Increasing the amount of Google reviews your business receives is pivotal to your online success.
According to a recent study done by Zendesk – a customer service software and support ticket system used by more than 200,000 organizations worldwide – reviews are among the most powerful ways a business can promote confidence and trust.
To better illustrate this, 90% of the respondents claimed that positive reviews affected their purchasing decisions. While 86% responded that bad reviews were also an influence.
Besides playing a significant role in influencing purchasing decisions, Google reviews are also essential ranking signals for local SEO.
Businesses with a higher quantity of online reviews will rank higher in the search engines results pages (SERPs).
Reviews are not only important for your website’s rankings but they also play a huge factor in customer behavior.
According to a study by Vendasta:
- 88% of consumers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision
- 94% of consumers would use a business with a 4 star rating
- 92% of consumers read online reviews
- 80% trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- Reviews produce an average uplift of 18% in sales
As you can see, reviews are a very important part of any marketing strategy.
Before we teach you how to get Google reviews for your business, you need to set up Google My Business.
- 1 How To Set Up Google My Business
- 2 How To Generate Your Google Review Link
- 3 10 Tricks and Hacks That Teach You How To Get Google Reviews
- 5 Additional Steps To Improve Your Online Reputation
- 6 4. Don’t Panic About Negative Reviews
How To Set Up Google My Business
Simple! Head on over to Google My Business and follow the instructions step-by-step.
Once you follow the steps, you’ll need to verify your business.
You have the option to verify your company by phone or postcard. It’s important you have a physical location for your business since Google no longer accepts P.O boxes.
Once your business is verified you’re ready to start generating reviews. To facilitate the process we highly suggest generating a Google review link
How To Generate Your Google Review Link
Generating your Google review link is a quick and painless process.
1. Do a quick Google search for your company’s name
2. Click on the “Write a Review” button.
3. Copy the URL of the address that pops up on the Google review box
4. Make the URL user-friendly by shortening it using Google’s URL shortener
5. Copy and paste the URL into your email and send it to your clients
Now that your business can be found on Google, it’s time to get reviews!
10 Tricks and Hacks That Teach You How To Get Google Reviews
1. Ask For The Review and Feedback
As you’ve probably realized by now, reviews play a major role in influencing a purchasing decision.
People searching for companies to hire begin by comparing reviews. Therefore, it goes without saying that having a high quantity of positive reviews is crucial to bringing in more customers.
According to a study by Brightlocal, have a 5-star rating boosts search click-through by 28%.
That said, excellent feedback is necessary if you want your business to stand out from the crowd.
But how do you get people to leave good reviews?
The trick is to be selective in your process. Make a list of clients and vendors that you have a good relationship with.
Once you’ve compiled a list, send them a simple email explaining that you’re looking to improve your company’s online presence. Ask them if they might be able to help you out by taking 5 minutes of their time to leave you a quick review on Google.
Make sure you include the Google review link in your email to facilitate the process.
2. Educate Your Customers On How To Leave a Review
In order for customers to leave you a review, it’s important they feel at ease with the process.
Consider posting instructions on your website by creating either a blog post or a page specifically for feedback.
An alternative would be to have a printout available at your front desk.
While some clients may be willing to leave a review, the process itself might pose a hurdle. If it’s challenging for your customers to leave a review, they’ll ignore leaving their feedback.
Make the process as simple as possible.
3. E-Mail Signature
Getting Google reviews for your business shouldn’t be a painful process.
Adding a simple call-to-action in your email signature can generate a significant amount of feedback. You can add a quick request like “Have feedback? Please take a few minutes to leave us a review”.
When done right, this can have a significant impact on boosting your review ratings.
4. Get Your Timing Right
Essentially, this boils down to ensuring that you’re not asking when it’s too early or too late in the customer experience process.
If it’s too early, the service/product’s benefits may not be felt by the customer. If it’s too late, the excitement/impressiveness may fade.
Find the balance and make it part of your company’s process to request a review at the right moment in the customer’s experience with your business.
5. Automate your Entire Reputation Management Process
There are various tools available that make the process of leaving feedback as easy as possible for visitors.
Since we have already established how important customer feedback is, automating the process can be the best investment your business can make.
Here at Upkeep Media, we provide reputation management services for businesses in a variety of different industries.
By using reputation management services you’ll have access to tools that facilitate the review process. It will allow for a simple solution for your clients to leave reviews and significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to request reviews.
If you’d like help with your online reputation, feel free to contact us.
6. Respond to Reviews
This should be self-explanatory.
Responding to customer feedback in a timely manner is a great way to encourage even more customers to leave reviews.
A visitor will be more inclined to leave a message if they see that you have responded to previous reviews left by customers.
Not only is this great for encouraging reviews, but this also provides SEO benefits. Google favors companies who take the time to respond to their reviews with higher rankings in the SERPs.
7. Incentivize (but Don’t Buy) Reviews
Offering a discount or a coupon can be a great way to encourage your customers to leave a review. While it is against Google’s review policy to solicit reviews, it can still be achieved nonetheless if done correctly.
One method we suggest is holding a raffle for your existing clients.
Inform them that if they leave your company a review, they’ll be entered into a draw to win a gift card. This often provides the extra push they need.
8. Remember to Follow Up on Your Request
The average customer is unlikely to leave your company a review unless they’ve had a negative experience. As such, it becomes necessary to keep reminding your clients about leaving you a review.
The best way to do this would be to put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places.
Besides your website, you can send weekly reminders through your company newsletter.
By including it in your newsletter you’ll be able to constantly remind them about your request, without seeming intrusive.
9. Integrate Requests For Feedback Into Your Company Process
Often times it’s your employees that work closely with your clients. Make sure that your employees understand the value of customer reviews.
Take the time to explain to them why earning quality online reviews is pivotal to your company’s success.
You should also hold a formal training on different approaches for asking clients for reviews.
If you have the budget, incorporating a review program where your employees earn a small bonus every time one of the clients they work with leaves a review.
This will help motivate your sales and customer service representatives to remember to ask for a review.
10. Know the Right Time to Ask for A Review
Recent research shows that there’s some science behind the timing of a review. According to a recent study, results found that response rates jumped by 20% between 1-3pm.
Interestingly, this was mainly because it was after lunch and people weren’t ready to start work again. Instead, they often spend time looking through their emails.
Now that you know how to get Google reviews, here are a few more steps you can take to improve your online reputation.
Additional Steps To Improve Your Online Reputation
1. Set Up Profiles on Multiple Review Sites
Your online reputation doesn’t end with Google. There are tons of review websites out there can help benefit your online reputation.
Look to add your company to different review websites. A few we recommend getting started with are:
- Angie’s List
You can also look for review sites that are relevant to your niche. For example, if you’re a restaurant look to include your company on TripAdvisor and Zomato.
Every industry has their own set of review websites. A simple Google search will help you uncover dozens of websites that will feature your company.
2. Report Offensive or Incorrect Reviews
Although Google’s content policy makes it hard for dishonest people to leave inappropriate reviews, the search giant still allows you to flag comments for removal.
If a fake review was left you can notify Google by following the steps listed here. It can take several days for them to look into your case but under special circumstances, they will remove reviews.
If you’re simply looking to get a bad review removed, don’t bother trying this out.
3. Be Smart When Responding to Reviews
When you choose to respond to a review, remember to keep your response courteous and genuine. Although it may not be possible to answer all customer reviews, you should prioritize responding to negative reviews.
By responding to negative reviews you can try to rectify the situation. You’ll also be showing prospective customers that you take ownership of your criticism and are responsive when people have issues.
4. Don’t Panic About Negative Reviews
Although no business likes receiving negative reviews, the good news is those bad ratings can be a great way for businesses to show their credibility. Showing negative reviews alongside positive ones indicate to a customer that nothing has been doctored.
There’s no business out there that’s perfect. The important thing is to take ownership over your imperfections and try to correct them when possible.
If you’re still worried about that negative review you received, here are two interesting stats to help put your mind at ease:
-30% of consumers assume online reviews are fake if there are no negative reviews
-68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores
The next step is to start taking action.
Get out there and use these methods to get more Google reviews. While it does take effort, it’s an important part of your marketing strategy.
If these methods helped you gain more Google reviews or if you can think of additional methods please leave us a comment below!