Before making a purchase from a business for a product or service, nowadays many prospective customers will go online and look at Google reviews. The more positive reviews you get, the more credibility your business will have. Not to mention, having more reviews can boost your search rankings, making it easier for people to learn about your company.
One of the best resources for increasing your review count is Google My Business (GMB). Statistics show that more than 60% of customers rely on a company’s Google business profile to learn more about them—and this number is only projected to grow over time. Here are our top tips on how to get more business reviews.
Verify Your Business
Creating a GMB profile won’t do much good unless the profile is verified. Put simply, a verification lets customers know that you are who you say you are. Other benefits of verification include:
- Credibility. Customers are more likely to trust a company that has been verified.
- Eligibility. Verifying your account allows your business to appear across multiple locations, including Google Search and Maps.
- Ability to respond. If you are not verified, you will not be able to reply to customers that write reviews.
- Management capabilities. Verification gives you greater control over your account and lets you manage reviews (for instance, you can request to remove inappropriate comments).
Most businesses are verified through mail, but some may elect to get verified virtually (such as through email or phone). You can learn more about the verification process here.
One of the simplest ways to get more reviews on your GMB listing is to simply ask for them. You can send out a mass email asking customers to leave a review—or you could post a link to your reviews directly on your website.
When asking customers to leave reviews, be careful to comply with Google’s Terms of Service. Keep the following rules in mind.
Don’t Ask For Positive Reviews
To keep your business reviews objective, avoid trying to influence the opinions of your customers. For instance, if you share a review link, don’t explicitly ask for positive comments. You can encourage people to leave reviews, but don’t try to influence the nature of these reviews.
Don’t Offer Incentives
Reviews should be a reflection of the customer’s honest opinion. You should never offer incentives (such as money or discounts) in exchange for a positive review.
Don’t Argue with Negative Reviews
Customers have the right to leave a negative review. While you can reply to their review and ask questions, avoid starting an argument—this will negatively impact your business reputation. However, if you feel a review is inappropriate, you can submit a request to have it removed.
Respond to Google Reviews
When customers leave a review, it shows they cared enough about their experience to share something with you. In good faith, you should always try to reply to reviews whenever possible. Not only does this encourage customers to return: It also shows prospective customers that you’re passionate about your business.
There are three main types of reviews you might reply to:
- Good reviews;
- Bad reviews;
- Mixed reviews.
It goes without saying that good Google reviews are the best kind. Show your appreciation by thanking customers and letting them know you’re grateful for their business.
Bad reviews are more difficult to deal with; however, it’s near inevitable that you’ll get at least a few of these at some point. Do your best to let the customer know that their concerns are valid, and see if there’s something you can do to resolve the issue. For instance, if a customer is upset about your services, you could ask them to call you and discuss the issue further over the phone.
Finally, some reviews will be a mixed bag. A review might be 90% positive but have one small complaint. In these cases, let the customer know you appreciate their kind words, but also acknowledge their problem.
Ask for Google Reviews on Social Media
In 2020, more than 3.6 billion people across the globe used social media. Your online profile can serve as a valuable tool for connecting with customers and getting them to leave a review. Here are some of the best methods:
Post a Review Link
Use your social media accounts (like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) to share a link across multiple locations. This link should take customers directly to your Google My Business profile.
Create Compelling Content
Customers are more likely to stop and read a post that intrigues them. In some cases, a link simply might not be enough to capture their attention. Try posting images or sharing humorous anecdotes to convince them to visit your page.
Share Your Story
Social media doesn’t just help you get more reviews: It also gives you the opportunity to share valuable information about your business. Tell people your story, field questions, and engage with them.
As an added bonus, curating a unique, fun social media profile can boost your online reputation and encourage people to leave you positive Google reviews. Plus, as you accumulate reviews, you can expect higher conversion rates and more people checking out your business!