27 Jul Get More Online Reviews
90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
As a service based local business, we knew it was imperative to dominate our geography in terms of online reputation. When we decided to open our hair salon, the first thing we did was Google: “hair salon in Savannah GA”. Our ultimate goal was to dominate this page on Goolgle. The top of the page showed Google Map listings and next were “organic” listings. The NUMBER 1 organic listing was Yelp. So we decided to focus on Generating reviews on Google and Yelp… in addition to doing basic SEO on our website and running a bit of Google Ads, we knew we could dominate the first page of Google.
We needed a strategy to obtain reviews. It was obvious that if we didn’t have a strategy, most of the reviews would come from people that were not happy. So we decided to start being proactive and ASKING for reviews.
Here are the 2 strategies that we have found that work best to generate online reviews (without paying for a 3rd party service):
Follow-Up Emails After Client Appointments
Most service based businesses use a software to manage scheduling. 90% of these software platforms allow email directly from the software to your client. We set up an email to thank the client for visiting our salon and to ask for a review on either Google or Yelp. It is also important to sincerely ask the client that if they had a less than positive experience, to please reach out via email or phone so we can identify issues and fix the issues. Here is our script that is sent to clients 1 day after their appointments:
I wanted to personally THANK YOU for visiting our salon. I know that there are many salon choices in our area that you could have tried, so I’m super excited that you selected ours.
I’m always striving to create the best salon experience in the Savannah area, and I really value input from people (like you) to truly make it happen. I would love to hear from you on what you liked about our salon and what you think we could improve.
If you had a great experience we would love a Google or Yelp review. If not, please reply to this email and I will reach out to hear how we can improve.
Again, thanks for coming in and I hope to see you again very soon.
Susan Renfroe, Owner
This email has helped us generate over 300 Google reviews and help us rank at the top of
the Google Maps positioning!
Yelp is the Devil... But Necessary
If you search for “hair salon *your city*”, you will most likely find that Yelp is the NUMBER 1 Google organic search result! Did you know that the NUMBER 1 position gets approximately 30% of the clicks! So if the term gets searched 1,000 times per month, Yelp is getting 300 potential new salon clients to their website! That is why it is important to rank at the top of Yelp as well!
Utilizing the method previously mentioned will generate SOME Yelp reviews, but we have found another strategy to be more useful…. Ask in person! Now of course yelp does not recommend this method, but we have found that it worked for us, so take this with a grain of salt and test it out for yourself.
We created an incentive for our staff to be mentioned in 5 star Yelp reviews. If you are mentioned in a recommended Yelp review (viewed at the end of the month), you earn $10 cash. We were able to climb to NUMBER 1 on Yelp within 4 months, just by using this strategy. Some stylists earned an extra $100 cash at our company meetings by getting their clients to leave reviews!
The next question to ask yourself is how many Yelp reviews do I need??? Well, take a look at the listings in your category. How many reviews does the number 1 spot have? Add 20% to their number, then double it. That is how many reviews you need to get on Yelp to overtake 1st place. Likely 50% of the reviews will be “not recommended”, thus the reason you should double your goal.
Execute these two strategies and you are on course for winning tons of 5 Star reviews on the two most important platforms for your business!
For more information on how to get reviews or if you would like help with your website or Search Engine Optimization, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to do a free phone consultation!