5 Proven Ways to Get More Google Reviews

Any local entrepreneur will tell you that both starting and growing a business are difficult work. Creating a unique product or service is challenging enough, but then come the tasks of getting the word out about your business and building a customer base. Both can be accomplished a little bit easier through the use of Google reviews.

It wasn’t all that long ago local businesses could rely on foot traffic and a simple listing in the Yellow Pages to make sales. Today, though, most people go online to find businesses in their area.

A sound local SEO (search engine optimization) strategy is vital in driving people to your business. According to data from Nectafy, 88 percent of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day.

There are many drivers that can influence a prospective customer’s purchase decision while conducting a Google search, but few have more sway than the reviews they see. Getting good reviews is far more than just a boost to the ego. They serve as a digital word of mouth that establishes credibility with potential customers who might need a little convincing. Plus, the more Google reviews you receive, the higher your business will likely be ranked in Google searches.

Whether you just launched a business, haven’t prioritized collecting reviews before, or find you have fewer than your competition, here are a few tips to get you started:


Stand Out to Get a Shoutout

When was the last time you told someone in your life about that average experience you had at a restaurant? Even if the meal didn’t let you down, you’re unlikely to mention it in conversation unless something about your visit stood out. The same applies to your customers, and you can make your mark in a number of areas. Most often, an interaction of some kind with your staff offers the easiest opportunity: front desk friendliness, gregarious store greeters, willing waiting room attendants, or checkout line competence are all examples of “wow moments” that can leave an indelible mark on someone.


Ask and You Shall Receive

It’s easy to be forgetful in this modern and hectic world, so even stellar service doesn’t guarantee a positive review. They may leave with a satisfied smile, but once they’re out the door, whether physical or digital, they’ve mentally moved on to something else. Find those folks who simply forgot how great you are by reminding them.

A good strategy begins by asking previous customers to review your business. This is often accomplished via an email in which you provide a direct link to your Google listing. Keep the process as easy as possible and the customer will be more likely to follow through.

To collect regular reviews going forward, consider setting up an automated thank-you email to be sent out three to five days after a transaction.

You may want to consider a more personal follow-up approach depending on the type of business you run. Examples would be realtors, wedding planners, or other professionals who work with customers for a longer period of time. When writing the request, be sure to include messaging that will help them remember specific details that will fill the review with beneficial keywords.


Turn Your Request Into a CTA (Call to Action)

Incorporate the link generated for your Google reviews page throughout your website; into email signatures; and onto all business cards, promotional materials, invoices, receipts, and menus. If it’s a printed piece, be sure to shorten the URL with a tool like Bitly or consider using a QR code.


Showcase Positive Reviews

You worked hard to earn good reviews, so put them to work for you! There are multiple benefits to sharing positive reviews:

-They are proof previous feedback has been heard.

-They create engaging social media content and help build trust ahead of a purchase when incorporated throughout a website.

-They serve as examples to people that it’s worth their time to leave a review because your business acknowledges comments and criticism.


Respond to Your Reviewers

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” ― Bill Gates

Never discount the power of listening! It’s important to respond to every Google review, whether good or bad. It humanizes your brand and indicates you and your staff are attentive and care about everyone who does business with you. Plus, a Harvard Business Review study of hotel reviews found businesses that respond to customer comments receive 12 percent more reviews and an increase in stars.

And while you do not need to sink a lot of time into your replies, you should exercise care when responding to a negative review. The Bill Gates quote at the top of this section highlights the potential within these opportunities. Sympathize with their problem, ask how it can be solved and never argue with them. Thirty-three percent of customers will change a negative review to a positive one if they have a resolution to the problem.


These days, people grab their phone instead of a phone book to search for a local business. And, amid the sometimes overwhelming number of results, people will focus on the online reviews to help make their choice. Above all else, it’s imperative to provide a great experience as a business so you can collect positive reviews and use them to your advantage. None of the tips shared in this article will help if you don’t first focus on delivering an outstanding product or service.

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