Google Reviews Guide
Guide to Google Reviews
- How to get Google Reviews
- Why are google reviews important?
- Do reviews help with ranking?
- How do you get more Reviews?
- Step 1: Claim Ownership of a Business
- Step 2: Make Your Listing Look Good and Stand Out
- Add relevant information about your business
- Include up-to-date hours of operations
- Upload high-resolution photos
- Step 3: Use a Good Online Review Management Platform
- Step 4: Get More Google Reviews
- Determine the right timing of the invitation.
- Set the expectation for the review
- Eliminate barriers
- Google My Business
- How to leave a review
- How to delete a review
Introduction: This article aims at explaining the importance of Google reviews for your small business and how to get more reviews. Google reviews help your future and current customers make a decision and choose the right service provider. We talk about it in detail in the following sections.
How to get Google Reviews
We are in 2020 and now more than ever, it’s important for your business to be present online and have reviews. Google is the biggest search platform, it is evident that google reviews are of importance to your digital presence. Customers want to make an informed decision based on the reviews they trust. Google reviews help them learn more about your customer experience, service quality, and professionalism to say the least.
In this article about google reviews, we will cover
- Why are Google reviews important? The benefits
- How Google reviews help with the ranking?
- How do you get more Google Reviews for your business from your customers?
- All about Google My Business and its relevance with Google Reviews
- Operational aspects of Google reviews: Deleting a google review.
Why are Google reviews important?
Below are some of the reasons why google reviews are important for your small business
- Google reviews improve local search ranking or simply put SEO: The most important and biggest benefits of google reviews is a boost in your rankings on google search or simply put a boost in local search rankings. We very well know the importance of local SEO rankings, because when potential customers search for you and cannot find you, how can they possibly become paying customers?Google reviews not only boost your local ranking, but it is also a social proof that customers love your service and product. Customers can look for your service on both google search and google maps and having reviews is impactful to their decision making. But how exactly does google review impact search results?
In google search, there are two types of searches: Local and Organic. When a user searches for a type of business along with a location, Google understands this is a local search. Since search engines want to give you the best local results, it will show up the results of a few businesses locally along with the reviews. Google understands from the reviews that this business is local and relevant based on three factors:
– Quantity of reviews
– Velocity at which you are receiving reviews
– Diversity of reviews
- Google reviews increase trust and credibility: As a small business, Google reviews play a role as important as a peer review or recommendations from friends. Research says well over 91% of buyers trust online reviews as long as they are authentic.Google is the biggest source of traffic and customer acquisition, it is but natural for people to value google reviews and look up to them before making a decision.
Let’s talk a little about how google reviews increase trust and credibility.:
– Reviews let customers know how you treat them
– How responsive are you to their queries and needs
– How and what exactly do you do for them
- Google reviews influence purchase decisions and convert more customers: Consider a typical buying behaviour of a customer. Lets assume they are aware of the need. Once they are in the consideration stage, they will look up businesses they find via a google search and if your business shows up but has no reviews, you fall off the consideration set. But if your business has google reviews (sufficient and positive ones), the customer may end up purchasing from you.Positive google reviews can give your business the boost it was looking for and at the customer end the confidence to make a decision. Be mindful of the fact that the opposite is equally true if your business has a low rating and recent negative google reviews.
- Google reviews serve as a source of customer feedback: In enterprise businesses, it is fairly easy to get customer feedback but maybe not as straightforward for small businesses. So how can small businesses use google reviews as customer feedback?1. You will learn if a customer had a positive experience and what exactly lead to that. This can help your double down on that feature/service aspect.
2. Negative feedbacks tell you where you need to improve and if your solution is not liked by people. Moreover, it is also an opportunity to show others that you really care. How? By sincerely apologizing through a response to a negative review.
How do Google reviews help with local SEO ranking?
If you are still thinking how Google reviews help with ranking, here is what research says: According to Google’s 2018 local ranking factors, reviews accounted for 15.44% of how Google ranks a local business.
In 2015, review signals only accounted for 10.8% of ranking factors, whereas now it’s at 15.44% and listed as number 13 of the top 50 local ranking factors. It should be clear that both earning positive reviews and responding to both negative and positive reviews can help you to rank higher in local search.
Apart from the facts, it is also important to note that reviews improve click-through rates, conversions which also impacts your ranking.
How do you get more Google Reviews for your business from your customers.
You would have understood the importance of reviews by now and the next obvious question in your mind is how do I get started. We’ve put together a step by step process on how you should go about building your Google my business page and then collect reviews.
- Set up your google my business account: In order to start collecting google reviews, you need to first set up your google my business account and claim your business on google. Similar to the way you claim your business on Yelp. Once your business listing is set up on google my business, your business will start to do the following:
- Allow your business to appear on google maps and search based on user search query
- Displays important information like business name, business hours, and contact details. Contact details are specifically useful as it allows customers to get in touch with you.
- Displays photos of your business
- Allows you to monitor how and when people are searching for your business and how many views did your listing gain.
- Ensure your listing is up to date and looks trustworthy: While trust is subjective, one objective way of gaining trust is by keeping your listing up to date. Below are certain hygiene checks you need to make sure stay updated:
1. What service does your business offer: Ensure you are detailed enough to try and answer your customer’s queries.
2. Business hours: If you are a business that needs people to visit your store, this is super critical information. Imagine someone stepping out to reach you only to find you are closed for the day. This would result in a negative review. Make sure your business hours are updated all the time.
3. Update images: Images have a bigger impact than text. We know this. So do videos. Make sure you upload images of your business to stand out in the google listings. According to Google, businesses with images, receive 35% higher click through rate to the website.
- Use a review platform to grow your reviews: Once you have set up your profile, you need to focus on growing your reviews, and it’s not an easy job to get reviews organically, hence you need to make a proactive effort to grow your reviews. But how do you do that automatically? The easiest way to do that is to identify software that can text your customers for a review. Note, texting is of prime importance here because emails might get lost. Texting is instant and the most preferred means of communication. Research says only 15% of the customers or even lower actually leave a review. The intent to leave a review is there but the process is what leads to a drop in conversions. Avoid too many steps or making it complicated. Use a simple straightforward method to capture reviews.
This can be accomplished by implementing an online review management platform that makes it easy to invite and collect customer reviews on google, facebook, or yelp.
- Finally, how to get more reviews from your review with your review platform:
- Timing matters: If you want to grow your reviews, train your team to learn that timing and recency bias matters. The best time to ask for a review is when your customer expresses they are happy or satisfied with the service. But more importantly, focus on building a relationship before asking a review. Here is a good example: After serving your customer, nudge them: “Hey, we hope we got your 5 stars today?”, based on the reaction, reach out via text for a review.
Another important thing to note is, if they are happy with the service, ask them for a favor and let them know you will be reaching out for a review, when you will reach out and why this is important for your business.
- Ease the process of gaining reviews: As highlighted above, make sure your process to collect reviews is super easy and try to do this over text as much as possible. Text has benefits:
- We have our mobile all the time
- We are on the move most of the times
- Emails get lost.
Relevance of Google My Business to Reviews
Simply put, you cannot collect reviews if you don’t have a google my business profile. Its very similar to the way you cannot collect payments if you don’t have a bank account. Consider Google my business as that bank account where you store reviews but accessible to the public.
How to Delete a Google Review
Speaking to customers, made us realize that there are times when there are reviews, that do more harm to your business than benefit:
- A nasty review from a competitor
- A fake review
- Or simply a negative review due to some misunderstanding
While negative reviews help maintain a balance and let customers know you are a genuine business, it is important to get rid of the ones that are fake, here is how:
- Flag the review to google as fake, or a competitor review
- You can also report it to google small business support
- Also, make sure you carefully read the guidelines and if there are reviews that are racist or particularly harming in nature, you can get them removed.
Reviews should be the number one marketing priority. They are an organic and long term source of customers. Keep in mind to proactively invest in reviews and growing that number regularly. If you’d like to learn more about how companies grow google and yelp reviews, you can also listen to our podcast here.