The importance of brand reputation should never be underestimated, and if you're looking for ways to improve your business's reputation, one way to do so would be to get more Google reviews.
Google reviews are powerful. They help your future customers decide whether to buy from you, and they improve your SEO performance by giving people a better shot at finding your website.
People want to see a business that has collected around 40 reviews before they believe the star rating, so you want to make sure you collect a decent number of reviews. There's safety in numbers for consumers, and the more happy customers they see you've helped, the more confident they'll feel choosing you. Think about it, ten 5-star reviews are less convincing than 200 reviews with a 4.9-star rating, right?
Besides the quality and quantity of reviews, how recent they are is also super important. Research from BrightLocal discovered that 85% of people don't think reviews older than 3-months are even relevant!
The key takeaway here is to get more Google reviews consistently. Doing so will tell a more compelling story and give people the confidence to do business with you.
Collecting more Google reviews comes down to asking for them. This might be when you're talking face-to-face with a customer, by email, or simply via signage displayed in your business.
In your enthusiasm to collect a heap of Google reviews from your happy customers, you might find yourself inadvertently violating Google's term of service - which is one way to get your Google my Business profile banned. So, before we jump into the best ways to get more Google reviews, here's a rundown on what not to do:
When you ask your customers for reviews, make sure you're not doing in en masse and sending a bulk email to your entire mailing list. Although Google allows businesses to ask for feedback, soliciting reviews from customers in bulk is against their terms of service.
Many business owners are enticed to give an incentive for customers to leave a review. Sure, it can be tempting to offer something to say thank you, but this is not recommended as it can be considered bribery and may violate Google's terms of service - resulting in them flagging your Google review.
We get it. Even the most customer-focused, ethical businesses will occasionally come across someone they simply can't please. However, Google has strict terms of service against businesses that try to cherry-pick reviews. Prohibiting negative reviews or selectively soliciting positive reviews from customers is not permitted.
When trying to get more Google reviews, avoid asking your staff their opinion. In Google's terms of service, posting content about a current or former employment experience is strictly prohibited as it falls under a conflict of interest.
Moreover, asking for reviews from your staff and even your family will only result in biased reviews, which you don't want if you're trying to build up your reputation.
Google has been cracking down on reviews, and this is because they want people to trust that the review and opinion left by another person is one hundred percent true and unbiased. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to collect them without risking the chance of getting banned by Google.
So, what's the best way to get more Google reviews? We've compiled a list of 8 proven - and easy - ways to collect them from your customers.
The first step to getting more Google reviews is making it easy for customers. To do this, make sure you have a simple and efficient process in place that makes the review process as seamless as possible. Ask for reviews in highly visible areas to customers, such as having a link on your website or app that will lead them directly to your Google reviews page - and make sure there's a clear call to action for them to do so.
If you are looking for an easy way to get more Google reviews, adding a link in your email signature is one of the best ideas. Adding a link to your email signature will remind people that they can leave you feedback, and you are making it possible for them to give reviews on their own time.
Consider including a link on your bio link on your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter bio URLs - and it should directly lead your customers to your review page on Google. By doing this, you can make it easier for them to leave you reviews.
If you have a brick and mortar location, consider adding a QR code to your signage or marketing collateral. Adding a QR code provides a quick way for your customers to find your business on Google, review them, and even upload photos of how they're enjoying your product or services.
When people are asked to do something, they will instinctively start thinking of reasons not to. Thus, before sending your request for Google reviews, make sure to explain to your customers why you're asking for it and what will happen if they don't respond.
This is important because it shows that you care about your customers and their insights - encouraging them to give feedback for your business.
By asking your customers for feedback, you're letting them know that you're interested in hearing their thoughts - beyond simply collecting marketing material.
A lot of people are afraid to ask, but if you're asking, "Did this help?" or "How can we make this better for you?" then they'll feel okay about giving you feedback. The key on how to get more Google reviews is positioning it as a question instead of an order.
We all want to feel heard and appreciated, and your customers are no different. Giving them a voice is the first step to building brand loyalty.
Take an honest approach when asking for Google reviews. Be polite but also genuine about why you are requesting them so that the customer can see how much you care for them.
After your customers have left a review, show your gratitude by thanking them and also asking if there is anything else you can do for them. This will make the customer feel valued and will more likely return to your business.
Lastly, acknowledge your customers' Google reviews in planning to provide a better product or service in the future. There's no point in asking for a review if you're not going to use the feedback. Be proactive to customer feedback so you can use it to improve your business.
Reviews are undeniably important because they can improve your brand reputation and show potential customers that others have had good experiences with your business.
If you're not asking your customers for reviews, then they may never know what others think about your products or services. Use these 8 easy steps to get more Google reviews and improve your brand reputation today!