7 ways reviews can help boost your small business marketing efforts

Reviews are a simple way to turn user generated content into an extremely valuable marketing tool to help build trust and credibility with potential customers. Reviews can also help your business to stand apart from your competition. There’s an added bonus in there. Did you know that reviews help boost your SEO too?

If you haven’t already, ensure you are asking all your happy customers to leave you a review in places such as your Google my Business listing and your Facebook page. From there, the ways to recycle these reviews for marketing purposes are plentiful!

  1. Share reviews on social media

Sierra McAliney, founder of Freckle Media says “I always sprinkle in reviews throughout my clients’ social posts, email marketing efforts and I even recommend my clients include a succinct quote in their email signature. You should share reviews whenever you can, because social proof is such a powerful tool for your marketing efforts.

“In social media, Instagram is the most popular platform. Use the story highlights as an area to showcase the reviews. Furthermore, you can encourage consumers who purchase your product to mention you on their story. Your credibility will grow faster than ever before.” says Ali Saeed of Poixel.

  1. Use reviews to stand apart from your competitors

Rob Swystun of Rob Swystun SEO Content Strategy & Copywriting says “Businesses can use their reviews internally. By that, I mean give some kind of recognition (or even small prizes) to employees who get good reviews. This will prompt better customer service and, in turn, more good reviews.”

  1. Use reviews to build trust

Mladen Maksic of Play Media says “Online reviews provide prospective customers with reassurance that they will get what they’re paying for. There’s no better marketing boost than showing potential customers you have experience delivering high-quality service. Utilize the online reviews you have and proudly display them on your site.”

John McGhee of Webconsuls Online shares “Reviews play an integral role in marketing because reviews provide social proof and on many platforms reviews are synonymous with your brand name. Social proof is very important with online marketing, as it validates your product or service and proves that it worked for previous customers. Reviews are also crucial due to the degree to which they’re tied to your brand online. A brand search on Google will return your Google Business listing, which has your Google review rating right beside your name. Star ratings are also now included in many search result descriptions. In many cases, users no longer have to seek out review ratings, they’re displayed alongside your brand name.”

  1. Use reviews to help boost your SEO

Joshua Wood of Bloc suggests including reviews on each product or service page. Wood says “Try to select reviews that include keywords that you want to rank for as this will help with your SEO and Google efforts. It’s a natural opportunity to include the optimum density of keyword phrases without your page reading badly. The most impactful review sites in my opinion are Google (Google My Business), Trustpilot and Quora. Quora is an interesting one because when someone types into Google ‘product/service review’, Quora results come up more often than not. So make sure that real people are discussing your products or services in a positive way.”

Shannon Peel from Market A Peel says “Online review sites provide a place businesses can collect all their reviews and improve the SEO ranking of their own website with a backlink from a well ranked review site. They can also use the reviews to create a list of reasons why people hired them for a blog post, which can be shared on social media. As they collect customer reviews, a complete story about how they help people is written to help readers make a decision.

  1. Display reviews on your website

Displaying reviews in a website banner or dedicated page is a good place to start. Additionally, a business owner can adapt either written or video customer testimonials for social media and blog posts. Lastly, if the business does email marketing, reviews could be integrated into a newsletter” suggests Andrew Clark, Marketing Strategist at Duckpin.

Delaney Kline of Red Egg Marketing says “Add a review slider to your website. You can feature this on your homepage, services page, or even your ‘about’ page. You can tailor this slider to include most recent reviews or even keep reviews above 3 or four stars.”

Omer Riaz of Urtasker.com says “Small businesses spend a lot of time and effort obtaining reviews yet they do not spend much time on strategizing their utilization nor impact. Normally, a website visitor has only a few seconds to review your content. You should make sure that the placement of reviews is in the right place where a visitor can easily see them. Secondly, make sure that reviews have headlines so that they summarize what the review is all about or an area where you have helped the client. Finally, try to centralize all of your reviews at one place and choose your best reviews (top traits of your products/services). For example if you have great reviews on Facebook and other one at Google or Amazon, bring them together on your website. Trust is earned, showcase your efforts.”

  1. Cross promote your reviews

Stacey Burke of Stacey E. Burke, P.C. suggests “Incorporating testimonials about one’s products or services into a website, print materials, and other marketing channels is a great way to increase social proof and boost credibility with those who are unfamiliar with your brand.”

  1. Use reviews to speak directly to your customers

Maria Grace of Maria Grace LLC shares “What do customers like to see as much as a positive review? An actively engaged business owner who is highly responsive. That might be a simple ‘thank you!’ to good reviews, but the key is how you respond to negative reviews. Never leave negative comments, even if that customer was completely in the wrong! Apologize for anything you may have done wrong, and assure that person you plan to do better in the future. Even though that individual may never buy from you again, potential customers who see that you truly want to create a good experience for everyone will be impressed by your responsiveness and assured that the negative experience was an anomaly, and not a normal course of business for you. Obviously, if the review is just spam (and only if you’re 100% sure it is!), then report it to the powers-at-be to have it removed.”

Daniel Quipit of 3pr says “Based on recent statistics, 93% of customers read reviews before making a purchase (mostly at Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp). This number proves how important it is to request your customers for a review.”

In conclusion, reviews are a powerful marketing tool that help build trust and credibility and have the power to positive influence your next customer. Ask for reviews on platforms such as Google My Business and Facebook and recycle those reviews onto your website in strategic spots, such as the home page, or underneath a call to action, for maximum impact.