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Customer reviews have a major impact on how you attract new customers. Word of mouth marketing has seen a shift towards online channels, placing a bigger value on online customer reviews and discussions involving your business. Every business should be aware of their web presence. Learn how you can leverage online customer reviews in order to bring in more business.

How Customer Reviews Get Posted

There are many different online venues for customers to use to leave reviews of businesses.These sites include websites dedicated to reviews or business listings, such as Yelp, Google Places, Angie’s List, and the Yellow Pages. Other sites are designed as forums, allowing customers to review any product or service.

Identify which methods are most likely to be used by your customers, when leaving reviews of your product or services. For example, if you operate a restaurant or bar, your customers would be more likely to leave a review on Yelp or Google, but if you offer a service, such as a home renovation contractor, your clients are more apt to use Angie’s List or the Yellow Pages.

How to Use Online Reviews to Attract Customers

Online reviews help explain the benefits or disadvantages to purchasing a product or using a service. Part of the joy in online shopping is having instant access to reviews from other customers. The majority of consumers will look over at least a couple of reviews before making a purchase, even if these reviews are provided by the website they are shopping from.

Depending on the website platform you use, there may be a plug-in or add-on that allows you to display customer reviews from popular review sites, such as Yelp and Google Places, instead of manually entering direct quotes sourced to the original review. If customers can view reviews of the products you are selling, without having to leave your website, you will increase your chances of making a sale.

Share your positive reviews on Facebook and Twitter and thank reviewers publically.  If you visit Yelp, Google Places, and most other review sites, you will find a share button, allowing you to instantly tweet or post your latest review.

Make sure that you create a profile for your business on any major review website that allows businesses to include contact information. They will often ask for the URL to your homepage, and possibly allow additional URLs. This helps generate high-quality backlinks to your website, increasing your search engine optimization and search rankings.

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How to Get More Customers to Write Reviews

Before you can have tons of positive reviews, you need customers to write these reviews. There are several methods for enticing a customer to leave a review of your products or services.

You can offer a special offer or the chance to win a digital coupon. This gives the customer incentive to leave a review, without giving them a hard sell and pushing them into leaving a false review.

Another option for acquiring reviews, for your own feedback, is to ask for reviews of your products or services, as a customer places an order. Include a section in the checkout area asking if the consumer would like to complete a short review of the product. If you create your own review or feedback form, make it as simple as possible, with a minimal amount of fields to fill in.

You could also follow up sales with a targeted email list. If you allow targeted customers to opt-in to an emailing list, to receive promotional offers and newsletters, devote a section of your targeted email campaign to offering insight into new products while asking for reviews of the last product or service that they purchased from your website.

However you go about getting reviews, you should never pay for reviews. Not only is this frowned upon, in many industries and regions it is fraudulent. Instead, you can offer promotions or coupons, request reviews during check out, and target past customers through targeted email lists.

How to Integrate Customer Reviews into Your Social Strategy

Having a solid social strategy is a must in the modern business world. The majority of internet users spend most of their time browsing their favorite social media platform. People share news, reviews, and information with their friends and family all the time. It is another form of word of mouth marketing.

In addition to sharing your reviews on social media platforms, as previously mentioned, there are other ways to integrate customer reviews into your social strategy. Facebook includes a review section for business, where customers can leave comments. Ask for honest feedback from your clients. Always remember to display the good and the bad. This shows that you trust consumers to make the best decision for their own needs, when shopping for a product or service they need.

With most social media platforms, you can set a notification to receive an email any time the name of your profile is mentioned in a post or tweet. Check these notifications, once per day, and reshare or retweet the positive mentions and reviews.

Make the Most out of Customer Reviews

Start taking advantage of customer reviews in order to get new business. Show customers that you care about their thoughts on your products or services. Display reviews on your website, including the pages where you offer product or service information. Make it easy for customers to find reviews on your website, so that they do not have to search elsewhere.

Integrate customer reviews into your social media strategy. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on review websites, Facebook, and Twitter. Pay attention to bad reviews and make changes to your products or services if necessary. Never respond negatively to a bad review, but feel free showcase positive reviews on your site or social media.

 Online reviews are determining factor in search engine rankings and they are new form of word of mouth marketing. Stick with these tips, and continue learning how to make the most out of your customer reviews.

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