How to Get More Google Reviews and Why Are They Actually Important?

How to Get More Google Reviews and Why Are They Actually Important?

Google My Business is doing its best to become another platform where users can share their opinions about companies, restaurants, hotels, and other places they visit. Google reviews affect both brand recognition and SEO of your company’s listing and website. Comments and ratings concerning your business strongly influence the purchasing decisions of your potential customers.

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Google reviews – how do they work?

These reviews can be either a real lifesaver and support or the last straw deciding about the upcoming failure of a company. Why is it worth devoting your time to take care of Google reviews and how to do it? What to do to get more positive comments? Keep reading our today’s entry to learn more and find out the answers to these questions. Enjoy!

How many people use Google?

Contrary to what you may think, Internet users, don’t spend most of their online time browsing social media platforms. As many as 96% of Polish Internet users choose Google. Every 60 seconds, we enter more than 2 million phrases and queries in the search bar. That’s why SEO is so crucial in developing both online and offline businesses. Nowadays we use the Internet whenever we need to find anything. So how can a Google My Business listing help you succeed in the modern world?

Google My Business listing – what is it?

Screenshot of Google My Business search result - hostel by the lake

Functionalities of Google My Business listings are developing at a really impressive pace. This is what users searching for your company in Google Maps see in Google My Business:

Unfortunately, still many entrepreneurs don’t take advantage of Google My Business, a free tool perfect for advertising your company. Do you remember how many times you’ve analyzed Google Maps after typing in keywords such as “sushi Jersey” or “a hotel near Boston”?

And this is when a properly configured and well-positioned Google My Business listing comes in handy. Let your potential customers or clients access location, directions, company name, contact details, and…Google reviews written by people who have already taken advantage of your products or services. According to statistics, 91% of Internet users read these reviews and choose companies with positive comments. The more 5.0 stars you get, the better.

Google My Firm - Admin dashboard
This is what Google My Business listings look like from the admin’s perspective.

Google Reviews – what are they?

Google My Business - review
Every business owner can equate this view with a good job. Hopefully, your company gets only such ratings.

Google reviews are short comments written by clients or customers and complemented by the appropriate number of stars (from 1 to 5). As a company owner, you can reply to these reviews. You can argue with those you don’t agree with, appreciate the positive feedback, and wear sackcloth and ashes if the review addresses your real negligence. Remember to reply to all the comments. Thanks to it, potential visitors will see that your company is responsive and strives to meet customers’ expectations.

Google reviews vs. customer behavior

According to the BrightLocal report “Local Consumer Review Survey 2018”, 31% of Internet users check reviews of local shops before making a purchase, 60% check reviews of restaurants before booking a table, and 70% analyze comments and opinions concerning products and services related to modern technology. Google My Business is one of a few places in the online world where you have virtually full control over feedback and reviews related to your business. Take advantage of this potential and use your Google My Business listing to effectively impact customer behavior.

Google Maps and Google My Business reviews- 3 arguments that will convince you to take care of them

1. The content of the reviews is analyzed by Google robots

Each comment concerning your company is a unique, long-tail phrase referring to your website. Google robots link your offer with other sources of information, namely the reviews written by your customers.

2. The more positive Google reviews, the better the company’s position in the local search results

The more positive ratings and reviews concerning your company, the higher its position in Google Maps.

screenshot from Google My Business search result - Google Maps
What do you think, which of these three hairdressers are you likely to choose?

An optimized, active, and updated Google My Business listing with lots of positive reviews is a great method of supporting local SEO.

Google My Business - ratings
Ratings are the first thing you see when looking at Google listings. Now you probably understand why it’s worth having something to boast about, right?

3. Positive PR and brand recognition

Now we’re talking about Search Engine Reputation Management that combines SEO and PR activities. It’s easier to choose items or relate to products that are evaluated positively by the local community. As customers, we constantly want to make sure that our online decisions are right. The number of Google reviews translates into brand recognition and confidence which consequently means higher turnover. Positive Google reviews will help you to effectively benefit from social proof.

How to get more positive Google reviews?

Research has shown that 70% of customers are willing to leave a comment or rate a product or service if asked to do so. What are the most effective methods to get more positive Google reviews and how to encourage customers to rate your company?

1. Ask customers directly when they visit your company/store

It’s not a faux pas. Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of online reviews and ratings. Therefore, if they’re truly satisfied with your services or products, they’ll willingly leave a comment on Facebook, TripAdvisor (restaurants and hotels), or Google My Business when you or your employees kindly ask them to do it. Think about special leaflets or listings that can be placed on a counter or added to the receipt or bill in a restaurant. Enticing your customers or clients with a discount code for the next visit will certainly convince them to write a few warm words about your company.

2. Use CTA buttons

Implementing on your website a CTA button that redirects users to reviews in Google My Business is another helpful solution. Show your website visitors where to leave comments and guide them to the place where they should interact.

3. Take advantage of mailings & social media

Promote company ratings in newsletters and social media. Perhaps your most faithful followers and subscribers have never thought of leaving you a Google review. In this case, a simple request can do wonders.

4. Monitor your Google reviews and respond in real-time

When users come across your listing and see that you willingly reply to previous comments in Google My Business, they’ll appreciate your effort and believe that you truly want to build relationships with potential customers. Thanks to it, it’ll be more rewarding for them to spend some time and add a few words and “stars” to evaluate your products or services.

Continuously monitor Google reviews to make sure that everything in your enterprise works properly, your employees fulfill their duties, products meet customers’ expectations and, generally speaking, visits to your store or company evoke positive feelings. If your Google reviews indicate the opposite, it’s time for changes.

5. Enable Google My Business chat

Although this form of communication with companies isn’t particularly popular for the time being, it’ll certainly earn users’ trust and appreciation. People are already getting used to the fact that Google Maps allows them to message a given enterprise, e.g. a restaurant, book a table, and receive a real-time response without having to make a phone call. An active Google listing increases your chances of receiving more positive reviews and ratings.

Google Maps reviews – what should you avoid?

  • Don’t buy fake Google reviews

Sooner or later, you’ll certainly encounter such “lucrative” offers. Avoid them like the plague. You’ll only spam and clutter your Google listing and it’ll be immediately obvious that your reviews are fake.

  • Don’t push or encourage customers to write dishonest Google reviews

Don’t insist on your customers or clients. If they aren’t convinced about the reliability and quality of your products or services and don’t want to “sign” the review with their name, you should think about ways to improve your offer and services. Don’t force them to give you five stars or write positive reviews. Sometimes honest and reliable feedback from a committed customer can do wonders and contribute to improving your business. You certainly also prefer to surround yourself with friends who openly tell you what they think. After all, the ugly truth is better than a beautiful lie. Treat your customers and clients like bosom friends ;).

  • Don’t set up fake accounts to review your own company

Google has already foreseen this splendid “marketing” strategy and learned to recognize such reviews, therefore, even if you’re tempted to act this way, Google robots will quickly and effectively delete such ratings from your company listing.

(1)
Author
Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

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