In case you’ve missed out on every single SEO tutorial, off-page SEO (otherwise known as off-site SEO or backlink optimisation) is one of the fundamental aspects of your digital marketing strategy. It’s so important, in fact, that without it, Google might not be rewarding you with the traffic you probably deserve.
We have so many resources on our Geek Speak blog that cover this topic, so if you’re already lost, we recommend moseying on over to take a look. But in a nutshell, any mention, review, press release, or link from an external source falls under the category of off-page SEO.
Why is this important?
Because the more your brand exists outside of your website, the more authority it has in the eyes, or more accurately, the ranking algorithms of Google. And since we’re talking about authority here, we’re also not just talking about any old backlink from any old website. Real results happens when these backlinks, mentions, reviews, etc. come from trusted sources.
The quality vs. quantity debate is still ongoing, but in our opinion, if you don’t want to be publicly associated with the sites that are mentioning or backlinking to you, you’re probably not dealing with a high-quality link.
More Positive Reviews Means Better Optimisation
All that to say (and excuse our verbosity), off-page SEO is essential, which means that getting mentions and reviews are a high priority. While we don’t recommend making up a bunch of random profiles and leaving fake reviews all over the place, we do think there’s a simple way to incentivise your customers to help you along.
Which is why today we’re going to show you how to leave a Clutch review and how to encourage your customers to leave one too.
According to its home page, Clutch is “the only resource you need to find the right company.” With almost 100,000 reviews of B2B websites, it’s determined to help companies find the best fit for their business by collecting real in-depth reviews from real people.
With over a million people using Clutch every month to find their next business partner, Clutch is kind of a big deal in the B2B world.
While we’re not going to sit here proselytizing until the cows come home (Clutch isn’t paying us to say this, FYI), we will say that it’s pretty much one of the most trusted B2B review sites around.
So, if you don’t yet have a review from one of your customers, it’s time to hop to!
How to Get Started
Head over to clutch.co/get-listed to check out their listing options if your company doesn’t have a profile yet. Profile tiers start from $0/month and go up to $150/month. All account types offer unlimited reviews, so even if you’ve got nothing but lint in your pockets, you can still get started.
Getting your site listed is one thing, but leaving a review is another matter. And no, you can’t leave a review on your own business listing (we already tried…kidding!).
Now that your site is listed, it’s time to encourage your customers to leave a review. But here’s where it gets tricky.
Clutch reviews take foreeeeeeever. There’s a price to pay for all that thoroughness, and that price is the time it takes for your customer to fill everything out. We suspect that Clutch knows this, because they offer to do it for you:
‘Reviewers have the option to leave a review on Clutch by scheduling a 15-minute call with a Clutch team member.’
So, right off the bat, it’s important to know that asking a customer of yours to leave a review is no small favour (or maybe it’s just my Millennial impatience talking).
Our advice: go through the Clutch review process yourself to see how much time and effort is involved.
Tips for Getting Your Customers to Leave a Review
We do recommend highlighting that 15-min phone call as an option for your clients. But there are other ways to incentivise your customers to donate some of their time to such a worthy cause.
Make it as Easy as Possible for Them
Let’s be honest real quick: most of us are lazy. And many of us put off tasks that we don’t want to do (present company included, if my laundry pile counts). And here’s another truth bomb: filling out forms is about as exhilarating as watching paint dry.
Doing the bulk of the work yourself, i.e. filling out the answers for them, will probably generate more yeas than nays.
You’ll have to copy and paste the questions and fill them out on a separate document to send to your customer. To do that, you’ll have to start the Clutch review process for another company first. We swear this isn’t cheating.
Obviously, since you can’t submit the review yourself, your customer will have to paste those answers into the form, so they’ll have plenty of time to look over what you wrote before they hit send. And now that you know this, try to avoid scribbling outlandish claims or downright lies.
Sweeten the Deal
Bribery, in its softest of forms, can be a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ to show your appreciation.
You don’t have to offer your first-born child or relinquish those coveted season tickets (we’re only talking about a Clutch review here), but you might encourage your customers to participate if you offer them an Amazon voucher, a gift certificate to their local spa, or even a small discount of your services.
Those 15 or 20 minutes of their time might seem like a pretty fair exchange for a money-saving reward.
Offer Like for Like
And finally, the most sensible incentive is to offer your B2B customer an equally enthusiastic review in exchange for one of theirs. That’s what we call in the business a win-win situation.
And if you really want a surefire way to get your customers to agree, you could offer all three.
How to Leave a Clutch Review
Here are the step-by-step instructions for submitting a review:
- Navigate to clutch.co/review/submit and login using your LinkedIn or Google account
- Type the company name in the search bar
- A dropdown menu will appear. Select the most appropriate type of project.
- Give your project a relevant title
- Select the type of company you work for.
- Select the correct Cost Range (there’s an opt-out option)
- Enter the Project Start date
- Enter Project End date
- Click Next Section
The Review Questions
1: Please describe your company and your position there.
2: For what projects/services did your company hire [you]?
3: How did you select this vendor and what were the deciding factors?
4: Describe the project in detail and walk through the stages of the project.
5: How many resources from the vendor’s team worked with you, and what were their positions?
Results & Feedback
6: Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?
7: How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?
8: What did you find most impressive or unique about this company?
9: Are there any areas for improvement or something they could have done differently?
This is where your customers leave a star rating for each section. They’ll be asked to explain their rating, which is optional. We recommend leaving this part up to your customers.
Here is the basic information about the reviewer, your customer. Let them know that this section is optional.
- – Prompt: Click Next Section
Verify & Submit
Here the customer will be asked to fill out their contact information.
- – Prompt: Click Submit Review
While this seems like a lot of work, the ends justify the means. Remember that positive reviews hold quite a lot of ranking weight. Perhaps even more importantly, your potential customers are scouring sites like Clutch looking for your services and the voices of your happy customers can go a long way in your customer’s buying journey.
Stay tuned, folks. We’ll be going after G2 next!