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Proven Strategies to Promote Online Customer Reviews for Your Business on Google, Yelp and Social Me

  • The most popular searches on Google that keep growing every year are: ‘’Local business name’’ + ‘’near me’’ or something like ‘’a product or a service’’ + ‘’where to find’’

  • ‘’Business/brand name’’ + ‘’reviews’’

Yelp online business reviews

Think about the purchases you have made recently. How much did online customer reviews influence you? While thinking about it, you will realize how powerful is the impact of customer reviews on a business – whether it’s a Google customer review or any of the social media platforms. Yes, online customer reviews for businesses greatly impact their sales and, on a bigger scale, their sustainability in the long run. It’s a scenario where your products are not judged by how they look online. They are purchased and used by customers who then head to Google or Yelp or social media channels to rate it and share their feedback.

As per studies, 91 percent of the time, customers decide to shop online after reading valuable customer reviews. Once you earn positive reviews for a product, you can confidently talk loud about it and build a story around it in the form of UGC, testimonials, shares, and likes on social media to boost the branding even further.

It gives you the right to speak up about the quality of the products or services you are offering, as genuine purchasers are backing it up. Businesses that are online very well know how important online reviews are and put all their efforts into making them highly positive. Compared to recommendations from family and friends and online customer reviews for businesses, genuine customer reviews online carry more weight than ever.

Today, as people grow tired of traditional marketing tactics, they would rather trust hearing from fellow consumers.

It is the most important online marketing strategy to touch the next level in a business. Both positive and negative customer reviews have the potential to make or break a brand. BrightLocal found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends. Research by claims that 87 percent of buyers will not consider purchasing products or businesses with lower ratings. Now, that shows how worthy online customer reviews are for the success of your business.

Google business reviews search

According to HubSpot research, 60% of consumers find online customer reviews trustworthy and read them before purchasing. Read to find some strategies for generating positive customer reviews.

Here’s why are product reviews important and what your strategy should be around it.

Have different avenues where customers can leave reviews – Google, Yelp, Social Media

Customers should be able to learn about you from various other online sources, even if they haven’t yet visited your website. This is where third-party review sites can be of great benefit.

  • A study by BrightLocal found that Facebook and Yelp were the most trusted sites for customer reviews, followed by Google. A business Facebook page helps consumers find out more about your business while being on social media, which has a certain trust factor attached to it.

Facebook review and recommendations

Both Yelp and Facebook reward high levels of responsiveness from businesses, so it’s important to ensure someone who is an expert in handling customer reviews, and monitors and responds to incoming messages like a pro. Remember that a social media marketing expert is not necessarily an expert in handling customer reviews on these channels. Either do it yourself or select the best person to do it.

  • Using Google My Business helps attract customers with a free Google listing that appears when people search for a business like yours on Google Search or Maps. People can leave reviews that will appear on the first page of the search results for your business. This is one of the most used strategies by Google to build trust among its users. Due to this unique way of reviewing products or businesses on Google, it is one of the major channels where customers share their experiences for products and services.

  • If you’re an Amazon seller, it’s important to optimize your Amazon page, highlighting product details and focus greatly on Amazon product reviews and testimonials. Keeping a close eye on customer reviews on Amazon will help you take care of the negative aspects of your product listing or the shortcomings in your product. This will help you in providing a better product to your customers which will ensure that negative reviews start converting to positive ones organically.

The Better Business Bureau is a trusted site for reviews of customers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Becoming accredited on this site can add to your credibility and increase trust.

Using industry-specific review sites, such as TripAdvisor and OpenTable, can be very effective. Choose a review site popular in your industry and ensure details such as your contact information, website URL, key offerings, business hours and other useful updates.

Make customer reviewing as easy as possible

Customers should be given quick and easy avenues for posting reviews. Customers who intend to share feedback tend to give up if they find it to be a difficult process.

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly so potential customers conducting searches from their mobile phones can easily access and leave reviews.

  • Use streamlined templates for email and mobile review requests to make the experience a pleasure. The tone should be soft and not overly pressing on customers.

  • Select one or two of your most relevant review sites and point customers to them via email. It could be Google, Yelp or any social media site where you get the most traffic and reviews.

  • If you want reviews on your Facebook page, send your request via Messenger.

  • If customers purchase from your Amazon store, send a follow-up email saying something like, “As a small business, we need your help to share what you feel about our products. We encourage you to share your experience to make the Amazon marketplace more useful and transparent for all”. There are many resources from where you can get customer review message templates. Use them to reach out to customers to request reviews for your business.

Amazon request review

Ask for a review at the right time

Don’t be that annoying business that keeps sending emails imploring customers for a review or feedback. This alienates the people who want to write reviews because your continuous requests will not look professional and send out wrong message to them. If you approach customers at the right time, they will be much more inclined to write a good review for your business.

Take advantage of social media likes and mentions. If the customer is taking the first step and showing a positive response to your brand, ask for a review.

  • Ask when customers reach a milestone, such as two or more purchases or spending a certain amount of money.

  • Ask after an upgrade to a membership program or offering some discount or providing a promotional scheme.

  • Ask after a customer referral.

  • Ask after a customer has had a positive interaction with customer service. A positive state of mind of a customer is certain to leave a positive review for your business. Be careful to not to ruin the chance by sending non-stop requests right after their interaction with you or your customer service team.

These are just a few signs that a customer is happy enough with your products or services that they would write a positive review.

Using an open-ended question in an email subject line is another tactic used by some companies to start a conversation that leads to a request for a review. They may ask, “How is your hair responding to your new super-moisturizing shampoo? Your feedback is very important to us. Let us know how you are doing.”

Duolingo, the popular language-learning app, gives users a prompt to leave a review straight after completing a lesson or achieving a milestone. Other companies take longer to ask for a review – customers may be requested to write a review a few days after receiving a purchase from Etsy or Amazon – this gives them time to experience using the product before writing the review.

Respond to every single review – even a negative one

A recent study by Harvard Business Review discovered that when businesses respond to all reviews, even negative ones, their overall ratings improve. Mistakes happen – they are part of every business. Customers may leave negative reviews about your company on a third-party site.

How you respond will tell other customers a great deal about your company. The worst way to respond is to be defensive and write a long response to the review to justify your position and blame the customer for any reason. If you deal with the issue empathetically, your angry customer may become one of your strongest brand advocates. Your gentle tone and your preciseness in providing the response to the customer’s negative review will present you as a business owner who is receptive and open to improving their products and services. This helps in building your firm’s online reputation management.

Amazon customer ratings

Share the customer reviews you’ve already received

Make sure that in addition to requesting new customer reviews, highlight and share the reviews you’ve already received. This helps to keep the momentum going and inspire other customers to leave a review for you on Google, Yelp and other social media platforms.

  • Mark a review as helpful on the third-party sites you use – this moves it up so more people can see it.

  • Share positive reviews on your social media channels.

  • Format positive reviews as quotes for Instagram, Facebook or any other channels that you use.

Allow customers to make better buying decisions

Do you know how a product review helps to compare one or more products? A customer's purchase decision is highly dependent on the reviews of alternative products.

They adore reading the reviews of similar-looking products. Customers rely on the post-purchase comments shared by other users of alternative products. They believe reviews as they believe recommendations shared by family and friends.

A review usually consists of three main things: how is the product? Does the product satisfy the expectations of the customer? How does it perform? When people compare reviews of two or more products, it permits them to make risk-free decisions about buying a product. Hence, the post-purchase attitude affects future sales and make that customer a repeat customer.

You are the best choice and your customer loves you

Every customer willing to make a purchase has unique personal choices and demographics. It could be age, gender, race, specific need to buy and level of repeated use of a product. If a product develops an emotional touch with the buyer, it will reflect nicely in the reviews. Hence, displaying customer reviews acts as a magnet for serious buyers.

Having a lack of online reviews indicates two things about online business. First, low sales of a product and, secondly, no courage to face criticism. Many young minds' purchasing decisions are influenced by negative and positive reviews. They do not blindly get influenced by a negative review so you should not worry about a few negative reviews from customers. Before making a decision to buy, they analyze, reason, and then use their logic. However, the older generation easily gets carried away after coming across a positive or negative customer review.

To manage this, work with the idea of getting more and more reviews. In the end, the aggregate will always turn out to be positive. For example, 3 negative reviews out of 10 might look bad on your profile, but when you target to get 100 customer reviews, the negative ones will fall to around 15-20%. So, out of 100, you will have only 15 to 20 negative reviews, which your customers will not care much about.

On Google customer reviews, there is even the option for potential customers to sort reviews by:

  • Highest

  • Lowest

  • Newest

  • Most relevant

Google customer review

Usually, every informed customer looks at every side of the business while going through the reviews. That applies to Google and every other platform. So be proactive and confident in seeking more reviews. Instead of withdrawing from reviews, work on your strategy to get more reviews by sending requests through emails, forms or messengers.

You need to ensure top-quality content, though, to reach out to the customers, as that’s the most sensitive side of the entire process.

Concluding thoughts

The fact is that your customers have the potential to turn out to be your best marketers. According to research, if you manage to get 50 or more customer reviews, it can also increase your SEO search rank by as much as 50%. A big number of Google searches are ‘’business name’’ + ‘’reviews’’ so you can understand the importance of it.

Getting customer reviews is worth your time and effort. It makes your business easier to find and more credible to people who want to make a purchase or find a service.

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