We’re big believers in having a good number of genuine and honest reviews on Google – here’s why, and some ideas on how to get (lots) more.
Online Reviews – How Valuable Are They?
We all buy from companies we trust – it’s rare we hear of anyone who doesn’t! And one way to build that trust is by creating a plethora of reviews online that can be read by current and potential clients. Not only is this an excellent and free way to build trust online, but it is also a great way to boost your SEO, and we recommend beginning your journey by getting company reviews on Google. Unlike some review platforms, building reviews on your ‘Google My Business’ directory listing is 100% free, and potentially has the biggest impact on SEO. Once you have 30+ reviews on Google, you could next explore a free account with TrustPilot or request that people leave you reviews on other online directories like Yell.com. Or you can try a paid-for and semi-automated platform like reviews.io which can integrate with your order-processing workflow to ensure every customer who orders gets a request to review, and the review requests can automatically link to a variety of different platforms to ensure a good spread of reviews across the internet.
What Are Google Reviews?
Google Reviews is the name given to reviews left on Google My Business listings. Google My Business is the name given to Google’s own online directory of businesses and is used to create business-location pins that you can see on Google maps, and the listings also often show up within the search page results on Google if you search for a company name. Anyone with a Google account can leave a review on any business listing on Google, however, in reality, this rarely happens unless the business themselves are proactive about requesting reviews.
The benefits of having a good number of reviews on Google (ideally 30 or more):
- Increase exposure and improve local SEO on Google Maps
- Increase brand trust (reviews can be embedded on your website, and also encourage clicks)
- Create a valuable feedback loop
- Improve the click-through rate of your website
- Increase revenue
Why Do We Recommend Google Reviews?
Google reviews can facilitate multiple stages of the buying journey for your client:
Awareness. They help you to display on searches with Google Maps and Google Search, therefore encouraging people to click.
Consideration. They make people more likely to engage with your brand and more likely to consider you as a potential option.
Purchase. They provide the needed trust signals to enable them to move from consideration to purchase.
Post-Purchase. They are a way to obtain valuable feedback, both positive and negative, to further enhance your offering in the future.
How to Get Started With Google Reviews
#1 Create A Google Account and Set Up A GMB Listing
Use this link to CREATE A GOOGLE AND GMAIL ACCOUNT and follow the steps from there – it’s that easy!
Top Tip! We recommend that you format your new Gmail account like this marketing.[your-company-name]@gmail.com. These login details can then be shared with all the relevant people on the team while maintaining a professional look.
Once you have created this, you will need to ensure that you are signed into Google with your new account.
Now all that is left to do is CREATE A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT.
#2 Optimise Your Google My Business Listing
- Ensure that you add all the relevant information about your business. This includes the date the company was started and the services or products that you offer.
- Uploading high-resolution photos of your team and premises adds a personal touch to your company and helps you appear more trustworthy to potential clients.
- Including up-to-date hours of operation is very important so that your clients know when they can reach out – make sure they’re accurate, if not, it will only cause frustration!
#3 Make It Easy To Leave A Review
Send a text or email that includes a link. When viewing your GMB listing on Google, there will be an option to ‘Get more reviews’. By clicking this link, Google will automatically generate three different links that you can share via email, WhatsApp, or Facebook. Choose your preferred method and then send out your review link to all your relevant clients and customers. When they click on this link, it will take them directly to the page to leave a review – all they need to do is type a short message, pop in a few stars and hit ‘Post’.
Here’s a sample text you can use when requesting favours from your clients.
Afternoon [client’s name]
Just getting in touch from [your company name] to see if you would mind doing a few favours for us.
First off – would you be free to leave an honest review on Google to help other companies decide if [your company name] is the right match for them? We would really appreciate your feedback.
LEAVE US AN HONEST REVIEW [use the link you just created]
Secondly – if you’re interested in keeping up to date with our company news, please be free to follow us on LinkedIn and share with anyone you think would be interested.
FOLLOW US ON LINKEDIN [add a link to your company LinkedIn page – bonus to get more followers]
No pressure on either, but we sure would appreciate it!
Tips To Get More Google Reviews
Determine the right timing for the invitation. It will be different for different businesses, e.g. a service-based business may follow up after several months, however, for most buy-and-sell businesses the optimum time is within a few days of the customer receiving the goods, and leaving it too long is likely to significantly reduce the response rates. And if a customer ever takes the trouble to reach out and thank you for excellent service or product received, that’s an ideal time to go straight back and request that they share their experience online to help future buyers and make sure you provide a link as outlined above, to make that process quick and easy for them.
Set expectations for the review. Before inviting a customer to write a review, it is important that you give them expectations. This includes why online reviews are important to you, and how and when they will be receiving the invite. See below for an example!
[Client name], we appreciate you visiting/contacting us today and we hope we were able to assist you where needed. Would you mind taking 30 seconds to leave us a review?
[wait for the client’s response. If ‘Yes’ send the below.]
Thanks! Our team want to deliver the best service for you, so we appreciate your feedback. I’ll send over the link to review right now. Enjoy the rest of your day!
Change according to reviews and don’t forget to manage them! Ensure you are monitoring reviews that are posted. Applying the feedback received and replying to reviews to let people know what steps you are taking, all go towards strengthening your brand with a customer-centric approach. This includes resolving negative reviews too.