As a business owner, you know how important it is to have a strong online presence.
One of the best ways to do that is by leveraging the power of word-of-mouth advertising through online reviews. Predominantly Google Reviews.
In this post, we’ll dive into what Google Reviews are, why they’re so crucial for growing your business, and how you can use them to increase web traffic. We’ll also give you tips on how to ask for reviews without coming off as pushy and provide some do’s and don’ts of Google Reviews.
What Are Google Reviews?
Google Reviews are comments and ratings left by customers on your Google My Business (GMB) page. They can appear on the right side of Google search results and can influence potential customers who are considering using your business.
Positive reviews can increase your business’ credibility and strengthen customer relationships, while negative reviews can damage your business’ reputation and deter potential customers from using your products or services.
It’s essential to actively monitor and respond to customer reviews to show that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.
Regularly responding to customer reviews can also help improve your business’ online reputation and potentially turn negative experiences into positive ones … but more on that later.
Why Are Reviews So Important for Growing Your Business?
Google Reviews are critical for growing your business as they can significantly influence a potential customer’s decision to use your products or services.
According to a BrightLocal survey, nearly 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. This means that the majority of potential customers are actively seeking out reviews before making a purchase decision.
The survey also shows that positive reviews help build trust with potential customers, which can lead to more business. In fact … 72% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more than they may have otherwise. They can also help establish your business’ credibility and reputation, especially if they’re from customers who have used your products or services and had a positive experience.
In addition to influencing potential customers, Google Reviews can also have an impact on your business’ visibility in Google search results, which can help drive more traffic to your website.
Using Google Reviews to Increase Web Traffic
Using Google Reviews to increase web traffic can be a highly effective marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes.
When a potential customer searches for your business on Google, the search results will show your Google My Business page along with the number of reviews and your star rating. The higher your star rating, the more likely a customer is to click on your business listing and visit your website.
Additionally, Google’s search algorithm places value on review signals like the ones you’ll find in a business’ Google Reviews. This means that positive reviews can help improve your website’s search engine rankings, making it more visible to potential customers.
In fact, according to Moz, roughly 9% of Google’s entire search algorithm is driven by review signals.
How to Ask Clients for Reviews Without Sounding Sleazy
It can be challenging to ask clients for reviews without feeling like you’re being pushy or too self-serving. But it can be done.
One of the best ways to do this is to make it easy and do it when it is a natural part of the customer journey.
For example … how annoying is it when a business asks you for your personal information before you’ve even done business with them?
The same goes for reviews.
It doesn’t make sense to ask for reviews immediately after someone purchases your service or product. Chances are they haven’t had time to try it out and develop an opinion.
But it might make sense to ask them for a review a few days later once they’ve had time to use the product. This can be done with a follow-up email that includes a link to your GMB page requesting they leave a review.
You can also include a note in your email signature or on your website asking clients to leave a review.
If you want to vet your customers before they leave a review, ask them to rate you on a scale from 1 to 5. If they respond well, your next email could ask them for a Google Review.
Just be sure not to offer any incentives for reviews, as this is against Google’s policies.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Google Reviews
While Google Reviews can be incredibly valuable for your business, it’s important to follow some best practices to ensure you’re not violating any policies or hurting your business’ reputation.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t ask your employees to leave reviews, as this can be seen as biased.
- An average rating of 5 stars may look suspicious, so don’t stress when you get reviews less than 5 stars.
- Don’t buy fake reviews, as this is against Google’s policies and can result in penalties for your business.
- Reply to all reviews, even the bad ones … This shows that you care about your customers and are willing to address any concerns they may have.
What If You Get A Negative Review?
Be prepared to receive negative reviews … it’s a reality of doing business.
Warranted or not, negative reviews can be difficult to deal with. But it’s essential to handle them professionally and constructively.
Here are 6 tips on how to handle negative reviews:
- Stay calm and professional: When responding to a negative review, it’s crucial to remain calm and professional. Remember that your response will be visible to potential customers, so it’s essential to respond in a way that reflects well on your business.
- Address the issue: When responding to a negative review, it’s essential to address the customer’s concerns directly. This can help demonstrate that you take customer feedback seriously and are committed to improving your business’s products or services.
- Apologize and offer a solution: If the negative review is valid, apologize for the customer’s negative experience and offer a solution to their problem. This can help show that you are committed to resolving the issue and improving your business’s customer service.
- Take the conversation offline: If the issue is more complicated or personal, it’s best to take the conversation offline. Provide the customer with a phone number or email address where they can contact you directly to discuss the issue further.
- Don’t argue or make excuses: When responding to a negative review, it’s essential to avoid arguing with the customer or making excuses … even when you know you’re right. This can come across as defensive and unprofessional, which can further damage your business’s reputation.
- Learn from the feedback: Negative reviews can be an opportunity to learn and improve your business’ products or services. Take the feedback seriously and use it to make positive changes to your business.
Overall, negative reviews can be challenging to deal with, but handling them professionally and constructively can demonstrate your commitment to excellent customer service and potentially turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Time To Kick Your Review Game Into High Gear
Google Reviews can be an incredibly powerful tool for growing your business.
By leveraging the power of positive reviews, you can build trust with potential customers, increase web traffic, and improve your business’ reputation.
So, take the time to ask your clients for reviews and be sure to follow the do’s and don’ts of Google Reviews. Your business will thank you for it!