Google reviews are playing an ever more important role in telling the world that you’re a trustworthy business who provides a top quality product or service. In many cases your Google reviews are going to be the first impression many customers have about you as they’re presented with a clear five star rating to instantly judge your business.
Getting a lot of Google reviews can also bring a lot of benefits such as:
- Improve your search engine ranking – Google loves businesses that have engagement with their customers and good reviews will push you to the top of the results.
- Establish trust with new customers – Your good reviews are like free testimonials for you.
- It shows you care about your customers – Engaging with and responding to reviews tells customers you value their opinion.
- Having a lot Google reviews can lead to a higher proportion of sales
This is especially true if you’re running a small or local business so you should definitely sit up and take note! We’ve gone into more detail here on how to market your small business, but having more Google reviews is definitely going to differentiate you from the competition. Just think of your own Google searches when you’re looking for a local service, you always tend to go for the one with the most (and best quality) reviews right?
You might be tempted to start paying for Google reviews as a quick way to boost your numbers, however, we’ve gone into great detail explaining why you should never pay for Google reviews as the consequences can be dire.
Instead, let us guide you through some useful tips to help you get more authentic and natural Google reviews.
How to get more reviews on Google
1. Set up and verify your Google business profile
If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to verify your business with Google. They’ve laid out instructions to follow here, but without it you won’t be able to manage your business information like location, uploading posts and photos and of course responding to those all important reviews.
Google will verify you via post, email or phone and then you’re good to go.
2. Simply ask for more reviews
Now we know this might sound obvious but it’s the easiest way to get reviews and something a lot of businesses tend to neglect. If you ask for reviews in the right way you can not only increase the number of reviews you get but also the quality.
You could try following up a couple of weeks after a customer purchase via email, this gives them the chance to thoroughly use the product and allows them to leave a detailed review.
You could experiment with other avenues too, such as texting customers if you have their number or handing out business cards or flyers if they visit your store asking them to leave a review.
3. Try and follow up on your requests
People have a lot of distractions to their attention these days and an email or text requesting they review a product can often fall to the bottom of their priority list. Try and follow up on your request asking them again if they’d like to leave a review, you might have caught them at a bad time when you sent the original request and sending it again could prompt them to complete one.
Don’t do this more than once or twice though as you’ll be more likely to annoy the customer and push them into leaving a negative review because of it!
4. Create a link to your Google reviews page
Google has made it easier than ever to get reviews by providing a link via your Google business account. Add this link to all your correspondence with customers such as emails, texts, post and flyers, to make it easy for them to review you in one easy step.
If you have a bricks and mortar store too you might want to have QR codes or signage displayed around the shop to show you’re on Google. For example on one of the menus if you own a cafe, this lets the customers scan the code and give you a review while the service is fresh in their mind.
Don’t forget to add the link on your website too and put it in an obvious spot.
5. Personalize the experience of leaving a review
This can be something as simple as using the customer’s name when sending an email and can extend up to training your staff to build relationships with customers before asking them to leave a review.
Remember, customers who leave reviews feel a personal connection with the service you provided (whether good or bad) and the more you personalize your service the more compelled they’ll be to leave a review.
6. Respond to your reviews
We talked earlier about engagement being key to managing your reviews so make sure you respond to as many as possible, both positive and negative reviews. Responding to reviews makes customers feel like their opinions are being respected and can encourage others who might not have ordinarily left a review to post one.
A good review can teach you about your business and highlight improvement points to focus on. If you’ve learned something or will do something differently as a result of a review, make sure to let the customer know they’ve had an impact.
7. Keep your customers happy
Another seemingly obvious one but again, something organizations can sometimes neglect. Excellent customer service should be at the core of every action you take. People can so rarely encounter those companies that go the extra mile to please their customers that it can be a novel experience for some people!
When they’ve had standout service they’ll be much more likely to leave a review (just don’t forget to ask them!).
8. Have multiple avenues open for reviews
This means posting instructions across multiple platforms. Actively listen out for mentions of your company on social media, you may find a lot of people talking about your product who haven’t left reviews. Reach out to them, offer the link to leave a Google review and ask if they’d be happy to provide some honest feedback. This helps get the conversation going and could lead to even more reviews.
You essentially want as many avenues as possible open to allow people to leave reviews. You could also try the referral route too, asking customers if they’d like to have their family and friends leave a review too.
9. Add review requests to daily processes
Make asking for reviews a standard part of any sale. Whether this is at the point of contact with the customer or in a follow up period, when staff are trained to ask for reviews the numbers of responses will start to increase dramatically.
Remember to keep your reviews authentic. We’ve already mentioned that you should never even consider buying reviews, but don’t try to game the system either. Don’t try and get negative reviews taken down or only focus on customers you think will leave a good review.
Don’t offer incentives either, such as money off a product in exchange for a review. All of these tactics come off as disingenuous and defeats the whole purpose of a review, to gather honest feedback that you can take action on.
Experiment with the different methods we’ve listed above and discover what works best for you and start to apply it consistently. You’ll soon see the reviews come piling in.