Why You Want Reviews
July 2nd, 2016
What are reviews? For the sake of this article, a review is anytime a customer goes online and leaves feedback. Your customers can leave you reviews in all kinds of places. Common ones are WeddingWire, the knot, Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
Do reviews even matter? Do you encourage customers to leave reviews? If you ask them, how do you make it easy? And most importantly, how do you choose which site when you ask for a review?
Do Reviews Matter?
Whether you’re talking about Google, the Knot, or any other site, you end up with some kind of rating showing up next to your business. Having more good reviews means more people will look at your portfolio, and ultimately you will get more bookings. Here’s a screenshot of a map from a Google search:
The second two listings are far more appealing to clients because of the positive ratings. Being first on the list isn’t always what matters most.
Which review sites are most important?
If you’re paying money to be featured on WeddingWire or the Knot, or if you’re using Facebook paid advertising, then you’re going to want to focus mostly on getting reviews there.
It’s still worth it though to get at least a few reviews on Google. Take a look at this:
If you don’t recognize this, these are two examples of something called a knowledge panel. If you google a business by name its on the right side of the screen. If someone’s considering hiring you at some point they’re going to search for you by name, if for no other reason than because they forgot your website address. Which of these do you want them to see? The one with a bunch of good reviews? Or the empty one on the right?
For Google at least, once you have five reviews you will start getting the review stars for your business. Even if you’re going to focus on WeddingWire or the Knot as the main place you ask people to leave you a review, it’s worth it to get at least 5 reviews on Google too.
Google doesn’t make it easy to leave reviews, but luckily I’ve got a tool to help. You can find it here. Use it to generate a unique link for your business that you can use to ask for a review.
The best way to ask for a review: a few days after sending the final album, if the job went well and the client was happy, send an email with a link asking them to leave feedback. You can make a link for Google with the tool above. Most of the other sites make it a lot easier to find a review link to send to customers. The only exemption is Yelp. It’s technically against their rules to ask people to leave feedback there, so if you do, stick to asking them in person, or in a private email.
Also be aware that reviews on all the sites (especially Google and Yelp) can sometimes disappear for no reason. It’s too bad when that happens, but that’s the flip side of their anti-spam efforts. If a review does disappear, I always recommend that if you ask the client to leave a new review, that you ask them to leave it on a different site. It’ll have a better chance of working the second time that way.
Some of you ask clients to leave you a review on more than one site. If you do, make sure you don’t ask them to copy and paste the same review to multiple places. You’ll often end up with the reviews being deleted if you do.