How To Get Customers To Leave Google Reviews!
Online review are huge. They impact search engine position and influence buying decisions. Even if most of your business comes from referrals, your customers still see your reviews when they look up your address, phone number, or store hours. If you don’t cultivate positive reviews from your customers now, you’ll face an uphill battle to repair your reputation when a negative review appears. Here’s how to get more customers to leave Google reviews.
Online Reviews Matter
Research suggests that 90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Another study found that 70% of shoppers will consult reviews before purchasing something online. Are you struggling to increase your sales? Adding product reviews has shown up to a 74% increase in conversion rates. If you’re an offline store, you’ll also be interested to know that 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases.
Google Reviews and Local SEO
Ok, so reviews are important to customers, but do they matter to local search engine optimization? Will having a review online help people in Kelowna find your business? To answer this, let’s go back in time. 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 whose customers are happy with their service? 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 advice on how to encourage more clients to leave you a review, let’s cover the actual process of leaving a review. This weekend I had a great experience shopping at Home Hardware in West Kelowna, and I’m going to walk you through the process of leaving them a review.
- Step 1 – Find The Company
- Search by name, for the company you’d like to review. Chances are pretty good, their information will show up along the right side of the search results in what’s known as the “Knowledge Graph”. This will likely have a few pictures of the company, a map with directions, a link to their website, address, hours, phone number, information about their existing reviews, and possibly some related business links. If it shows up like it does in Figure 1, you can click on the “Write a review” link.
- Step 2 – Sign In To Your Google Account
- If you’re not already signed in to a Google account, you’ll need to do that first. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one. This is fairly straightforward. In most cases, you will need to search for the company again to write a review.
- 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 that represents the quality of service you received. Fill in details about your experience and click the ‘Publish’ button when you’re done writing. It’s that easy.
How To Write A Good Review
Writing a review is one thing, but writing a helpful review is another. Your review should be informative and explain why you feel compelled to share your experience. It should also be factual. Google’s not stupid and has lots of tools to determine the authenticity of a review. It’s not difficult to compare your location with the company you’re reviewing. They know if your account is in any way connected to the company or its competitors. Never bribe your customers for reviews and avoid the temptation to pad your own reviews with fakes. Use good spelling, grammar, and avoid profanity. In fact, stick with the golden rule and avoid saying anything that you can’t back up with facts (defamation exists online as well).
If you’re new to reviews, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with Google’s tips for writing great reviews. Google also has some review policies and guidelines to follow to ensure that people use the system properly.
Getting Customers To Leave a Review
Now that you know how much online reviews matter and how to actually leave one, how do you go about asking your customers to do so?
- Remind Customers To Leave Feedback
- Get in the habit of asking customers to leave you feedback on Google. A lot of big companies have systems in place to automatically follow-up with customers and seek feedback. It’s not hard for a small business to set this up online or put together a monthly newsletter. Just be sure to ask politely and never harass your customers.
- Redirect Them To Use Google Reviews
- Next time you receive a compliment in an email, over the phone, or in person, mention that you’d love to have them submit their comments online. If they had a great experience, chances are good they’ll be happy to spread the word after the service they received.
- Make It Easy For Customers
- Setup a very simple page on your own website (ex. http://www.mainstreetcreative.ca/review) with a button that links directly to your Google+ page and automatically prompts them for a review. Include that link in advertising or newsletters that you send out in hopes that people who felt satisfied will take action.
- Thank & Respond To Reviewers
- Your job isn’t over when they leave you a review. If they take the time to do so, be sure to acknowledge them by responding. A simple thank you will usually suffice, but show them that it means a lot to yo. There’s a good chance that your customers will feel so happy with the personalized response that they’ll come back time and time again.