Getting positive reviews from your customers has always been a great way to create trust and increase the profile of your small business. However, with the advent the digital age, especially with social media, there are lots of places customers can leave reviews. These places include Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, True Local and Yelp.
With 90% of people saying they are influenced to buy when they read a positive review, it is an important part of your business' marketing plan to encourage customers to leave reviews.
As a small business, you often have limited funds for marketing, so where is the best place to channel your customers to leave reviews?
1. Why Google reviews are so important
Google is the often the first point of contact customers use to find your business. Most people will type in a search term into Google when looking to buy something. That's why Google is the best review forum for most businesses.
Although how Google ranks a business for SEO is a highly guarded secret, it is generally thought that Google reviews account for about 8% of your SEO ranking. This means lots of great reviews will have a positive impact on your SEO ranking.
2. How to get your customers to leave Google reviews
You need to have an active strategy to encourage customers to leave Google reviews. This is much better than just expecting customers to leave reviews. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 70% of customers asked to leave a review will do so.
It is important that you follow up with your customers immediately following a purchase. The quicker you send out your request, the more likely your customers will leave their review.
You should never offer an incentive for customers to leave a Google review. This is against Google policy and will most likely have a negative impact on your Google SEO ranking.
3. Don't be afraid of the occasional bad Google review
Potential customers will use Google reviews to decide whether to use your business. However, they do not expect every review to be 5 stars. The magic level is 4 stars and above. This means as long as you have lots of good Google reviews, the occasional bad one will not have a negative impact on your business.
In addition, you should see a bad Google review as an opportunity to engage with your dissatisfied customer. It is estimated that around 70% of people will give a business a second chance if their concerns are resolved.
By responding to negative Google reviews it also shows people reading them that you are active in fixing problems.
4. Why some Google reviews do not appear
Sometimes, even though a customer has completed a Google review it does not appear. Google is quite fussy about reviews. Here are some of the reasons why some Google reviews get filtered and do not appear:
- There is an identical review on another website (eg Facebook)
- It includes a link to your customer's own business
- The review is too short
- Some words have been misspelt or there is bad grammar
Dynamic Websites specialise in small business web design. We are based in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn and provide services throughout Australia. We understand what it takes to get a small business online at an affordable price and with the minimum of fuss. Along with designing websites for small business, tradies and online shops we provide online marketing services. Our online marketing for small business extends to Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO), content writing, blog writing and social media marketing.