In the digital age, online reviews have become the lifeblood of businesses. They are a testament to the quality and credibility of your services or products, influencing potential customers’ purchasing decisions. With 93% of consumers admitting to reading online reviews before purchasing, the importance of garnering favourable reviews cannot be understated.
This article aims to equip you with 17 practical strategies to amplify the number of positive online reviews for your business. From understanding the importance of Google reviews to implementing ingenious ways to encourage customers to share their feedback, this guide offers a holistic approach to enhancing your online reputation.
Understanding the Impact of Google Reviews
Before delving into the strategies to garner more reviews, it’s crucial to understand the significance of Google reviews.
Google reviews are not merely feedback on your services or products; they are a powerful marketing tool that can significantly impact your business’s visibility and reputation. More importantly, Google uses these reviews as a ranking factor in its local search algorithm, thus impacting your local SEO.
In essence, the more positive reviews you garner, the higher your business ranks on Google and the more customers you attract.
Why More Google Reviews Matter?
Though seemingly straightforward, Google reviews can have far-reaching benefits for your business.
More Reviews, More Leads
Trust is the cornerstone of customer relationships. A study suggests that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Thus, accumulating a plethora of positive reviews can significantly enhance the likelihood of potential customers engaging with your business.
More Positive Reviews, More Purchases
Consumers rely heavily on online reviews to make informed purchase decisions. In fact, consumers read a minimum of 10 reviews before feeling confident in making a decision. Therefore, the more positive reviews your business has, the higher the chances of a purchase being made.
Higher Reviews, Higher Rank
Google rewards businesses with frequent and positive reviews. They are a confirmed local SEO ranking factor, which means that businesses with more positive reviews are likely to rank higher on Google search results.
Lots of Reviews, Lower Costs
Google reviews are essentially free endorsements for your business. No fees are associated with leaving or responding to reviews, making it a cost-effective form of advertising for your business on the world’s most trusted platform.
Prerequisites for Obtaining Google Reviews
Before you can start garnering reviews, specific requirements need to be in place:
Familiarise Yourself with Google’s Policies
You must abide by Google’s Terms of Service when soliciting reviews. This means you should not offer any rewards for reviews and should ask for feedback regardless of the customer’s experience.
Ensure Your Business is a “Place” on Google Maps
Having your business listed on Google Maps lets you have a Google Business Profile where customers can leave reviews.
Verify Your Google Business Profile
Creating a listing on Google Maps doesn’t automatically give you control over that listing. You need to create a Google My Business account and verify the ownership of your Business Profile through that account.
Strategies to Garner More Google Reviews
Now that you understand the impact of Google reviews and have a verified Business Profile let’s dive into the strategies to get more of them.
1. Understand the Review Process
Knowing the process a customer must go through to leave a Google review is essential. They need to:
- Open Google Maps
- Search for your business
- Click on your business profile
- Scroll down to the reviews section
- Click “Write a review”
2. Create a Google Review Shortcut
Create a review shortcut and place it on your website, making it easier for customers to leave a review. You can do this by going to your Google My Business account, clicking the Home tab, and finding the “Get your first review” card. Click “Share review form” and copy the link to your clipboard.
3. Shorten Your Review Link
Shorten and customise your review link using a free link shortener like bitly.com to make it more user-friendly.
4. Display the Google Review Button on Your Website
If a customer wants to leave a review, the first place they’ll look is your website. Ensure you have a clear and easily accessible call to action (CTA) for them to do so.
5. Create a Google Reviews Page on Your Website
Dedicate an entire website page to Google reviews to encourage customers to leave reviews and showcase existing reviews. This not only encourages prospects to become customers, but also inspires existing customers to leave a review.
6. Include a Google Review CTA in Your Website Footer
Including a CTA to leave a Google review in the footer of your website ensures it’s always visible to visitors, increasing the likelihood of reviews.
7. Create “Leave Us a Review” Cards
Create physical cards with a link to your review page that you can hand out to customers, encouraging them to leave a review.
8. Ask for Reviews in Person
Encourage customers to leave a review in person at opportune moments, such as after a positive interaction or a successful support call.
9. Highlight the Simplicity of Leaving a Review
Reassure customers that leaving a review is a quick and easy process, which can increase the likelihood of them leaving one.
10. Run a Google Review Email Campaign
Leverage email marketing to request reviews from your customers. Be clear and straightforward in your request, and make the process quick and easy.
11. Include Review Opportunities in Surveys
If you’re conducting a customer survey, include an opportunity for them to leave a review. This takes advantage of the mindset they’re already in, increasing the chances of them leaving a review.
12. Ask for Reviews on Social Media
Use your social media platforms to request reviews. Share your best reviews and ask your followers to share their experiences, including a link to your review page to make the process easy.
13. Encourage Reviews from Vendors and Partners
Vendors and partners can provide valuable reviews on what it’s like to work with you. Consider leaving a review for their business first to encourage reciprocation.
14. Respond to Existing Reviews
Responding to customer reviews shows you value their feedback and encourages other customers to leave their reviews.
15. Create a Google Review Instruction Video
A short video showing customers how to leave a review can make the process even easier, encouraging more reviews.
16. Include a Google Review Link in Your Email Signature
Adding a link to leave a review in your email signature is a simple way to encourage more reviews without needing to ask directly.
17. Request Online Reviews Multiple Times
If a customer doesn’t leave a review after your first request, don’t hesitate to ask again. This can serve as a reminder and increase their chances of leaving a review.
Online Reviews Final Thoughts
Garnering more online reviews is a continuous process that requires consistent effort. Implementing the strategies outlined in this guide can help boost your online reputation, enhance your Google ranking, and, ultimately, increase your revenue.
Remember to respond to all reviews, maintain your Google Business Profile, and make the review process easy for your customers. By doing so, you’ll not only garner more reviews but also foster stronger relationships with your customers.