Have you ever noticed that the first thing you do when visiting a restaurant, or a new chiropractor, or [insert any service here], is looking at the business’ Google reviews? Google reviews have become an easily accessible and reliable way for potential customers to make a decision about your business when searching online. Because of this, implementing a strategy to get more Google reviews is crucial in order to show up higher in search results.
Ready to learn how to get more Google reviews organically? Let’s get started!
Why are Google reviews important?
Your Google My Business profile is your opportunity to make a great first impression. The GMB knowledge panel is the first encounter users have with your business online, even before they get to your website. Google reviews not only help your business build a positive reputation, but they also help build trust with potential customers, thus increasing leads.
Although the Google algorithm is often a mystery, we do know for a fact that reviews are one of the top local factors with a weight of 15%. This means that review signals play a big role in increasing local search rankings. Google takes into account the number of reviews, review sentiment, and review velocity.
Review velocity refers to how often you get reviews. Does your business get a normal amount of reviews in a natural pattern, or does it get large batches of reviews in an unnatural way? The latter could indicate that those reviews might not be authentic.
Google review statistics
Here are five quick facts as to why Google customer reviews are so important:
- 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, including 93% of people aged 35-54
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business
- The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than a product with 0 reviews
- Improving your review star rating by 1.5 could equal 13,000 more leads
- Every 1-star increase in a Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
How do I get Google reviews for my business?
🔗Add a reviews landing page to your website
Continuing with the restaurant example mentioned above, it’s important for your employees to be able to provide customers with an easy way to write their reviews. Adding a landing page to your website that includes a link that directly takes customers to your business’ reviews is the perfect way to do so.
For example, something as simple as yourbusiness.com/reviews is an easy way for both employees and customers to remember your reviews landing page.
Once you have that landing page, here’s how to create a link for customers to leave Google reviews.
- Enter your business name where it says “enter location”
- Select your business from the options in the drop-down menu
- Select and copy the place ID
- Use the following URL and replace the text in bold with your place ID: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=your place id here
- Our agency’s place ID will look like this: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJBX3PytELK4cR483DdKPPOo4
- Shorten your link using bitly.com for a cleaner look. The final link will look like this: https://bit.ly/2xn1HCl
When you share this link with your customers, the link will take them directly to leave a review for your location as shown below.
💬 Ask your customers
That’s right, it’s as simple as that! Ask your customers to write a Google review. According to BrightLocal, “76% of consumers that are asked to leave a review go on to write one.” This can be achieved by training your team members to ask customers to write a review based on their experience.
For example, if you own a restaurant, this can be done when the waiter or waitress stops by the customer’s table to drop off the check. Waiters usually ask “how was everything?” “did you enjoy your meal?”. This is the perfect opportunity to ask for that review.
Wondering how exactly to ask for Google reviews? Here are five examples:
Put up signage throughout your location reminding customers to write a review. These signs could include a link to your business’ reviews and instructions on how to leave a review. Keep it short and sweet! The easier you make these instructions, the more likely they’ll write a review.
Thank customers for their visit through a text message and share the link to leave a review. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and if you had already asked a customer for a review through a different method, a text message could do the trick.
📧 Personalized email
This method works best for smaller businesses where employees usually get to build a relationship with their customers. For example, if you own a chiropractic clinic, you probably see your patients on a weekly basis. After a few sessions or once the treatment has concluded, send a personalized email to your patients asking if they could please write a review for your clinic.
✏️Include the reviews link in your email signature
Do you often have email exchanges with your customers? This is the perfect opportunity to subtly let them know that your business would love their review. Simply add the reviews link in your email signature with a short call to action such as “tell us how we’re doing!” to catch the recipient’s attention.
🧾Ask when sending an invoice
Sending an invoice can be a great opportunity to remind your customers that you want their feedback. Since customers or clients will be expecting this invoice, they’ll be on the lookout for it.
👍👎Reply to all reviews
If you’re like me, you have probably checked out a business’ reviews by filtering by “lowest rating” to get a glimpse of their customer service. You also probably feel more comfortable about giving this business an opportunity if the owner replies to negative reviews and if they offer a solution to their problem.
Taking the time to reply to every single review in a personalized way improves customer perception and retention, and increases the chance to get more Google reviews.
The reality is that it’s hard to find a business with a perfect rating, even if they provide the best service. Luckily, having a few bad reviews here and there is not a bad thing. Users are more likely to trust a business with a couple of negative reviews over a business with only positive reviews.
According to SEMrush Academy, “several studies have shown that you don’t want a perfect review score. The sweet spot is a review score between 4.2 and 4.5. No one will think your reviews are fake, and you’re more likely to attract customers.”
Last but not least, did you know that reviewers get an email notification when a business replies to their Google reviews? All the more reason to show them that you care about their feedback. No matter how great or how bad the reviews are, it’s crucial to respond to every single one of them as soon as you can.
🌟It’s all about great customer service
Providing customers with great service is the ultimate way of gaining your customers’ loyalty. And of course, once you do, don’t be afraid to ask for that review!
Regardless of what strategy you choose, remember to be persistent and follow up with your customers when necessary.
Should I buy Google reviews?
Businesses should not buy Google reviews. Fake or purchased reviews are against Google’s terms of services. Violating this policy could result in Google taking down your businesses’ reviews. Reviews should be authentic and not motivated by any type of compensation such as monetary, giveaways, or contests.
Facebook and Yelp reviews also matter
Calling all iPhone users! Did you know that the business reviews you see in Apple Maps don’t come from Google? These reviews are actually pulled from Yelp in the United States. This is extremely important because this means that business owners should also focus their efforts on other directories such as Yelp and Facebook. If your iPhone customers are searching for your reviews, you want to make sure there will be reviews to look at.
Facebook and industry-specific review sites are also important in order to have consistency across several directories.
Need help with getting more Google reviews?
Partnering with an SEO agency might be the perfect solution! Our team of Local SEO experts can help by putting together a strategy to optimize your Google My Business profile and for reputation management. This will help your small business gain visibility on search engines for local searches related to your products or services.
Markitors is an SEO digital marketing company. We work with small businesses to rank their websites higher on Google, resulting in more traffic and leads. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO, and local SEO.