Who doesn’t love a five-star review?
Those little yellow stars on Google My Business are as valuable to a customer as they are to the business itself. Stars and reviews play an important role on both ends of the supply chain – so it makes sense to go out and actively pursue them!
Investigate or ignore
To the customer, Google stars and reviews are an instant – and credible – insight into a business or product. People want help in validating their choices and reviews can have a major influence on their buying decisions. For online searchers, reviews often dictate whether they choose to delve further into a website or whether they abandon that site and continue trawling.
To a business, reviews are a hugely valuable asset. They can drive site traffic, encourage conversions, improve their Local SEO, enhance their reputation and their credibility and ensure that their location features more widely in search results. What’s not to love?
Basically, every business, large or small, needs to push hard to collect Google reviews. Because they matter. But remember, 85% of consumers don’t trust reviews that are older than three months and 40% will only consider reviews posted in the past two weeks, so collecting reviews is an ongoing commitment, not a one-off effort.
Generally, people will leave an unsolicited review if they’ve had a bad experience. That’s just human nature. And while negative reviews can actually provide a good opportunity for a business to set the record straight or make amends, and can be a useful resource in identifying ways to improve a business, the ultimate goal is to have a positive stream of glowing reports!
There are plenty of ways of collecting Google reviews and the more effort you put into the process, the more you’ll get out of it. A well-planned strategy which includes multiple touchpoints which encourage customers to leave reviews can have a really positive impact on your business itself and on your digital marketing strategy and your SEO. Different methods will have different results, so it’s worth trying out the various options to see what works best for your customers and your business.
Here are some proven ways you can ask for Google reviews.
Ask through email. A direct email is the easiest – and often most rewarding – way to get Google reviews. But you don’t want to simply send out a blanket request. Your best bet is to target the right customer at the right time with a personalised message so that you increase the likelihood of getting a positive response.
And there are plenty of ‘right’ times to send out an email request, such as:
Just after someone has bought a product or service from you
When a customer reaches a certain milestone (such as been a customer for 10 years, been a member of your loyalty programme for a certain amount of time etc)
After a customer has expressed their satisfaction with a product or service
After a customer has received a delivery from you
After a customer has expressed their satisfaction with your products or service
As obvious as this sounds, don’t forget to include a Google review link in your email! The trick is to make it as easy as possible for customers to give feedback.
Ask in your newsletter. You don’t want your request to be front and centre of your newsletter, but make sure it’s visible with a clear call to action.
Send an SMS. People tend to open SMSs and so if you communicate with customers using text, you should consider including a review link.
Ask in person. Although many may baulk at the idea of fronting up and actually SPEAKING to someone about a recommendation, face-to-face communication can actually yield a really positive outcome.
Use social media. If you use channels like Facebook and Instagram to communicate and engage with your customer base, these can be excellent vehicles for asking for reviews. Google My Business posts are another good opportunity. Include the link in your bio or create a specific post which encourages feedback.
Use your own website. It should go without saying, but be sure that requests for reviews are included on various pages throughout your site.
Remember to respond to all reviews. Yes, ALL reviews, even the ones that hurt. A personal response shows the customer that they mean something to you and that you value their opinion – even if you don’t like it or you think they’re wrong.
Karen Dauncey has over 17 years of experience as an SEO & Google Ads Specialist. She is the director and founder of Blue Cherry Online Marketing and specialises in helping businesses get found online using Google using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Google Ads. She will be shortly launching The SEO School, an online course to help businesses get found online using Google using SEO.
You can also read more about Blue Cherry Online Marketing in our Members Directory
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