How to Prompt Customers to Leave High-Quality Reviews That Influence SEO

November 12th, 2020 by Amanda Ball

Key Insights

  • Businesses can prompt reviews and testimonials that include beneficial keywords to support ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).
  • Three benefits to providing review prompts:
    • Encourages high-quality, specific reviews
    • Influences more people to find you when searching for degrees, products, services, and experiences you offer
    • Themes in reviews help those who skim search results understand your value
  • Creating a list of prompts your customers can use when crafting their review helps make sure their reviews benefit both prospective customers and your search rankings!

Customer reviews and testimonials are crucial to your business. They provide you with feedback on your products and services and help potential customers gain insights from your current ones. Additionally, reviews and testimonials that include beneficial keywords can support ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).

Graphic of a hand using a tablet to read online reviews of a business

When your business has reviews on important sites, like Google My Business (GMB), Google sees your business as authoritative and is likely to reward you for this. Greg Gifford, an experienced SEO consultant, created a video for LinkedIn with a suggestion that inspired this post: provide prompts so customers leave reviews with keywords that benefit your rankings.

In this post, we’ll walk through the steps you should take to prompt your customers (without specifically asking them) to leave beneficial keywords in their reviews and testimonials. Not only can you prompt them to leave a review, but you can also give them some questions they can use to get started. This helps customers leave high-quality reviews with details that will benefit your rankings and also gives them a baseline to get started in writing their review.

Benefits to Providing Review Prompts

#1 – Encourages high-quality, specific reviews

  • When you request a review after a customer has experienced your services, it can be intimidating for them to start off with a blank screen. When you prompt your customers with questions about their experience, it helps them feel more comfortable and helps you earn more detailed reviews.

#2 – Influences more people to find you when they search for the degrees, products, services, and experiences you offer

  • Reviews help influence rankings in the SERPs. If you use prompts that include the keywords you’re targeting, your customers are more likely to use those terms in their reviews, which makes you more likely to rank for them.

#3 – Themes in reviews help those who skim search results understand your value

  •  Google aggregates common themes in reviews. This helps if someone searches for something in the immediate area of your business.
    • Example: Here you can see that Google has aggregated keywords and phrases throughout the reviews to make it easier for a potential customer to see reviews that include venues they may want to visit. If a consumer wanted to see all the reviews that included the keyword “zoo,” they could select it and read up on the experiences others have had.

Screenshot of reviews from Google My Busiess for Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, LA

  • Also, when searchers see the themes of your reviews called out, they can more quickly understand what your business offers. In the example above, it’s helpful to know that the business has a zoo, aquarium, and swamp attraction they could visit while in town.

Questions to Prompt Reviews

Sample questions you can use to foster specific, high-quality reviews:

Medical / Healthcare Questions to Prompt Detailed Customer Reviews

  • Which treatment did you receive?
  • What brought you into the practice?
  • Why did you choose our practice or a specific doctor?
  • Which location did you visit?

Tourism & Attraction: Questions to Prompt Detailed Customer Reviews

  • Which attractions did you visit?
  • How were your interactions with the staff?
  • What were the amenities like?
  • What did you enjoy most about your experience?

Restaurants: Questions to Prompt Detailed Customer Reviews

  • Which food and drink items did you have?
  • Which restaurant location did you visit?
  • How do we compare to other restaurants you’ve been to in the past?
  • How were your interactions with the staff?
  • How was the ambiance?

Education: Questions to Prompt Detailed Customer Reviews

  • Which campus did you visit/attend?
  • Which degree or program are/were you interested in?
  • Do you have any tips for future prospects?
  • How did this experience prepare you for life after graduation?

Bonus Tip for Bringing Reviews Into Other Marketing Efforts:

  • Feature the most called out benefits of your business in your website copy, imagery, and social media posts and ads

How Can You Get Started?

  • Gather any email addresses you have of past and present customers.
  • Write an email that prompts them to leave a review for your business.
  • Within the email, include prompting questions that will get them thinking about their experience and ultimately help them produce a thoughtful review that will benefit everyone!

Now that you’ve got a leg up on your reviews and testimonials, it’s time to start thinking about improving other aspects of your SEO. If you’re not sure where to start, ask for a digital marketing analysis of your website from our team of experts at Search Influence.

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