As a local business owner, online reviews are crucial for attracting new customers and building trust.
However many local businesses struggle to get reviews from travelers and out-of-town visitors who are often only in the area for a short time.
In the intro of this article, I’ll share some tips to help your local SEO company get more online reviews from travelers and visitors passing through your area.
The key is making it as simple as possible for travelers to leave reviews of your business.
Here are some suggestions:
- Have review cards available – Print business cards or slips of paper with your Google My Business and Yelp page URLs and a request to leave a review. Hand these out with every purchase or service.
- Add review links to receipts – Print your review page URLs on the receipts customers receive with their purchase.
- Send follow-up emails – Collect email addresses when possible, then send a friendly email after a customer’s visit requesting an online review.
- Provide free WiFi – Set up free in-store WiFi and have a signup landing page with links to review your business.
- Offer incentives – Consider offering a discount or free gift as an incentive for leaving a review. Just don’t make it conditional on getting a 5-star rating.
It’s important to monitor major review sites regularly so you can respond promptly to any new reviews from travelers. Set aside time each week to:
- Check your Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook pages for new reviews.
- Thank travelers for taking the time to review your business.
- Politely respond to any negative reviews to show you care about feedback.
- Ask satisfied customers to consider leaving positive reviews to counteract any negatives.
Staying on top of incoming reviews keeps your pages active and shows customers you value their opinions.
Reviews with photos or videos attached tend to get more helpful votes and visibility. So encourage travelers to share photos of their experience.
- Have signs allowing customers to take photos of your business.
- Suggest photo opportunities related to your services. A restaurant could suggest taking shots of the food or décor.
- Hold contests for the best customer photos and share winners on social media.
Photos allow potential customers to visually preview your business, especially helpful for travelers from out of town.
When you receive a review from a traveler or visitor, always respond promptly and politely, even to negative feedback.
Replying to online reviews shows customers you care and are listening.
It also gives you a chance to apologize for negative experiences and thank customers for praise.
Some best practices for responding:
- Personalize – Mention the customer’s name and details of their visit.
- Be prompt – Respond within 24 hours, faster is better.
- Stay professional – Always use a polite, business-like tone, even when handling complaints.
- Learn from any feedback – If the review contains suggestions for improvement, seriously consider them. Travelers often have an outside perspective you may lack.
Replying builds goodwill and gives potential customers assurance you’ll listen to their feedback as well.