How to Get More Reviews on Google

by Kym Merrill

Every small business knows that they should be getting more reviews, especially on Google. Not only do good reviews just feel good to receive, but they can also help your Google Maps rankings, build customer trust, and improve your conversions. However, while it’s easy to see the benefits of reviews, it’s much harder to go about actually getting those reviews. Here’s some dos and don’ts about getting reviews on Google.

Do: Ask your customers for reviews.

The easiest way to get reviews is to ask customers to give you one. There are a lot of ways you can do this. If you provide services in a customer’s home, just ask before you leave. You can also hand out a business card with a link to leave a review (we offer these for our clients and they get great results!). Include a review link in your invoices. Customers probably won’t leave a review unless they are reminded to do so, so be sure to remind them!

Don’t: Ask your friends and family for reviews.

You should only be asking for reviews from legitimate customers. While it might seem easy to just ask all of your friends and family to leave you a review, Google can usually detect this fraudulent behavior (for instance, if a business suddenly gets ten new reviews from people who have never left a review, that looks suspicious), and it will remove reviews that it deems fraudulent. Only ask your legitimate customers for reviews.

Do: Incentivize your staff to get reviews.

One thing that can work well for small businesses with employees is to incentivize them to collect reviews. There are a lot of ways to do so: offer a small bonus for each review received, give a gift to the top review-getter every month, or hold a raffle with an entry for each review received. If your staff is eager to get reviews, they will do a much better job asking customers for reviews.

Don’t: Incentivize customers to leave reviews.

While there are no restrictions on incentivizing your employees to get reviews, Google is clear that you are not allowed to incentivize customers to leave a review. You cannot offer them a discount, gift, or other reward in exchange for leaving a review.

Do: Utilize review management software.

There are many software options out there for review management. The programs will reach out to your customers and ask for a review. They will often have features that make it easy to keep up with your reviews, such as alerting you to negative reviews, compiling data about your reviews, allowing you to collect reviews across multiple platforms, and allowing you to respond to reviews from within the platform.

Don’t: Get review management software and never use it.

If you pay for review management software, make sure that you set it up and use it. Depending on the software and the other technology your business uses, you may need to link it to your CRM or manually input customer information, handpick which customers to send review requests to or set it up to automatically send requests. You’ll need to actually log in and check out the data and tools it provides. Utilize it like the valuable tool it is to get results.

Do: Respond to reviews.

Responding to reviews shows customers that you appreciate them taking the time to leave a review, proves that your business is active, and can encourage other customers to leave a review themselves since they know you read the reviews.

Don’t: Respond unprofessionally.

It can be discouraging to get a bad review, especially when it isn’t factual, but it’s important to always be professional when responding to reviews. Remember, the main goal of responding to a negative review isn’t actually to respond to the reviewer, but to show other customers that your business is trustworthy, professional, and takes feedback seriously. It’s usually best to leave a short response acknowledging their concern, emphasizing how important customer satisfaction is to you, and offering to discuss the matter privately.

 

Getting reviews is one piece of the puzzle that is your online presence. If you’re looking to improve your online presence, Kite Media can help! From designing the perfect website to getting it to show up in Google search results to advertising it across the web, we can help with every step of the way! We’d love to chat with you can see if our digital marketing services would be a good fit for your small business! Call us at 435-753-7553.

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