Getting Google reviews isn't hard... if you know what to do.
Word of mouth is the most important marketing channel, as well as one of the most difficult to quantify. Your customers are your brand advocates, but only if they make their opinion public.
And that's where online reviews come in.
A recent Nielsen study shows that recommendations from friends and family are the most trusted advertising source. If you can show prospects a friend's review, you are already halfway to a sale. The challenge is in getting those reviews.
Google Reviews Drive Revenue
A recent MOZ survey linked 15 percent of local search ranking to reviews, and the first reviews most people see are through Google.
Every day, Google handles 3.5 billion searches. With an increased focus on local search results, that means every search in your category could lead to a click, but only if you get Google reviews that direct people to your business.
When you get more reviews on Google, you give prospects more motivation to visit your website or brick-and-mortar store.
Reviews + SEO = Google Ranking
Recent updates to the Google search algorithm include reviews as part of your ranking.
Negative reviews can leave you low on the search results list and "under the fold", while positive reviews can drive you right up to the first page of search results.
Your reviews can impact:
- Your search ranking, particularly for local search.
- Which results actually generate a click-through.
- Customer behavior and purchasing decisions.
In today's digital era, 90 percent of consumers read reviews before buying a product. Not a few, not some, not half, not most, but almost everyone reads reviews before buying.
That means you need to get more reviews on Google to continue driving traffic through your sales funnel.
Get Started With Your Google My Business Listing
Before you start asking customers for reviews, you need a place for customers to post their opinions... and this is where Google My Business comes in.
By setting up your Google My Business listing, you give customers a quick and easy place to give you feedback and gain an opportunity to boost your local search efforts.
Getting started is easy:
- Go to the google.com/business page.
- Click on "Start Now."
- Fill out the business information and click continue.
- Agree to the terms of service and state that you are responsible for managing the business.
- Click "continue" and watch as your business Google+ page is formed.
You'll be asked to verify your business information (typically via a postcard), then you can finish filling out info on your business page.
It's important to fill out your business information as accurately and completely as possible, and to make sure that it's consistent with how your business appears in other places online (your website, other review sites, directory listings, etc). You can add hours, a website address, a virtual tour and pictures.
After you verify your business listing, you can start managing reviews, gaining followers and using this listing to help with your local search efforts.
Now It's Time To Start Getting Google Reviews
Every business wants a consistent stream of positive reviews to plug their products and services. The question is how to do it.
As simple as it sounds, it starts by asking your customers to leave a review.
When you don't ask, customers often won't think about it at all. When you do, people are much more likely to give you feedback.
The process of asking your customers for reviews doesn't need to be complicated, but you should have a system in place. Whether you ask for reviews manually or use an automated system like ReputationStacker to do the work for you, the key is to be consistent with your review requests.
How to Get More Google Reviews For Your Business
Here are some ways you can get more Google reviews for your business from real customers:
- Incentivize Customers To Leave Google Reviews: Incentivizing reviews with a discount, promo, gift, etc typically isn’t an issue as long as you offer the same incentive to all customers, regardless of if they leave you a positive, neutral or negative review. Also, some review sites require that the recipient disclose that they received an incentive for their review, so be sure to check the review site’s Terms of Service first, and then instruct your customers appropriately.
- Add A Google Review Button To Your Website: One of the best ways to get more Google reviews for your business is to make it easier for customers to post them. One of the easiest ones to start is by adding a simple Google review button or review link to your own website.
- Add The Ability To Leave Google Reviews In Your Customer Feedback Surveys: Your customers appreciate it when you ask for their opinion, so when sending out a standard customer feedback survey why not take this one step further and add the ability to post a review? Simply include your Google review link in the survey to make it easy for your customers to write a Google review.
- Add Google Reviews To Your Website: Adding Google reviews to your own website is a much more powerful form of social proof than traditional customer testimonials, as visitors to your website tend to trust third party review sources like Google more than they trust traditional testimonials (which, at least in their mind, you could have written yourself).
- Use The Power Of Social Media To Promote Your New Google Reviews: You need to let as many people as possible know about them. Social media can be a powerful tool for making this happen through social posts. Share your new reviews on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media profiles your business uses.
Google First, Not Only
Once you have your Google My Business listing set up and you've begun collecting reviews, you should branch out.
While most online users start with Google when researching a business, they don't stop on the Google results page - they end up clicking through to a variety of different sites.
You should be proactive about managing your reputation on the review sites that are most important to your business. After all, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, making reviews the new word-of-mouth marketing channel.
Facebook, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and dozens of other sites give you the opportunity to collect reviews on products and services. You should also stay up to date on industry-specific and niche review sites that apply to your business.
Automate Your Review Generation And Tracking
With all of these sites allowing consumers to post reviews, you should be asking your customers for feedback and keeping track of what people are saying.
A negative review can carry a lot of weight if there are no positive reviews to offset it.
A recent Colloquy survey revealed that three in four people are likely to share a negative experience with their friends and family, but only 42 percent of people would recommend a good product or service.
We built ReputationStacker to solve this specific problem by helping you generate a steady flow of online reviews from your actual customers.
All you have to do is add your customer contact information to your secure and private ReputationStacker Dashboard. The system does the rest, sending out a short survey to your customers that gets feedback about their experience with your business and directs them to the online review sites of your choice to post a review.
And whether it's Google, Facebook, or dozens of other online review sites, ReputationStacker monitors all of your reviews and keeps them in one convenient place in the ReputationStacker Dashboard.
Reputation Matters, Especially Online
Online reviews are the word-of-mouth marketing of today. Google, the world's most popular search engine, is the best place to get started and give your customers a place to talk about your products.
Whether you're doing it manually or using ReputationStacker, getting consistent online reviews from your customers on Google is the key to ranking better in local search results and driving new business your way.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.