Reviews play an important role in aiding your site’s ranking, especially for local SEO. Don’t just rely on the goodwill of others; set up a review generation process in your business and you will reap the benefits in sales.
Why do reviews matter?
Reviews from the past week or month are more important and valuable than reviews from 5 years ago.
Here’s a great tip from Garrett Sussman on this local SEO roundup post “put a process in place to consistently ask for reviews across multiple review sites from your customers. Use a review funnel landing page to provide an option for your customers to leave a review on the review site that’s easiest and most familiar to them”.
Here’s a great case study of a Croatian kayaking company who do just that…
Take control of your reviews
If you’re on holidays, a tourist, or new to town, TripAdvisor is likely one of the top spots you’ll visit to discover activities for your location. How do you choose between activities on TripAdvisor? Everything looks pretty similar until you get to the reviews. This is the part that in out of control of the business owner who is promoting the listing… or is it?
Read on to learn how one tiny Croatian business is killing it on TripAdvisor by automating the process for seeking and getting reviews! We estimate that Pula Kayak is netting €1600 per day / €11,200 per week thanks to TripAdvisor. Have we got your attention?
If you’re in the travel or hospitality business, creating and managing reviews should play an important part of your social media strategy.
Sites like Google, TripAdvisor, and any of the specialist review sites (eg. restaurant reviews, etc.) are amongst the first places that people look to find out about your business – so they should be managed and cared for by you with the same care as you’d give to your Instagram profile. Some stats that back our point:
“Consumers are likely to spend around 31% more on products and services from businesses that have excellent reviews backing them up.”
& that “57% of customers won’t use a business that has fewer than 4 stars.”
“Having numerous positive reviews increases the likelihood of convincing customers to pay more money for products or services.”
Reviews are growing in importance
Have you ever read through 20+ reviews and found one bad one, and immediately clicked off of the site? Online research prior to purchasing is huge, especially in the Travel and Tourism sector where the fear of wasted time and not being able to return creates even more pressure and reliance on word of mouth.
88% of customers put as much weight on online reviews as they would on personal recommendations.
36% of digital consumers read customer reviews
This is due to the rise of online research prior to purchasing. The market is growing more competitive, especially in the Travel and Tourism sector where the fear of wasted time and not being able to return said service creates more caution and reliance on word of mouth. Not to mention, gaining these positive reviews may drastically improve local SEO!
A good example of B2C marketing
This brings me to my recent holiday in Croatia. I was looking around for things to do in Pula, Croatia, and one company continually ranked top of the list of activities in Pula.
PulaKayak, run by Pula Events, offers day trips out kayaking, was on the pricier side of the search results, but had a 5 star rating with 57 reviews!
The reviews were amazing! Everyone seemed so satisfied with the trip, so I didn’t think twice, I hit that book button, willing to pay more, to avoid disappointment.
It is safe to say the trip did not disappoint! But the reason I am writing about PulaKayak is because of their brilliantly executed marketing strategy.
After my adventure TripAdvisor sent me an automated message asking for a review. Keep reading to find out how PulaKayak takes a more personal approach.
The secret to their TripAdvisor success is this…
Pula Kayak invested in a Go-Pro waterproof camera, and at each location on the trip, the guide took photos of us. Exactly two days after the trip was complete, when we were fully satisfied, and all aches, pains, and minor inconveniences were eased, I received an email with photos attached. I had an incentive to open – everyone wants to see pictures of themselves….
When I logged in to their site with the pics, Pula Kayak asked for a review and they made it easy for me. They linked to three different platforms where I could provide feedback and encouraged me to post the provided photo. With everything in front of me, they made it easy to download the photo, leave a review and then tag them by location or hashtag, which they provided!
Pula Kayak did more than just using TripAdvisor’s automated request a review function. They have built reviews into their delivery and it works!
Key takeaways from PulaKayak to improve your review process:
- Make it easy for the customer to leave a review.
- Make their business feel appreciated.
- RESPOND to reviews, especially bad ones — 89% of consumers read the replies to reviews.
- Be innovative – if you want them to share something, give them the material to do so.
- Then sit back and wait for those bookings to arrive!
Asking For Reviews
Asking for reviews can be awkward; there’s a fine balance between direct and pushy. But don’t be afraid to ask – as G2 a specialist customer review sites report:
“68% of consumers have left a review for a local business after being asked to do so.”
Reviews are crucial to optimising your local SEO, so don’t hesitate!
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