There is no arguing that Google reviews are a great resource for attracting new business from both new and current customers. Everyone knows that Google is the most popular search engine on the internet, by far. Though many small business owners understand the importance of receiving complimentary user reviews, understanding how to use them to your company’s advantage is a different story. And this is where we come in. Get YOU Found has the expertise that can optimize your listings and get you noticed by your local community.
There are approximately 70,000 Google searches every second! The majority of those searches are from people actively looking for information about local businesses and comparing them to decide which merchant or professional they will contact to address their needs. Having rave reviews is the best way to stand out among your competitors. But how? We can let you in on a few “tricks of the trade”.
How Do Online Reviews Affect Local SEO?
Consider your own process when it comes to finding a product or a business. The first thing you typically do is a Google search. Once the search results appear, the listings that will usually catch your eye are the business names and star ratings of the first few recommendations. And the company that features the most reviews (with the highest ratings) would most likely be the choice for most consumers. You certainly would not be inclined to visit a website, store or office where people have taken the time to write about their less than stellar experiences, resulting in a plethora of negative reviews.
As a local SEO agency, we feel it is important to know why local SEO is important for both retail and service-oriented businesses. It’s simple actually. Local SEO is how customers in your area find nearby businesses to work with. Google knows what specific attributes customers are looking for, and they choose to display the businesses that meet those unique characteristics. Google utilizes an algorithm which considers local search ranking as one of its main relevancy factors. Logically, raising your business’ profile by claiming and optimizing your listing is key. Aside from increasing your local search ranking, Google reviews also help your business to:
- Boost trust and credibility
- Increase visibility
- Improve click through rates
- Enhance the user experience
- Tell Google what your business is all about
- Showcase your commitment to customers
- Influence potential consumers and clients
- Discover any shortcomings where your customer service can improve
Consistently Encourage Good Reviews
As a business owner, you may be wondering how you can get your customers to leave positive Google reviews. As experts in local SEO, we have some tips and tricks we like to use that encourage a consistent flow of positive reviews coming in from satisfied clientele. Here are couple of our favorites:
Timing Is Everything
When you ask your customers to leave the review can make or break it from actually happening. The best time to ask is when the experience is fresh in their mind; however, you also want to avoid being too pushy as this may discourage them from providing valuable feedback. Remember, your number one priority is keeping the customer satisfied.
Pick The Right Customer
To grow a collection of positive reviews, you have to be particular about which customers you ask to leave a review. Unfortunately, those who have a bad experience are more likely to rush home and write a review than a happy customer. We recommend personally asking customers who have expressed satisfaction with your services if they would mind taking a couple of minutes to let others know about their experience by leaving a review. Adding a personal touch to your request usually goes a long way with customers.
Make It Simple To Leave A Google Review
If the process to leave a review is confusing and complicated, many customers will get frustrated with the process and abandon writing a review altogether. You can simplify the process by sending emails that provide a link to send the customer directly to a webpage to leave a Google review that includes instructions for them to follow. Another simple way to encourage more customers to write reviews is by designing a “leave a review” button for your website.
Provide Top-Notch Service
When your employees are trained to provide high-quality customer service, you are more likely to have customers ranting and raving about how great their experience was. When customers feel a company went above and beyond for them, they will be encouraged to share their positive interactions with others.
Be Persistent, But Not Annoying
We all lead busy lives. It is very likely that if customers are not responding to your review request, it is not because they do not want to. They may have forgotten by the time they arrive home from running errands all day. Follow up with one or two simple reminders and you will start to see all they needed was a little nudge. Just be sure you don’t overstep. We recommend sending any follow-ups at least 3 days apart.
How To Handle Negative Google Reviews
Unfortunately, no matter how great the service you provide to customers, it is impossible to make everyone happy. Every business owner understands that mistakes happen and this can lead to negative feedback from customers. Remember, just because you get a bad review or two does not mean your business is doomed. There are a variety of ways you can make a strong comeback from bad feedback such as:
- Responding to their review and apologizing for their experience
- Offering to make amends, such as giving a refund, future discount, or shipping a replacement
- Reaching out and offering to speak to the customer directly
- Never blaming the customer, accept responsibility for any shortcomings
- Empathize with their distress regarding the experience
- Being transparent and honest
Don’t forget, you can respond to any review that your business receives, including positive, 5-star reviews! Taking a moment to type out a short message thanking them for their feedback and expressing gratitude for the time they took to leave the review will show you are engaged with all your customers, further enhancing your credibility and trustworthiness.
Use Google Reviews For The Win
At the end of the day, Google reviews can be a huge asset to your company's local SEO strategies. Here at Get You Found Digital Marketing, we believe it all comes down to understanding how to properly use them, coupled with your ability to encourage customers to leave reviews, and responding to feedback in a timely and appropriate manner. If you feel your business needs assistance with your local SEO, give us a call at (336) 790-6735 or contact us online.