When you go to purchase a product or a service, what do you do first?
Read the reviews.
Reviews have become a vital aspect of running an online business. This is doubly true for Google reviews. In this article, we’ll be looking at why they’re so important for your business and how to get more Google reviews.
The Importance of Google Reviews
We mentioned in the introduction how many potential customers care about online reviews. But the importance of this cannot be understated.
In a digital world, customers have come to rely on reviews just as much as word of mouth. In fact, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
This is particularly pertinent to Google reviews because of the way we browse the web. Google has the lion’s share of the search engine market and that’s not set to change anytime soon.
Think about the last time you looked for a service like a plumber. We’d bet you Googled it. When the results came up, you saw a list of Google My Business listings at the top of the results, with a star rating from reviews for each business.
It’s simple logic that you pick a business visible in the search results with the best reviews.
Google themselves have said that reviews help your business rank better in the search results. For local search results, it’s estimated reviews account for around 10% of the criteria for ranking factors.
So the benefits of Google reviews are two-fold. If you have more reviews, you’ll rank better. This can lead to more visibility in the search results and therefore more leads and sales.
But the reviews themselves hold value for customers. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely a customer is to trust your business.
It’s a win-win situation.
How to Get More Google Reviews
Now you know how valuable Google business reviews are, it’s natural you’ll want to focus on getting more of them. The good news is there’s plenty of options to help increase your Google reviews.
Ever heard the saying, ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’?
It sounds like really obvious advice, but so many businesses fail to simply ask their customers. It’s the most direct and authentic way to approach the topic.
When you’re next in person or on the phone with a happy customer, ask them to write a review. You might be surprised at how much customers are happy to do so when simply asked.
Send a Follow-Up Email
You can do this on a case-by-case basis or you can automate the process.
Taking the time out to send a follow-up email to a happy customer is a great personal touch. You can thank them for choosing you or your product and provide them with a direct link to leave a Google review.
But not every business has the time to write these emails. This is why having an automatic email sent after conversion asking for a review can be a great idea.
It’s true, you run the risk of accidentally contacting unhappy customers at the same time. But an unhappy customer is always far more likely to leave you a negative review anyway!
Create ‘Leave a Review’ Cards
Also known as a leave-behind, these old-school physical marketing assets can be valuable tools to get more reviews.
This works well for businesses with a physical presence like a brick-and-mortar store. But it can work well for local service companies too.
If you’ve just completed a job or a sale for a customer, offer them the card with no pressure to take it. Your card should thank your customer for choosing you, explain the importance of reviews, and give clear instructions on how to leave a review.
Add a Review Link to Your Site
This is a more passive way to get more reviews for your business, but it can work well alongside other techniques.
You should add a clear visible CTA to leave a review on your site. This can be within product pages, within the footer of your site, or even towards the bottom of your homepage.
Provide Outstanding Customer Service
Customers who are made to feel valued and important are more likely to leave a review.
You can achieve this by providing your customers with outstanding customer service at every contact point with your business. This compels customers to leave a review to help your business as you helped them.
The reverse is also true though. A customer with a negative experience is far more likely to leave a bad review. Especially if they don’t feel like the problem is being resolved.
Ensuring your customer service is at its very limits negative experiences and encourages more positive reviews.
Respond to Reviews
Whether good or bad, you should always respond to your reviews. Many customers will take the time to read negative reviews to see how businesses respond to them.
For positive reviews, a simple thank you and we appreciate your business will do the trick.
For negative reviews, you should address the issue and apologize for any distress caused. Even if you’re not in the wrong. You should then offer contact details to resolve the issue privately.
There’s no way to get rid of negative reviews unless they’re fake, in which case you can flag them with Google.
A final note while we’re on the subject of fakes—do not try to get fake Google reviews.
There are so many companies out there offering bulk reviews, usually from overseas profiles. At best, your customers will notice the stock review responses and odd names and lose trust in your business. At worst, Google will notice the fraudulent behavior and shut down your business listing.
So be ethical and honest with your Google reviews. The process is slower, but it’s worth it!
Go Get Some Reviews
The importance of Google reviews is obvious. Without them, your business will struggle to rank in local search results and fewer customers will buy from you. Now you know how to get more Google reviews, you can add our tips to your marketing strategy to help grow your business.
We have plenty more advice on running an online business on our blog.