Easy Tips to Get More Google Reviews

Google reviews have become an increasingly important component in the overall health of many businesses.

Online reviews are as influential as ever. About 85% of consumers report reading reviews online, and that percentage increases every year. Moreover, negative reviews influence buying decisions for 86% of consumers, and positive reviews influence 90% of consumers. When you realize how many people read reviews online and how those reviews influence purchasing decisions, it's no wonder that businesses pay attention to reviews.

However, while online reviews are significant for consumers, Google reviews specifically have even wider-ranging influence. That's because, in our hyper-mobile, hyper-local world, customer reviews factor into Google search engine results.

Customer reviews influence Google search engine ranking in two ways. Firstly, reviews influence how high a site ranks in organic local search results. According to 2017 data released by google, reviews account for 7% of a local site rank. Secondly, customers are more likely to view a business with rating stars in their search results, and you need three or more Google reviews before visible review stars appear in Google map search results.

Here are some ways you can generate more reviews for your business:

Set up online profiles for your business. Audit your business' Google page, Yelp page, Trip Advisor, LinkedIn, and other sites where customers might find and review your business. Make sure the information is complete and accurate. This will not only help your search results, but will facilitate online reviewers finding you.

Ask for reviews. It may seem obvious, but simply asking for a review is the simplest way to get one. Remind staff to request reviews, particularly when the customer has had a positive brand experience.

Use print collateral. Incorporate a request for reviews into brochures, business cards, menus, or other print items.

Use social media. Ask for reviews on social media, and include links to relevant sites where you would like to be reviewed, with an emphasis on Google reviews.

Use email and newsletters. If you have a customer email list, include the review link in your emails. These are particularly valuable customers, because they have opted in to receive communication from you, which means they are much more likely to have had a positive experience and be engaged in your brand. Remind them that reviews are helpful and appreciated.

Provide an incentive. You may want to offer a reward for customers who review your business, like a periodic giveaway chosen at random. Be sure to specify that you are rewarding customers for leaving a review, and not for leaving a positive review; keep your reviews authentic. But periodic incentives can boost reviews and may improve sales as well.

Engage with reviews after you have received them. Keep an eye on review sites; you may want to set up a Google alert so that you are notified automatically when reviews are posted. Thank people for positive reviews. If you receive a negative review, don't lose your temper. Take a deep breath and treat the review as constructive criticism. Reach out and try to heal the relationship with the customer, and, if necessary, look internally to see how systems or processes might be improved. Engaging with customer reviews is a key component of your online reputation management, and shouldn't be neglected.

The more reviews you have, the more significant the impact on your local Google search rankings, and the more accurate your visible stars will be. These reviews help to win new business just at the key decision moments of potential new customers. Also, positive reviews can be a real morale-booster for your staff and teams; it's truly a win-win situation. So follow these easy steps and start boosting your online reputation today.

Jake Burns