It has been known for a long time that what clients have to say about your company holds more weight than what you have to say about your company, regardless of how fantastic your services are or how authentic your messaging might be.
Google has factored them into its local ranking algorithm too, not just the number, but the consistency of those reviews, recognizing how much value customers put into customer reviews.
So Google reviews have an impact on your ability not only through your credibility, but also through your search ranking, to attract new customers.
And that’s why, in this post, we’re going to cover plenty successful techniques to get a steady stream of positive, genuine Google reviews feedback for your company that you can put in place. We’ll be covering:
- The direct – and indirect – positive effects of Google reviews.
- The fastest and most powerful way to gain more reviews via Google.
- Examples of these tactics, so that you don’t have to start from scratch.
Ready to learn? Then read on as we get started.
Leaving a Google review can be a quick and easy process for consumers, but the advantages for businesses are ongoing. The more people you can get to leave a Google review for your company, the more business goals you’ll be able to achieve. Now is the time to emphasize this in your local marketing plan if you are not yet putting much effort into obtaining Google business reviews. To back this up assertion up, so you know we are not just guessing here, here are some facts and stats to keep in mind:
More postive reviews, more leads
Did you know that 88 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Building up your ‘stock’ of Google business reviews significantly increases the possibility that upon finding it, a Google searcher engages with your business.
More favorable feedback, more conversions
Before making purchasing decisions, customers study and read feedback. In fact, before feeling secure in making a decision, they read a minimum of 10 reviews. The more good client/customer feedback you have from Google, the more likely a purchase will be made.
Higher feedback, higher search ranking
Google rewards companies whose review stream is regularly added to – and positive – in the SERPS. As verified by Google itself (see below), they are a definite local SEO ranking factor.
Lots of reviews, lower ad spend
There is no charge for customers to leave Google reviews feedback or to businesses for reacting and responding to them. On your Company Profile, positive endorsements for your business act as free Google ads on the most trusted website in the world. Now that’s cool.
Basic Requirements To Get Good Google Business Reviews
A very important thing to remember here is that a couple of things need to be in place in order to get Google reviews:
Play by the Rules
When soliciting feedback, you must follow Google’s Terms of Service. This means that you should not offer any compensation for a positive review and ask your customers to be honest about whether they had a positive or negative experience.
Set Up a Proper Profile
Some people mistakenly think that appearing on Google Maps is enough to get your business Google reviews. It’s not. You are not granted power over the listing just by creating a listing on Google Maps (which automatically generates a Business Profile). You must create a Google My Business account and, via that account, verify ownership of your business profile.
Don’t know how to do any of this? A simple guide can be found here.
These steps are important because they are not only prerequisites for the following techniques, but they also allow you to respond to and manage the flow of positive feedback you will receive once you incorporate the tactics in this article!
How To Get More Positive Google My Business Reviews
Well, now that you know the effect on your credibility and search ranking of Google business reviews and have the verified business profile to manage them, it’s time to get more of them. Here’s some effective tactics you can use to get those positive reviews flowing:
To leave a review for your business on Google, technically customers will need to go to Google Maps, search for your business, pull up your Google Business Profile, scroll down to the reviews section, and then leave a review.
One way to get more reviews is to explain this process on your website. Some people mistakenly think that this is against Google’s Terms of Service. It’s not. Google, unlike Yelp!, actively encourages you to ask consumers for reviews. They just don’t want you to pay for them.
There is also a much easier way to get more Google Business Reviews – although an explainer page is a pretty good idea for SEO in general – and that’s by giving customers access to a simple link that Google allows you to generate (see, they want you to do this.)
You can generate these links directly from your Google My Business Dashboard and share them easily via email, Whatsapp or social media. You can also take the slightly ugly long link Google provides and shorten it using a service like Bit.ly to make sharing it almost anywhere a cinch, like in the graphic seen above. Doing any of this significantly increases the likelihood your customers will leave reviews as it creates a one-step, rather than a four or five-step process.
Create a Google Reviews Page on Your Website
Although the above approach works, dedicating a complete website page to Google reviews (or reviews in general) is even better, ensuring it’s easily accessible from your main navigation menu. The page should include both a CTA for writing a review and existing reviews. These not only inspire prospects to become customers, but also provide an existing customer with the added motivation to leave a review.
You can also consider – if you use WordPress as a CMS or have some web design props – a sidebar widget to display your Google Reviews on every page.
You can populate your review page using simple screenshots, but ideally, you want them to be in text form. This is because most reviews are rich in keywords, so putting them on your website in a way that can they can be “read” by the Google crawlers makes for a perfect SEO strategy for small businesses. There are plenty of plugins and widgets out there to help you do this, although at the time of writing there is no official Google version.
Print Up “Leave Us a Review” Cards
This is an offline way to get more Google feedback, which comes in handy with your shortcut link as previously discussed. Have prepared physical cards that say something like the following:
“Review us on Google! Your Google review allows others to find our company that need our services. Plus, we are empowered by your reviews to continue serving you in the best possible way. Take a moment to rate and review us (link goes here) Thank you!”
You can add these to product orders, hand them out in person or, if you have a physical bricks and mortar presence, leave them at the register or reception desk. Adding a QR code, as in the example above, is a great way to make it even easier for customers to leave a review, and they will often do so right away via this method, which is even better, as their delight at the quality of your offerings will still be top of mind!
Drop the Ask Into Conversation
Having a pleasant chat in your shop with a customer? Just concluded a great support call after which the client feels eternally grateful? There are lots of chances to ask for Google feedback in your everyday encounters with customers. Some scenarios and examples of asking for feedback are provided here:
- “I’m so glad to hear how pleased you are with our business. Hey, you’d help a lot more people like yourself to find us if you decided to leave feedback that in a Google review.”
- “This feedback is super helpful. If you posted the feedback online for other customers to see, that would be awesome.”
- “I’m so glad we could help you. It would help us a lot if you wouldn’t mind sharing a sentence or two in a Google review.”
Then you have the compact little card with the link on it, or a link on your website to your review page makes it simple for them to do so. And by the way, that is something you should emphasize a lot. Leaving a Google Business review is easy – much easier than on many other review sites – and if customers know that they are far more likely to do so.
Launch a Google Reviews Email Campaign
Email marketing is another efficient way to get more Google business reviews, whether through customized messages or a larger blanket campaign.
Don’t try to sugar coat it, beat it around the bush, or coerce customers to leave a review. Just be clear with your request. In asking them to do something that will help other potential customers make better choices, you’ll be doing nothing wrong.
Plus, you’d be amazed by how happy they are to write a review when you have satisfied customers. You’re likely to get warm responses to your request as long as the procedure is easily understandable and you make it quick and easy to do.
Add Google Review Links to Surveys
Asking your clients for their input via a customer satisfaction survey makes them feel like you respect what they have to say and have their best interests in mind. As they are already in the right frame of mind if you’ve got someone to fill out a poll or survey, see if you can take advantage of their momentum while they’re at it by asking them to review your company on Google.
Make an Explainer Video
Even with a shortcut link, if they see what the process looks like, some clients will be more inclined to write a review. In this case, it may well be just what you need to create a quick explainer video on how to leave a Google review for your company. DIY marketing videos are simpler than ever with today’s tools and technology and this small investment of your time will pay off big time.
Add Your Google Business Reviews Link to Your Email Signature
In your email signature, adding a link to review your company on Google is a perfect way to ask for more Google feedback without actually asking! This is especially effective if you commincate with customers via email a lot.
Make Sure You Respond To Every Review
Getting great Google reviews is one thing, but you need to ensure that you respond to very single one of them, even the bad ones (of which their are hopefully not a lot, if any.)
When you respond to Google reviews from your users, you let new potential reviewers know that you are listening to customer feedback and that writing their own review is worth their time. There are two ways that reacting to reviews will bring more reviews for you too:
- Positive feedback: More positive reviews will be created – almost automatically – by being precise, timely, and grateful in your replies to positive reviews.
- Negative reviews: Reacting to negative reviews quickly and respectfully and actually fixing the problem can often lead to the conversion of a negative review into a positive one. And a newly happy customer in general.
Make Getting Google Business Reviews a Habit
The truth is, customers trust what other customers have to say. In fact, lots of folks think that reviews posted by strangers are just as accurate as personal suggestions from their friends and family.
Use this to your benefit. Make a habit of asking your clients to review your business on Google. You are likely to have more and more Google business reviews showing up on your page as long as you make it as easy as possible to do so. You’ll then get to reap all the search ranking, credibility, and revenue benefits they have to offer.
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