Like it or not, people are writing and reading online reviews of your business.
And research indicates that online reviews are a big influence on many buying decisions. In fact, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
As a business owner you may think online reviews are a scourge. I can understand why. We’ve all read stories about how one bad review can have a devastating impact on a company.
You may feel you have no control over what people say about your business online.
But if you put a bit of effort into getting Google reviews, you can gain control over what’s said online about your business.
5 Steps To Get More (and Better) Google Reviews
According to a recent article in the New York Times, humans “are socially conditioned to give answers when someone/something asks us a question…”
In regard to online reviews, you can actually help your customers leave better reviews for your business by giving them a “script”.
Here’s what I mean:
Send an email to your happiest customers – preferably within hours of serving them. This works regardless of whether you’re a dentist or a manufacturer of abrasive saws!
Your email should include:
- A line saying how happy you are that they are satisfied with what you provided.
- A Thank You for doing business with you.
- A line explaining that you are asking for a review so more people can find your business more easily.
- A line that prompts them to write what you really want a review to say. Something along the lines of:
“If you feel that the service we provided was _______________ and that we treated you with ___________________ and _________________ , please take a moment to leave a review on Google.”
(Change your “script” once in a while so all the reviews are not exactly the same.)
5. Finally, copy the url of your Google listing, shorten it with bit.ly or another url shortener, and paste it into your email. When it’s clicked, a Google review window will automatically open.
(Here’s mine: http://bit.ly/BeVisibleReview)
Make this email part of your workflow. My clients find that it really pays off.
Here’s why I’m so psyched about Google reviews:
- They Show Up
Unlike Yelp, which only displays reviews written by frequent Yelp reviewers, Google displays all reviews.
- They’re Not Anonymous
In order to leave a review for a business, you have to use your Google account. Of course, there are those who will go so far as to create a fake Google account for this purpose, but that’s a lot of trouble to go to in order to leave a review.
- They’re On The 1st Page Of Google
Google reviews display on the first page of search results. Therefore, your potential customers don’t have to click through to your website or any other another site to read reviews of your business.
Managed properly, positive reviews can pay off in new customers who come to you with a positive outlook on what you provide.
Got questions? I’m a trained and certified Google listing optimization and management expert. Ask me!
Read more about how Google reviews are impacting businesses:
Great Stats: BrightLocal’s Consumer Review Survey
True Story: How To Land A New Customer In 5 Minutes
Insightful Article: Is Google My Business Worth the Effort For Local SEO?