As of 2020, as many as 86% of all consumers check reviews about a brand before making a buying decision. Google reviews is one of the most popular review listings that consumers check. Getting more Google reviews is easy, quick and provides businesses an effective method to build trust with prospective customers.
In this post we outline the exact benefit of building your Google review listings and how to get more Google reviews.
Google Reviews Explained
Google reviews is the fastest and most popular review site in the internet. They are highly visible reviews appearing on the Google search engine results pages as part of a businesses Google My Business page.
As well as improving brand trust, Google reviews are also considered a positive SEO signal for website ranking; particularly local SEO rankings. Google reviews is completely free and can be accessed by visiting Google My Business.
Get Google Reviews from your Customers
The quickest and easiest way to secure a new Google review is to simply ask for one. That might seem like an obvious step to take but it really does work well. We still find it surprising how many businesses still do not ask their clients for reviews; they really do help your business.
There are a few ways you can reach out to your customers and ask for a review:
- Ask for a review when a job is complete
- Send a review request via email
- Request a review when you submit an invoice
- Ask for a review on the phone
It is also a great tactic to request a review before you start a project with a request that when the job is done a review is left.
Following up with your clients and asking for a review is also a great opportunity to get feedback on your service.
Remind your customer to leave a review
Although you may have asked your customer to leave a review, they may forget. It is great practice to remind your customer and not something you should be embarrassed to do. Remember, many of your customers will be business owners too so they will understand the value in leaving a review. However, remember your customer may be busy so it is useful to wait a week or two before following up.
The benefit of review cards
This is a very useful tactic used by local trade specialists, service providers and local businesses. By leaving a review card you both showcase what you have to offer and also remind your customer to leave you a review.
Help customers leave a review
Although Google reviews is a very popular review platform, some of your customers may not know where to go to leave a review or know the steps to leaving a review.
If you need a quick step by step guide to send over to your customers so they know how to leave a review you can send the following:
Step 1) Sign into your gmail account. If you do not have a gmail account CLICK HERE to set up a new one
Step 2) Use the search bar to search and find the business you would like to review. For example, if you were looking to review us, you would search “Fuell”
Step 3) Click the “Leave Review” button
Step 4) Select the star rating you want to give, write the review and click submit
And that’s it. Google will then evaluate the review and it will get published.
A quicker and easier way to get your customer in the right place to leave a review is by sending a link which directs your customer directly to your review page. This is quite a new feature from Google. A business can create a short-name and create a custom link which goes straight to the leave a review page.
For example our short-name link is: https://g.page/Fuell?gm
If you have a Google My Business page and would like to set up a short-name to send to your customers, then follow the steps below:
Step 1) Sign into your Google My Business page
Step 2) Navigation to the info tab on the left hand side
Step 3) Enter your short name which is the section which the @ symbol beside it
Step 4) Click apply
Google usually takes a few days to confirm the short-name.
Implement the Google Review button into your website
Directly asking your client to leave a review is one of the best ways to get a review, however an alternative method is by adding the Google review button into your website. The Google review button looks organic alongside the social media icons on your site and is a great inclusion to your website.
There is a very useful guide by Quick Clean Code that shows you how to add Google reviews to your website.
You can take this one step further by actually showcasing your reviews directly onto your website. Most CMS have various plugins and extensions to help achieve this. If your business is using a WordPress Website, then there is a great Google Reviews Plugin by Rich Plugins which can be used.
This works very well if you are a B2B service provider. By leaving a review you are tempting the company to review you back. Whoever your suppliers are, drop them a review and see if they drop you some kind words back. Even if the review is not directly about your service but about your communication, integrity or just a friendly message; they all help to promote your business positively.
Always respond to your positive or negative reviews
Any reputation or brand manager will tell you to always respond to reviews, whether they are positive or negative.
If a customer leaves a positive review, send them a thank you response and acknowledge the time they took out to review your business.
If a customer leaves a negative review, digest it, acknowledge it and in a calm manner address the criticisms. If a negative review is particularly aggressive or inaccurate it is advisable to reach out to Google and request the review be removed. You will need to provide evidence as to why the review should be removed.
Google does have some review guidelines which all reviews have to adhere to.
It is widely accepted that reviews help with organic ranking, particularly those local seo ranks. It is also well reported that Google reviews help improve CTR (Click Through Rate). An increased click through rate along with positive reviews send a trust signal to Google and therefore improves ranks. Improved ranks means more traffic and more traffic means more conversions.
Google reviews also play a positive role in map rank factors (the position your website ranks in local map searches). This is called your local pack. Your local pack will also showcase your star rating which demonstrates the importance of your Google reviews and local pack status:
MOZ is a very accurate channel to get the latest and up to date SEO rank factor information. According to MOZ as much of 15% of your rank authority comes from your Google local pack.
As mentioned at the start of this guide, up to 86% of consumers will check reviews before buying from a website. When potential customers can see positive reviews left by other customers and that demonstrate a good experience with your business, that is a strong demonstration of trust.
Bright Local have created a helpful report on local consumer habits and the benefits of Google reviews.
Below are some data snippets from the Bright Local report:
Google is where many of your potential customers will first see your business and by presenting them with a Google local pack that has great reviews is a great first impression.
Increases ROI (Return on Investment)
Google reviews and a positive, highly optimized Google local pack and Google My Business page will increase Click Through Rate, your ranks and in turn your conversions.