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We are living in an age of research. Consumers want to know as much as they can about a company or product before making a purchasing decision.  That being said, client reviews are becoming more important that ever. And for Local SEO purposes, when you receive 5 stars or more, it looks very good on your search results:

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But, how do you ask for one? Yelp and Google frown upon giving anything in exchange for a review (it’s actually against their TOU).

Marketing Land has some great advice:

• Make it simple. Make sure it is easy, simple and fast for customers to provide a review. Ideally, go through the steps of submitting a review yourself, or even better, do it with a key customer and document the process thoroughly (ideally with screen shots) so you understand the process. Then, you’ll be prepared for questions from customers as they are entering a review. You might even give clients detailed instructions on how to use each review site (however, the processes often change).
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• Find the best review sites for you and your industry. Search on your company and product names with and without adding “reviews” to the search to find most of the public reviews you already have. If you have some bad reviews appearing in the search results, decide if you should respond publicly. Search on some of your important non-brand keywords and scan the results for reviews. Search on the company and product names of your industry leaders and some of the ones at the top of the search results, and you may uncover more review sites where your own company name hasn’t appeared — yet.

• Focus on one or two review websites at a time. It’ll make the effort simpler and much less time consuming for you and your people. You can rotate which ones you focus on over time.

• About Google Reviews: If you have a local focus, you’ll certainly want some good reviews on Google Maps (Google+ Local). Google requires a Google Account in order to post a review. Not everyone will have a Google Account, and those who don’t may not want to spend the time to set one up just to submit a review. So, have an alternative review site for them that is easier to post reviews on. Also look for happy customers who have a Google email account (such as name@gmail.com) since you’ll know they have a Google Account.

• Get them started right away if you can. We have one client, a dental practice, which has a PC in their waiting room. They walk happy clients right up to it and get them started on a review. At the moment we are working on the dental marketing plan and implementing dental marketing ideas and strategies.

• Add a request to an email. Add a message to an email you send out to clients about some other topic. For example, there’s a cooking class in Tuscany that we took while there. After you attend the class they send out a message with some free recipes. At the end of the message they add, “Last pleasure to ask… can you write a review on TripAdvisor about our Tuscan cooking class?” Because of all the good reviews they have, they were ranked as one of the top things to do in their city on TripAdvisor.

• Create a webpage. Create a page on your website with links to your profiles on Google, Yelp, etc. If you decide to make this page public, add a note asking people to write a review.

• Get reviews over time. It’s best to get reviews in a natural progression over time, so don’t ask all you clients to do this at the same time.

See more from the Source on Marketing Land… Lots of great tips!

On the reviews over time, this one is actually important as Google may flag you for too many reviews coming in at once. It can look suspicious to their search engines and like a businesses is padding their reviews. So spreading out your reviews is really the best way to go.

Now we want to hear from you!

What ways have you found success asking for reviews? Have you received good feedback about your business this way?
Let us know in the comments below!