Today’s Ask An SEO comes from Kayle, who asked in a recent webinar:
How can we encourage older consumers who are not well-versed with computers to leave reviews for us? Some do not understand how to leave a Google review.
Consistent Reviews Come From A Consistent Process
Companies with strong and consistent reviews typically create a process to request reviews from satisfied customers. And those that don’t tend to end up with a less than optimal online reputation.
Putting a process in place whereby you interact with satisfied customers, encouraging them to leave a review of your business, is the key to having a better online reputation – and better local rankings.
Notice I said “interact” with customers, not “request a positive review.”
Be aware that requesting positive reviews, or offering compensation for reviews, is against the terms of service for many sites where reviews live – and the penalties for breaking these rules can be severe.
While you can’t flat-out request a positive review, you can always encourage customers to leave a review – you can’t dictate the sentiment of that review.
And while it may be tempting to offer incentives for reviews, the consequences far outweigh the benefits in the long run.
Older Demographic Outreach Tips
Reaching an older demographic can be a challenge.
Asking an older demographic to take a specific action, like writing a review, can be downright frustrating.
While there is no shortage of older consumers with solid opinions, reviews don’t represent older consumers.
So, getting reviews may be more challenging if your customer base is older.
Here are a few items I’ve found helpful when soliciting reviews from a more mature audience.
Bing Is Your Friend
Bing is the default search engine on most Microsoft products. This default is typically not changed by older consumers.
We’ve found that in many cases, Bing converts better than Google – it just doesn’t have the volume.
We will typically build out an orphan page (a page with no navigation that is not indexed) with instructions on how to leave an online review.
We have sales reps, or other customer service representatives send a personal email with a link to the instructions page.
Take A Car Dealership Mentality
The last time you bought a vehicle, I’d be willing to bet the salesperson asked you to take a survey and emphasized that anything lower than a perfect score is failing.
Depending on your business, you may not need to be so heavy-handed, but consistent outreach is critical.
Automate What You Can
If you have a lot of customers, it can be daunting to keep up with correspondence requesting reviews.
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Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!