My favorite Ratings and Reviews Best Practices

By April 16, 2015Digital Marketing
Ratings and Reviews Best Practices
I recently published a weekly #ProTip titled “The more Ratings and Reviews the better. During the six second Vine I shared:
“In the digital world you can never have enough ratings or reviews.”
I have been asked many times to elaborate on this concept. So, I’ve decided to write a follow-up post on Ratings and Reviews best practices. Read on below to learn where to get reviews, how to get reviews, and why they are so important.

Where to get Ratings and Reviews

Without exception, almost any site on the internet will let you leave a rating or a review. From huge ecommerce sites like Amazon to small WordPress blogs via the Like feature of Jetpack.
From a digital marketing standpoint, the first thing you need to focus on is where people you care about look at reviews. And, depending on your objectives, where it will have the greatest impact.
Here are some places to get Ratings and Reviews depending on your marketing goal:

SEO / PPC:

Local SEO:

Selling products online

  • Your own website (check out Bazaarvoice). As you’ll always want to sell the most there.
  • Amazon (if your product is sold there)

Drive traffic to brick & mortar stores:

Social Word of Mouth:

A Few Specific Industries:

How to get Ratings and Reviews:

First things first. Before asking for Ratings & Reviews you need to clean up all your business profiles:
  • Claim your business listing.
  • Always fill everything out 100%. Don’t leave anything empty.Always ensure it looks and feels as official as possible. Keep it consistent with all your established branding elements.
  • Add as many photos as possible. People love seeing real people.
Now that you have claimed and setup your online business listings you are ready to ask for Ratings and Reviews. Depending on your business you might already have a few. So, start off by thanking the good ones and addressing the negative ones. Following this you’re ready to really get started:
  • Decide which sites you want to focus on.
    • Sell your product(s) through third party sites? You’ll always want them on your own site first.
  • Bake Ratings & Reviews into your Business process. Make sure everyone in the organization understands the importance of them. Illustrate how they help achieve business goals.
  • Create a simple flowchart for clients or customers to follow.
  • One of the most important aspects here is to monitor and to listen. Always reward good reviews by thanking them and resond to negative reviews right away.
 Need more help, here’s a #ProTip:
  • Create a page on your website that makes it easy for people to give you a review.
    • Create a new page. E.g. www.mysite.com/review and encourage people to go there.
  • Choose the platforms that you need reviews on to achieve your business objectives.
  • Add easy to follow instructions and links to the review websites.

Have a plan ready for negative reviews:

  • Before we wrap up this post by looking at why Ratings and Reviews are so important let’s take a quick look at negative reviews.
  • Have a guideline / process:
    • Identify someone who is good with conflict resolution
    • Apologize
    • Follow up – ask them to remove the review

Bonus Tip: How to get Google+ reviews

  • Encourage reviews via client smartphones or tablets – to a have a different IP address
  • Identify clients with Gmail accounts to leave Google reviews

Why Ratings and Reviews matter:

It is near impossible to sum up the  value of having Ratings and Reviews online. But I’ll  do my best to list a few of the top reasons:
  • SEO: This is especially true from a local standpoint. Having more reviews than your computer will help you rank higher than them..
  • SERP (Search Engine Results Page): Having reviews on your own website will add more real estate and make your link look more attractive to people. This in turn will get more people to click on it.
  • Maps: Google and other mapping tools always show the higher ranked business with more reviews.
  • ZMOT: According to the Zero Moment of Truth, people consult many sources after hearing about a product before actually purchasing it. Having as many  Ratings and Reviews as possible will help people choose you over your competitors..
  • The Future: Voice search has made searching more natural. Now people ask Siri or Google for the “Best Italian Restaurant in Town”. And how does Siri or Google determine which one is the best? Through Ratings and Reviews.

In a nutshell here are the Ratings and Reviews Best Practices:

  1. Claim all the listings relevant to your business.
  2. Make it is as easy as possible to get the review.
  3. Monitor and respond to all reviews.
  4. #Winning

Do you have any questions, comments, or thoughts? Perhaps your own Ratings and Reviews Best Practices that you can share? Post them below in the comments section.