In a word, online reviews can be frustrating. When left to their own devices, customers who decide to leave a review usually fall into two categories: over-the-moon happy or incredibly upset it other words a 5 star rating and glowing comments or a 1 star review and damning comments. Very rarely does it occur to your middle-ground customers to leave a review, and this leads to a lopsided view of your company.

iOnline reviews are picking up steam, and have become so ubiquitous that they’re now affecting search results for businesses on Google, BING and Facebook. Previously, reviews seemed to remain contained to their own websites, but with the rise of Google, Facebook and Yelp reviews, when your customers search for you online, your reviews are front and center.

How do my reviews affect SEO?

In addition to being a review destination, Google handles 40,000 search queries every second. If customers are searching for you, it’s a safe bet that they’re using Google to do it, which means they are definitely seeing your Google reviews. In fact your Google My Business listing will appear even when your customers are searching for related products and services.
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When you search for a business within Google, the page populates with top hits, but an info bar also pops up on the right-hand side. This contains your business contact information, hours, and whatever reviews Google deems “most helpful.” Whatever your customers are saying about you online is front and centre. You cannot hide from your businesses reviews. If its not Google they are seeking out your business on Facebook is there goto social recommendation platform where your customers will search for your business and read your reviews..
Something to consider is even if you are not managing your Google My Business page which is where Google Search and Google Maps gets this information including your reviews or your are not managing a Facebook page, it doesn’t mean that your customers cannot leave reviews. Google, Facebook and Yelp will all have business pages for your business whether you want one or not so it pays to go and search and see whether Google, Facebook or Yelp have automatically created one or whether in the case of Facebook one of your customers have created a business page to leave you a comment and review.
Yelp, arguably the most influential review destination on the Web, also comes into play in a big way in Google search. While Google prioritises its own reviews, a business’s Yelp page shows up in the first page of search results—usually in the first 10 hits.
Tiny changes in your scores can make a huge difference in how you perform in online search. Here are some changes we observed in a client whose score only rose by 0.6:

  • 396% more requests for directions
  • 241% more calls in a four-week period
  • 100% more clicks to the website

These observations prove that when you’re trying to increase your Web presence, online reviews play a huge role. All the SEO in the world won’t help you out if your reviews aren’t up to par.

How do I raise my online score?

There are a few tried-and-true methods we’ve seen that are effective in raising online review scores:

  • Create a culture. The simplest way to gather more positive reviews is to create a culture of awareness at your dealership. Train your employees on how to ask for feedback from their customers, and advertise the fact that you’re present on review sites. Effective management of your review pages is essential—reply to all reviews, positive and negative, and keep a current Yelp Check-In Offer to encourage your customers to interact with your page. Third-party solutions are also available to make it easy for your employees to ask for feedback.
  • Create tangible reminders to review. Have something physical to give your customers that remind them to share their experience on your review sites. Custom “social cards” with links to a business’s review pages can be handed out to customers, along with their paperwork or a business card.
  • Leverage your events. If you have a sales event coming up, use it to jump-start your review efforts. Create a custom check-in and have dedicated employees to engage customers on review sites and get them checked-in on Yelp. Note that Yelp tracks IP addresses, so keep the focus on checking in and awareness—not asking the customer to write the review in the dealership or your business.
  • Take advantage of the “happy customer” moment. The best time to ask for a positive review is when customers have just bought a car or products that they love. Third-party providers can make this process easy by providing apps that allow customers to provide feedback immediately, which is later emailed to them with an option to share.

If you’re trying to shape up your search engine presence, it’s important to make sure everything your potential customers are finding is positive. Taking control of your online reviews is a great place to start. Mobilise Solutions offers a completion brand reputation management for reviews, this only works if your business is also managing the culture of providing the very best service and asking your customers to leave you a review. If you would like to know more. Call us on 02 8011 3326 or use our contact form and we will contact you.