a lot of time. Rather than having to check each review platform individually, you can use a tool to streamline your workflow and see all of your reviews in one place, saving you time and effort.
- Helps you spot negative reviews. By monitoring your reviews regularly, you can quickly identify and respond to any negative feedback. Minimizing the impact of a bad review is essential to prevent it from doing too much damage to your business reputation.
- Makes it easy to respond to reviews. A review management tool can make it easier to respond to reviews because you can do it all in one place. A one-stop-shop is especially handy if you are dealing with multiple review sites.
- Helps you track your progress. A review management tool helps you track your progress over time to see how your business is doing and if your efforts are paying off.
- Increases the number of positive reviews you get. Some tools will send automatic review requests to customers after every purchase or service appointment to get customer feedback. Asking for reviews is one of the easiest ways to boost your positive reviews, improving your business’s online reputation.
What to look for in online review management software
When choosing an online review management tool, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Integration. First, you’ll want to make sure that the tool integrates with all the major review platforms. The ability to see all of your reviews in one place is a key feature that will save you a lot of time.
- Comprehensive platform. The tool should allow you to do many things straight from the platform, including responding to reviews directly. This feature eliminates the need to log in to each review site individually.
- Price. Depending on your budget, you’ll need to consider a tool that’s affordable. There are a lot of great review management tools out there, but prices and services vary, so you have to do your research.
- Additional features. For the best bang for your buck, you’ll want a tool with plenty of features, like automation, built-in templates, and customer support. Consider handy features like automatic alerts that notify you when you get a new review. Or, a more sophisticated system helps proactively manage your online reputation.
How to embed and display customer reviews on your website
If you’re looking for a way to showcase your customer reviews on your website, there are a few different options available. Consider embedding them directly onto your pages.
But why exactly would you want something like this? Here are a few reasons.
- Build trust with potential customers. Positive reviews from past customers make potential customers trust you more.
- Improve your SEO. Google and other search engines often give preference to websites that have customer reviews. Improving your local SEO means your website will show up higher in ranked search results.
- Help generate leads. When people see that you have positive reviews, they’ll be more likely to contact you about your product or service.
Displaying business reviews right on your website can be quite beneficial. The exact way to do so depends on the platform.
If you want to display your Google reviews on your website, the process is quite simple. Google provides a handy tool that allows you to generate the code you need to embed your reviews.
- To get started, just head over to Google’s review widget page and log in with your Google account. From there, you’ll select your business.
- After selecting your business, choose which theme you want to use and preview how the reviews will look on your website.
- When you’re satisfied with the results, just click on the “Get the code” button and copy the provided code.
- Paste the code into the HTML of your website where you want the reviews to appear.
If you want to display Yelp reviews on your website, the process is a bit more complicated. Yelp doesn’t provide a tool to generate the code for you, so you’ll have to do it yourself.
- The first thing you need to do is get the ID of the business whose reviews you want to display. The ID is a string of numbers that’s unique to each business on Yelp.
- To find the ID, just go to the business page on Yelp and look at the URL. The ID will be the string of numbers at the end of the URL.
- Once you have the ID, you will use it to create an iFrame. An iFrame is an HTML element that allows you to embed content from one website onto another.
- After you’ve created the iFrame, paste it into your website’s HTML where you want the reviews to appear.
Facebook also allows businesses to showcase customer reviews on their website. If you want to display your business’s Facebook reviews, the process is similar to displaying Yelp reviews. You just need to get the ID of the business, create an iFrame, and paste it into your website’s HTML.
Finally, you can also manually copy and paste your reviews onto your website. This is generally not recommended, as it can be time-consuming and is more likely to result in errors. However, if you only have a few reviews or are not tech-savvy and don’t have the budget to hire anyone yet, this may be the easiest option.
Developing a review management strategy
Of course, if you want to be truly successful at online review management, you’ll need to develop a strategy.
This strategy should consider the different review platforms that you’re using, as well as the types of reviews that you’re looking for. One of the first things you’ll need to do is decide which review platforms you want to focus on.
For example, if you’re a local business, you’ll probably want to focus on Google and Yelp. Whereas e-commerce businesses also want to consider Amazon and Trustpilot. Once you’ve decided which platforms you will be active on, you’ll need to create profiles and start actively soliciting reviews.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations for reviews. It’s unlikely that you’ll get 100% positive reviews, and that’s okay. In fact, a mix of positive and negative reviews can actually be helpful, as it shows that you’re a legitimate business with real customers.
Finally, you should also have a plan for responding to both positive and negative reviews. Aim to respond as quickly as possible because the power of the response deflates as time passes.
Knowing how to respond is also important. Thanking customers for their positive reviews is a good way to build rapport and show that you care about your customers. For negative reviews, express concern about the customer’s experience and address it, demonstrating that you’re committed to their satisfaction.
Success metrics for online review management
There are a few different success metrics that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your online review management strategy.
First, you can track the number of reviews that you’re getting. This will give you an idea of how effective your solicitation efforts are. Second, track the average rating that you’re getting on each platform.
Third, ask new customers how they found you and track how many leads you’ve generated from your reviews. And finally, you can track the number of sales that you’re making as a result of your reviews.
These are just a few of the success metrics that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your online review management strategies. There are a lot more out there, and it depends entirely on what strategy works for your business.
Managing your online reputation with Broadly
Broadly is a review and reputation management software that helps you collect and track customer reviews. With Broadly, you can track your average star rating from multiple platforms and the number of reviews that you’re getting. You can also use Broadly to respond to both positive and negative reviews.
See what Broadly can do for your business in just 30 days