GOOGLE MY BUSINESS OPTIMIZATION 101
GMB 101: You Need Better Reviews on Your Google Business Profile
NEWS FLASH: Reviews on Google matter… A LOT
Reviews are critical to building a strong reputation for your business and attracting new customers. Reviews allow potential customers to learn about your business directly from clients, which helps to establish credibility and boost traffic.
Google’s algorithm is getting smarter and smarter, and they’re focusing a lot of their efforts on the review section. More and more, Google is looking at the quantity of reviews and making it a priority to show those businesses with lots of reviews higher in the search results.
Regardless of whether you’re a local business or a national chain, having high quality, detailed reviews on your Google Business Profile is extremely important. After all, customers want to know what their fellow consumers thought about the products and services you offer.
Here are some reasons why having high quality reviews on your Business Profile is so crucial to earning more customers to your business:
Customers Use Reviews As Reference When Evaluating Competitors
Reviews are important because they provide social proof – evidence that other customers have already taken the plunge with you and had a positive experience. In other words, when a customer sees that other people have already trusted you with their hard-earned money, it gives them confidence in you as well.
Though not every customer will leave a review, many do because they want to share their experiences with others. Having more reviews will increase your chances of attracting new customers because many customers use reviews as reference when evaluating competitors. Think of customer reviews as free advertising!
Reviews also help you learn what’s working well for your business and how you can improve. People often share their experience via a review immediately after they visit your business, which enables you to take care of any issues that may have happened during their visit.
Detailed Reviews Can Result in Higher Rankings in Google Maps
A great customer review is a great way to attract more customers to your business. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that these reviews can also help you rank higher in Google Maps. Having detailed reviews that mention relevant keywords give you a competitive advantage over other businesses that have fewer reviews. And it also increases the chances of converting potential customers into loyal ones for your business.
Focus on getting positive reviews from customers who mention keywords related to your business – while they are writing their review. If they mention the brand name or keywords that relates to your business while they’re writing their review, it can it to show up higher in the Google local pack.
The more user-generated reviews and ratings your business has, the better it will rank in Google Maps. Also, if these reviews are detailed and specific (mentioning your business name and location), they will be more likely to appear in Google Search results.
Reviews not only help you drive traffic to your business website (and generate revenue), but also help you improve your customer ranking in the long run, as well as increase trustworthiness, which is an important factor for converting potential customers into loyal ones.
So how do you get more reviews?
To get more reviews for your Google Business Page, there are a few key things you can do.
Tips For Getting More High Quality Reviews
When starting out it can be difficult to get people to leave reviews, but luckily there are some things you can do to help improve the chances that people will leave a review.
1) Ask Customers For Reviews.
The first thing you need to do is ask for reviews. This sounds really obvious but there are many people who don’t ask for reviews and they wonder why they don’t have any.
The best way to get reviews is by asking customers just after they have received their product or service. When someone has recently visited your store or just received your service, call or text them and ask them to leave a review for you. This is a very effective way because these customers will remember their experience more clearly and will have more to say about your business.
Don’t ambush customers, however, with questions about reviews. They aren’t obligated to write one and might not have even had a positive experience with your company. Instead, say something along the lines of “We appreciate all our customers’ feedback and would love it if you would take a few minutes to tell us about your experience.
2) Create Links to Your Google Reviews Page
Always link to your Google review page from your site and social media accounts so that customers can easily leave you a review. Adding a prominent link to your review page will encourage more customers to leave a review for you on Google. If they don’t see it immediately, they may forget or get frustrated later on.
An easy way to collect more reviews is to create a “Leave Us A Review” button on your website. Your customers will already be there if they’re looking around at your offerings, so make it as easy as possible for them to leave reviews. You can also add links to your Google reviews page to your social media profiles and blog posts increase the amount of reviews your company receives. The easier you make it for your customers to access your reviews page, the more reviews you will collect!
If you are a Map Ranks customer, we can help you and your business devise a personalized strategy to collect more reviews in a variety of ways. We use our knowledge and experience collecting reviews to help you optimize the process to ensure that you are receiving quality feedback from your customers.
3) Create an Incentive
Creating an incentive for customers to leave your business a detailed review is another way to get the ball rolling. An example is to offer small discounts or other perks to those who leave reviews for your business. The incentive doesn’t have to be a freebie or deal of some kind; it could simply be your gratitude and thanks that encourages customers to share their opinions with others on Google.
Obviously offering a discount or free item isn’t feasible for every type of business, but if you offer products or services for which price will be a big factor in the decision-making process, offering a small incentive for reviews makes sense from a marketing standpoint as well as from a sales standpoint.
4) Use a QR Code Review Flyer
One of the best ways to get good reviews for your business is by having potential customers leave them while they are still at your location. If you have a physical flyer with a QR Code link to your review page, it makes it easy for customers to scan and quickly leave a review. Just place the flyer prominently at strategic locations in your business.
Luckily for Map Ranks customers, we go through the trouble of creating a high-quality, personalized QR Code flyer for all of our clients to help them increase the number of reviews they collect at the point-of-sale.
You can also add this QR Code to all of the marketing materials that you send out such as brochures or highlight it on your business cards. If you send products directly to your customers, you can include a review flyer with your QR Code there as well so that they are prompted to review after actually receiving their purchase.
If you are using a Point of Sale (POS) system, you can prompt customers for an online review when they check out so that they don’t forget about it later. You can also set up an autoresponder email that goes out to new customers thanking them for their purchase and asking them to leave a review if they liked their experience with your business.
5) Respond to Customer Reviews
After receiving reviews to your page, be sure to thank customers for supporting your business. Responding to customer reviews publicly allows users to see responses from business owners and can give them the information they need before making a purchase. Reviews that have a public response tend to be more helpful than those that do not. Another reason to answer all of your customer reviews is that your response is another opportunity to include relevant keywords to your Business Profile and help you with your Google Maps rankings.
Responding to reviews also gives you the opportunity to rectify a customer’s poor experience. If a customer has a problem or concern, respond to it in a friendly and helpful way. This will indicate that you have interest in maintaining client satisfaction, which will likely earn you more positive reviews than ignoring the review or responding negatively.
One of the key services that Map Ranks offers to our clients is real-time review responding! Map Ranks customers never have to worry about whether or not they have responded to customer reviews because they are being taken care of by a live person who understands your business and will respond accordingly with relevant feedback as well as keywords that pertain to your business. We also help you deal with increasing 1-4 star reviews with friendly and compassionate responses.
6) Keep Your Business Information Up-to-Date
In order to leave a review, a consumer must be able to find your business online. If you’re not showing up in search results, customers won’t have an opportunity to review you and your business will get lost in the digital shuffle. This includes your address, phone number and hours of operation, so people know that they are leaving a review for the right business. Make sure all of your information is consistent across all platforms so that users can easily find you when they go to Google, Yelp or Facebook.
7) Don’t Post Fake Reviews!
When it comes to reviews, the most important thing is to be authentic. Don’t post fake reviews. It’s one of the fastest ways to get caught and banned from Google Maps.
Any positive ratings and reviews that you collect should be from real people who have had a positive experience with your business or local service area.
Don’t pay for reviews either. We’ve got ways to encourage your customers to leave their own positive reviews, but paying for them is unethical and against Google’s policies.
Reviews from friends and family can feel good at the time, but they may not provide an accurate picture of what it is like at your place of business. In addition, reviewers may be more inclined to leave more exaggerated or negative feedback if they feel as though they were misled by your existing reviews.
Reviews are important because people trust them. The system works pretty well, with most reviews being accurate and coming from actual customers. It’s easier to trust a review from someone who shares your same experience than it is to trust an advertisement or sales pitch.
Not only do great reviews look good for you, it tells Google that are customers trust you and like your products/services. The more reviews that you get, the higher your ranking in Google Maps, which ultimately leads to more traffic and revenue. Do everything you can to make sure each one is a high quality. And don’t worry about getting them all in a row, just keep posting high quality reviews over time and you’ll be rewarded by Google.
Treat customers well, and ask them for reviews — don’t harass them, but don’t be afraid to ask. When you have an established relationship with a customer, they’re more likely to take the time to leave you a review. And if they like their experience with your business, they will.
If you are looking for additional ways to increase the number of reviews for your business or to increase your business rankings on Google Maps, Map Ranks is ready to help!
Map Ranks works hard to help your business stand out from the competition with better photos, more reviews, better quality reviews, special offers, featured products/services, and much more! Our service constantly looks for way to improve your presence and help bring you more customers.
If you are interested in learning more about Map Ranks or how to rank higher on Google Maps, sign up for our email newsletter or give us a call today!