One of the easiest ways to fathom what your customers want is to consider your own shopping habits. Although you are a party of one, you probably share many things in common with the average customer. A perfect example is online reviews. If you’re making a purchase, looking for the best pizza, or want to hire a service, Google reviews are the quickest route to make an informed decision. After all, who do you trust more to speak honestly about a product or service? A customer who used that product or service or the company that provided it? Customer reviews provide social truth, telling prospective customers you deliver on your promises.
Here we offer 10 tips to get more Google reviews to boost your credibility and search rankings.
1. Just Ask
We start here because although it is the low-lying fruit, many business owners are a little gun-shy to ask for reviews. As soon as you know a customer is happy, you should reach out to them, provide a link and ask for a review. Happy customers are usually willing to do so and the worst that can happen is they say no or ignore the request. You can also combine your request with a sincere thanks to the customer so it doesn’t feel as self-serving.
2. Include a Note on Your Receipts
Including a note on your receipts is another great way to improve your online reputation. A QR code makes it easy for customers to scan the code and reach the review platform. The sooner you ask customers to provide a review, the more likely it is they will.
3. Set Up Automated Email Requests
Create a stage in your sales funnel or CRM that automatically sends off a review request and link once a customer completes their purchase. Transactional emails work very well, as they are triggered as soon as someone checks out or makes a site visit. Review requests also work well as part of your email drip campaigns and should go out as soon as the customer pays for your product or service. You can also send out a review request following customer service interactions, although this can open the door for further complaints.
4. Include a Review Link in Email Signatures
A link to Google reviews in your teams’ email signatures is another good way to solicit reviews effortlessly. Instead of an added step or extra email in their inbox, customers are encouraged to provide a review with every interaction.
5. Have a Link on Your Social Pages
A link on social media pages can be clicked and completed by anyone interacting with your brand. It could be someone who missed the opportunity years ago, someone new to your page who has interacted with your customer service team, or someone who just made a purchase via your social commerce options. You can also post screenshots of particularly positive customer feedback with a note of thanks to help build trust.
6. Actively Respond to Customer Reviews
Show your appreciation for customer reviews by instantly thanking people for their comments. Include a personal note such as “I hope you were able to get that project finished on time” or “Glad we helped you find the perfect dress for your wedding.” Make sure you don’t shy away from negative comments. It is even more important to engage with negative comments to show you care. Ensure you resolve issues quickly to help build online trust and credibility. Taking the conversation offline will help avoid escalating the conversation to uncomfortable levels in a public forum.
7. Use a Feedback Pop-up or Button
Use appropriate spots along the customer journey to request reviews and feedback on your website. Although pop-ups can be annoying, you’d be surprised how quickly customers will click and complete a review while they’re still basking in that satisfied customer glow. You can also include a button at the end of your transaction confirmation page requesting a customer review.
8. Share Google Reviews on Your Website
When customers read embedded Google reviews on your website, it a) Instills trust and b) Encourages them to share their own experiences. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t have a review widget you can use, but there are tools that allow you to embed Google’s review platform in your website. This also improves SEO, as people will read the reviews on your website, which increases time on page. As a result, search engines will find your site more engaging.
9. Avoid Fake Reviews
Asking family, friends, and employees to leave reviews is tempting, but it is viewed as underhanded and embarrassing if anyone catches on. Keep things authentic with actual customer reviews in honor of complete transparency. Also, even if you offer first-time customers a welcome discount after their first purchase, keep that communication separate from your requests for reviews. Any form of payment or offer for a Google review is against Google policy.
10. Provide Outstanding Service
We end where good reviews actually begin. You know the best way to get more Google reviews is to provide outstanding service. When a customer feels valued, sees you deliver on your promises, and make every effort to correct service issues, they are more likely to go out of their way to write a good review. In hand with easy links to access Google reviews, you might find top-notch, consistent service helps generate more reviews organically than any other tactic.
Google reviews are the quickest and most dependable way to build trust for your business. When customers spot those shining stars, they are more likely to click on your link and learn more about your business. Reviews are free, authentic, organic advertising providing hands-on testimonials that your products and services resolve issues. They also boost SEO because Google logically favors businesses with 4-star ratings and higher. If you embed Google reviews on your website, you also increase time on page, an SEO-friendly sign for search engines. Encouraging reviews keeps your brand relevant, builds trust and helps generate more website traffic.
When new customers are shopping for a product or service, they always take into account the reviews on the product or service. So building your online reputation is critical! This blog post covered just one of the many questions you may have about building your brand’s online reputation.
If you need help implementing a reputation plan, then let us know! We’re happy to chat!