Coronavirus is impacting businesses everywhere, as the country and world hunker down to slow the spread of COVID-19, and attaining customer reviews for SEO purposes is more important now than perhaps it’s ever been before.
Many small businesses have closed their doors while others continue working from home. By pausing temporarily, businesses are helping to keep their employees and customers safe, but the loss of income makes it hard to cover ongoing expenses.
Online reviews are not only critical during this extraordinary time to help small businesses stay afloat and be prepared for when they eventually reopen, but they’re also hugely important for search engine optimization (SEO), even when there’s no virus spreading.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER REVIEWS FOR SEO SUCCESS
Online customer reviews for SEO are important for a number of reasons and can be helpful even more during this unprecedented time.
- Reputation Boost: Good reviews help customers choose your business and help create powerful social proof that can drive sales and inspire confidence. Many customers today regularly check reviews about a business before they visit or make a purchase.
- Higher Ratings: Asking your customers for reviews will likely produce ones that are 5-star ratings, and these reviews will remain over time. Unprompted reviews make up the bigger share of lower ratings, but over time, your higher ratings will help offset those, pushing their visibility online, lower.
- Instant Outreach: When you ask for feedback, it strengthens customer relationships and helps connect your business to the voices that matter. Requesting reviews can also show who your brand promoters are. When you encourage customers to write reviews, you can convert your happiest and most satisfied customers into vocal promoters. Someone that takes the time to leave a review is likely to come back for more business.
- Better Search Presence: Industry experts and Google say that review signals, such as ratings, review count, and the text, are all factors in local and organic search rankings. This means that the more reviews you have, the more it helps your search engine rank. An increase in just one-to-eight reviews can also lead to better conversion rates.
- Longer Shelf Life: Just like Facebook and Twitter posts, company or business reviews can be used as data assets for marketing efforts. Reviews can do the same thing and have a longer shelf life. For example, 18 minutes is the average lifespan of a tweet. About three-quarters of engagement with a Facebook post happens within the first five hours. Reviews have a shelf life of about three months.
- Give You a Picture of What Customers Expect from You: Reviews can give you a better understanding of what your customers expect from you. Some businesses can be detached from clients as they continue to get bigger. This has an impact on the relationship that exists between the customer and the brand. Not only is it important to get reviews, but also you should review the feedback to see that you are meeting your clients’ needs.
HOW TO ASK FOR CUSTOMER REVIEWS FOR SEO
There are many different ways to ask for customer reviews. You can even perform these methods if your business or storefront are temporarily closed.
EMAIL OUTREACH CAMPAIGNS
During this time of COVID-19 or coronavirus, the best and most effective way to get reviews is through robust email campaigns. The campaign can contain a link to the page where a recipient can write a review.
When you request reviews using email, it means you can tie the reviews to transactions that happened, which can lead to more authenticity for your reviews.
When asking for reviews via email, it helps to know your goals. Do you want feedback on how you are doing for customer service? Are you also looking to measure loyalty? When you look at your goals from the beginning, you will be able to ask the right questions in the email.
Make sure to personalize your email so that the message feels personal. Keep it short because no one wants to take a 30-minute survey, even during these times.
MOBILE DEVICE TARGETING
More than half of customer reviews are posted from a mobile device. You can also send customers review requests via SMS. There is a strong chance your customers will click on the link since text messages are opened at a 98% rate. You will want to thank the customer and ask for a review and explain how his or her opinion matters.
AUTOMATE REVIEW REQUESTS
Automation can help, especially during this time. If there is a developer team in place, work within your organization’s CRM with what tool you are using to request reviews from customers.
One critical element you want to pay attention to during this time is buying Google reviews. While this may seem as an ingenious way to game the system, rest assured, it’s NOT! Buying reviews for Google can do much more harm than good for your business, and can result in a manual action on behalf of Google to delist and derank your website.
Always stick with trusted white-hat SEO methods and best practices.
Contact The SEO Gurus for help with any kind of SEO services, including reviews generation!