Google reviews are a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all types and sizes. In today’s increasingly competitive market, leveraging the most advantageous marketing tactics is an essential component of success. As potential clients use online resources to compare your business to other industry leaders, Google reviews help your business stand out.
As a business owner or leader, you may already be familiar with the many benefits of Google reviews. They boost rankings for local SEO, level the playing field against the competition in your industry, and enhance your online reputation. But what’s even more important to understand is that this critical component of your marketing strategy is not losing its importance.
As Google My Business platform remains a major contributing factor in attracting new business, it’s essential to use Google reviews to your advantage now more than ever. So, how do you get reviews on Google in 2021? Let’s take a closer look at the importance of Google reviews and what your business needs to climb to the top of your industry.
What Is the Importance of Google Reviews?
The power of review data is often underestimated, but a simple Google review is worth its weight in gold. Landing a positive customer testimonial on the world’s top search engine can give your business a big credibility boost. What’s even better is that it simultaneously saves you money in marketing costs. Here are some of the top reasons that Google reviews are important to your business.
1. Positive Reviews Can Be Used to Market Your Business
Google reviews are more prominently displayed now than they were in the past. Your rating and number of reviews show up on the search engine results today, but they’re also featured in apps like Google Maps. Additionally, Google Maps gives badges to the highest-rated businesses in the search engine results. Studies show that most customers willing to make a purchase check online reviews before investing in goods and services. The more reviews you have and the better rating you get, the higher the click-through rates for your website. The power of customer testimonials is unmatched in today’s business world. Leveraging that power is a great way to market your business online.
2. Google Reviews Improve Your Local SEO and Online Visibility
Google algorithms are complex; there’s no doubt about that! As they continue to change regularly, the impact of reviews continues to grow. As the leading search engine in the world, Google closely tracks your business online. Businesses with a high number of reviews get a visibility boost from Google because it shows they engage with their customers. The more you remain consistent in collecting reviews, the faster your business is pushed to the top of the search engine ranking results. When customers are actively searching for the goods and services you provide, you can be sure that they’ll find your business online.
3. Google Reviews Influence Customers and Increase Brand Trust
Online reviews have a powerful influence on customers in today’s consumer market. Nearly 88% of consumers have reported that they read online reviews before purchasing goods or services. Online reviews help customers trust your brand, and they also give your business a competitive advantage. Today’s average consumer reports that they regularly read online reviews, turning to these to build the sense of trust they would get from personal recommendations. When it comes to building brand authority, transparency is essential. Since Google is the most trusted online search platform, having great Google reviews can influence customers, increase brand trust, and determine the quality of your goods and services for potential customers.
4. Online Reviews Help Your Business Understand What They’re Doing Right and Wrong
When it comes to online reviews, the influence they have on your marketing strategy isn’t the only benefit. Online reviews are a great source of customer feedback. They provide valuable information to the leaders of your business. Do customers have a positive experience? Where does your team do well? Are there areas of your business that need improvement? While the goal is to get positive reviews, negative reviews can have a positive impact on your business as well. They identify areas in need of improvement and give you a chance to show potential customers how you deal with dissatisfaction. No one is perfect. When you respond to negative reviews the right way, potential customers will see that if they ever have an issue with a product or service you deliver, you’ll stand by your brand and make it right. Responding to online reviews also gives you another plus with Google when it comes to rankings.
5. Positive Google Reviews Help Businesses Convert More Customers
What’s the bottom line when it comes to the impact of Google reviews? All these benefits point to one fact. Having positive Google reviews helps your business convert customers. From improving click-through rates to increasing your online visibility, online reviews entice your potential customers to learn more about the products and services you deliver. Online reviews seal the deal. They give potential customers the insight needed to make a purchase. The more abundant and positive your reviews, the more trust you’ll build from customers interested in investing in your brand.
How to Get Reviews on Google in 2021
Now that you understand the critical need to get reviews on Google, where do you start? Let’s break it down.
Verify Your Google My Business Listing
The first step to get reviews on Google is to optimize your Google My Business listing. This means you need to verify the information that’s visible online and claim your business listing. Here’s how to add or claim your business listing on Google:
Add a business listing to Google My Business:
- Search for your business online. If no listing shows, open the Google My Business app from your phone or tablet.
- Sign in with the Google account you’d like to use to manage your business listing.
- If you’re notified that someone else has verified your listing, follow these steps.
- If not, click the option to “add a new business.”
- Enter your business name and information and agree to the Terms and Services before hitting “continue.”
To claim a business listing:
- Open the Google My Business app on your phone or tablet.
- In the search bar, search for your business by name and choose the correct option.
- Tap “claim this business.”
- Tap “I own or manage this business.”
- Select a verification option and continue to follow the on-screen prompts.
Once you’ve added or claimed your GMB listing, go through your listing and add all relevant information and ensure it’s correct. Pay close attention to ensure your business name, physical location, hours, and contact information is 100% accurate. Now, it’s time to start pulling in those reviews, and here’s the best way to get reviews on Google in 2021!
1. Ask for Reviews
Plain and simple, the easiest and best way to get reviews is to come out and ask for them. How and when should you ask?
- After you complete a job
- At the end of a sale
- When it feels comfortable during customer interactions
- By email
- As an attachment with bills
Google My Business Marketing Kit is a great tool to help you create, download, and print marketing materials. You can create fun images to post on your social media accounts, make stickers or posters around your brick and mortar strategically, and more. The kit is a great way to catch your customers’ attention and get them excited about giving you a Google review.
At the start, asking for reviews can feel awkward. But with some creative ideas and consistency, it’ll be a natural part of your daily business interactions before you know it.
2. Show Them How to Do It
One of the main reasons customers don’t leave a review for a business or service provider that they love is because they don’t know how. A great way to get customers to follow through with leaving a review is to show them how to do it. Write out the process on marketing materials that include your business’ website, social media links, and logo. Include the following steps on your marketing materials:
- Sign in to your Google (Gmail) Account
- Search for our business on Google
- Click the option to leave a review
- Select a star rating, add your review comments, and submit
Be sure to give them a big thank you in advance at the end of the process to encourage their following further. The most important thing for customers to understand is that they need to sign in to Google first. The more you lay out the process for your customers, the more likely they will be to get to submitting a review.
You can also make it easier by providing your customers with a direct link to your GMB reviews. You can share this link on marketing materials or through social media posts. Simply search for your GMB listing, click on the “write a review” button, and copy the link at the top of the page. You can use a URL service like bit.ly to shorten the URL’s length and make it easier to follow.
3. Give Friendly Reminders
Once you’ve asked customers for reviews and shown how to do it, you may need to give a friendly reminder down the road. We’ve all got a lot of items on our daily to-do lists. Just because someone hasn’t submitted a review, doesn’t mean they didn’t intend to do so when asked. Follow up with your customers a couple of weeks after you initially requested them for a review. You can do this by asking them in-person the next time you see them or sending a friendly email with your link included.
4. Provide Employee Incentives
Another great way to gather Google reviews is to empower your employees. Train your employees to request reviews following the strategy you’re using. A fun way to get employees excited about gathering reviews is to create an incentive within your team. The employee who gets the most reviews in a specific time or the employee who asks the largest number of customers for reviews receives a prize. When you keep employees invested in the process, they’ll be a great asset to your ability to grow the number of Google reviews you have online.
5. Take Advantage of the Power of Email
Email marketing is still a compelling strategy that remains true when it comes to gathering reviews. Do you collect customer emails during the transaction process? If not, it might be something you want to think about doing. There are great tools available to help you gather Google reviews through email. You can also find creative ways to incorporate the gathering of Google reviews into your weekly or monthly newsletters.
Finding Success in Getting Google Reviews
You understand the importance of gathering Google reviews and have some great tips on how to get reviews on Google. So, what’s next? For any business looking to take advantage of Google reviews, the key to success is consistency. You need to gather Google reviews consistently. It’s not good enough to gather a handful of online reviews and call it a day.
When potential customers turn to the internet to research a business, they are usually looking to see whether you are worthy of investing their money. That’s why customers want to see recent reviews that are relevant to today. Since Google lists reviews in order by the date they were submitted, it’s essential to be consistent in gathering Google reviews.
You should be consistent in gathering reviews, but you also need to monitor reviews as they come in. Respond to positive reviews as often as possible. More importantly, be timely and responsive to negative reviews. Do your best to rectify any customer dissatisfaction. Responding directly to your Google reviews allows future customers to see how you handle issues. Dissatisfied customers are also more likely to remove their negative reviews or post a positive response.
Leverage the power of online reviews, be consistent, and be responsive. When you combine these three efforts, you’ll see a significant boost in your business’s ability to attract new customers. When you make a continuous effort to get Google reviews, you’ve found the key to building your business and locking in your brand’s future.