Why does your business need Google reviews?
Google reviews can be a blessing for your business and clients. For your potential clients, your reviews are a great way to discover what might seem like insider information about your business. When you have an abundance of positive reviews, your business has a great chance to prove itself to potential customers. That is because reviews play a more important part of customers’ decisions than many might realize.
In fact, 93% of consumers read reviews online before moving forward with a product or service, and 58% would be ready to pay more for a product that has great reviews. A good review should obviously speak highly of your business and contain more stars, with the best reviews falling between 4.2 and 4.5 stars. Beyond that, a great Google review should be personal, specific, and at least four sentences long.
If you are just starting your review-building process, the rule of thumb used to be that your business needed at least five reviews to show up in local searches. Nowadays, Google is willing to display ratings with only a few reviews. Of course, if your business has more positive reviews, this sets you up for an effective Google review page that ranks highly in search results. However, not all reviews are created equal, and not every business can qualify for Google reviews. In order to qualify for Google reviews, you need to have a verified Google Business Profile.
To learn more about how to create a Google Business Profile, check out our article here.
In addition to having a Google Business Profile, your business also needs to show up as a “place” on Google Maps. To do this, you simply need to enter your address in the search bar, and on the left, under your Google Business profile, click “add your business.”
You cannot control exactly what your customers write in their reviews, but you can control how accessible your review page is and whether your business is eligible for reviews in the first place. That is why it is important to be familiar with Google’s policies and follow its Terms of Service. These policies state that you cannot offer a reward in exchange for a Google review. While bribery is off the table, there are still steps you can take to ensure that your business gets as many raving reviews as possible.
The right ways to get more Google reviews
If you are just starting to ramp up your Google Reviews, it never hurts to ask for a little help. Start by asking your next customer to feel free to share their experience online. Asking for reviews might seem intimidating at first, but the truth is that 86% of customers are willing to leave reviews for the businesses they frequent. If your customers are fond of your service, chances are they want you to succeed so you can continue helping them!
Once you are comfortable asking your familiar customers and partners for reviews, branching out will become easier. If you do not feel comfortable asking for a review at the beginning, do not fret! You can also prompt your customers to take a survey and provide a link to your Google reviews site at the end of it. They will already be in the mode of giving feedback, so this is a great chance for them to continue using their voices.
You might also find it helpful to print out business cards making it easy for people to find where they can share feedback and give them to your customers. Another organic way to go about getting more Google reviews is to be active on your social media pages. If your customers are already interacting with your social media pages and engaging with your digital content, you will be at the top of their minds, and they will be more likely to leave a review. Do not be afraid to make a post asking your customers to share their experience with you and provide a link to your Google review page.
Feel free to share this post every few months, so it reaches as many users as possible. Beyond that, some of the best ways to get more Google reviews are small steps that go a long way, including the following:
Provide a link to your Google reviews page on your website
If a user is interacting with your website, chances are that they are interested in becoming a customer or they already are one. If you do not provide a link to your Google reviews page here, there might be a missed opportunity for those loyal customers to help you out with a positive review. You might also take it further and embed your Google reviews page into your business’s website. Believe it or not, you do not have to be a coding genius to make this happen. Simply log in to your Google Business Profile and select the “share” icon, followed by the “embed post” icon. You will then be able to copy the Header code and paste it between the <head></head>HTML tags on the desired page of your website. Lastly, your website can also include a “Google review” icon in your footer along with your social icons.
Run an email campaign to promote your Google review page
Your database of emails is a wonderful resource to turn to when you want to get more feedback about how you are doing. You can either make an entire email campaign encouraging customers to share their experience with the world, or you can create a single email and mention your Google review page in it. As long as your email is enticing and contains some valuable information, there is no shame in being straightforward about the fact that you'd like to see how well you are doing. Even regular emails can be an opportunity to lead customers to your Google reviews page if you include the link in your signature!
Do not forget to respond to existing reviews!
The importance of responding to existing customer reviews cannot be underestimated. Of the customers who read reviews, 97% also read the business’s response to the review. The way you respond can certainly say a lot about you. Not only does it let customers know that you care about their experience, but it also gives you the opportunity to showcase your customer service capabilities and make up for any negative reviews. Even businesses that run like a well-oiled machine are bound to run into a negative review every now and then, but the way you handle this can make all the difference. No matter whether the reviews are positive or negative, be sure to be timely, specific, and polite in your response. If there is an opportunity to offer a customer something additional, make it easy for them to contact you!
Remember that when it comes to Google reviews, it is a marathon, not a sprint. You are not likely to go from 0 to 2,000 reviews overnight, but taking steps like the ones above will help you along the way. Above all else, continue to provide superior products and services to your customers. Their experience will shine through in their reviews and your overall success.