Do you want to know one of the BEST ways to increase long-term revenue for your business?
Reputation, according to a World Economic Forum study, is directly responsible for more than 25% on average of a business’s market value.
In 2015, Apple hit the top end of this average when its corporate reputation contributed approximately 46%—or a whopping $320bn to Apple’s $700bn total market value.
These figures represent how reputation management has become a high-value business essential.
But how can other businesses manage their own reputations and steer their reputations into high-value status, especially businesses that don’t have the wherewithal of Apple’s mighty war chest?
We found a good alternative: Get awesome online reviews.
Google is shifting a TON of it’s resources to displaying reputation UP front and it’s becoming more and more important for rankings, traffic, AND sales.
In fact, having reviews on sales pages can increase conversions by 18%.
Reviews can help drive search rankings up too. Turns out, the more reviews a business has, the higher they show up on search results.
Reviews also have a considerable statistical effect on the decisions customers make. These days, 93% of U.S. consumers always check online reviews before purchasing.
In our case, using this simple strategy, our online reviews campaign got our business from 0 to 4.9 stars in just one month.
From almost nothing, we have since gained thosands of positive reviews spread across multiple websites.
We wanted to give you a system to replicate this success, so, from all the steps we took, we created a repeatable system that produced consistent results.
Also, we made sure to only gather reviews from real customers on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other trusted review sites.
Once set up, we implemented this process to boost one of our clients’ reputation.
The result? An impressive 4.8 star rating; up from a disappointing 3.5 in less than 2 months.
So if rapidly getting the same 5-star reviews that boost business reputation and increase conversions is something you’re interested in, then read on.
In this article, we’re going to share exactly how we:
- Rapidly collect positive reviews
- Prevent negative reviews
- Make more money by using reviews in marketing
- Save more time by automating the process
Let’s get to it!
I. How To Rapidly Collect Positive Reviews
There are lots of ways to get more reviews, let’s go over a few that we used.
What’s cool is that these strategies are mostly set-it-and-forget-it, meaning that once they are set up, we keep collecting reviews every single day on autopilot!
Here’s what we did:
A. Add widgets to your website
With an effectivity rate of 63%, websites are considered the most effective marketing channel. These are your visitors’ crucial first look at your brand. If they like what they see, you just might convert them into paying customers.
We take advantage of positive first impressions by adding widgets to the website that ask visitors for reviews right after they do either of the following: confirm their interest to join a newsletter, try a service, head straight to purchase, or go through with any other conversion goal.
Visitors who have already taken this step further in the funnel are more likely to leave positive reviews. After all, why would a visitor sign up for the blog, free trial, or buy from the site if they were anything less than impressed?
B. Create an email autoresponder to ask for reviews
Email is the second most effective marketing channel with an effectivity rate of 52%.
After a visitor leaves your website, an email is your second chance to remind them of your existence: whether to finally convince the undecided or to remind the already convinced of their good first impression.
So for every successful conversion, we program an email autoresponder that solicits customer reviews.
Again, a new signup is a warm lead that has expressed interest in what you have to offer. This person is more likely to leave a positive review.
C. Ask for reviews in every email signature
In 2018, business users are expected to send/receive 140 emails per DAY.
Take advantage of this volume by embedding a star rating survey in your company’s email signatures.
Think about how many emails your company sends per day – Each one is a chance to collect a new review!
II. How To Prevent Negative Reviews
More often than not, negative reviews come as a result of misunderstandings that, if not handled properly, can damage your company’s hard-earned reputation.
Once reviews start pouring in, how can you neutralize your chances of getting negative reviews?
Simple. Pre-qualify your reviewers so that, in the event of a negative review, you can check in with the customer privately to resolve the mistake that caused the bad review in the first place.
Take customers who give a 5-star rating straight to the social sharing page.
Meanwhile, customers who rate lower should be led to a different page where they can explain their bad experience. This will be directed to customer service and someone from the team can take over and rectify the situation in private.
III. How To Earn More By Using Reviews In Your Marketing
So you’ve managed your reviews religiously. It’s time to multiply the value of these glowing reviews by showcasing them to more people.
A. Aggregate all reviews
Keep tabs on all the reviews about your company (even unsolicited ones) scattered across the web. Keep these in a database for tracking and further use.
B. Display reviews on sales pages close to pricing info
A glowing recommendation, strategically placed, can have the power to convince a second-guessing customer to finally click that purchase button.
Amazon uses this method, displaying reviews right on the same page where you purchase the product. Did we mention that having reviews on sales pages can increase conversions by 18%?
Take a cue and use this strategic placement as your final push to convert the hesitant.
C. Create a reviews page
Dedicate a whole page in your website just for online reviews. You can use SEO to optimize this page and get more viewers. It will also be much easier to promote if all your reviews are organized in a single page.
(You can also rank this page for “your company + reviews”!)
D. Share your reviews on social media
Social media is one of the most instant yet intimate, but non-irritating ways (note: no interruptive cold calls or text messages) to connect with customers.
Social is also a breeding ground for things that could go viral, so using this medium to promote positive stories about your business is a great way to build up your brand reputation.
Share actual screenshots or links to your reviews via your business socials. Do this constantly, use related hashtags, tag relevant influencers, and respond to customers on social media.
IV. Automate The Process
So now you know all the methods that we used to get positive reviews and ranking for our business and clients.
Following this plan can help bolster your business’s online reputation, but there’s a slight catch: it takes a lot of time and patience to implement manually.
Getting all this done would be a completely manual process and would take time to fully set up; it is also why it may take time to see any real results.
So we looked at ways to speed up and automate the process.
Instead of doing everything over and over again, we made:
- A faster, easier way to collect and push reviews to any website with just one line of code
- A widget that helps resolve negative reviews
- An autoresponder that can be immediately deployed to start collecting reviews
- A way to monitor and quickly respond to any reviews that came from other sources
- A widget that can market reviews on any website
- A way to automatically push reviews to social channels
We call this reputation management software, Hoth STARS.
This tool is our answer to boosting businesses’ online reputation and rankings without spending too much time and money.
With Hoth Stars, we:
- Boosted one of our clients’ ratings from 3.5 to 4.8 in only 2 months, and increased reviews from 0 to almost 100.
- Increased positive reviews from a measly 10 to more than 30. This led to a boost in rating from around 2 stars to more than 5 stars.
- Increased positive reviews for another client from only a little more than 10 to more than 40 positive reviews.
- Improved another client’s reputation from 0 stars to more than 4 stars and increased reviews from 0 to more than 80.
By implementing a reputation building system, you can rapidly increase your positive online reputation.
Just be aware of the FTC.
Providing incentives for reviews is generally a no-no.
Thanks for the comment, it’s definitely an area that needs clarification in this article and I don’t think we addressed it well enough, so I just removed it.
The law has changed over time as where it was OK as long as you weren’t incentivizing for only positive reviews, but it seems to be a much more murky legal area now, and I think the best advice is to just stay away from incentivizing reviews.
Good news is that in our tests, we have been able to collect lots of reviews with no incentive other than just asking, so that’s what we would encourage everyone else to do.
Reputation management is quickly becoming one of the best “foot in the door” offerings that we have. The statistics you shared only support that this will be valid moving forward. Thanks for sharing a great breakdown on creating a good review funnel.
Thanks for the comment – Are you using it as a loss leader to get clients?
I would agree HothStars is a great way to add new clients to a monthly retainer or add some extra value to any month to month SEO plan.
Thanks for sharing some solid information, great write up by the way !
Very helpful article. Do you know if Google takes into account cultural bias in its appreciation? French audience tend to be reluctant to give 5 stars in their reviews. We found the same issue in Net Promoter Score surveys. A 8 out of 10 in France is equivalent to a 9 in Germany. Also are notations given outside of your country also accounted for?
Stéphane RONTEIX (www.forceplus.com)
Re: Cultural bias, I’m not sure, but if it’s a country-wide issue, you’re only competing against your competitors. Re: your second question, could you clarify?
This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information.
Great recommendations the Hoth. Online reviews are good for boosting ranking and also serve a major benefit to every user interested in a service that is being found. I have grown my online reviews just by asking every single client. Keep up the great work.
Thanks for nice guidance .Very well post.
Hi does this only work in English or can it be used on foreign language websites like Spanish also?
This process does work for Spanish and other foreign language sites.
Reviews are a factor regardless of the language, this process of getting reviews would work for Spanish sites as well.
Thanks for sharing some solid information 🙂
Great article! I’m trying to improve my review site and your content has helped me. Will be implementing these tips!