As a consumer, I’m sure that you read customer reviews before you make a purchase or decide to visit a new business. Most people do. However, as a business owner, you may not put a lot of thought into getting reviews for your own company.

Here are the facts from Search Engine Land: 9 out of 10 consumers feel that they can trust a business after reading 10 or fewer reviews. And many of those consumers will only read between 4-6 reviews before forming an opinion about that business. And, it’s also important to have reviews that accrue over time for the reviews to be trustworthy.

Here’s the good news: 50% of people who are asked to leave an online review will do it! All you need to do is ask! Here’s a few two-minute tasks to ask your customers to leave an honest review:

Ask Them In-Person

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many business owners forget to simply ask their loyal customers to leave an honest review. Not every person who is asked will leave a review, but the personal attention will be appreciated by many. Just be sure to ask for honest criticism so you don’t seem disingenuous.

Comment Cards

In just a few minutes you can create and print off small comment cards that have instructions for your customers to leave an online review on Facebook, Yelp, or another site. Include links to your pages and thank the customer for giving honest feedback. You can pass these out after the completion of a project or hand it out with a receipt.

 Digital Advertisements

Another effective way to get reviews is to include a link in your emails and social media posts. Include a small call-to-action at the end of a promotional email or e-newsletter or create a brief post asking your fans to leave a review for your business. Since your customers will already be in front of a computer or mobile device, it will be easy for them to click the link to leave the review.

Online Review Don’ts

Although it may be tempting to offer incentives for people to leave reviews, this is considered unethical because people will feel obligated to leave only positive comments. You also don’t want to use fake reviews to make your business look better. Often websites and consumers will be able to discern which reviews are real and which are not. Just trust that you are running a good business and that good reviews will follow!

One Last Thing…

Don’t sweat every negative review. If someone does leave one, simply leave a comment for them to get in touch with you or customer service so you can try and remedy the problem. People reading the review will see the effort you may to correct the mistake and they will not let one negative review overshadow all the positive ones. In fact, it may help them trust that the reviews are genuine.

Did You Know…

Did you know that online reviews will help your business and website rank better on Google? It’s true. Here’s a few more things you might not know about SEO.