If you have aspirations of building online brand awareness and boosting sales, it’s good to learn how to get Google Reviews due to the search engine’s popularity.
Statistics surrounding customer reviews have shown that Google is leading other review platforms such as Facebook and Tripadvisor, making it the number one tool in the review market.
To give you an idea of the search engine’s popularity:
- Around 63% of consumers claim that their first port of call for checking reviews is Google over any other review site or business.
- The search engine also has the lion’s share of online reviews, boasting an enormous 57.5% share of all online reviews.
So if you can boost the number of positive customer reviews on your Google My Business listing, your business could boom as you improve local SEO ranking, which essentially would mean that your customers are your biggest source of marketing.
Why Should you Aim for More Google Reviews?
Many top brands and successful businesses believe that asking for reviews on Google is an effective marketing strategy, and it makes sense, given the search engine’s popularity among consumers.
There is compelling evidence from research indicating that businesses that request reviews tend to receive a higher rating on average (around 4.34 stars) than those which don’t (3.89 stars).
It’s a safe bet that proactively asking consumers for Google reviews will lead to more 5-star ratings. Whereas reviews left without prompt have a higher probability of being 1-star, which could damage your business’s reputation over time.
Of course, not all reviews generated will be positive, but don’t be discouraged. Negative reviews can provide valuable insights for business improvement, while positive reviews can reinforce ongoing initiatives.
Even if you proactively request reviews and many of them turn out to be negative, this shouldn’t be cause for concern. In fact, it can be a good thing for your business in the long-term. Companies often change due to critical customer feedback, so there’s a chance that you could gain real insights from negative reviews.
So, how can you get more Google reviews for your business?
Things to Remember before Requesting Reviews on Google
Before you go ahead and try to get more Google reviews, there are four things you should remember to do.
Create a Google My Business Profile
If you don’t already have a Google My Business (GMB) profile for your business, then start one right away. This profile allows you to manage the information of your business regarding Google’s key features such as ‘Maps’ and the search function and respond to reviews customers have left.
Steer Clear of Review-gating
Review-gating is a dangerous practice in which a business asked for feedback from a customer before soliciting a review. To avoid being penalized, review the Google review gating outlines before reaching out to customers. Customers should feel comfortable leaving a negative review of your business if they’ve had an unsatisfactory experience.
Respond to Your Reviews
Customer reviews data has shown that a large proportion of customers (around 53%) expect to hear back within seven days after leaving a review. Keep this in mind, and try to respond to consumers’ reviews as soon as you can. Learn how to respond to negative reviews too, so you feel well-equipped to deal with the good and the bad.
Avoid Incentivizing Reviews
It should go without saying, but never incentivize or buy Google reviews for your business. The notion of incentivized reviews is in violation of Google’s guidelines, and government agencies can hand you a hefty fine if you don’t comply.
7 Best Ways to Get Google Reviews
Once you’ve taken care of the other things, it’s time to turn your attention to the best methods for getting more Google reviews.
These seven methods can help you boost your business’s online presence and improve the customer experience.
1. Make the Most of the ‘Google My Business Marketing Kit’
The Google My Business Marketing Kit website gives you a wealth of tools and resources you can use to create marketing material for your business. This means you can create advertising through various mediums such as social posts and stickers, which cover both the physical and digital worlds.
2. Create a Landing Page
By designing a landing page for your business’ website, you can create compelling calls-to-action, encouraging consumers to leave reviews about your services or products.
Upon creating a landing page, you can use your social media platforms to drive traffic towards it by sharing a link, for example. You could also mention it to customers after a transaction has taken place to keep it fresh in their minds.
There are tools you can use to optimize your landing page, such as reputation management software, as well as things like a reviews widget. Trustindex can help you do that, and has many other features that should help you obtain relevant information from reviews as well as encourage customers to post them.
3. Build an E-mail Strategy
One of the best ways to get more Google Reviews from customers is to focus on e-mail. Whether you have an e-mail newsletter or another strategy, you can use the medium to link to your landing page or GMB listing or simply ask the customer to leave a review.
E-mail marketing can be time-consuming, though, so it might be worth hiring assistance or finding a tool that will allow you to automatically send out e-mails and request Google Reviews with ease.
4. Create a Review Link
A Google review link can be used to direct customers straight to your business’ GMB page, which can be very effective in converting to customer reviews. This link can be distributed through email or social media but can also be printed onto receipts or handouts.
5. Ask Employees to Request Reviews
If you have onsite staff, you can advise them to remind customers to leave a review after a transaction, as this in-person contact can be an effective strategy.
There are several ways to go about this without sounding pushy; here’s one example:
“Thanks for visiting us today. If you enjoyed the experience, please leave us a review on Google. Your feedback is valuable to us and helps us create an even better experience for our customers.”
By encouraging your employees to be concerned about the business’ success, you can create a strong sense of teamwork and collaboration towards a common goal. This is a powerful mindset to instill in your employees, and it can help with the growth of the business.
6. Respond Consistently
It isn’t just advised but imperative that you respond to customer feedback and do so with consistency. The data we quoted earlier demonstrated that 53% of consumers expect a response to their review within seven days – so why make them wait?
If you can respond to them sooner than they expect you to, you will come across as a reliable and responsive business, which can only be a good thing.
When you respond to a review, it also gives the customer the feeling that you care about what they have to say, which is huge.
7. Prioritize Customer Satisfaction
If you want to get more reviews, one of the best things to do as a business prioritize customer satisfaction. After all, if it isn’t a priority for your business, how can you expect to receive five-star ratings?
This means going above and beyond to ensure that the customer feels good at every stage of the transaction, and if you aren’t sure how you’re doing, then don’t be afraid to ask them if there’s anything you can help with.
Even after you learn how to get more Google reviews, it might take a while for you to see the results. As long as you stay focused on customer satisfaction and establishing your business’s online presence, then trust that the five-star reviews will come with time. When they do start to flood in, you will have ample social proof for your company, which can help you rise to the top of the pile.