In the electronic era, positive or negative reviews can make or break an aquatic facility. Consumers and patrons regularly turn to Google and Yelp to check reviews before picking a fitness center, hotel, or aquatic facility to peruse what previous visitors have to say about the business.
Organizations with five-star reviews appeal to more people than one with dismal one-, two-, or three-star feedback. In this article, we will explore how to get more positive reviews so you can reach more customers via Google, attract more patrons to your commercial pool and grow your aquatic facility.
In this article we’ll cover:
- Why Positive Reviews Matter
- Google Reviews v.s. Yelp Reviews
- How to Get More Positive Reviews on Google
- How to Get More Positive Reviews on Yelp
- 6 Tips for Increasing Positive Reviews for Your Aquatic Facility
Why Positive Reviews Matter
Positive reviews have never mattered more than in the digital era when everything is readily at the fingertips of patrons. Reading positive reviews inspires a would-be customer, member, tenant, etc. to choose your facility with confidence.
A single negative review can cause a potential patron to think twice about booking a stay at your hotel, joining your fitness center, or spending the day at your aquatic facility. After reading the negative review, the would-be customer might navigate away from your natatorium and start reading the reviews of your competition. If your competitors have better reviews, they will probably trump your commercial pool and spa.
A Google review can positively or negatively impact your aquatic facility’s ability to gain new customers. Google has a great deal of sway in pretty much every industry. The search engine accounts for 88% of the global search engine market, according to research carried out by Statista.
Below are just a few reasons why positive Google reviews matter:
Studies have shown that 88% of consumers value online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. If your commercial pool and spa have positive Google reviews, then you are already starting to build trust before the would-be customer ever visits your facility.
The positive reviews reinforce the Google searcher’s confidence in the aquatic facility and makes them want to visit, book a stay, join, or make contact to learn more.
Increased Traffic and Purchases
Consumers conduct a great deal of research before making a choice. Research has shown they will often read at least 10 reviews before planning to visit a business.
If your organization has an ample amount of positive Google reviews then the reader is likely to take the next step by visiting the facility, making a reservation, or calling customer service to learn more.
Higher Search Rank
Commercial pools with frequent positive Google reviews typically receive the reward of a higher rank in local SEO searches. Google suggests responding to any reviews that users leave about your facility. Whenever an owner takes the time to reply to reviews then it shows how much they value their opinion of their customer’s and the feedback they receive. When customers leave positive, high-quality reviews then your business visibility increases on Google and the likelihood that an interested patron will visit your facility also improves.
When your facility receives a lot of positive reviews, they function as a positive endorsement on your Business Profile and become a source of free Google advertising. Searchers trust Google’s reputation and having five-star reviews helps foster trust in your commercial pool and spa. You can even share your Google reviews to act as testimonials on your homepage.
Some aquatic facilities even add an entire page that is dedicated to their positive reviews to their website. Seeing so many inspirational testimonials on a website is a way to get more Google reviews because it inspires patrons to leave their own feedback.
In fact, you can even go so far as to ask kindly if your customers would like to leave your facility a positive review. Asking is always a terrific way to get more positive Google reviews.
Improved Click Through Rates
You want would-be patrons to click on your facility’s link. In fact, you probably spend a great deal of time and money investing in a concrete SEO strategy, but you also need people to click on your aquatic facility in a Google search to increase the click through rate.
Your Google review rating is displayed beside your business name on Google. An impressive collection of positive google ratings helps increase the clicks through to your website.
How to Get More Positive Reviews on Google
You’ll want to make sure your aquatic facility is set up correctly on Google, so you get more positive Google reviews.
Verify Your Aquatic Facility on Google
Your commercial pool and spa must be considered a ‘Place’ on Google maps, so you’ll need to create a listing on Google maps which then creates the Business Profile on Google. You will want to make sure your commercial pool and spa name and other information is correct and updated on Google. Once you claim your Business Profile on Google then only you can make changes or updates to the information after you create and verify your account and ownership. Once you have developed your Business Profile then you can manage and respond to Google reviews.
Familiarize Yourself with the Review Process
Did you know that it takes the average customer only a minute to write a Google review? The process involves the customer opening Google maps to find your aquatic facility. They can then pull up your Google Business Profile and scroll down to the reviews section where they can quickly write their review.
Create a Business Google Review Link Shortcut
Make it easy for your patrons to leave a review by creating a review shortcut link that you can place directly on your website.
- Visit Google My Business Account.
- Locate the Home tab and click on it.
- Click on the ‘Get Your First Review’ or ‘Get More Reviews’ card.
- Pick ‘Share Review Form.’
- Copy the link onto your clipboard.
- Drop the link onto your website or you can hyperlink it using shorter anchor text.
Link to the Google Reviews Page
Provide a call to action on your website that directs visitors to leave a Google review. Make sure the call to action is easy to locate and straightforward in its instructions. When the visitor clicks on the CTA then they are taken to the business’s Google review page where they can leave a positive review.
Create Google Review Cards
A great offline method to encourage reviews is to create Google review cards that you can hand out at your place of business. Keep the review cards on the counter, near the entrance to the facility or give one out at the time someone signs up for a membership. Hotels can leave the review cards in the rooms for guests.
On the card, encourage the patron to visit Google and leave the aquatic facility a positive review. Let them know that their feedback will help you to continue offering premium services to your patrons and give your insight into areas that might need improvement or changes.
Ask for a Positive Review
Never be afraid to ask for things. Encourage guests to leave a helpful review of your aquatic facility. Whether they have recently visited and had an enjoyable time, or you have completed an inquiry call that left the customer feeling satisfied, take a moment to request a positive review.
You can even hand out reminder cards to patrons requesting positive feedback. Include a link to your organization’s review page and website to make it easy to leave positive testimonials.
Quick and Easy Reviews
Leaving a Google review is easy, but your patrons might not know the process.
- Let them know that they do not need to write anything but can simply leave a star rating.
- If they do want to leave written feedback, then let them know how much you would appreciate a sentence or two.
- When requesting a review, always use sentences like, “drop a quick review” to let them know it won’t take a great deal of time to carry out the request.
Tips for Improving Your Google Business Profile
You want to appeal to patrons and customers to encourage them to leave your facility a positive review. Also, you want to ensure that would-be visitors can find your aquatic facility’s information quickly and easily when conducting a Google search. The best way to achieve your goals is to focus on improving your Google Business Profile.
You want to attract online visibility and ensure that your aquatic facility comes up in the local search listings and on the search engine’s mapping. Taking the steps needed to optimize your Google Business Profile lets your local facility shine so you can attract more visitors and loyal patrons.
- Ensure that your customers leave glowing reviews to help make your Google Business Profile more noticeable to organic searchers.
- Consider using a review management platform to effectively organize customer reviews, send out texts requesting that patrons leave a positive review and respond to all Google reviews from email alerts.
- Take the time to respond to reviews, even negative ones. Reaching out to customers who feel they have had an unpleasant experience shows that you genuinely care and are trying to make things right to ensure customer satisfaction.
- Use the tool that Google provides to make your commercial pool and spa a success. Reach out to customers via social media posts, share events, promotions, and more. Weave in positive reviews and blurbs into the content you share
With Google's Business Profile, users can opt to follow your own local profile, so they gain rapid access to any deals, promotions, special events and more that you are offering at your aquatic facility.
Yelp made its debut in 2004 and quickly became popular, surpassing YellowPages.com and WhitePages.com which makes it a valuable marketing tool for businesses. The site is available online and via its app. Millions of companies appear on the site which targets customers in a business’s geographic location. Users of Yelp can leave reviews and rate aquatic facilities based on performance. Yelp never verifies users, but it does have an algorithm that pinpoints malicious or fake reviews and posts.
Although Yelp reviews do not have an impact on an aquatic facility’s search engine ranking, the site is still valued by potential customers and patrons when researching a commercial pool and spa. Yelp is often considered the go-to place to research hospitality, retail, and service industry businesses. Travelers and people who seek memberships to fitness centers or other facilities regularly turn to Yelp to see what others say about a facility.
Research shows that Yelp holds the second spot as the most popular review site online in the United States. As many as half of all Americans regularly consult with the site before visiting a business or making a purchase. The site is a valuable marketing tool that lets businesses attract new customers.
Benefits of Yelp for a commercial pool and spa include:
- Attract new patrons through Yelp.
- Improve your facility by using the feedback provided by customers.
- Gives your aquatic facility credibility
How to Get More Positive Yelp Reviews
The first step is to set up your aquatic facility on the Yelp website, so you get more positive Yelp reviews. When used correctly, Yelp becomes a valuable resource for any aquatic facility, fitness center, hotel, municipality, or resort.
Here is how to best use Yelp when learning how to get more positive reviews and expand your organization’s clientele.
Claim a Yelp Page for Your Business
Visit the Yelp claim page.
Search Yelp to see if anyone has created a Yelp page for your commercial pool and spa. With Yelp, customers can create business pages to leave a review, so don’t be surprised if you find your aquatic facility already listed on the popular site.
When registering for Yelp, the first thing it does is prompt you to find out if your commercial pool is already listed. If you find your aquatic facility listed then, as the owner, you can claim the commercial pool and unlock the page.
If Yelp does not find your aquatic facility listed, then it will ask you to add your commercial pool and spa to Yelp and register business details. A code will arrive via your phone or email to verify your identity.
Set Up Your Yelp Page
Yelp makes setting up a page easy. You’ll find that the site offers you a variety of optimization and customization options that you can use to make your page attractive and further your marketing reach. Add photos and other imagery to make your page appealing and intriguing.
Optimize your aquatic facility on Yelp:
- Ensure that you categorize your aquatic facility correctly. Yelp has 22 categories with even more subcategories. You'll want to choose up to three categories for your aquatic facility. Always focus on correctly classifying your organization so it is easily found by anyone searching for your services.
- Write an impressive commercial pool and spa description using the 1,500 characters provided by Yelp to market your aquatic facility. You’ll want to talk about your facility, staff, and reasons why patrons should visit. Take the time to ensure that your pool’s description stands out from the competition.
- Always list your aquatic facility hours so people know when to visit.
- Add additional helpful features and information such as parking, concessions, etc.
- Use keywords to make it easier for visitors to find your aquatic facility’s page when they run a search.
- Upload videos and photos highlighting your aquatic facility’s many features.
- List contact information such as your aquatic facility URL, phone numbers, and email addresses.
- Regularly update your profile You want to maintain fresh content that continues to highlight announcements, discounts, and other updates.
- Link your Yelp account to your commercial pool and spa website.
- Offer check-in rewards. Yelp lets users check in whenever they visit your facility. You’ll want to encourage your patrons to come to your aquatic facility by offering a discount or some other ‘reward’ such as a free night’s stay or free month of membership. Some aquatic facility’s use a customer loyalty program.
- Take the time to match your commercial pool’s name, phone numbers, and address to your Google Business Profile. This improves your chances of being featured in a ‘local pack’ which is a top listing of three businesses that are featured on a Google results page and accompany a local map when searchers look for similar aquatic facilities in your area. Companies listed in Google's local pack receive an abundance of phone calls compared to companies that do not.
- Add all locations if your aquatic facility operates at more than a single physical site. You’ll want to create a separate profile for each one of your corresponding commercial pools and spas.
Not all of Yelp is free for businesses. They do charge for a few of their tools, but you should consider paying for the perks because they have impressive optimization capabilities which can help you learn how to get more positive reviews and drive more traffic to your aquatic facility.
- Add a CTA button on your Help page that invites visitors to print a voucher, receive a quote, visit your facility, or more.
- Remove the ‘might also consider’ section to eliminate the competition from your profile.
- Organize your images so they appear at the top of the page.
- Offer deals such as discounts on services.
- Sell gift certificates to your aquatic facility.
How to Attract Yelp Reviews
So, do you want to attract and get more positive Yelp reviews? Yelp never reaches out to customers to request reviews. In fact, the platform has been known to ‘out’ other businesses who do. However, there are other ways that you can encourage your customers to leave you positive Yelp reviews
Get more positive Yelp reviews by carrying out the following:
- Create a link to leave a Yelp review on your aquatic facility’s webpage.
- Highlight testimonials on a review carousel that you add to your website.
- Use Yelp stickers at your aquatic facility to encourage customers to leave reviews.
- Take the time to promote positive Yelp reviews on your organization’s social media channels.
- Offer customers a first-time offer if they are new to visiting your facility.
- Post reminders to leave a Yelp review on your website. You can place the Yelp review plugin within your website’s footer or link your Yelp listing within your aquatic facility’s email signature.
How to Rank Higher on Yelp
The best way to ensure that your commercial pool ranks high is to get as many positive reviews as possible. The greater your online presence, the higher your aquatic facility will also rank on Google.
Managing Negative Yelp Reviews
Bad reviews happen because no aquatic facility can please every customer all the time. However, how you address the negative reviews does matter. Yelp has control over how prominent a bad review is on your Yelp business profile. However, you’ll have to pay to have the bad reviews pushed to the bottom or completely removed.
Here are a few ways to manage a bad help review:
- Try not to take it personally. Bad reviews happen even to the best facilities. ;
- Learn from the review and then take steps to rectify the situation.
- Respond quickly to any review. Ideally, you should respond within two days. Try to not wait more than a week to respond if you cannot get to the review within the first 48 hours.
- Weigh the reviewer's problem and try to make the person happy by offering a discount or some other perk.
- Always address the reviewer’s concern directly. In some instances, a consumer will reverse their review if you help satisfy their problem.
- Try to deal directly with the reviewer by taking their concerns offline and working to resolve the issue. You do not want to create a detailed conversation for the public to view. Instead, respond simply and then give options on how the situation can be resolved by inviting the reviewer to contact you directly.
Bad customer service can take a toll on an aquatic facility, so try to always foster a positive relationship both online and offline so you can avoid negative customer reviews.
Google Local Pack and Yelp
Google and Yelp lead as the biggest digital opportunities online for businesses. Everyone wants to get more positive Google reviews and get more positive Yelp reviews. Yelp does not necessarily help your aquatic facility rank higher in search results, but Google does consider Yelp a reliable source for its Google Business Profile.
Ensure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) are the same as those listed on your Google Business Profile so that you can boost your chances of your aquatic facility making the coveted Google’s local pack top list.
Alternatives to Google and Yelp
Yes, Google and Yelp are the two top sites for consumer reviews. However, there are other alternatives to Google and Yelp that you might want to consider using to effectively market your aquatic facility and use to learn how to get more positive reviews.
Sites that you might want to consider.
- TripAdvisor (especially beneficial for hotels or resorts)
- Trustpilot (beneficial for hotels r resorts)
- Better Business Bureau
- Apple Maps
Google Reviews vs. Yelp Reviews
Google is the leading search engine worldwide. They pull data using various sources and use the information to rank your website during a search. Google is integral to consumers finding your commercial pool locally. Yelp is simply a site that has a strong resemblance to an online bulletin board. That is not to say that consumers do not use Yelp reviews to decide on which aquatic facility to frequent, but Yelp simply is not as important as Google.
- Established reputation
- Receives over 100 million views each month.
- Designed as a platform to read and leave reviews.
- You can dispute an inaccurate commercial pool and spa review and have it removed promptly.
- Filtered reviews - the algorithm can suppress reviews it feels are too positive or negative.
- Google provides you with a link to use to ask for positive business reviews.
- Positive Google reviews help your aquatic facility rank high in search engine results.
- Can bury bad reviews by sending links to customers asking for more positive reviews.
- Google does not remove reviews.
- Easy for customers to leave your commercial pool and spa a review.
- Google reviews generate clicks and calls
- Reviews update slowly
- Algorithm prioritizes an aquatic facility’s location
- Difficult to remove inaccurate or negative reviews.
6 Tips for Getting More Positive Reviews for Your Aquatic Center
Below are 6 top tips on how to get more positive reviews for your aquatic facility. Remember, positive reviews hinge on customer satisfaction. You’ll get more positive Google reviews and positive yelp reviews when the clientele is happy with your services and facility.
Improving how your commercial pool and spa operates by embracing innovative water management software and technology not only streamlines your commercial pool and spa operations making things easier for you and staff but also improves your customer’s experience.
1. Maintain Compliance, Safety and Cleanliness
Your patrons want and deserve to visit a safe aquatic facility that is clean and compliant. Use VivoPoint to maintain your facility’s water quality and ensure compliance and safety for your guests.
2. Hire and Train an Efficient, Friendly and Diligent Staff
Customer service matters. People who visit your natatorium want their needs met and questions answered by skilled and friendly staff.
3. Upgrade Your Pool Features
Of course, you want your aquatic facility to have the coolest features but you can drive efficiency by investing in the latest technology such as VivoPoint so you can afford to expand and upgrade your pool.
4. Improve Sustainability
Water management software lets you improve your facility’s sustainability with greater energy savings through data tracking. VivoPoint lets you pinpoint areas of your aquatic facility not functioning at peak performance so you can make needed adjustments to achieve greater sustainability.
5. Drive Efficiency with Technology
Water management software helps you dramatically drive efficiency at your commercial pool and spa by eliminating time-consuming manual processes, overseeing operations, maintaining safety, reducing man hours, and providing reports/data you can count on.
6. Encourage guests to leave reviews by making things fun and exciting.
Consider hosting a contest or game at your pool facility. Make one of the requirements to enter that the customer leaves you a review on Google or Yelp. You can also offer a discount to your hotel’s restaurant, a personal training session at the fitness center or more in exchange for the customer leaving a review.
Nowadays, virtually everyone has a smartphone in their hand. They will quickly check reviews before deciding on what aquatic facility, hotel, or fitness center to join, book a reservation at, or visit. It is imperative that your natatorium comes out at the top of the search engine results page and has stellar reviews on leading sites like Google and Yelp.
Cutting edge technology, such as innovative water management software by VivoAquatics, gives you the edge you need to provide stellar customer service and achieve five-star reviews on Google and Yelp. Start learning how to get more positive reviews for your commercial pool (hotel, municipality, multifamily and more aquatic facilities). Contact us today for a free demo!