Google reviews are a fantastic and free way to gain credibility and build trust for your business. They quickly show people just how amazing other people think you are. Studies have shown that 91% of people will check out reviews before they buy. Whether that be regularly or occasionally, they’re checking! And with 84% of people trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendation, it’s time to make sure that you’ve got some fabulous feedback there for people to read.
Asking people directly for a Google review on your Google My Business page is easy – especially when you build it into your process to ask at the end of every project or major piece of work. Happy clients, if given a direct link, are likely to click through and leave you some positive feedback. Today’s guest blog from Anorak Cat will help you with how to get more reviews.
Set up an email template to send to every client
Write an email asking for the review – remembering to thank the client for working with you. Do edit the template to personalise it before you send it, because you can remind your client of some of the challenges you have helped them overcome. The wording of your email needs to prompt them on what to write in their review. You could even ask some open questions in the text like, “How would you describe our service to others?”
If they have already sent their testimonial by email, or said something positive on the phone, you could send the wording back to them with a polite request to copy and paste the same onto a Google review. Add the direct link to make it easy for them.
How to create a direct link to ask for Google reviews
Here’s how to get a neat and tidy little link for you to share:
On a computer
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you have multiple locations, open the location that you’d like to manage.
- In the menu on the left, click Home.
- In the ‘Get more reviews’ card, you can add or edit your short name, then copy your short URL to share with customers.
On a mobile device
- On your mobile device, download and open the Google My Business app.
- Tap Customers -> Reviews.
- In the top right, tap the Share icon.
- If your short name is not created, you will be prompted to create one – give it a name that is linked to your company name or website.
- Copy your short URL to share with customers.
Share the link on social media posts in your communities
At least once a quarter, share your Google reviews link on your social media channels. This gives your clients and community a reminder to leave a review, if they didn’t respond to your request by email. Do explain why you’re asking for more reviews and plan the best way to say thanks when people do it. Replying directly to the review on Google is a good way to show you’ve listened to the feedback.
Here are 3 more reasons to ask for Google reviews
1. Google Business reviews improve local SEO
Google reviews can increase your local search engine optimisation (SEO) and therefore help your company rank higher on the search results page. When you rank higher, people assume you are better than competitors, most credible, and most likely to be the ‘right fit’ to solve their problem. When you write pages of content using keywords which match the words used in the reviews, they’re even more likely to see you first. That helps!
“Engage with your customers by replying to their reviews. Responding will show that you value your customers’ feedback. Engagement and positive reviews from your customers may improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”
2. When people read great reviews, they’re more likely to click through to your website
I mean you would, right? When you hear about something fabulous, you want a piece! With reference to point 2 – you’re already being seen more easily and now you’re showing them how great you are, your click-through rate is likely to increase. Client testimonials are like gold dust – the ultimate social proof.
3. The feedback helps you adapt your services
All feedback is valuable to your business – both the positive and negative. Listening to the experiences of clients can help you give praise where recognition is due and make necessary changes to your processes and service delivery where needed. It’s important to let people know that you are listening, acting and developing.
Showing you are open and transparent with the feedback from previous customers gives new visitors peace of mind that you can be trusted. Build trust further by showing customers how you respond to this feedback; this offers an insight into how your company treats their clients.
Things to remember about your reviews
Don’t be tempted to buy, incentivise or create fake reviews. Your clients can spot them a mile off and search engines are also finely tuned to decipher those which are fake and those which are genuine, satisfied clients.
Secondly, please don’t lose sleep about that client that left you a one star review. Think about that amazing restaurant that you recently looked up; fifty five star reviews versus a few one stars. Sure you might read them (we can be drawn to negativity), but when we see all the other raving fans, we soon make our own assumptions about who left those one stars. What’s important here is your response. People will read the review and then look at how you reacted and replied to this. Swallow your anger and frustration and write a short, polite reply that either explains or offers an apology. Try not to get prickly. Most people reading it will understand that things can sometimes go wrong. Just show readers that this is not the norm and you’ve done your very best to make amends. If you can’t write it and stay calm, then perhaps ask someone else less connected to the situation to do it for you.
And finally, don’t be shy. If you don’t ask for testimonials and reviews, you won’t get them. Have you ever been annoyed or outraged when asked to leave a review? It’s unlikely. At worst, you’ve probably just ignored it.
Now, go and get your short-link and start asking! Or even better, think about your suppliers – go and leave them a review.