General

How To Get More Customers To Leave Google Reviews

Online reviews can be big for your business. They impact search engine position and influence consumer decisions. Potential customers still see your reviews when they look up your address, phone number, or store hours. If you don’t generate positive reviews from your customers, you’ll have a lot more work to do to protect your reputation when a someone leaves you a negative review. Here’s how to get more of your customers to leave Google reviews.

Online Reviews Matter

According to research 90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Other studies found that 70% of shoppers will consult reviews before purchasing online, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Are you looking for a way to boost your sales? Adding product reviews has shown up to a 74% increase in conversion rates. If you’re an offline store reviews have an impact on you too. 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases.

Google Reviews and Local SEO

So, we know reviews matter to customers, but do they impact local search engine optimization? Will having online reviews help potential customers in Kelowna find your business? Absolutely. Imagine you’ve been hired to improve the quality of local search results. You want to provide the highest quality results for a given search phrase. Can you think of a better indicator of quality than a business with happy customers? Moz—a leading authority and search engine optimization research company—attributes google reviews as a factor worth over 8% of your score.

How To Leave a Review on Google

Before we get into how to inspire more clients to leave you a review, let’s go over the review process. This weekend I had a great experience shopping at Home Hardware in West Kelowna, and I’m going to walk you through how I went about leaving them a review.

Step 1 – Find The Company
Start by searching by name for the company you’d like to review. Chances are pretty good, their information will show up on the right side of the search results in what’s known as the “Knowledge Graph”. Most likely, this will have a few pictures of the company, a map with directions, a link to their website, address, hours, phone number, a quick snapshot of their existing reviews, and possibly some relevant business links. If it shows up like it does in Figure 1, then you can click on the “Write a review” button.

Knowledge Graph Chart and Write a Review Button
Step 2 – Sign In To Your Google Account
If you’re not already signed in to your Google account, then you’ll need to do that first. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one. This is fairly straightforward. You may need to search for the company again after creating your account.
Step 3 – Write Your Review
Once you click the ‘Write a Review’ button the page will fade and a review box will appear in the middle of the screen (see Figure 2). Choose a star rating between 1 and 5 that represents how happy you are overall with your shopping experience. Write a short summary to support the start rating you chose, and click the ‘Publish’ button when you’re done. It’s that easy.

Writing Your Google Review

How To Write A Good Review

Writing a quality review is important. Your review should be informative, factual and explain why you are compelled to share your experience. Google has several tools to determine if a review is genuine. It’s not difficult to compare your location with the company you’re reviewing, and Google knows if your account is in any way connected to the company or its competitors. Correct spelling, grammar, and avoiding profanity will add to your credibility. Never bribe your customers for reviews and avoid the temptation to pad your own reviews with fakes. As always, stick with the golden rule and avoid saying anything that you can’t back up with facts (defamation exists online as well).

Take a few minutes and read Google’s tips for writing great reviews. You also may want to take note of their review policies and guidelines they set up to ensure that people use the system properly.

Getting Customers To Leave a Review

Now that you know how vital online reviews are to your business and how to actually leave one, how do you get your customers to leave you great reviews?

Remind Customers To Leave Feedback
It’s as simple as asking. Many large companies have automated systems that follow-up with customers and ask for feedback. It’s fairly simple for a small business to set this up online or put together a monthly newsletter. Just be sure to keep it light and ask politely. You never want your customers to feel harassed.
Redirect Them To Use Google Reviews
Next a customer says positive things about your company via email, on social media, or in person, say, “Thank you!” Then mention that you’d love to have them submit their comments online. If they had a great experience, they’ll probably to submit a review.
Make It Easy For Customers
Create a page on your website (ex. http://www.mainstreetcreative.ca/review) and include a button that links to your Google+ page and automatically prompts them for a review. Include that link in advertising or newsletters.
Thank & Respond To Reviewers
If someone takes the time to leave you a review, make sure you respond and use their name if possible. All it takes is a simple thank you to show them that you acknowledge and appreciate them. There’s a good chance that they will be delighted with the personalized response that they’ll come back time and time again.