Customers reviews are one of the most important factors affecting your local search. Unfortunately, they’re also an aspect that businesses have no real control over. You just have to hope that your customer experience is good enough to compel them to write a positive review.
It’s still unclear as to what exactly businesses are allowed to do in terms of asking for reviews. Sites like Yelp and Google+ are relatively strict when it comes to review solicitation, but that doesn’t mean you just have to sit and wait for activity.
As long as you don’t offer customers money, you can ask them to write reviews. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, asking for reviews is an acceptable SEO practice:
"Despite the conflicting rules, most SEO experts recommend asking for reviews. You can prompt people to leave a review by placing a cute sign near checkout. You can offer small incentives, like one free coffee refill. You can add a poster and a QR code to the back of bathroom stalls."
At the same time, there’s a fine line between asking for reviews and offering monetary rewards. We can’t stress it enough that if you pay customers to leave reviews, you’ll eventually get penalized for foul play.
We recommend increasing the visibility of your accounts on Yelp and Google+. You can do this by adding a URL in your marketing emails and physical receipts. In addition, you can advertise your accounts on social media to generate some interest from followers.
Getting a few positive reviews can make a big difference for your local search marketing efforts. When prospective customers see positive reviews, it encourages them to move forward in the customer lifecycle. It’s a snowball effect that can play a major role in your marketing strategy.
To talk more about local search, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.