When you’re looking for a recommendation, where do you turn? Many of us turn to our best friend Google, to check out reviews, besides asking family and friends. This is why having positive Google reviews is so important. If you don’t have Google reviews, potential customers may wonder why. It could cast your business in a bad light that no one felt strongly enough about their experience to tell anyone.
If your Google reviews are lacking, we’re going to show you how to get more of them and why they’re so important from a search-ranking standpoint.
The Importance of Google Reviews
While getting reviews on Yelp, BBB, Yellow Pages, and other review sites is certainly helpful, Google is where you want to be.
As of June 2021, Google accounts for over 92% of search traffic. It’s where everyone goes to begin their information gathering journey, so it should be your top priority.
Your Google reviews (or lack thereof) are going to influence your potential buyers’ decision-making process every step of the way. The Google listings that include customer reviews have greater credibility which results in more clicks, especially when those reviews are positive.
Where Will My Google Reviews Show Up?
Good or bad, Google will list your reviews. You’ll want to know where to find them so you can see how the public views your business.
1. The Local “3-Pack”
When your potential customers start their search, they’ll be using non-branded keywords, like “bathtub refinishing” or “accountants near me.”
At this point, your goal is for your business to make it into the local “3-Pack” for non-branded keywords like those listed above. Showing up here is crucial to getting traffic to your website since the 3-Pack is so visually dominant on the page.
Based on this search, which company would you call first?
The first company is the obvious choice because not only does it have a 5-star review standing, but also has more than 100 reviews. When you look at the second listing, there are no reviews. This makes people suspicious and less likely to explore your business.
2. Google My Business Listing
It is quite likely that over 90% of your visitors won’t contact you on their first visit to your website.
Your product or service is appealing, but most of your visitors aren’t quite ready to commit. When these potential customers are weighing their options, they might Google your company and your competitors by name.
A “branded” keyword search for your company name will likely lead people to your Google My Business listing where your Google reviews will prominently be displayed.
In the above example, the reviews are clearly visible and positive so there’s a good chance that potential clients would want to learn more.
Do Reviews Affect My Search Engine Ranking?
Reviews are basically 3rd party stamps of approval (or disapproval). It all boils down to trust. The following review signals provide a strong local ranking factor:
- Number of Reviews – More is obviously better.
- Average Review Rating – A higher average rating is better.
- 3rd Party Reviews – Reviews on other 3rd party sites may also influence rankings (they can also be displayed on your Google My Business profile).
- Frequency of Reviews – Getting reviews consistently over a period of time is a positive signal.
Receiving good reviews consistently signals that people are regularly interacting with your business and having a positive experience. Consistency also legitimizes the reviews.
Here are some things to keep in mind. If you go from 0 to 50 reviews overnight, that looks fishy. Google doesn’t like being lied to. If you get caught for fake reviews, you can get penalized, lose ALL your reviews, and have to start over again from scratch. Even if your reviews are legitimate, getting 10 or so per month for 5 months is more believable and more natural than getting all 50 in one day.
Getting Google reviews is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep that in mind as you try to get more customers to leave reviews.
How to Get More Customers to Leave Google Reviews
Getting more customers to leave Google Reviews isn’t that hard. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Sometimes all you have to do is ask. Ask everyone you do business with, every time. Mention it to them in person, mention it on the phone, put it on your receipts/invoices, follow up by email, etc. But if you know a customer is dissatisfied you may not want to encourage them to leave a review. While they may do that on their own, you don’t want to remind them to do it.
A single negative review can wreak a lot of havoc on your digital reputation. This is all the more reason that quantity is important. One bad review out of 7 looks a lot worse than one bad review out of 170. A high quantity of solid reviews protects you from those random reviews that no one can realistically avoid.
Whatever line of business you are in, it is often not practical to collect reviews while out in the field. Ultimately the request will usually have to come via email. People are much more likely to open this email if you tell them that it is coming and tell them it is important to you.
If you just send an email without ever mentioning it, there’s a good chance it will get ignored.
Here is a sample email asking for a Google Review:
Feel free to take pieces of this sample email and make it work for your business. If you use a marketing automation platform, like HubSpot, you could trigger these emails based on your (or your customer’s) activities.
Add Calls-to-Action and Popups on Your Website
While reviews are a priority for you, they may not be for your customers. You can encourage procrastinators by adding calls to action to your website. You can also add a small pop-up encouraging the user to leave a review.
Create Your Own Google Review Link to Share with Customers
One of the biggest obstacles to getting Google reviews is that the average person doesn’t really know how to leave one.
You want the process to be as painless as possible, but it usually requires a hefty bit of explaining:
“Okay, here’s what you do. Go to Google, and Google our business by name. On the right side of the page, you should see a big box with all our business info in it. Now, look for the orange review stars. Next to that, you’ll see the number of reviews. That is a clickable link. Click that and you’ll see a pop-up window. In the pop-up window, you’ll see a ‘write a review’ button in the upper right-hand corner. Click that and enter your review.”
Luckily though, you don’t have to explain the entire how-to process anymore. You can use our easy-to-use Google Review Link Tool.
To create a shareable Google review link, you’ll just enter your business name, hit enter, and copy the URL that appears in the right text box.
Now, enjoy your easy-to-use review URL and get to work!
If you want to make a really easy to remember Google review link for your business, it’s very simple. For instance, let’s say you want this to be your review link:
This is an added convenience because a URL like this is much easier to say when trying to tell it to someone in person or over the phone.
For the sake of this example, let’s say your direct Google review link created by the generator was:
Just go to your .htacess file and add the following line of code:
Redirect 301 /review https://thee.design/12345678
Now when someone goes to YourSite.com/review, they’ll be conveniently redirected to your review link.
Warning: It is very possible to break your website when tinkering around with your .htacess file. Always create a backup, or better yet, contact a professional.
Provide Great Customer Service Every Time
An easy way to get good reviews is to earn them. When you give great customer service every time, you should be able to get more great reviews. This will give people the incentive to want to let everyone else know about their positive experiences.
If you want to get Google reviews, you’re likely going to have to do some work. This may require asking for them and making it easier for people to leave them. In the end, it’s all worth it because it can help to boost your bottom line.
Do you need help with Google reviews?
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