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Online reviews can have a massive impact on the success of your business. Most people look at online reviews before choosing to purchase a good or service to know their money will be well-spent. Therefore, you should prioritise ensuring that your business appears on popular online review sites. If you are wondering how best to do this, this article will outline:

  • how online reviews can help your business;
  • what review sites you should consider using for your business;
  • how you can sign up to these review sites; and
  • why you should encourage customers to leave reviews. 

How Can Online Reviews Help My Business?

Many people read online reviews before choosing to purchase a good or service. Such reviews will have a significant impact on their decisions. Both positive and negative reviews can be helpful for potential customers’ decision-making processes. 

Online reviews allow you to increase your brand exposure. If people are looking for your type of business or company in the area, an online review will enable people to find your business and see your best services. They can compare your business with others.

Online review sites allow you to engage directly with your customers, such as thanking them for a positive review. This can increase customer loyalty and further their good experience with your business. It will also publicly demonstrate that your business cares about its customers.

If your business receives a negative review, you can address these concerns head-on. Publicly demonstrating that you care about your customers and are working to improve your business can be a good sign for people reading reviews. This shows customers that if they have issues with your business or products, you are the type of business that will help to work out any problems. 

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Which Online Review Sites Should I Consider Using?

Ensuring that your business is on popular review sites will increase the visibility of your business. Some popular review sites include:

  • Google reviews;
  • Yelp;
  • Facebook; and
  • Tripadvisor. 

As Yelp primarily focuses on restaurants and hospitality businesses, and TripAdvisor focuses on flights and hotels, these may not suit your business genre. Ensure you keep an eye out for specialist review sites that could benefit your business. 

Google Reviews

Google is one of the most commonly used search engines on the planet. Therefore, it is also one of the most frequently visited review sites. It functions on mobile apps as well. Signing up for Google reviews is simple. All your need to do is create a Google My Business (GMB) profile. Then, customers will be able to see: 

  • reviews of your business; 
  • images of products; and 
  • comments from customers. 

Once verified on this site, you can respond to customer reviews. 

Yelp

Yelp is a popular review site that allows people to rate local businesses, especially food businesses. It functions as a social network and enables people to communicate and share their opinions with others in the industry. Setting up a profile on Yelp is relatively easy. You will just need an email address. Then, the public can see your business profile and its reviews. 

Facebook

Facebook is a well-known social media site that allows its users to leave reviews on the Facebook pages of:

  • stores; 
  • brands; and 
  • businesses. 

To get Facebook reviews, you just need to set up a Facebook Business Page. This provides all the information about your business, including its opening hours and address. Customers can leave reviews on this page. Notably, Facebook does not run off a “star-based” system but instead runs off a recommendation-based system. So, customers can say whether or not they would recommend your business. 

Encouraging Customers to Write Online Reviews

You cannot pay your customers to write reviews for you. This may encourage biased reviews, leading to misrepresentation and serious consequences. However, you can offer your customers the opportunity to leave you reviews. You can ask them to leave reviews and perhaps provide the link at the end of a receipt or invoice when they purchase from you. 

Additionally, if they consent to you sending them electronic messages, you could email customers or send them a text message with a quick question about the quality of their purchase. Do not make this challenging or an extensive process, as customers will not want to partake in a comprehensive process.

Do not send your customers electronic messages they do not consent to, as this may be spam.

Key Takeaways

Online reviews can be hugely beneficial for your business, both for attracting and retaining customers. It would be best if you aimed to have your business on several online review sites, including: 

  • Google Reviews; 
  • Yelp; and 
  • Facebook reviews. 

Once you are on these sites, you can encourage customers to leave reviews for you. 

If you need help with signing your business up to online review sites, our experienced eCommerce lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. You will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents for a low monthly fee. Call us today on 0800 005 570 or visit our membership page. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay people to leave online reviews?

No, you should avoid paying people for online reviews. This can be a misrepresentation, which can lead to serious penalties for your business.

What review sites should my business be on?

Google Reviews, Facebook reviews, and Yelp are the best online review sites to start your business on. You can also expand to other specialty review sites if they are available for your business’s industry.

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