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Putting Good Reviews To Work For You

Last updated on June 15, 2020
12 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • The anatomy of a good review
  • Where to feature good reviews on your website
  • How to incorporate good reviews into your digital marketing strategy

Skill Level

All Skill Levels

Business owners love seeing five-star reviews. It feels good knowing that a guest enjoyed your tour or activity so much that they wanted to share their experience online. Although you can’t choose the reviews your company receives, you can choose how you leverage them as part of a strong digital marketing strategy. The first step to putting those good reviews to use is knowing the difference between an average four or five-star review and one that goes above and beyond.

When it comes to choosing the best reviews to feature on your website or share with your audience on social media, not all reviews are created equal. In many cases, the five-star rating alone isn’t enough to make a review worthy of sharing. There are some other important elements that set a great review apart from the others – like the level of detail, information about customer service, and tour guide or employee mentions – to name a few. 

Leveraging these high-quality reviews not only puts your business in the best light, but it also gives potential customers the information they’re looking for before they feel ready to make a booking. This guide covers the anatomy of a good review and how you can incorporate the best reviews into your digital marketing strategy.

The Anatomy of a Good Review

Looking for the best reviews to include on your website or share on social media? Choose reviews that meet the following criteria to wow future bookers.

Five-Star Rating (or close to it)

It could go without saying, but the best reviews — and the ones you want potential customers to see — are those with a high star-rating. These glowing reviews are like free advertising for your business, so you might as well put them to use. 

a drawing of a face

Pro tip: A business with only 5-star ratings can seem suspicious and lead people to think that some (or all) of the reviews are fake. Real reviews will be diverse and include varying perspectives – and even for the best run businesses that can mean a few four and even three-star reviews. As long as your overall review rating is 4-star or above, this should not hurt you.

Detailed & Specific Information

The best reviews provide valuable information to potential customers and are not vague. You’ve likely seen reviews along the lines of “we had a great time on the zipline tour! The staff was friendly and helpful.” The positive feedback is appreciated, but this review doesn’t offer any specific details that would inform potential bookers about the experience or help them with their purchasing decision. Instead, look for reviews that are a bit longer, with plenty of useful information that helps your business stand out from your competition. 

“This is the best ghost tour I’ve ever taken. Steve is a true storyteller and managed to keep things spooky while giving a historical account of Boston that was really interesting with lots of fun facts that I had never heard before. Steve was very respectful to everyone, keeping in mind that some were more scared than others. The level of walking was just right. We were outside for some of the time but most of the stops were indoors. Take this tour, you won’t be disappointed.”

This example of a great five-star review is a worthy choice to feature on your website since it includes plenty of information about the experience as a whole, including how much walking guests can expect, the type of content shared during the tour, and specific details about the tour guide.

a close up of a signMentions the Tour Guide by Name

Another element of a great review is when it mentions a specific employee or tour guide and talks about how this person gave the reviewer a positive experience. Reviews that mention a tour guide instill confidence in future bookers by providing a human touch that shows potential customers the real people behind the business, making them feel like they will be valued guests. Tour participants want to know that real, helpful people will be attending to their needs during the experience.

Has a Response From Your Business

You can make a great review even stronger in the eyes of potential customers by responding to it. Since the majority of consumers read responses to reviews (and even expect businesses to respond), make sure you’ve thanked the reviewer for their message before sharing with the rest of your audience. This makes your business look more trustworthy and it even encourages other guests to leave their own review. For more reasons to respond to reviews and a full breakdown on how to craft your response, check out this guide on responding to positive and negative reviews.

a screenshot of a cell phoneHighlights Customer Service

If your business prides itself on customer service, be sure to choose reviews that highlight what you do best, specifically the distinguishing ways in which your business goes the extra mile to look out for your guests. This will motivate other people to book an experience with you since they know that you value strong customer service. Examples include reviews about helping a guest reschedule a tour, accommodating someone’s complicated dietary restrictions, helping a potential booker choose the white water rafting tour that was best for their skill level, or any other instance when the reviewer highlights a positive interaction with your team.

Features User-Generated Content

Other reviews to show on your website or social media profiles are those that feature user-generated content (UGC). Photos or videos of guests enjoying themselves on your tour or activity go a long way to persuade others to book because they can see the experience in action. Plus, UGC increases conversions, has a high impact on purchasing decisions, and is one of the most trusted forms of content.

Reviews that meet the above criteria show off the best aspects of your business while giving readers exactly what they want to see. They help answer questions about the experience, show off strong visuals, and make people see what is unique about your business compared to the competition — ultimately leading to more bookings!

a screenshot of a treePut Quality Reviews to Use

While many potential customers will find your reviews on third-party sites like Tripadvisor or Google Reviews, you should make your good reviews go the extra mile by featuring them in the testimonials section of your website and using them for various digital marketing campaigns. Now that you know what makes up a great review, look for the best of the best to share with your audience.

On Your Website

Make good reviews work for your business by displaying them on your website! Include a testimonials section on your homepage with 5-10 great reviews that viewers can scroll through. You could also create a separate testimonials page with more reviews, feature a few on your about us page, or even include one at the bottom of a tour/activity page. When using headings to draw attention to your testimonials, emphasize your business rating or the number of five-star reviews you have (e.g. “Over 500 Five-star Reviews” or “#1 Rafting Company in Colorado”).

On Social Media

a screenshot of a cell phoneWhen it comes to sharing great reviews on social media, it’s all about getting creative. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to posting guest reviews, but you can get started by sharing a great review once a week or so with a caption that reflects your gratitude or speaks to the review in some way. For example, if you share a screenshot of a great Tripadvisor review that complimented one of your tour guides, you could include a photo of that guide and a note about his/her favorite part of the experience. 

Social media is the perfect platform for showing off UGC reviews of a visual nature, like those that feature photos and videos. You can get creative with a slideshow or collage of guest photos along with five-star ratings, or highlight them one at a time, thanking the reviewer for their great photo or video. If most of your reviews contain written content without photos or videos, choose a selection of the best quotes from those reviews and pair them with your own photos on your Instagram or Facebook story. If your business has a specific style on social media or sticks to a certain type of branded posts, think about other ways to work reviews into your typical content. 

In Email

Whether you’re sending an email newsletter, promoting a new tour or activity, or reminding readers about an upcoming seasonal event, email marketing is a key place to show off your glowing reviews. If you send out regular newsletters, consider adding a small section where you feature recent positive reviews to capture repeat bookers. If you’re sending out a promotional email highlighting a certain tour or event, include a good review for that specific experience to prompt people to book.

a close up of foodOn Third-Party Sites

You don’t have too much control over how reviews get organized on third-party sites, but you can do your part to make positive five-star reviews more visible. On Google, Tripadvisor, and other review sites, visitors and business owners can mark reviews as helpful, similar to upvoting. This moves reviews further up the site so more people can read them. Responding to reviews also gets more eyes on them since readers typically seek out responses before making a purchasing decision.

Now that you have a better understanding of the anatomy of a good review, it’s time to start looking through your recent reviews to find some that are worth sharing! If you’re worried that you don’t have too many reviews to choose from, or you’re wondering how you can improve your reputation management overall, take a look at this checklist for some quick tips. The best part about leveraging your good reviews by sharing them is that it prompts other guests to review your business as well, giving you even more feedback to use in the future. Find additional Compass reputation management guides here.

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