Online Reviews: Best Practices and SEO Tips
With a thumb up or thumb down, consumers reclaim their market power
When was the last time you submitted a review on Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Airbnb? If you had a horrible time, chances are you didn’t even wait to get home to put up your 1-star rating and share it on Facebook. (Spoiler alert: You can’t remove them yourself!) But if everything went flawlessly or if it was just an average experience, maybe you’re more likely to put it off. Or even forget about reviewing altogether.
Reviews are consumers reclaiming their power over markets. And they can make or break your business.
Why are reviews important for your business?
In a way, reviews provide online users a means to trial your classes for free and interact with your customer base. In fact, Australians read an average of eight reviews before deciding to make a purchase. Another study even shows that 72% of consumers will take action only after having read some positive feedback.
Reviews are an efficient way for the public to see how past attendees felt about their experience - a very important aspect of marketing when the experience (like a class or workshop) is the product! So keep this end in mind, when advertising your classes; if you’ve received many good reviews, use them as a promotional tool. You’ve certainly earned it.
Can reviews help SEO?
Due to its ease of use, the star rating system (replaced by emojis in some cases) continues to be used by many websites and has become shorthand for one’s level of popularity or customer satisfaction. It signals to Google and to human users - both of whom, understandably, prefer highly rated sites - that people do in fact book workshops with you.
While many factors impact search engine ranking, reviews do aid in improving search visibility and impact website ranking to a degree. Google certainly gives it some weight when deciding how to rank your site.
The bottom line: The more reviews you get, good or bad, the more likely it is for Google to promote your classes.
Ask for a review
Rather than sitting around and waiting with bated breath for your student to give feedback, take the proactive route and ask for reviews outright! WeTeachMe goes one better by automatically sending students requests to review the class they just attended. We then follow this up with a couple more extra reminders, just in case your students need a nudge.
Provide an amazing experience, set and forget, and watch your five-star reviews roll in!
What to do about a negative review
As much as you can, try to avoid getting bad feedback by making sure that your product (the actual experience of past students) matches your promise (what you say in your promotions). Then again, no matter how great your classes are, there’s just no pleasing everybody sometimes!
If and when you get a negative comment or two, what should you do? For starters, keep in mind that a bad review is (usually) not the end of the world. Although it may be tempting to hit delete (out of sight, out of mind!), that’s not the best way to deal with the situation. The important thing is to get in front of it and take swift action.
Take the feedback on board
When the same complaint keeps getting mentioned over and over, that’s your customers highlighting a problem with your classes. Be responsive and acknowledge their feedback in public; more important, actually do something about it - and fast! Take the negative review and turn it into an opportunity to display the pride and care you take in your work. How else can your business learn and grow?
Make things right
If warranted, provide some sort of compensation. This tells your students that you care about their opinion and are willing to go the extra mile (and then some).
Perhaps, give the reviewer a gift voucher or discount code that they can use to experience your services again. (You can do this in less than a minute on your WeTeachMe dashboard.)
We don’t always get a do-over; make sure to grab this as a second chance to set things right!
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