The importance of online reviews is no secret in online marketing today, but how to multiply their value definitely is. Most businesses simply work to capture as many great reviews as they can. Stockpiling their counts at Google, Yelp or Facebook.
It’s like these businesses are collecting books for their bookshelf where, after the first month or so, they literally collect dust. We need to get past this “hoarding” of reviews and look at how you can use your reviews over and over again in macro and micro ways to fuel your marketing and win more customers.
Your reviews are incredible building blocks that can be assembled in a multitude of ways.
Whether you are a GatherUp customer or not, we believe that you can take advantage of getting 5X the value of the reviews you gather from your customers.
This multiplier is part of our core vision of reputation management. We’ve built a complete feature set to automate getting 5X marketing value from your reviews, but these ideas can be leveraged by any business.
Maximize Your Reviews 5 Times Over
Great reviews don’t come easy, you earn them. Don’t waste that hard work, squeeze every ounce of benefit from each one. Let’s look at how you can do this with the reviews your business has and will be getting.
1- Summarize Your Reputation
While a great deal of power in reviews lies in the details, let’s not skip the high-level summary of how many customers are willing to support your rating.
In fact, the volume of reviews and the overall star rating are two of the most important considerations for consumers. Keep it simple and display your overall rating and review count.
Your home page is already a summary of your services, product, experience, etc. so why not summarize your reputation?
The importance of this review summary is why we created our Review Badge. The badge is a simple, clean and visual display of your review overview with a call to action to view all of your reviews.
Here is a great example of how Bell Camper Sales uses content about their “Excellence in Customer Service” highlighted by the Review Badge on their home page. Really well done.
2- Showcase Your Most Recent Reviews
Your website is the best place to showcase your latest reviews. The main review sites all use different methods of displaying your reviews, but to view just the newest reviews you have to choose a filter to do so.
Google’s default review display is “most relevant” with a filter to see “newest”. Yelp uses its own “Yelp sort” as the default with “Newest first” as a filter option. Facebook’s default is “Most helpful”.
Compiling and displaying your reviews on your website to show your most recent reviews is very helpful to your potential customers in our “what have you done for me lately” world.
Surveys have shown that review recency is the number one consumer desire in reviews. Review recency placed 1st in the consumer view of importance. With star rating and quantity following on closely in second and third place.
If you’re a brand, showing all of your brand’s recent reviews in one place (not just per location) is a great tactic. If you are a single location, teasing your latest ratings and reviews brings your latest customer experiences to the forefront.
Based on your number of locations, we have two options for displaying your most recent reviews.
If you are a single location business, our Conversion Pop-up is an awesome way to display your most recent reviews. This pop-up can display on any page or site-wide on your website and rotates through your last 30 reviews.
For a multi-location business we can create a Brand Widget that will compile all of your reviews. This displays all of your locations in one view ordered by your latest reviews first.
Showcase your recent reviews from across your entire brand. PODS does a great job of this with a focused page of their thousands of brand reviews from their 250+ locations.
3- Display All Your Reviews By Location
While the first three elements of the 5X strategy focus on great ways to summarize your reputation and rating, let’s look at some options to give greater visibility to review details and display all of your reviews together by location.
Displaying your location reviews in full allows your website visitors to see both your overall rating and to dig into every review for what matters to them. When done right, it also allows them to see your replies and communication with your past customers too.
Showing all of your reviews, great, good or bad shows the authenticity of your brand. Responding to those reviews shows that you care.
Authenticity is the long game of reviews and one you should be starting to play if you haven’t yet.
Based on your number of locations, we have two options for displaying all of your reviews.
For a single location business using our Review Widget, you have a few different options for display on your website. Creating a dedicated “Reviews” page is a great way to drive website visitors to the page with all of your reviews. Having this page appear on your main navigation ensures they will notice it and visit it to seek the social proof and past customer experiences to help them decide.
Caluda’s King Cake bakery uses the review widget as outlined on its own dedicated Reviews page.
For multi-location businesses, the Review Widget should be used on each location page of your website. This is a big content and SEO win for these location pages as they are often thin with content.
Bringing reviews per location to each page provides fresh, keyword-rich, highly relevant content for search engines and website visitor’s benefit.
For Clean Juice, a growing juice franchise, reviews per location using our Horizontal Review Widget are present on every one of their 80 location pages like Aptos, CA below.
4- Reviews Grouped By Theme or Keyword
Bringing social proof to any page on a focused topic, service or product is a great addition to help your prospects in multiple ways. Consumers and prospects are often seeking reviews related to just a specific service, product or aspect of your business. Make it easy for them by bringing those reviews together on the same page.
The navigation menu below highlights all of the topical service pages that Firestone Auto Care could group reviews by and better those pages.
Example ideas for themed reviews:
- Reviews about brake repair on a Brake Service page for an auto shop
- Reviews about airport shuttle service on a Airport page for a limo service
- Reviews about a fitness boot camp on a Class page for a health club
- Reviews about business meetings on a Meetings page for an event center
- Reviews for donuts on a Donuts page for a Bakery
- Review for a specific hairstylist on their stylist profile pages
Grouping and displaying your reviews by a theme or keyword is a big opportunity and one massively underused. It gives you a fantastic combination of keywords, content and conversion.
This approach can extend beyond displaying reviews too. For example, Will Reynolds of Seer Interactive talks about how to use N-Gram analysis of your review corpus to write better ads. And Phil Rozek of Localvisibility shows how to use your review corpus to create more targeted keyword content.
Our Tag Widget is the only solution that makes grouping and displaying reviews by a theme or keyword possible. Better yet, when paired with our Auto-tagging feature this can happen automatically.
Once grouped by tags these reviews in our system can then be used for operational insight by themes or for display using our Tag widget.
Here is Clean Juice as an example that auto-tags reviews with variations of their “cleanse” mentioned in the review.
This allows us to then display all of their reviews mentioning a juice cleanse on their page dedicated to cleanses.
5- Post Your Reviews on Social Media
For many local businesses and local branches, creating social content is hard. Taking reviews and repurposing them as posts on Facebook, Google Posts and Instagram provides a valuable source of that social content.
Taking a review from 6 months or even 6 years ago and repurposing on social media channels is a great way to reuse your reviews.
Bring your reviews into the storytelling you use social media for, it’s a great way to humblebrag about your business, engage prospects and even remind your customers/followers that reviews matter to you.
We launched social sharing to rave reviews. With just a few clicks in GatherUp you can take a review and create a customized graphic to showcase your review on Facebook, Instagram and Google Posts.
Our social sharing editor lets you grab a review and customize the design background using colors, images and photo overlays. It’s really easy to create an amazing piece of visual content in seconds.
Get Going and Make It Happen
There you have it, my 5x Review Strategy to get the most from your reviews. As you can see this strategy illustrates how we view review and reputation marketing at GatherUp. Stop just collecting reviews and put them to work over and over again to gain your next customer… who will write you a review.
Here is the final 5x Strategy along with the GatherUp features you will use to make it happen.