A recent report found that more than 81% of modern consumers need to trust brands before buying from them. Many companies have been on the news for corrupt and unethical corporate practices which don’t sit well with the public. As a result, consumers have become more reliant on peer reviews and opinions when deciding to buy anything.
This has led to a rise in independent online review platforms like Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business. Shopping sites like Amazon and Alibaba also have review features that allow consumers to read independent reviews before buying anything. Adding factors like this is especially important to consider for small business web design.
The rise of review platforms has created a situation where 89% of consumers read online reviews before a purchase. So to succeed in today’s business climate small businesses must show social proof that they provide quality products or services. The easiest and cheapest way to do so is to set up a Google My Business page and ask previous clients for positive reviews.
Unfortunately, getting clients to go online and post a review doesn’t happen automatically. You will have to convince them to do so. Keep reading for some great small business tips on how to get Google reviews.
Why Google Reviews Matter for Small Businesses
What is the first thing you do when you want to look for something online? More than likely you Google it and look at what the top search results say about the subject. This is the same thing that your target customers do when they want to buy something.
Most people tend to Google search a person or company before they decide to do business with them. For instance, if they need a dentist they may Google search for “dentists near me”. They will then look at the results of dentists that come up and judge them based on the review ratings and distance.
Dentists without a review or those with negative reviews might be passed up. Instead, people will favor those with numerous positive reviews. That is the power of Google Reviews.
One reason why you should concentrate on getting Google reviews is that Google accounts for 88% of all search engine traffic. So, it’s likely that any consumer that searches for your business will be doing it via Google. If you don’t have a presence on the site, you will lose sales to competitors with a strong presence there.
Let’s say a consumer searches for your product or service online and find positive reviews for your competitor. If they find zero reviews for you, they’ll probably buy from your competitor.
Another reason why it’s important to get reviews on Google My Business is that 72% of consumers take action after they’ve read a positive testimonial or review. Racking up genuine positive reviews on Google is a great way to gain consumer trust and make a sale. It’s the same as word-of-mouth recommendations for a product.
But note that consumers would rather buy from a business that has many reviews and an average rating than a company that only has one or two 5-star reviews. The perception is that a company with only one or two reviews may have fabricated those reviews. But it is hard to fake hundreds of verified consumer reviews.
Companies that have a high number of 5-star Google reviews also rank higher on search engine results. This is why SEO experts like to incorporate Google Reviews in their small business web design strategy. If you want to increase your online visibility and sales, increasing your Google reviews could be the key.
How to Get Google Reviews for Your Business
So how can you increase the amount of Google reviews your business gets? The answer is to make it as easy as possible for clients to submit reviews. If all it took was for clients to say how they felt about your business, we would get more reviews.
Unfortunately, clients have to go online, navigate to your Google business page, and then type out a review. To increase your reviews, you need to make it easier or worth their while to submit a review. Below are some great tips on how to do so.
1. Ask Directly
The best way to get anything you want is simply to ask. Each time you make an in-person sale, you and staff should verbally ask your clients for a review of your products or services and their customer experience. For instance, waiters often ask patrons how they enjoyed their meal.
In case clients had a good experience the waiter could ask the client if they would be happy to leave a review on your Google page so that other people can find your business. The same principle works with any business that has face-to-face interactions with clients.
Word of mouth referrals has always been the best way to increase revenue. This is why you and your team must never waste an opportunity to ask for a review.
2. Add a Request for Google Reviews to Your Invoices
You can also increase the number of reviews on your Google business page by adding a call to action (CTA) to your invoices and receipts. Write a simple message like “We would love to hear from you” or “Please leave a review on our Google Business Page”.
You can also add a QR code that allows clients to scan and go directly to our Google review page. Many people never leave a review unless they had a really good experience or a bad experience. Triggers like CTAs on invoices can help you increase the number of average reviews that you get.
3. Create Posters and Placards
Another way to increase your Google reviews is by creating posters or placards asking for reviews. Design a poster that asks clients to rate their experience on Google. Post the link of your business or add a QR code for customers to scan.
If you have a physical location, you can place the posters on your tables, around your shop, or on your entrance door. If your shop is online, you could include the flier when you ship products to your clients.
4. Revamp Your Small Business Web Design
Your website is the most important place to communicate with your consumers online. So, if you want to increase your Google reviews your website is a great place to ask for them. Whenever a client purchased anything from your site you could have a pop-up directing them to your Google My Business page so they can post a review about their experience.
You could also place badges or links to your Google page on the about us section of your website. It’s also a good idea to show social proof that clients are happy with your services by posting snippets of the latest positive reviews you have received on Google. Engage the services of a professional small business web designer that can help you plan how best to leverage Google reviews on your site.
5. Create an Email Sequence to Ask For Reviews
Another great way to get Google Reviews is to create an email sequence that automatically contacts clients a few days after they receive your services or products. This is a great idea for online businesses or clients that may need a few days to use a product or service before giving a review.
Once a client receives a shipment, an email could go out to them a few days later asking them to review the product. Most clients will be happy to post a review especially if their customer experience was
6. Send an SMS
We are in the age of smartphones so most of our interactions are done on our mobile phones. If you have access to your clients’ phone numbers, consider sending an SMS message. After-sales service often involves sending an email or SMS thanking patrons for their service.
You can simply add a line to your summary message letting them know that they can submit a Google review if they are happy with your services. Adding a link to your Google My Business page makes it easy for them to click on the link and submit their review. And as we mentioned earlier, the less hassle there is, the more likely it is for clients to submit a review.
7. Offer Rewards for Reviews
Some clients will not post reviews without a great incentive to do so. Get around this by offering them some great rewards if they agree to post a review. For instance, you could have a discount code for anyone that shares with you a link to their Google Review.
You could also hold a contest where people that submit reviews enter a raffle to win some great gifts. Another idea would be to give a small gift to anyone that posts a review. For instance, a restaurant could offer those that posted reviews a free dessert.
8. Respond to Reviewers
Make a point of visiting your Google My Business page frequently and engaging with those that review your business. While reviews are great for attracting new business, they are also a great way to gauge how you are doing. Reading reviews as soon as they are posted could alert you to a problem you need to correct to prevent future business losses.
Other than reading reviews you should also thank those that posted and engage with them. Encourage positive reviewers to buy from you again. If you receive negative reviews, you must also respond to them.
In case you were wrong, apologize and attempt to correct the issue. In case the issue resulted from a misunderstanding, explain what went wrong to the client. Potential clients will visit your page and read your interactions with previous clients.
Responding professionally is a great way to showcase your company values. It also helps to build a positive reputation for your business.
Learn How to Get Google Reviews for Your Small Business
Google reviews are a great way for a small business to build its online reputation and increase sales. Google has the lion’s share of online traffic. So ranking on the first page of search results for your area of business is a great way to get sales.
SEO experts agree that a business that has numerous positive ratings on Google reviews is likely to appear at the top of search results. This is why businesses should ask their clients for Google reviews.
You can make it easier for your clients to submit reviews by sending them the link to your Google page or displaying a QR code that they can scan. You can also encourage clients to submit reviews by offering them incentives such as discounts or small gifts. Consider adding small business web design features to your site to make the process seamless for customers.
It’s important to note that the most helpful client reviews on Google are positive 5-star ratings. Reviews that have a description of your product or service, as well as pictures, will also rank higher than just star ratings without a comment. So, the best clients to ask for reviews are those that had a great customer experience and would be willing to give you a detailed 5-star rating.
While it’s always best to get positive reviews, you shouldn’t discourage or delete negative reviews when you get them. Rather than deleting a negative review, you should respond to any complaints and recover your reputation. There are cases where customers post negative reviews to sabotage your business. If this is the case, report to Google any false reviews posted on your page.
Do you need help getting Google reviews for your business? If so, contact us today to learn more about how our services can help.