For local businesses, the importance of reviews cannot be understated. Whether you’re a flower shop or a car mechanic, accumulating online reviews is proving to be more important then ever. More and more, searchers use reviews to help decipher which brands provide exceptional service and which have left a bad taste in peoples’ mouths.

While many business owners already understand the importance of customer feedback, many face the dilemma of not having enough time or resources to put energy into a review-building campaign. At ProFromGo, we like to make things as easy as possible, so we put together a list of 5 drop-dead-easy solutions that any business can implement within an hour.

1. Define The Sites You Need Reviews On

Estimated Time: 10 Minutes

OK, this isn’t really a way to get more reviews, but it is extremely important you take this step before moving forwards. If you don’t prioritize which review sites are most important for your business, you’ll be stuck with more options than you know what to do with. Yelp may be extremely important to a small local bistro, but much less of a priority financial advisor. It’s important to first know the “review land” of your industry.

How can you assess this in less than 10 minutes? Easy.

Check out this page that lists the most important review websites by industry category. It contains a variety of industry categories: from accountants to yoga studios. Pick out 1 or 2 of the top sites for you industry.

Optional: Type a Google search query for “[Your Industry] Reviews”. Consider targeting the top two websites.

Reviews For Doctors

2. Link To Review Sites On Homepage

Estimated Time: 10 – 30 Minutes

Think of your website as your best salesman. It works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It never requests for time off or even bothers to take sick days. If you’re a savvy business owners, you’ll want to get the most out of it as you possibly can.

Consider including links to the sites you identified above on your home page. No need to make this the goal of your homepage (in fact, you shouldn’t!). However, simply including these links somewhere at the bottom may subtly remind those dedicated loyal customers to submit reviews.

Review Site Links

3. Ask On Social Media

Estimated Time: 5 Minutes

Have already read one of the 1,000,000+ articles on why social media is important for your business and worked on your presence on Facebook, Twitter or Google+? If you already have an established social following, ask your fans and followers to leave a review with you!

Simply craft a social media post or two including the link of the review site you would like to target. If your social media strategy has been executed well, you should wake up in the morning with a fresh review or two waiting for you with your coffee. The great part about this strategy is it can be replicated multiple times for multiple review sites for very little cost and time.

Pro Tip: Share your new or existing reviews back on social media. Watch your reputation and follower engagement soar.

Share Company Reviews On Twitter

4. Create A Review Handout

Estimated Time: 10 Minutes

Moving away from the online realm for a second, it’s important to interweave your print material with your online strategy. Businesses struggling to get reviews should consider creating a one-page handout that provides customers clear instructions about where and how they can submit reviews. These handouts can be given to customers as they literally walk out the door.

Making a completely custom handout may require time and money in the form of working with or hiring a graphic designer. To save time, check out this review handout generator from Whitespark. This form can be completed in under 10 minutes and provides a great resource for you to generate new reviews.

5. Purchase A Review Dashboard

Estimated Time: 10 Minutes

One last option for the busy business owner would be to purchase a “review dashboard”. A review dashboard is a software that allows you to manage all the online reviews for your business in one location.

ProFromGo Review Dashboard

One example of this software is the ProFromGo Review Dashboard we offer businesses that knock on our door requesting assistance accumulating reviews. Some of the features of the ProFromGo Review Dashboard include:

  • A “Request Reviews” tool that reaches out to customers on your behalf
  • Statistics on which sites you have the most reviews on
  • Alerts that notify you when new reviews are posted
  • A “filtering system” that ensures only positive reviews are posted

For more information on the ProFromGo Review Dashboard, check out our previous blog post on how it can be used to attract reviews.

Remember, reviews are crucial for the success of your business when it comes to the search engines and likelihood that new customers will express interest in your product. Making sure that you’re regularly getting feedback on a variety of review sites is crucial to the success of most local business’ online strategy.

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