How many of us do a quick Google search to check the reviews before making a purchase?
Out of the top results searched, do you consider anything lower than a 4 star rating?
Personally, if I am to consider anything below a 4 star rating I am going to need some social proof and it’s off to read some reviews.
The reality is, with 90% of consumers using the internet to search for a product or service, your business is going to get judged based on your Google reviews and rating at some point.
In fact, the average consumer will read 10 reviews before they feel they can trust a business.
And only 53% of people would consider using a business with less than a 4-star rating.
Now if you’re still sceptical about how Google reviews can impact your business and thinking ‘my business is doing well and I don’t even have GMB set up’, let’s go through a quick overview of how much of a missed opportunity it represents.
The good people at BrightLocal conducted a survey which revealed 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with the average consumer spending at least 13 minutes reading reviews before making a decision.
It’s the new ‘word-of-mouth’. ‘But what about the negative reviews you might ask?’
Yes, reviews can sometimes be a double-edged sword, but at least now you have a voice and a chance to be heard.
Why your reviews matter
1. A chance to show your consumers you are indeed human.
It’s easier to get a negative review than a positive because unhappy people will always feel the need to be heard.
The fear of getting a negative review is enough to scare any business owner. After all, there is a potential loss for a business. However, negative reviews can be just as beneficial as a positive review with Response Management (we’ll show you some techniques later on).
It also shows that all of your reviews are real. Brands with nothing but a perfect track record can sometimes look inauthentic. (maybe we can expand on negative reviews, why they are good in a separate article? And offer more templates on how to deal with them)
Reviews matter because it gives you as a business owner a chance to respond to your customers, good and bad. It allows you to be customer-centric and gives the business a voice to show you are human and not just a hive of robotic ants grinding 9-5 who don’t listen to their customers’ concerns.
It’s an opportunity to better understand what you’re doing right and wrong as a business and how you can improve.
Reviews can also have a direct impact on your businesses ability to acquire more customers.
The proof is in the pudding —
2. The influence of reviews
- People read reviews.
- 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
- Your Google Ads performance will increase from a highly rated online presence
- Improves customer acquisition.
- 91% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business
- Positive reviews is enough to lead 27% of consumers towards contacting a business — in person, over the phone, or directly through another medium.
- Get an edge over your competitors
- Going from a 3star to a 5star rating can deliver businesses 25% more SEO traffic from Google.
- Businesses without any reviews generated 28% less traffic than competitors with 5stars.
- Be seen by more.
- Improves the visibility of your business on Google
- Improves your Local SEO performance
- Improves website ranking on Google SERPs
How to get more reviews: 6 proven methods to generate more Google Reviews for your business.
1. Weave the request of Google reviews into your operations
The number one reason that businesses that don’t get enough reviews, is because they don’t ask for them. Leaving a review should be a seamless and natural process for all of your customers, but quite often they will need to be prompted to do so. Here’s a tool you can use to create a custom Google Review link that will send users directly to your Google My Business profile to leave a review. This way they don’t have to go searching for your profile or end up on the wrong one, which can be very frustrating and will prevent you from getting feedback.
Not only does Google reviews and ratings improve your online brand image, they can also be used as a tool to improve staff training, service and product development. Based on the comments submitted in a review, a business is able to pinpoint what is working and what isn’t and improve the overall customer experience.
Picture it this way, you receive a steady flow of feedback straight from the horse’s mouth that allows you to improve your offering, make necessary changes when needed, and develop a stronger relationship with your customers. It’s a win-win situation. To get access to these benefits, be proactive about integrating Google review requests into your operations and make it a part of your process.
2. Use a variety of request methods.
It can be easy to fall into the habit of relying on one request method. I mean if you’re getting a large spike in review responses, why not keep going right? The problem is that although you may have received a lot of clicks from customers one night, it doesn’t mean the next lot will. I am more than capable of clicking a request and writing a review, but I know for a fact my dad would much rather talk face-to-face.
It’s best to use a variety of methods to gather requests so that you cover a wider demographic of people across different communication channels. Keep reading to find out what other request methods you can try out.
3. Use Google’s Marketing Kit
Google has made it a whole lot easier in being able to promote your business and get more reviews with their Marketing Kit. The in-store kit lets you create, download and print your own personalised marketing materials from existing reviews into ready-to-use posters, signs, stickers, posters and more.
The idea behind using these materials is that the message promoting your business is directly sourced from your customers testimonials, or requesting customers to search for you on Google and inviting them to share their experiences on the site.
4. Make it as easy as possible for people to leave a review
What’s an undying need we humans constantly seek? Convenience. We are always innovating ways to make things as easy as possible. The same concept applies when you want to get more Google reviews for your business.
Imagine you’ve just had the best meal of your life. You’re in a food coma and can barely move. The waiter asks how your food was, you respond, and they ask if you could kindly leave a review. Sure thing, where do I go?
“Oh you just open up Google, type in our restaurant name, hit search, click our name, click there…” annnnd you’ve lost me. Even a motivated customer who’s willing to leave you a review may still have trouble with the steps to actually write one. What can you do?
5. Make the review process as painless as possible that even your grandparents can do it.
A quick link will take customers straight to the page where they can leave a Google review, rather than you trying to explain the whole process to them. Because your customers have fewer hoops to go through in the process of leaving a review, there is a higher chance of receiving one.
How to create a quick link
- Log in to Google My Business Account
- On the homepage, scroll to down to the Get more reviews box
- Click the Share review form button
- Copy the link provided
Easy as that…
6. Harness the power of email
If you have a database of emails from bookings, point of sale or any other marketing efforts you’re literally sitting on a goldmine. Emails have become one of the most effective methods of communicating with customers and getting feedback.
Imagine you have a database of 1,000 clients that you send out a monthly newsletter to. Now imagine integrating a Google review quicklink in your signature or if you created a small section on that newsletter encouraging people to share their experiences.
Even if only 20% respond and leave a review, that’s 200 reviews.
Remember to keep the process as simple as possible.
Now that you have reviews: respond to them
63% of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on google before visiting a business more than any other review site. Responding to your customer views shows you are a human and not some chat bot programmed with 100 different automated messages.
It builds customer loyalty, showing you’re listening to them and appreciate the time they took to review you, but also shows Google’s algorithm that your business is engaged, responsive and actively using the platform. If you need advice on how to respond to them, read our article on how to handle google reviews (positive and negative).