Now more than ever your online business needs to create immediate engagement when customers are searching for a business. The best way to make an impactful impression with organic search is using Google Reviews within the Google My Business and Maps area of your Google search page results. Having a 5-star rating will set your business apart from the others.
In 2002 Google purchased Deja, giving them ownership of Usenets online discussion groups. Their search engine became 'groups.google.com' and the rest, as they say, is history.
Online review systems have been fast-growing since then and have become an instantaneous trust measurement for consumers. Googles' integration of Reviews into its Android smartphone along with Google My Business listings have solidified it as an unshakeable resource for consumers.
What are Google Reviews?
Google Reviews provide you with valuable first-hand information about a business and its customer experiences. A good review helps to establish trust with potential customers even before they click through to your website. Google Reviews appear directly below your Maps listing and visually help your business stand out.
What Can Google Reviews Do For Your Business?
- Google Reviews can help your business appear higher in search rankings
- Good Reviews boosts trust and credibility instantaneously.
- Google Reviews help influence buyer decisions.
2020 Research shows that:
93% of consumers search online for a local business.
94% said positive reviews make them more likely to use a business and 92% said negative reviews make them less likely to use a business.
90% of consumers read your Google Reviews before engaging.
79% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Websites with Google Reviews convert at 58% compared to non-reviewed businesses. (source)
These results are overwhelmingly correlative to how your business is gauged by your Google Reviews.
Industries that most heavily rely on reviews include:
- Medical / Healthcare
73% of consumers have been asked to write a review for a local business
72% of those that were asked to write a review went on to do so.
How To Get Started With Google Reviews
Set up Google My Business
We have a great article about how set up your free listing with Google My Business. You will be required to set up a Google account if you don't already have one but this is a very simple process. Once you have your account set up you can add or claim your business
The benefits of Google My Business (GMB) include:
- Your business can appear on Google Search & Maps featuring your shop, location and information.
- Manage your Google Reviews.
- Get more insights into how people are finding your business.
- Share important updates.
- Can appear in Googles Knowledge Panel.
- Get better conversions and results out of your Google Ads Campaigns.
Remember, you must verify your business profile with GMB before you’ll be able to get reviews. Once your site has been verified, customers can leave reviews, and you can create a share link to send out to your customers to invite reviews, too.
Now when you open your business profile in GMB & Maps you can reply to your individual reviews.
"To reply to reviews from your Business Profile on Google Maps:
- On your computer, open Google Maps.
- Enter your business name. Then, click Search or hit Enter.
- On your business profile, scroll to 'Reviews'.
- To reply to a review, click Reply".
Go Out And Get Those Google Reviews!
Getting great reviews takes time and effort. Getting ahead can be a challenge because of many factors:
- You lack the knowledge, time and resources to acquire them.
- Your competitors have more customers.
- Your customers aren’t computer literate.
- People are busy and don't have time.
- Customers forget or can't remember how (out of sight - out of mind).
Strategise The Ask
- Make sure you are asking at the right time, like when there is a natural pause in your service process. Perhaps after the final bill has been delivered, or the client is waiting for the finished product.
- Set the stage. Educate your client throughout the process that feedback is important and how they can help. Appeal to their sense of initiative, and peer responsibility (Don’t you think all your friends should know about this amazing place?).
- Make it easy. The more obstacles, barriers and steps they need to follow the less likely they are to leave a review. State any instructions clearly and concisely with links and tools they will require.
- Write an example. Most people don’t enjoy writing. Suggesting a few ideas as to the service or product can get the juices flowing for them or just make it easier as a copy and paste exercise.
- Suggest a score if you are looking for net promoter information.
Channels To Use
- Email - as feedback follow up with links and instructions.
- SMS - with a direct link to your business reviews.
- Phone call - it seems a little old-school but a quick “How did we do” phone call can go a long way. You might want to make a request and have a predesignated time set up in advance.
- In-person. If you feel comfortable you can ask them while they are there in front of you. There is no better time the moment someone receives their intended product, services and utilising the good feels for a great review.
- On a receipt/invoice. A “thank you and we would really appreciate a review” can work well.
- Business signage. By educating your clients onsite while they are a captive audience, you’re setting the stage for how you want them to respond.
- Chatbot. This is a great little tool to gather responses and ask in the immediacy of the purchase or service while you have them engaging with your website.
A kind reminder email never goes astray. Consider a value offering for the next time they come back, a coupon or an additional free service.
Manage Your Google Reviews
Every business is going to receive a bad or fake review at some point. As a small business with fewer reviews, you are generally the harder hit in your average rating. Here are your options for how you manage this.
You can unleash the hounds of fury...
...Take the negative feedback in stride, respond calmly and professionally whilst addressing concerns.
Take ownership of the problem.
Do this in a timely manner.
Resolve this quickly and effectively.
Once the problem is solved you should request that the reviewer change their review or take it down.
Businesses rely heavily on their visibility and it's a non-negotiable to keep a hawk-eye on incoming reviews.
How to Respond to a Negative Comment or Review
96% of respondents said they read businesses’ responses to their reviews – with 40% saying they ‘always’ read the responses.
- Your response level is key to turning negative comments around. Everyone is a keyboard warrior these days and turning negative experiences into positive ones.
- Don’t respond negatively.
- Take ownership of the problem.
- Be clear and transparent about what happened, explain the status and how you are working to clear up the issue.
- Be quick. The internet happens at the speed of light and if you can answer the complaints quickly it will solve the issue quickly. You want to seem agile, willing to resolve the issue and do right by the consumer/user.
- Rectify. Be the problem solver, everyone loves a hero.
- Regain trust by using these tools in a calm effective manner to resolve the issue.
What happens when you get a fraudulent or fake review?
Determine where it comes from - is it a competitor or a troll? Gather as much information about the event, response and complaint.
- Google has a review process so that if you have received a fake or fraudulent review there is a process to have it removed from your profile.
- If the comment is inflammatory or inappropriate you can flag it as such.
- In the case of a fake review, illegal or slanderous you can formalise a request for removal.
What if I just can’t get rid of those pesky bad reviews?
There are very few options past this point. The best of course is to get a whole heap of new fabulous reviews to suppress or 'push down' the old ones. They’ll never disappear, but with some work, you can make sure all of your most recent reviews are excellent. Everyone makes a mistake, even consumers can see past an old trolling type of review if you have demonstrated your effort to resolve the issue moving forward
Putting the effort into a steady pipeline of good reviews isn’t easy, but we’re here to help you with that. We’ll make sure your business is represented fairly and accurately so you leverage the most out of those precious little Google Review yellow stars.
Would you like to talk or trade reviews with the Click team? We would love to hear from you!
Contact us today