Many businesses don’t know how to answer negative reviews or even address positive Google reviews. Poor ratings, a lack of trust, and reluctance to buy soon follow. You can easily increase Google reviews using the tips and strategies we are about to list.
When people want to make a purchase, they rely on other people’s opinions, which are reflected in online reviews. It is no secret that Google factors the quantity and quality of reviews into its local ranking algorithm.
This article will show you how to make the most of those reviews and boost your company’s reputation and local Google rankings. We will also share examples of how to interact with customers and their feedback.
Benefits of increasing Google reviews
To provide a smooth customer journey and excellent customer support, you need to understand how customer reviews work.
Google is the go-to platform for brand research and ten is the average number of reviews that customers check before buying a product.
Let’s see why Google reviews are so important, how you can manage them, and how they help grow your business.
Boosting brand trust and credibility
Brands that address every type of review, including negative ones, are considered more trustworthy.
An increasing number of reviews not only boosts credibility, but also makes it 92% more likely that customers buy from you.
Increasing online exposure
Whenever you answer a review, you can achieve higher Google rankings and boost your brand’s online visibility. Google’s algorithm is partly based on signals issued by Google Reviews.
This has a major impact on both SEO and online visibility, and what will set you apart from your competition is a higher number of reviews. Ideally, a company should have 40+ Google Reviews to stand out.
Improving SEO rankings and CTR
Google rewards companies that are fulfilling, or even exceeding client expectations. As the trust in your brand increases, so does your SERP (search engine result page) ranking.
Organic local searches are especially impacted by this fact, and, the higher you rank, the more likely you are to attract new customers.
When it comes to reviews, it’s all about:
- Quantity: the more reviews you get, the higher you rank;
- Velocity: if you manage to get a lot of reviews in a short time period, your company’s visibility increases significantly;
- Diversity: the occasional negative review helps boost brand authenticity.
How to get more Google reviews
Let’s tap into the countless ways you can get more Google reviews and see how each one benefits your business.
1. Create your Google Business account and review page
It only takes a couple of clicks to get started with Google Business. The reviews section is included on the page, which acts as a virtual business card.
After you finish creating your profile, you have to verify it by entering the code sent by Google to your physical address.
To optimize your profile and make sure clients get the info they need, do the following:
- Use your real business name;
- List a local number for clients to get in touch;
- List your actual operating hours;
- Write an accurate description for your business profile; (keep it short and relevant, not just cram keywords in);
- Add high-res photos of your local headquarters, products, etc.
- Include a brief video – up to 30 seconds, compressed to 100 MB.
2. Use Google’s free marketing materials
A very good way to increase Google reviews is by using the marketing materials they provide. Not sure how to incentivize clients to leave reviews?
Google offers free stickers, posters, and even content for companies that are looking to increase their review numbers but are unsure how to proceed.
You can customize your messages, images, etc., to increase your chances of getting a bigger review number. And the best part is that all of this is free.
3. Create a feedback loop
Create a process to constantly request reviews and address issues. Closing the feedback loop leads to lower churn rates and higher customer satisfaction. Here are the main stages of a feedback loop:
- Customer feedback collection
- Data analysis
- Feedback implementation and testing
You can easily collect feedback using survey tools, review platforms, live chat, and social media. Every customer touchpoint is a potential source of information you haven’t tapped into.
4. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews
You’d be surprised how many customers are willing to leave reviews if the process was easier. The good news is that you can simplify Google review submission using the following effective strategies:
- Get acquainted with the Google review process
Before asking for reviews, create an account yourself and go through all the review steps. See how much time it takes to answer questions, how fast the pages load, and if the links work properly. Do this every now and then to spot potential issues early on.
- Create a link shortcut to your reviews page
Make it easier for clients to leave a review and place link shortcuts across your social media platforms. Also include them in your site, in newsletters or any other type of written communication that you send.
- Create a QR code that takes users to your reviews page
QR codes are highly interactive and engaging. They allow clients to access the info that they want instantly from any device. This saves them time and effort, while also promoting engagement with your brand.
Anything that works as fast as QR codes is bound to trigger the desired response from your target audience. So make sure to incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
5. Interact with customers at your location
Your store or company headquarters is not just a place of business. It’s the first and most important customer touchpoint. Whenever you give clients insight into how you conduct your business, they are more inclined to offer feedback and reviews.
- Verbally ask them to leave a review
This is the easiest way to interact with and engage clients. They will surely appreciate that you made time to personally ask for a review, especially if the request comes directly from the business owner. This works especially well for small businesses.
- Give them a “leave us a review” card
Sometimes, setting yourself apart from the competition means going back to what worked in the past. Our increasingly digitized environment lacks genuine human connection.
Unlike emails, which can be intrusive, receiving a card from someone is a choice most clients are happy to make.
- Ask customers to sign up to your subscriber lists
Sometimes simpler is better: every time a client leaves your location, remind them to join your subscriber lists or leave a review. To make it more interactive, you can include a sign or QR code on the door.
This code can lead directly to your Google reviews page, link to your SMS opt-in pages, or social profiles.
Nurture your lists and send content that is truly valuable and personalized to instill a feeling of loyalty and anticipation.
When customers feel valued, they want to give back. The best and easiest way to do that is by leaving reviews or testimonials.
Another way to incentivize reviews is by sharing a digital business card in your email campaigns or as your email signature. Include clickable links to the review page by using a digital card software to create a virtual card.
- Put the reviews page link at the bottom of receipts and on the menu
Reviews that come from staff and partners are seen as more genuine. There’s nothing like inside tips to get clients curious about a company’s products or services.
Placing a review link at the bottom of a menu, or even on a receipt, can be quite effective, especially if it includes a QR code for quick access.
6. Promote your Google reviews page
You can easily promote your Google Business page, including the reviews section, with tools that are within everyone’s reach. Here are some effective ways to achieve that without going over budget:
- Mention your review link in email and SMS marketing campaigns
Synchronizing email with SMS is very powerful. Together, these channels provide valuable insight into customer behavior, have endless automation potential, and are incredibly cost-effective.
Insert a review link in your automated SMS and email campaigns to encourage happy customers to review your product.
- Ask for reviews on your brand’s social media pages
Social media is great for company-customer interaction, especially since it’s a less formal medium. Clients are often excited to leave reviews. They just need that extra incentive to interact with your company’s page. You can ask for reviews directly in a post, or even include existing ones on your page.
Try not to offer financial incentives for client reviews; because it is a frowned-upon practice that can lead to low-quality reviews and poor ranking from Google. Remember that reviews help customers make informed decisions. They serve customers, not your best interest.
- Offer perks for leaving a thorough review
Detailed reviews deserve some form of compensation. When people make time to evaluate a product, they expect something in return. If you combine a simple “thank you” with early bird access to your next product line, for instance, you get a customer who is pleased with the way that you conduct your business and who is likely to become a loyal client.
- Place your review link in your company email signature
A well-placed link is a very effective way of gathering the info you need. Clients don’t have to look for links themselves. Plus it sends the message that your company is professional and cares about its clients’ points of view.
- Run SMS surveys and ask for a Google review at the end
Surveys are great for boosting customer engagement because they register high response rates. Asking clients for feedback shows that you value their opinion and appreciate the relationship they established with your brand.
How do surveys help increase Google reviews? If you keep your surveys short and to the point, chances are your customers will also leave feedback at the end.
survey with Textmagic
- Link to your Google reviews page from your website
You can create a Google reviews page (there are platforms and plugins that aggregate your Google reviews) on your website or simply place the review link on your homepage or footer (if you want to be more subtle).
Examples of how to ask customers for reviews
If you don’t know how to get started with Google reviews, we thought you might appreciate some content examples of what works best for different platforms. We also have included real-life examples of how best to approach customers when asking for reviews:
1. SMS review request template
2. Email review request template
Subject line: How was your experience with Textmagic?
We’re always looking for ways to improve your customer experience, so we thought you’d like to drop a few lines about your latest purchase: [link to product].
As a token of appreciation, we’d like to throw in an invitation to our next product launch.
3. Social media post example
We want to welcome 2024 with a product that exceeds expectations. Your opinion means the world to us, and it will help us build better software. Review us today and be among the first to discover the new Textmagic interface.
4. Conversational examples (for real-life situations)
Company rep: Hey, I just noticed you purchased one of our products. Any specific reasons for choosing that one?
Client expands on why he/she made that choice.
Company rep: So happy to hear all about your positive experience. We’re doing our best to keep clients happy. Any thoughts on how we could do even better?
Client offers feedback
Company rep: It would be awesome if you could offer that exact feedback in writing. This helps other clients and customers like yourself make informed choices. Here’s a card containing all the details that you need if you decide to leave a review.
Why asking for reviews should become a habit
Reviews matter more than sales copy. The key to increase Google reviews is in how you ask and what you offer. Don’t take customer feedback for granted: it costs customers time and effort.
Make them feel valued by throwing in exclusive access to new product features, for example, or by engaging them with interactive requests. Use technology to your advantage (QR codes), but make sure to personalize it by adding a human touch (printed requests, cards, etc.).
The key lies in combining multiple tactics and stimulating their imagination. Use eye-catching visuals and personalized copy to incentivize action through innovative technology. This way, your brand will stand out on every channel, and Google reviews will come not as a bonus but as a part of the package.
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