Establishing your business’ credibility online doesn’t end when you set up a Google My Business (GMB) account. While a GMB provides your customers important information about your business — such as your website, store location, contact information, and how to make a purchase — you need to be able to utilize it through Google Reviews to drive sales and
secure quality leads.
You might be wondering, “How will my Google Reviews help my business?” Given that Google gets roughly 90% of all search engine traffic worldwide, having positive Google reviews for your business will certainly have a huge impact. If anything, 84% of customers depend on online reviews to get an honest opinion about your brand. Similarly, a whopping 91% regularly or occasionally read online reviews. More than half, about 68% percent, are influenced by positive reviews of a business or product. With these figures in mind, getting more Google reviews is an ultimate key to ensuring your business's credibility.
How to Get More Google Reviews
Once you have a Google My Business, getting reviews is easy! However, it’s important to remember that Google reviews can only work to your advantage if you consistently get them. You can’t simply aim to get a hundred reviews and call it a day. In fact, only 40% of consumers look at reviews from the past two weeks, and 85% don’t find three-month-old reviews credible. Constant reviews will let Google know your business is (need a good word for this). If you want to know how to get more Google reviews, here are some steps you can take:
Sometimes, the best solutions are the simplest: Just kindly ask your customers for a Google review by text, email, on your site, or in your store if you have a physical location. As a matter of fact, 77% of customers are willing to leave a review when asked. You can encourage them further by including a Google reviews link in your message so it’s easier for them to find where they can leave a review.
When asking for a review, simply tell your customer that you’d appreciate their feedback, because it will allow you to improve their experience the next time around. If you’re going to ask for reviews via email or text, avoid letting days or weeks pass before sending your customer a message. This is because they’re less likely to be enthusiastic about giving your business a positive review when a long time has already elapsed. Take advantage of the moment and ask for a review when their experience with your business is still fresh.
Send a Google Reviews Link
We previously mentioned sending your customer a Google reviews link, but what exactly is that? A Google reviews link is a unique link you can generate that will directly lead your customers to where they can leave a review. All your customer needs to do is to click the link from your message and they will be taken directly to your GMB page, wherein they can leave a
review. When generated from the GMB
dashboard, this link will look like a short URL.
To get this short URL, you can follow these steps from Google:
Getting a Google Reviews Link via Desktop
Sign in to your GMB account on your computer. For businesses with multiple locations, open the specific location you want to get a review for.
Click “Home” in the left menu.
Copy you're short URL from the “Get more reviews card.”
Getting a Google Reviews Link via Mobile
Open the GMB app on your mobile device. Similar to the first step above, businesses with multiple locations should open the specific location they want to get a review for.
Tap Customers, then Reviews.
Click the “Share” icon at the top right corner to copy the short URL you can share to customers.
Add Popups or Calls-to-Action on Your Website
Aside from sending your customers an email or a text message, you can also encourage them to leave reviews by adding popups or calls-to-action (CTAs) on your business website. People tend to not bother leaving a review once they feel it’s somewhat of a chore or if they don’t know where to leave one. Make it easy for them with a popup or a CTA. It’s similar to asking for a review via text or email, except popups or CTAs feel more urgent and are more convenient for your site visitors.
Provide Excellent Service
While some people might not bother to leave reviews when unprompted, others will go out of their way to write a lengthy one, but one of two things has to happen: either they enjoyed their experience or they’re ready to put your business on blast. Of course, you don’t want the latter to happen as it will mostly elicit negative reviews.
If you want to get more positive reviews, strive to give your customers excellent service as much as possible. Going out of your way to make their experience memorable will make your customers feel valued, which will definitely compel them to leave a review for your business.
Aside from getting more reviews, which will benefit your business, your customers’ positive feedback can basically serve as free advertisement. Keep in mind that online reviews are seen as more credible by other customers compared to actual paid advertisements. So try to keep those reviews coming in, which will save you the trouble of spending for costly ads.
Don’t Forget to Reply
Getting Google reviews is one thing, but failing to reply to or acknowledge these reviews may deter other customers from leaving theirs in the future. In fact, 53% of customers expect a response to their reviews within a week, but 63% don’t get to hear back from the business they left a review for.
Thus, don’t forget to reply to the reviews you receive, whether good or bad. If potential customers see that you actively reply to reviews, they will feel as though it’s worth the effort to write a review when it’s their turn to leave one.
How to Manage Google Reviews
It goes without saying that not all Google reviews you’d receive will be positive. However, there’s a way to respond to negative reviews, just as there’s a proper way to respond to positive ones. The trick is to take all kinds of reviews as golden opportunities to improve your customers’ perception of your business. Here’s our quick guide for responding to Google reviews:
Responding to Negative Google Reviews
Internally evaluate the feedback: It’s important to take time to assess the situation first before hitting the reply button. Read and reread the review to understand what the customer is saying. However, don’t get emotional and logically contemplate your response. Take a few hours off to come up with a calm and even positive reply. What you say and how you say it represents your business so you want to put yourself in a position that will be favorable for your reputation.
Respond publicly: When you’re ready to reply, do so publicly instead of privately reaching out to the customer. Replying publicly shows that your business is transparent and open to digital conversation. Moreover, it shows that you care about your customers by addressing their concerns in such a way that’s available for everyone to see.
Acknowledge your mistakes: Speaking of transparency, acknowledge mistakes that may have been committed on your end. After all, no business is perfect and the best way to address criticisms is to acknowledge what went wrong.
Ask questions: Some people may not know how to write a Google review that clearly states what they want to express. In this case, ask questions if anything is unclear. Get as much information as you can so you’ll be able to properly diagnose the issue at hand.
Be sincere and propose solutions: Effectively responding to negative Google reviews doesn’t stop at simply apologizing for the bad experience your customer may have had. What makes a big difference in shifting customer perception is if you empathize as well as offer sensible, actionable solutions. Simply writing a fluffy review with no solutions can come off as insincere and patronizing.
Use a friendly closing and sign your name: This small detail assures your customer that the response is from a real person and not an automated bot.
Responding to Positive Google Reviews
Be swift: Take advantage of your customer’s positive feelings by responding quickly to their review. By doing this, you let your customer know that you’re genuinely invested in what they have to say and are grateful that they took the time to provide positive feedback.
Address your customers by name: Nothing feels more impersonal than addressing someone with a generic greeting. Unless the customer’s name is obviously not their real one, always address them by their first name.
Express your gratitude: Gratitude begets more gratitude so be sure to express this to your customer. It demonstrates that you don’t just pay attention to negative reviews but also to positive ones.
Turn customers into advocates: As online reviews serve as the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising, ask your customer if you can share their positive review on your site or social media pages. Additionally, ask them if they would be willing to share their own review to others.
Use a friendly sign-off with your name: End things on a positive note by singing off your message with a friendly closing remark and your name. This personalized approach, coupled with an uplifting tone, can show how much you value your customer’s feedback.
Managing Fake Google Reviews
While Google reviews can be an opportunity to shift customer perception, not all of them are real or valuable. Some reviews can simply be inflammatory comments or even fake, which violate Google’s review policy. However, there isn’t a big delete button that can easily remove these types of reviews. What you can do is to simply flag the review as inappropriate on your GMB account if you think it isn’t useful, relevant, or authentic.
A reviewer may also delete a review they’ve written. Your customer might not know how to delete a Google review so you can share these instructions with them:
Open Google Maps on your computer or mobile device.
Click Menu at the top left corner. The Menu should be represented by three horizontal lines.
Click Your Contributions then choose Reviews.
Click the three dots next to your review.
Choose edit or delete from the options and follow the instructions.
How Google Reviews Affect a Company’s Ranking on Google
Online reviews are among the many significant factors that can affect a company’s ranking on Google’s search engine and Google Maps. This basically means that Google reviews, along with an optimized GMB profile, can increase your business’ visibility and credibility online. Businesses with a high star rating and a
continuously rising amount of Google
reviews will be recognized by Google’s algorithm as these indicate trustworthiness and authority. With a high star rating and more Google reviews, your business is on its way to the top recommendations Google offers its users. This kind of visibility alone will give you an edge over the competition.
Reach for the Stars
Before dismissing Google reviews as a trifling matter, it’s important to understand how they can affect your business. Any kind of online review, whether positive or negative, can contribute to a company’s ranking in search engines. It can also influence how their reputation and credibility are regarded within the digital space. Aim for those five-star ratings, get more Google reviews, and know how to effectively respond to both positive and negative comments.