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About 3 out of 4 people are sick and tired of seeing online ads. In fact, those same people actively go out of their way to outright avoid online advertising.
Do you know where our attention goes now? Online reviews.
We want to hear what our friends and family recommend. We place more value in reviews from our peers than marketing messages said by companies.
So, what happens when you get more Google reviews?
Take a guess.
If you said more awareness, trustworthiness, and conversions then you know what’s up.
Stick with us here…
We’re coming at you with a bunch of info about getting more reviews on your Google business listing. Plus, we’re throwing in some strategies so you can leverage them to get more business.
Why You’ll Want to Get More Google Reviews
People are hyperaware of advertising and marketing messages. These channels, though effective, are expensive. It’s tough getting through with ads because people phased them out — plus 25%+ of people run ad-blocks!
Here’s what we know:
- Most people are using the Web to find businesses (especially local)
- Some 80%+ of people check online reviews when doing their search
- Almost everyone checks the # of reviews and if a business responded
We’re all using online reviews to discover business, products, and services. We then use them as a heavy influence on our buyer’s journey.
When you have more reviews:
- It gives people plenty of time to learn about the biz and convince themselves they want what you offer
- It’s less likely your rating metric drops because of one or two negative experiences
- It lets you respond and convey your expertise, all of which will build upon your brand image
An older but still solid study found that a single star increase (on Yelp) could boost business by 5-9%. And that’s just Yelp. People don’t use Yelp nearly as much at all anymore. Nowadays about 6 out of 10 people are looking on Google for reviews… so you get the idea, right?
How to Get More Google Reviews
“On with it already!”, you’re likely thinking as we continue into this topic of getting reviews. We agree. Let’s get right into the tactics that’ll have people leaving praise on your Google listing.
1. Ask for Them!
It doesn’t get much easier than simply asking someone to leave a review. Chances are that they’ll do it if they received a great product or service.
They just need a nudge:
- Follow-up phone call or email
- On the order completion page
- Tacked onto the client’s invoice
Every point of contact presents an opportunity to get a Google review.
2. Place a Review Link on the Site
If you have your business name and zip code ready, then you can use a review link generator to make a custom link for your site. You can then use this to send it out for reviews.
Alternatively, you can use the “Share Your Business Profile” link for a shortened Google URL (looks like this: https://g.page/directioninc). This code brings people to Google Maps where they can interact with the listing.
Google offers a tutorial here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/7035772
3. Take Part in the Conversation
How many times have you found a Google business listing that seemed dead? You wouldn’t waste time leaving a review if you thought it as such. Your clients could think the same, especially if your Google listing was barren and outdated.
What can you do?
- Make sure the listing has your most recent information
- Answer questions posed by the community and Google users
- Respond to reviews as soon as they get posted
People often want to see some activity before getting involved. The listing’s liveliness could have them inclined to share their opinion and review!
4. Get Relentless With Requests
Casually dropping a “hey, don’t forget to review us!” is forgotten the moment customers exit the shop. The same could be said about most follow-ups in general.
What to do? Well:
- Ask for reviews
- Ask again
- Keep asking
Set up the review request on a CRM if needed. Stage the request a week, month, or a few months out. Dig through sales logs, too, and get old clients coming back on board to boost the Google review count.
5. Run a Retargeting Campaign
Retargeting is ridiculously neat for something like getting reviews.
What’s retargeting? Well, it’s delivering a message to someone who’s already seen your site or ad campaign. This happens later, usually on another site, to keep your brand in their face. These campaigns are super effective at having people return to your site to buy products or services.
See where we’re going with this? Exactly, run a retargeting campaign.
You could target those who’ve seen the order confirmation page. This gets a “please review” in front of the exact people that have done business with you!
6. Offer an Exceptional Experience
People love talking about awesome experiences. They love making solid recommendations to friends and family. It’s a thrill discovering something great and being able to share it with others.
Think about what fuels this from the business side of things:
- Offer an environment that’s unique and welcoming
- Go above and beyond with helpfulness
- Deliver on promises and give a bit more
Figure out what the best of the best do in your industry. Then, see what you can learn from what they’re doing right but also morph it into your own thing. The great experience (combined with asking for Google reviews) will get people talking online.
7. Own Your Mistakes
Many businesses try to detract users from leaving bad reviews:
- Asking for positive reviews but anything negative goes to a survey
- Targeting a reviewer and asking for them to take it down
- Outright bribing a person to “fix” their review so it becomes positive
Don’t do these.
Remember that thing where people can read into ads and marketing messages? It goes the same with reviews they’re finding online. Sometimes too much positivity seems a little suspect and artificial.
Own up to mistakes by embracing the negative reviews:
- Respond to them to the best of your ability
- Do a follow-up or blog about how you fixed a mistake
- Use the review as part of the feedback and development
People often spend a ton of time looking at negative Google reviews. It’s in these unadulterated comments they discover the real issues and brand image. If you’re positive there then it changes people’s minds.
Because you’re open to praise AND criticism — you may get more reviews.
8. Get the Team on Board
This one is super simple and effective.
- Talk to the team about the importance of Google reviews
- Teach them about the platform and write a basic script to learn
- Encourage them to ask for reviews when they interact with customers
Boom! Now everybody is on board with getting more Google reviews. It builds and builds and builds as more and more people become customers!
9. Explore Some User Generated Content
Reviews work so well because it’s real customers talking about the products. The reviews tend to do a bit of storytelling which is highly engaging. The person reading the review gets sucked into the story and feel like they’re using the product.
How can you leverage this for more reviews?
- Encourage customers to submit longer reviews that get published on the blog
- Have customers send in video reviews you could publish on YouTube or FB
- Use the reviews as part of a marketing campaign or ad creative
People that are already ecstatic about your business may want to talk about it more. So, why not give them a platform? Your platform. This user-generated content does wonders in convincing and converting those who find it.
Find people from the Google reviews you’re getting!
10. Set up a Review Station
Those with a brick and mortar location could set up a review station:
- Get a cheap tablet and tablet stand
- Pull up your Google business listing
- Set the review station at the front desk
- Ask for a review when people are leaving
The person could log in to their account and do the review there. Or, it could act as a visual reminder so they do it on their phones at that moment.
Tools and Services That’ll Make Things Easier
There are two investments that’ll make this whole thing easier:
- A reputation tracker tool
- A reputation management service
A reputation tracking tool does as it sounds. The tool monitors the Web and sends alerts when certain things get said or mentioned. For example, you could get an alert when someone tweets about your business.
With these tools you can:
- Follow-up with people and ask for those reviews
- Keep track of any negativity so you can quickly squelch issues
- Have data on what people are saying, why they reviewed, and more
Reputation management services are kind of the same as these tools. Except, professionals keep track of the brand and handle a lot of the interaction for you. They’re also the ones that go after getting more Google reviews for your biz.
You could combine efforts, too, to really amp up those Google reviews!
Need Some Direction? Let’s Chat!
We’ve covered just about everything worth knowing on how to get Google reviews in this post. Now it’s on you to put these tactics into effective. Try one, or all, of the strategies to get more reviews if you’re serious about seeing your business succeed.
Looking to get more Google reviews and the leads that come with it? Let’s chat!
Let’s collaborate on creating an awesome digital strategy.