Obtaining reviews for your business is beneficial for your local SEO in addition to providing social proof for new customers.
Google reviews can boost your SEO rankings and increase your overall reach. A lot of factors come in place to rank locally, however, the Google reviews help indicate to Google that your business is trustworthy and has authority.
93% of customers claim to look at the reviews prior to making a purchasing decision- just think about that for a second- so how can you ensure your reviews are working for you?
Importance of Google Reviews
Whenever you receive a review it is important you immediately reply to them. This shows Google that your Business Profile is active and you are engaging with the customers (which is a big ranking signal for local SEO). This alone may move your listings to the google slack (top 3 results) as opposed to other GMB profiles which haven’t been updated in years.
In addition, it demonstrates to Google that your business values customer feedback. Customer reviews give your business site legitimacy and on most occasions, it may be the key deciding factor for a prospect to reach out to you or not.
In the past years, Google has also introduced a feature that pulls the keywords relevant to the specific customer experience from the content of the review and displays it on the top review results.
This allows customers to select and navigate the specific type of review they are after (aka your tailored service) and interested in.
In our Google My Business Profile, you can see the keywords include things like ‘SEO’ and ‘Web Development’. If a potential customer wanted to see the specific reviews regarding SEO they could just click on that option and avoid having to scroll through all the reviews.
How To Receive and Reply Positive Reviews
Let’s face it, a positive review is what every business owner ultimately strives for. Those 5-stars can really move the needle and show our potential customers that we are a legitimate, trustworthy business worth their hard-earned money.
However, it doesn’t end up here… Replying to the reviews is as equally important in Google’s eyes and your potential customer.
Ideally you want to include some keywords in your response, make them as tailored as possible by including the name of your customer, a location (if applicable) and a reference to the service you provided.
An example could be:
“Thanks [insert name] for your review, we’re extremely happy you’re satisfied with our labour hire service in Melbourne!”
How To Receive and Reply to Negative Reviews
Now this is the tricky part. Getting a negative review can get your heartbeat to increase, your anger levels to go through the roof and ultimately your whole body language to change.
Before you do all of this allow yourself to take a deep breath- almost all businesses receive bad reviews at some point, so you are definitely not the first one to experience this.
This can be especially true when your receive fake reviews, such as bad reviews tailored from competitors.
The most important thing to do when you receive a bad review is to address the elephant in the room. Be factual, and respectful as customers are more likely to understand and pardon a bad review if it’s a genuine response as it shows accountability to resolve the concern.
Try to remove as much emotion from the reply to make sure it doesn’t sound accusatory or defensive.
How To Ask For Reviews
Asking for reviews tends to be the bottleneck for most business owners I tend to come across. It may also feel a bit uncomfortable or pushy, but rest assured that if you delivered a solid service your customers will be more than happy to give you a positive review.
The key to getting more reviews is volume and personalizing your request. This dramatically increases your response as the reviewer can see you actually took time and effort on sending out an email. Some questions you could include are, what services did we provide? What did we do well?
There are a few ways you can ask for a review from your customers. The first one is to verbally ask them in person or over the phone and follow up with an email.
In addition, you can also include a short link in your email signature or any invoicing receipt comms with your clients.
Furthermore, the option to leave you a review should be clearly visible on your website. The secret sauce is to make it as easy as possible for your customers for them to leave a review as soon as possible.
We are all extremely busy these days, so don’t make them hustle around just to leave you a review.
Finally, the main thing to keep in mind when asking for a Google review is that your customers must have, and be logged into a Google account. If they are not logged in, Google will ask them to either create a new account or login prior to allowing them to leave a review.
There is a way around this, you can check this article which explains what to do for customers that don’t have a Google account.
Reviews can play a major role in your business, as long as you have a plan and strategy to handle them correctly. At eWebsites, we can help you scale your reviews and take the burden from your end by replying and following up so you can focus on running your business.
For more information, make sure you get in touch with the local SEO team today