Reviews and testimonials are crucial aspects of a business. Before investing money in a product or service, customers like to see if they’re investing in the right place, and reviews play a vital role.
For instance, when you want to buy a mobile phone and are confused about some options, what do you do? You probably read the reviews online to ensure you’re buying the right phone for yourself.
Similarly, customers seek reviews before investing in a business. And Google is one of the most influential sources on the internet to look for social proof around a business and to determine whether or not they want to move forward.
In fact, 90% of consumers look at Google before visiting or buying from a business.
In this article, we will talk about the benefits of Google reviews and how you can get more Google reviews for your business to build trust with customers and generate leads.
Why are Google reviews important?
Google reviews appear on the search engine results page when you search for a particular business.
These reviews are given by customers and cannot be manipulated by the brand. This is the reason why customers worldwide depend on Google for authentic reviews about a business.
Here are some ways Google reviews can help your brand:
1. Google reviews build trust for your business
Customers will only buy from you if they trust you’re the perfect solution to their problem. Be it a product or service — trust and transparency play an essential role in influencing buying decisions.
Customer reviews on Google can help potential customers gather more information about the effectiveness of your product, the kind of customer service you provide, and if you’re the right fit for their requirements.
Customers trust reviews and honest feedback given by other customers more than claims by the brand itself because reviews are seen as impartial and, therefore, more trustworthy.
Positive reviews on Google and how you respond to them can help build consumer trust in your brand.
2. Google reviews increase online visibility through SEO
Google reviews are a part of Google My Business (GMB) listings–a free service for businesses. It’s one of the best ways to boost your online presence without spending a dime on paid advertisements.
For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency and have optimized your listing for local SEO, you can get found easily.
And, good Google reviews can increase your chances of showing up for relevant local searches–especially those with “best” in the query. For example, when someone searches for ‘best dealership near me,’ Google will only show Google My Business listings with a star rating of 4.0 or above.
This means if you have a high star rating, your listing could show on the search results page above traditional organic listings which can drive more traffic to your website.
3. Google reviews can help convince and convert more customers
An optimized Google My Business listing with reviews by customers is likely to drive potential leads to your website. This will bring them closer to the purchase stage, and if your website is persuasive enough, they might convert.
For brick-and-mortar businesses, having a good number of Google reviews can increase customer visits to your location and increase conversions. The reviews set an automatic sales funnel for your business where the customer reviews do the trust-building and your website does the persuasion.
Related: Check out online review stats that show the importance of Google reviews.
5 ways to get Google reviews for your business
Now that you know how critical Google reviews are for your business let’s see how you can get more of them from your customers.
Understandably, not every customer will leave you a review, but there are some steps you can take to get more Google reviews for your business.
1. Ask every customer to leave you a review on Google
The number one way to get more reviews is to ASK.
So, once you’ve finished working with a customer or are in the middle of a project with a client, ask them to leave you a review.
But remember, it’s imperative to ask for a review at the right time. And the best time is when your customer is happy.
Here are some best practices to ask for a Google review:
- Tell them the exact steps to follow to leave a review.
- Give them a template to fill out, so you don’t get a vague review like ‘great job.’
- If applicable, give your client a review on their GMB listing or LinkedIn profile to reciprocate.
Asking is an easy step to make, but many businesses are afraid of asking for a review in the fear that they might get a negative one or the customer may not prefer giving one. However, you need to take a leap of faith.
2. Add a review link to your website or thank-you email
Make it easier for your customers to leave you a review by adding a review link on your website or sending a custom link on the email. It makes the process easier because now the customer needs to fill in the details without doing any hard work.
To generate a custom Google review link, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your Google My Business account.
- Select the location or business you want to manage.
- Click on the ‘Get more reviews’ button.
- Create a custom short URL by clicking the pencil to edit.
- Share with your customers.
Use this link on your website as a pop-up or in your email while you’re thanking the customer or sending them the invoice. The idea is to make it easier for them to follow along so they leave your business a Google review.
Related: Get free email templates to help you ask for reviews.
3. Provide excellent customer service
A sure-shot way to land more Google reviews is to provide great customer service, which compels them to leave you a review voluntarily. One of the most significant aspects of a business is that you can completely turn it around based on how you treat your customers.
If you build a relationship with them, provide exceptional services and express gratitude for being their customer, you win.
Here are some ways to take your customer service up a notch:
- Go beyond traditional support and provide personalized help.
- Take feedback from your customers regularly and work on it.
- Identify things you can do better for an improved customer experience.
- Train your team members to be polite and empathetic.
- Make it easy for customers to get in contact with you.
Humanize your business by extending personal support and offering exceptional services to your customers. Once this happens, you won’t have to worry about asking for reviews.
4. Respond to your existing Google reviews
If your customers are taking out the time to leave you a review, you must reply to them. Inevitably, no business gets only positive reviews. There will be negative reviews, as well. However, the key is to respond to both of them with politeness and gratitude.
For negative reviews, many businesses don’t reply. However, your response to those reviews is essential because that shows how much you value your customers and how seriously you take feedback.
When you get a negative review, consider the following best practices:
- Apologize for their experience.
- Understand the situation by getting in touch with them personally.
- Ask them what happened and how can you improve it.
- Offer them an incentive that makes up for the negative review or service.
When you get a positive review, thank them.
However, there are times you may need to delete a Google review if you feel it violates Google’s terms.
5. Invest in review generation tools
If you’ve tried multiple methods of getting reviews from your customers online and still haven’t managed to score a greater number, don’t worry. There’s another comparatively simpler way to do that — a review generation tool.
These tools automate the process to help you ask verified customers or clients for reviews.
Review generation tools have templates to use your brand voice, colors, and style to create campaigns that ask your customers for feedback. You just need to insert your customer details once, and it will send out review requests and follow up with them.
It’s a great way to automate review generation and ensure every customer is leaving you a review.
Get started getting Google reviews for your business
Google reviews are the best free promotion you can get online. Customers listen to other customers, and when you provide excellent services, they become your brand ambassadors.
Be it for an online store or a home services business, reviews can significantly influence your potential customers and convince them to swipe the card.
So, create a review generation strategy for your business to get more feedback from your customers and stand out from your competitors.
About the author
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.