Ultimate Guide To Getting More Google Reviews
When you’re running a business, local reviews can make a huge difference to your potential customers and put you well ahead of the competition. It’s always important to ask your satisfied customers for feedback, but it is especially important to make sure the way that you ask leads to good quality, reliable feedback that is available to others who may decide to use your services.
Google reviews are a useful tool in business, largely because they are so accessible and may be the first thing a potential customer sees about your business. Research shows that, on average, consumers read at least 10 reviews before committing to a business. We can help you to optimise your profile online, and a successful strategy will include making the most of online reviewing systems. Google reviews are an excellent way to boost your profile without having to invest in advertising, and finding out how to use this useful tool can make a difference to your business immediately.
What are the benefits of Google Reviews?
Google reviews can make a positive difference to your outcomes straight away, and here’s why:
- Good google reviews affect the visibility of your business on Google, and this is vital to your marketing strategy, particularly in your local area. Genuine positive reviews are, unsurprisingly, very effective in building connections with potential customers, and these are very highly regarded. Research shows that businesses with reviews are much more likely to attract customers than those without, and this is because reviews are a great way to access unbiased and honest views of your services or products.
- Good Google reviews are a great source of quotes and testimonials, which are very effective for use in other areas of marketing. For example, using positive testimonials and quotes on your business website and in email marketing can have a direct influence on your positive outcomes, and Google reviews offer very good material for this purpose.
- Google reviews give you valuable information about what your customers think of your business right now, and this gives you excellent opportunities to improve aspects of your practice that are highlighted. If your customers highlight a common problem, or praise a certain aspect of your business, you can use this to inform your focus in the future.
- Even bad reviews can be good for business. If your business receives a negative review online, the way in which you respond to this and resolve it for your customer can make a big difference. Studies suggest that even bad reviews can increase your conversion rates significantly, and this is an important exercise in customer care.
Do Google Reviews help my SEO rankings?
In short, yes. Your Google Reviews can help to improve the profile of your business online, and boost your all important SEO. Reviews are often overlooked while a business focuses on building content and links, but they can be a very useful tool, especially if you are running a local business. Local searches rely heavily on reviews and the keywords they contain.
Google Reviews help SEO because:
- Reviews are highly regarded. Just as links from relevant sites are useful for your SEO, reviews are seen as another demonstration of the way in which your business really operates, confirming that you are a legitimate and credible business with a visible track record, and this is excellent for your online profile.
- Reviews add to your content. Using your reviews strategically can boost your content, giving you access to better keywords and relevant material that contributes to boosting your SEO. Every review you get tells Google and your potential customers about your business, and this is very good news for you. Tying your reviews in to your website is a very effective way to use them positively, and making them as visible as possible in a prominent position on your homepage as well as on a dedicated testimonial page can help to optimise this.
- SEO reflects your click through rate. SEO rankings reflect click through rates, so if you are a more attractive option to potential customers, you will do better in terms of SEO. Great reviews boost your ratings, so you will become more attractive to new prospects, and your rankings will rise as a result.
- Reviews can be part of your SEO strategy. Using your reviews wisely can be a great way to improve your SEO with relatively little effort, and you can stay ahead of the competition with a little attention to this. Businesses that make the most of this tool tend to incorporate reviews throughout their own websites, building connections and generating further reviews.
How to respond to Google Reviews
Responding to reviews is particularly important for SEO, demonstrating your willingness to interact with and impress your customers. Showing your customers that you value all feedback – even the negative – tells the world what kind of business you are and the right responses are likely to have a big influence on your local SEO.
Quick and relevant responses are a must, so it is helpful to work with responding tools in order to make the most of this opportunity, and our digital marketing experts at ePresence can take care of this for you. It’s important to thank your customers for taking the time to review your business, and to refer to the specific comments they have made. Encouraging them to return to your business again is a great way to build loyalty and connections, and incentives can be helpful here, so don’t forget to mention it if you have a relevant promotion or special offer coming up.
Dealing with negative reviews correctly can mean that even these are a positive tool for you, so never engage in debate with a customer but simply apologise for the areas in which you have disappointed, and offer to resolve this through your customer service channels. Keeping your responses short and positive is the best way to address most reviews online, and you can make use of focused keywords and common search phrases here to further improve your online image.
How to get more Google Reviews
It is clear that Google Reviews can be a very helpful tool to promote your business online and improve SEO, but how can you make the most of this? You should never miss an opportunity to ask your customers to review your business, and simple measures can help you to get more Google Reviews, such as:
- Including a feedback card with every product or receipt for service, asking your customer to give you a review. Some businesses incentivise this, but this is against the terms of some organisations, and it is generally considered better not to do so. You can also eliminate fake reviews, which can be problematic, by having a closed review system.
- Adding a Google Review link to your email signature is a simple way to remind your customers of the importance of reviews to your business, and gives those who are delighted with your service another chance to respond. You can generate your own Google Review Link Generator here, by entering your business name, city and zip/postal code, and then you can copy and shorten the URL before sharing it with your customers via email, as well as in text messages and feedback cards.
- Including a link on your website gives another opportunity to request a review, and this can be a footer on each page of your website, a hovering widget or a dedicated section on your testimonials page.
- Sending out an email to your mailing list, asking your existing satisfied customers to leave a review for your business can prompt new reviews. You should send this as quickly as possible after a successful interaction with a customer, so that this positive experience is at front of mind. Your email should make this process as easy as possible, by generating a Google Review URL link and including this in your email, which should be friendly and personal. Don’t forget to thank customers who leave reviews as a result of your email!
- Focusing on satisfied customers is ideal if you are starting to build your online reviews, as a negative review can be damaging if not handled correctly. It’s good practice to ask those who are engaging with your brand on social media for reviews, and preferably this should be as soon as possible after a positive interaction with your brand. A week after an interaction is considered to be ideal, since this allows for the product or service to be tried and tested, but to still be fresh in the mind of the customer.
- Never be tempted to pay for reviews. This is against Google’s terms of service as it undermines the credibility of Google Reviews, and can destroy your Google rankings if discovered.
Can I get Google Reviews without a Google account?
No, it is no longer possible to leave a Google review without a Google or gmail account. This was possible previously, due to a workaround using Google Maps, but this has been discontinued by Google. This means that you will now need a Google Account in order to leave, receive and interact with Google Reviews, via YouTube, Google Play, Google Drive, Gmail or a Google mail account of another kind.
Boost Your SEO With ePresence
Here at ePresence, we work with our clients in Cork and Kerry to improve SEO and streamline digital marketing. We can help with strategising and implementation, and we will be happy to talk with you about how we can work together to optimise your online profile.
Declan Clancy is an enthusiastic, results oriented and creative Digital Marketer with 9 years hands on experience across digital channels.
In his last role as Group Digital Marketing Manager for Trigon Hotels, Declan was responsible for the ecommerce strategy and implementation for their 3 hotels. While at Trigon Hotels, Declan won Best use of Twitter for a Large Business at the Cork Digital Marketing Awards for his work for Cork International Hotel.