Google Reviews are here to stay, and they provide way more than customer feedback — they level the playing field.
Google My Business reviews help businesses and tradies who are great at what they do stand out; this is GOLD, especially if you don’t have a big budget for marketing. These reviews will help your local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimisation) and bring you higher Google search rankings — for free!
Google reviews are one of the best ways to get your business listed on the first page in search results. According to a 2018 study, Local Ranking Factor Study reviews are the third most effective way to get your business higher in local map rankings. (This is the big google map and businesses listed at the top of results). Based on good reviews, Google will recognise you as a trustworthy authority in your trade, whether you’re a local electrician or a personal trainer.
If you are pouring time and effort into local SEO and not getting results, have a look at how many reviews are on your Google My Business profile and their quality. If you don’t have many, you need to kick your ass into gear and get those happy customers dropping you a review.
From the moment your customers leave a review on Google, you’ll have 1 to 5 bright orange stars that stand out on your page — make sure great reviews back up those stars with as close to 5 as possible.
Here are our HOT tips to get your Google Reviews pumping!
Claim Your Business Profile
If you haven’t yet, claim your Google My Business profile and get verified so that you can edit your content, and most importantly manage your reviews. Plus, Google can actively chase reviews for you. If customers haven’t turned off review settings in their Google Maps app, they may be asked to review your business on their smartphone — on the spot! Make a good impression and smile!
Ask Your Customers For Reviews
If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. Here are some pointers on generating those reviews.
- Make it your final request before you say goodbye.
- Blast out an email
- Put a sign on your counter (if you have a shopfront)
- Add a blurb on their receipt or invoice.
- Post it on your social media — this is a great place to find your fans!
- Or, buy them a beer after a job well done. Well really, they should be buying you a beer… Ask for a review instead!
Valuable Reviews Are All About KEYWORDS!
To really turbocharge your local SEO using reviews, your customers need to use your product or service keywords in their comments. The best way to do this is to make suggestions for what your customers could write. In this way, you make sure they are entering your keywords, such as your product and location.
Your suggestion: What product/service did we provide, and what did you like best about it? Please mention your suburb!
Ideal customer review: Our kitchen renovation is amazing. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a kitchen renovation in Hornsby. Thank you, Hornsby Kitchen Gurus!
They have responded with your service: Kitchen renovation and your location: Hornsby.
Unfortunately using keywords in your responses to customers will not be acknowledged by Google and won’t help your rankings, so keep your responses helpful and friendly.
If you’re a verified business on Google My Business, you can create a short name, or a custom name, for your Business Profile to make it easier for customers to leave a review. Once you’ve set this up in Google My Business, your customers can enter this short name URL in their browser’s address bar, like “g.page/[hornsbykitchengurus],” go directly to your Business Profile and leave a review.
Monitor And Nurture Your Reviews
Now that you know how valuable reviews are, you need to manage them carefully. Not only can feedback help to improve your business, but you also want to build trust and rapport with your customers. Your Google My Business reviews will be vital for winning new business.
Here are some key points for managing your reviews:
- Thank reviewers — Your engagement is important not only for your image as a business but for your relationship with your customers — always thank them.
- Respond to all reviews — Make sure to respond to reviews, even if they are negative. This might happen from time to time. The best way to respond to a bad review is with respect, find a resolution if you can; if you can’t, say that you acknowledge the problem and endeavour to work on it and improve your service.
- Don’t get personal — Everyone can see your comments, and they will be displayed every time someone views your business and reviews online, so stay professional.
- Be nice — While you don’t need to get personal, remember to be friendly and not a salesperson.
- Add value — You can always tell customers about an exciting product or service they might have missed, or one that’s soon to be released — without sounding too salesy.
Create incentives for staff to encourage customer reviews.
You can’t bribe customers, but you can encourage your staff to interact with customers and remind them to leave reviews. You can give cash bonuses to staff who achieve reviews for your business. In this way, reviews become part of your business process, and you’ll begin to see those stars rolling in, and Google rankings skyrocket!
Playing Hard To Get?
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