Customer reviews hold incredible power for marketers and businesses. Reviews are an instrumental part of research marketing because you can hear what the people want directly from them. Customers are always looking for reviews before purchasing any product. They want something with the stamp of approval of positive reviews.
Testimonials and reviews build trust and credibility, making it easier to draw new customers and increase the chances of conversion. Google reviews are an excellent platform for customers to say what they think about your offerings. Google reviews play a significant role in generating leads while also giving you an idea of what tweak you can make to take your business to the next level. Let’s expound more on the essence of these reviews, and how to increase Google reviews.
Why Google Reviews Matter
Google is the most popular search engine globally, with over 5.6 billion daily searches. When people search for a business on Google, they’ll see your business listing, including your name, address, phone number, and reviews. Here are some reasons why Google reviews are crucial for your business:
- Trust and Credibility: Online reviews help establish trust and credibility with potential customers. According to BrightLocal, 87% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Visibility: Google reviews can increase your visibility and help you rank higher in search results. According to Moz, online reviews account for about 10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results.
- Customer Feedback: Google reviews provide valuable feedback from your customers. This feedback can improve your products, services, and customer experience.
Statistics show that businesses with an average rating of 4 stars or higher on Google receive more clicks and calls than those with a lower rating. Businesses with a 5-star rating get 39% more clicks than businesses with a 1-star rating.
Benefits of Google Reviews
Here are some benefits that further prove the importance of Google Reviews:
- Ramp up Reviews, Earn leads
Generating leads is essential in making the most sales. You want new customers knocking on your door and lining up for your offerings. That can only happen if potential customers trust your business. Building your Google reviews works wonders in boosting your credibility. New customers will have zero qualms about purchasing products from a site that everyone is raving about in the reviews.
- Gain positive reviews, Drive up Sales
More leads automatically translate to more purchases and better sales for your business. An increase in sales means that the profitability of your business is enhanced. The more reviews you have on your business, the higher the likelihood of making sales.
- Boost Long-Term Rankings
Search engine giants are constantly working towards offering their customers the best. Part of that involves providing them with the best resources for their queries and concerns. For that reason, Google prioritizes sites with frequent positive reviews. Reviews are a local ranking factor. The more you have, the more chances of being on the coveted first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).
The Impact of Google Reviews on Your Local Business
As a local business, you may need to realize the impact that Google reviews can have on your reputation and success. Online reviews, including those on Google, can influence consumer behavior and affect a business’s bottom line. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review found that a one-star increase in a business’s Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
Here are some ways that Google reviews can impact your local business:
- Reputation: Google reviews can help build or damage your business’s reputation. A high rating and positive reviews can attract new customers, while negative reviews can turn them away.
- Visibility: Google reviews can increase your visibility in local search results, making it easier for potential customers to find your business.
- Trust: Consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and a high rating on Google can build trust and credibility with potential customers.
- Customer Feedback: Google reviews provide valuable feedback from customers that can help you improve your products, services, and overall customer experience.
The initial requirements for obtaining Google reviews
You need to put your metaphorical house to get Google Reviews. Here are a few things to set right:
- Understand Google’s Policies
For starters, you need to be within the confines of the terms of service when looking for reviews. That involves not offering any rewards to bribe customers to leave glowing reviews.
- Your Business Needs to be a Place on Google Maps
Your business needs to have a business profile with a location pinned on the map.
- Strive for a Verified Google Business Profile
You can create a listing on Google Maps, but that will not automatically allow you control over the listing. You need to verify ownership of the business profile by creating a Google My Business account.
How to get more Google reviews?
You know how instrumental Google reviews are for business. But how do you get more Google Reviews? Here are some of the ways to increase google reviews:
1) Understand the Process
Your customers need to understand the process of leaving a review to leave one. Help them navigate the process. All they need to do is open Google Maps, search the business name, click on it, go to the reviews section, and then take about a minute to write a review. Make it easier to leave reviews by having a link on your website that takes them to the review page. That way, leaving reviews is not too much of a hassle. The easier it is, the more likely they will do it.
2) Create a Google Page Review Shortcut
Again, customers don’t want to go through the tedious process of writing a review. Customers will happily avoid leaving reviews if they have to follow a long process. Make it effort-free by creating a shortcut link and posting it on your website.
3) Shorten the Shortcut!
Having a shortcut link on your website is commendable. However, it would be much better if you customized the review link and shortened it. That makes for a cleaner review shortcut link that you will be happy to present to customers. And they will be more than willing to leave more Google reviews for your business.
4) Connect your Website to your Google Reviews
A clear call to action will encourage more customers to leave reviews. Ensure that the CTA is easy to find and clutter-free. Better yet, showcase reviews on your website with a Google review widget that includes a CTA to leave reviews
5) Make a Google Review Page on Your Business Site
Instead of having only a link to the Google review site, go the extra mile and dedicate one webpage to Google Reviews. The page will contain all reviews for your offering. You could also include a CTA to write reviews. Seeing great customer service review examples and the ease of leaving reviews will encourage a customer to write more. It will also inspire prospects going through the site to be customers (If the reviews are positive).
6) Add a Google review CTA on your Site’s Footer
If having a dedicated page for the reviews does not seem like your cup of tea, consider having the CTA on your website footer. That relieves you of the pressure of deciding where to place it. You can either use an image or anchor text depending on your preference.
7) Craft some ‘leave us a review’ Cards
Reviews can also come from your offline connections. One way to encourage people to review your business is by giving them physical cards that indicate something to that effect. Offer customers the review card after serving them. The card needs to have a clear link to your review page, making it easy for them to leave reviews.
You can also help them see that leaving a review does not have to be tedious or time-consuming. Try to encourage them by telling them that it is okay for the review to be as short as a sentence long. You could also give them the option of leaving a star rating. Using phrases like ‘drop a review’ instead of ‘write a review’ will make them find it less cumbersome. Use QR codes for collecting reviews. Create these codes using any of the best QR code generators.
8) Request for Google reviews in Person
People walk into your business all the time. Why not ask them to leave a Google Review? If your services are satisfactory, the customers will be more than happy to rave about your offerings on the Google review page.
9) Create a Google Review Email Campaign Drive
Email marketing is a potent way to garner more Google business reviews. If you constantly send newsletters via email, you can include a personalized message urging the people on your verified email list to leave a Google Review. Be straightforward. There is no need to beat around the bush. Neither is it necessary to coerce customers into leaving reviews. Position the CTA at the footer of the newsletter.
10) Add Google review Opportunities to Your Business Surveys
Surveys are a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your offerings in meeting your customers’ needs. Surveys allow you the opportunity to get necessary in-app feedback. It also shows the customers that you have their best interests in mind. Take advantage of the momentum of customers who agree to fill out surveys and ask them to do you the extra favor of reviewing your business on Google.
11) Request for Reviews on Social Media
Everyone is on social media nowadays. That makes the platforms ripe for conversational marketing. Ask your social media followers that have interacted with your goods and services to leave Google reviews of their feedback.
12) Seek Google Reviews From Suppliers & Business Partners
Vendors and partners are not customers. That said, they know how it is to work with you regularly. That counts for much. Offer to write reviews for their business. That way, they will be more willing to leave one in return.
13) Leave Genuine Responses to your existing Google reviews
People will want to leave reviews if they know someone on the other side cares about their thoughts and feedback. Respond to existing reviews to signal other potential reviewers that leaving a Google review is worth their time. Show gratitude for positive reviews. The positive ones will attract more. It is equally necessary to address negative reviews promptly and politely. Show interest in resolving the issues. Do not delete bad reviews. Users will clock that and avoid your business.
14) Craft a Bespoke Google review instruction video
If you suspect users are not leaving Google reviews because they are unsure how to, help them know how to do that. Creating an instructional video will do an excellent job explaining how to navigate the process of leaving reviews.
Here is a good example:
Source: Zanet Design
15) Insert a Google Review Link in your Email Signature
You can also ask for more Google reviews by including a link to review your business in your email signature. It is an intelligent way to ask for reviews from your customers without actually asking directly!
16) Keep it Real!
There is the temptation to buy good reviews to boost your business. Try to resist the urge. Internet users have a way of knowing and flagging reviews that do not seem legitimate. Also, buying reviews show customers that you have something to hide. Google can flag the purchased reviews and take them down. That can shake your site’s credibility, discouraging potential customers from interacting with your offerings.
Increasing your Google reviews can significantly impact your business’s success in 2023 and beyond. By implementing the 16 easy ways we’ve outlined, you can outshine the competition, attract new customers, and build a strong online reputation.
Remember to prioritize customer satisfaction, provide excellent service, and leave a review as easily as possible. Engage with your customers and respond to positive or negative feedback to show that you value their opinions and are committed to their satisfaction.
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your Google reviews and achieving business success in the digital age.
FAQs on Google Reviews
How can I encourage customers to leave Google reviews?
You can encourage customers to leave reviews by providing a link to your Google My Business page, asking for feedback via email or in-person, offering incentives such as discounts or freebies, and making the process as easy as possible.
How should I respond to negative Google reviews?
It's important to respond to negative reviews professionally and empathetically. Apologize for the customer's negative experience and solve their problem. Taking the conversation offline is also important to avoid any further negative impact on your business's reputation.
Can I remove negative Google reviews?
While removing negative reviews is impossible, you can flag them if they violate Google's review policies. However, addressing the issue and responding to negative reviews is important to show that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving your business.
How often should I monitor my Google reviews?
It's recommended to monitor your Google reviews regularly, at least once a week, to ensure that you respond promptly to any feedback and address any issues that arise. This can also help you maintain your business's online reputation.