“Ok, now that I have 5 reviews for my business in Google+, so I can stop worrying about online reviews right?”
Whoa – hold on there boss.
It’s tempting to think that way, but getting reviews from your customers isn’t something that you just do to hit a number or a goal. It should be part of an ongoing, automated customer feedback process.
The Heartbeat of Your Business
A steady stream of online reviews across a variety of review sites like Google, Facebook, and others is like the “heartbeat” of your business online.
It tells Google that your business is active and customers are interacting with you. (Note that Google doesn’t care if the reviews are good or bad, but it cares that you have them coming in regularly.)
Why Reviews Need To Be Current
Recency is an important factor in online reviews too. For example, the average insurance agent has 1 online review, and it is typically over 1 year old. Many other businesses haven’t had a new review in over 2 years.
What Google is looking for, and more importantly your customers are looking for, is evidence that your business is still around, active and thriving. Having recent reviews is really important in both rankings and getting customers to choose you.
Connecting With Your Customers
Your goal should be to continue getting testimonials and reviews on an ongoing basis. It’s not like the business with the most reviews wins. Businesses that succeed both online and offline are building reviews every week for months and years.
Tips, Tricks and Advice From Experts
This video has a lot more insight and tips about online reviews from some leading industry experts:
If you are using GetFiveStars to automate your customer feedback process, when someone leaves you a testimonial it updates your business website automatically with rich testimonial content that is marked up with Schema.org Reviews. It’s like letting your customer blog for you!