The power of Google reviews cannot be underestimated. Just think about it. When was the last time you visited a restaurant, small business, or doctor’s office without reading multiple reviews? A company’s reputation and trust in their brand no longer rely on word of mouth.
Businesses can garner more reviews using several tactics, including managing the ones they receive. Subsequently, companies with a customer review strategy that thoughtfully asks for Google reviews from customers and clients and promptly responds to positive and negative comments often see financial gains.
The Proliferation of Online Reviews
Unconvinced that online reviews are impactful? The data doesn’t lie. The next time a customer leaves your brick-and-mortar or makes an online purchase, consider this:
- 93% of users say online reviews impacted their buying decisions.
- 86% of users will think twice about buying from a company with negative reviews (Invesp).
- 81% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses (BrightLocal).
- 53% of consumers in the 25-34 age group have posted an online review within the past 30 days (GWI).
- 79% of consumers say they trust the online reviews they read (BrightLocal).
Asking for Google reviews makes good business sense. Numbers prove that in this digital world, consumers trust strangers’ recommendations when making trivial choices like where to order pizza and important decisions such as which provider to use.
What Makes Google Reviews Special
Google is the biggest search engine and the most popular place for customers and clients to leave their opinions about your goods and services. Nearly 227 million users conduct 5.4 billion Google searches every day, according to Review 42. As more people rely on Google to find what they want, naturally, they trust the feelings of the people who do the same.
Positive Google reviews can generate brand curiosity that transforms into brand loyalty. Promptly and consistently replying to anyone who leaves a rating—even the dreaded one-star reviews impacts your reputation positively.
When you respond to positive reviews, address the individual by name and thank them for mentioning what they liked about their experience. As for negative reviews, respond by seeking understanding and finding a resolution to their concerns using clear and compassionate language. Even though their complaint may be bogus, the last thing you want is to appear confrontational.
BrightLocal reports that 72% of people asked to write a review did. And according to a Harvard Business School report, a good rating can increase business revenue by 5-9%. So, if you don’t have a Google review request strategy, it’s time to start.
Here’s How You Get Google Reviews
Directing customers to leave a review used to be a hassle. Now, Google has made finding and sending your unique URL simple:
- Step 1: Log into your Google My Business Account.
- Step 2: Scroll down. You will see new options from your Google Business Profile. Click “Ask for reviews.”
Image source EmbedSocial.
Next, start your Google review strategy using these easy tactics.
- Add a CTA at the bottom of your email signature. This is an easy-peasy way to ask. The suggestion can be as simple as, “Please leave us a Google review.”
- Ask in your newsletter. Get the most out of your newsletter. If you need more reviews, ask your readers. You can assist them by sharing the ones you’ve received. It will inspire them to write and remind them what they like about your business.
- Use your social media. When posting on social media, ask for comments AND a Google review. Add a testimonial graphic and prompt followers to give you 5 stars.
- Create a video. You can get a ton of mileage out of video content.
- Don’t assume people know how to leave a Google review. Walk them through it.
- Explain why it’s essential to your business.
- Use it in your newsletter and social media.
- Don’t forget your website. Display your Google reviews on a separate page or with a plugin. Include a CTA in the footer that encourages people to leave 5 stars.
- Run an email campaign. Do you have a robust and engaged email list? It’s the ideal condition for running a review campaign thanking customers for their loyalty. Include a request for a 5-star review and a few kind words.
- It’s ok to follow up. If you don’t see a jump in reviews, follow up. Everyone gets busy.
Lastly, add a request at the bottom of your invoices and receipts or leave suggestion cards by the register. Be creative so long as you don’t succumb to buying customer reviews. Studies show that consumers can identify bots, and rest-assured Google can, too.
A 5-star Conclusion
As a business owner, how people learn to trust your brand has changed forever because the public no longer thinks for itself. Now, the masses turn to complete strangers before frequenting a new business, buying a new gadget, reading a new book, or trying a new restaurant. Help encourage newcomers by asking those loyal to your business to leave you a review. In the digital age, your brand’s reputation and bottom line rely on those stars.
Need help with your reputation management? Kudzu Brands specializes in responding to Google reviews for many of our clients. Contact us about this special service.