When customers want to buy something, what is the first thing they do?
If you'd like, you can Google the answer.😉
Yep, that is exactly what a customer does before making a purchase decision.
They look for customer reviews from your business and different review sites.
As a small business, you know how critical online reviews are for prospective customers. They take reviews just like a personal recommendation from their friends and family.
In fact, nine out of ten customers look for reviews before purchasing.
And the no. 1 place where consumers read online reviews?
So if your business does not have Google reviews...
Then your brand is basically invisible to potential customers!
But before you panic, let me tell you... you are in the right place.
Because you are going to learn everything you need to know about Google reviews; and how to take full advantage of them.
Keep reading, and you'll know...
- What is Google review, and why do they matter for a small business
- How to track your online reviews
- How to get more online reviews on Google
- The right way of responding to online reviews
Plus, I will also answer your burning questions about Google reviews.
But I'm getting way ahead of myself.
Let's start with...
What are Google Reviews?
Google reviews are online reviews that customers leave about places they visited. These online reviews are optional and unpaid.
You can find these online reviews when you use Google Search, Google Maps, as well as Google Business listings.
Customers can leave feedback, star ratings, and pictures that reflect their experience with a certain business.
When a customer types in a business, it usually shows results depending on its proximity to your location. It also highlights ratings for local businesses.
Here is what your customers see when they look you up on Google maps.
And even if your business won't have a physical store, it would still appear like this:
Google reviews also offer valuable information such as your business' operating hours and contact information.
We can all agree... Online reviews can make or break your reputation online.
But wait. You have seen nothing yet.
Check out more reasons...
Why Are Google Reviews Important For Your Business?
Out of all the review sites, Google is the biggest platform you can maximize for your online reputation.
And this is particularly true for small businesses. After all, Google reviews focus more on local searches.
For starters, online reviews on Google can...
1. Improve Your Business' Local Search Ranking
Here's the thing...
The higher you rank on search engine page results, the more visible you are to potential customers.
And online customer reviews can help you rank better!
Here is how it works.
Google explicitly said that reviews are a heavy factor for search engines when determining businesses' search rankings.
So the more online reviews for your business... the better your local ranking is. This can help your business stand out from local competitors.
Another reason that Google reviews should be a part of your review strategy is that it can...
2. Boost Your Credibility
Let's face it... people see Google as one of the most trusted search engines.
And do you know what else people trust? Online reviews.
49% of consumers trust customer reviews as much as friends and family's personal recommendations.
And when you combine Google and positive online reviews, it can strengthen your business' credibility.
Of course, you also have to make sure your Google reviews are authentic and plenty for them to trust you.
As a small business, online reviews are crucial as it has the ability to...
3. Increase Your Conversions
Most of the time, consumers read online reviews to validate their purchase decisions.
Through positive online reviews, they want to make sure that they make the right choice.
The positive reviews for your business will get new customers to click on your links. And of course, ranking high on SERPs will bring more users to visit your site.
By now, you can see that Google reviews should be a top priority for your business.
Now pay attention as you learn...
How To Track Your Google Reviews?
With a few simple steps, you can get and track your online reviews.
First off, you should...
✅ Setup Google My Business
To keep track of your business reviews, claim your Google business listing.
You can do that using Google My Business. It is a free platform that allows a small business like yours to make and verify their data on Google.
Here are the steps you need to do:
- Search for your business on Google Maps or through the Google search bar.
- Once you find your listing, you can follow the Google My Business guide on how to claim your listing.
- If you still do not have a listing, you can create a Google My Business profile.
- Go over your dashboard. Fill in all information, photos, etc.
Of course, you can always go back and update your information at any time.
You can find your online reviews on the Reviews tab. It's on your Google My Business home page.
The Reviews page will show all customer reviews. You can filter through the reviews by "replied" or "haven't replied".
The good thing about this setup is you can also get notifications when customers post reviews.
So go ahead and...
✅ Setup Notification For Online Reviews Via Email
Google My Business will notify you when users leave reviews.
The email shows online review information such as the reviewer's name, rating, and a link to the review.
To keep up with any updates, you can...
- Sign in to your Business Profile Manager.
- Click Settings on the menu.
- Set the email address to which the notification will be sent.
- Check the box for the reviews notification.
So you can encourage people to leave a review, you need to boost customer experience.
You can definitely do that when you...
✅ Optimize Your Google My Business Page
You're probably wondering by now how to get more positive reviews for your small business.
An important step to getting more online reviews is enhancing your Google review page.
Here are tips you can take to get more reviews with Google My Business:
- Include up-to-date information. Add all contact information a customer would need to get in touch with you. Make it easier for them to find your products and services.
- Add relevant keywords. The Google algorithm will associate the keywords to your business.
- Upload high-quality photos. Generally, adding photos and videos to your marketing materials will make your brand stand out among competitors. It also gives customers a better sense of your brand.
But listen, I want to set something straight...
Before you ask satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, you need to know how to link them to Google reviews first.
If not, they'll just be lost. And the positive experience they want to share will go to waste.
So let's look at...
How To Link Your Customers To Google Reviews?
Consider this fact: Without a link, your customers can't leave reviews on a review site.
You can begin when you...
✅ Create A Google Place ID
A Google Place ID is a code that can identify your business on Google Maps, as well as your Google Business account.
To create a Google review link, you need to...
- Go to Google Place ID.
- Type in your business name on the "Enter a location" box.
- Select your brand name on the drop-down list.
- Copy the Place ID in the popup. It consists of 25 characters such as numbers and letters.
- Paste the Place ID at the end of this link: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=
That is your review link.
You can use a URL shortener to make the long link more shareable.
Another way you can get your customers to your Google reviews is when you get them to...
✅ Do A Google Search
This is as simple as it gets.
A quick Google search will get your customers to leave a review. They can just type in your business name. Then, they can click on the "Write a review" button.
You can also copy the link when you click on the "Write a review" button. Use a link shortener to create a more appealing link.
Lastly, you can get more online reviews when you...
✅ Create A Link With Google My Business Profile
On your home page, scroll down to the "Get More Reviews" section.
Copy the link on the popup. You can immediately share it with your customers as it will automatically direct them to your Google Maps location.
Hang on to your seat because you will now know...
How To Get Online Reviews For Your Small Business?
If you're just starting with Google reviews, then your happy customers can be the best thing to jumpstart it.
They are the willing ones who can give you detailed and honest reviews.
So when you ask for an online review, make sure that you do it through the right channels.
Get your customers to share positive reviews through...
1. SMS Campaign
Did you know that 9 out of 10 consumers want to use messaging to engage with businesses?
It also has a higher open rate than any other channel.
You can send alerts to your customers by syncing them to your POS system.
You can also get good reviews through an...
2. Email Campaign
With all the social media platforms around, you might think that email won't do you any good.
But to the contrary, email is still a powerful marketing tool.
So don't hesitate to add your Google review link to your post-purchase email campaign. Experiment with various formats. Do A/B testing to check which one converts the best.
Of course, you can always use an email platform such as MailChimp to automate emails.
You can also ask for reviews from your customers through...
3. Google My Business Marketing Kit
You can also get more reviews through your physical store.
Google offers free promotional materials with the GMB Marketing Kit.
It includes videos, posters, social media posts, and more. You can even customize it according to your brand voice and visuals.
They also give you a "Review us on Google" sticker.
Unlike the Yelp reviews sticker and TripAdvisor sticker, Google review stickers are designed to get you a positive review.
And the best thing you can do to get a good review? It's to...
4. Make Your Customers Happy
Yes, there are effective strategies to get more reviews.
But the easiest way to not get negative reviews and just positive ones?
Keep your customers happy!
By delivering a great customer experience, your satisfied and happy customers are more than willing to give you a 5-star rating. Together with high-quality products or services, of course.
Once you have your Google reviews, you now have to respond to them.
Let me show you...
How To Respond To Google Reviews?
After you claim your Google Business account, you can respond to a review.
And you should! Customers expect a business to respond to them.
Plus, responding to a bad review can turn it into a positive one.
Answering your reviews shows that you also care about customer feedback.
All in all, it can boost your online reputation.
To answer a review, you should...
- Log in to your Google My Business account.
- Tap on the Reviews tab.
- You'll see each review listed. Go to the "Haven't replied" tab.
- Click the "Reply" button.
All of your replies will be publicly displayed.
But don't worry, you can still edit your responses to your liking.
Your customers will then get a notification on their email about your reply.
By now, you probably have some unanswered questions...
Frequently Asked Questions About Google Reviews
❓ Can I Share My Google Reviews On My Online Store?
Yes, you can. Doing so can optimize your social proof. You can include it on your home page, as well as other pages of your website.
❓ Can I Delete My Google Reviews?
No. But you can ask Google to delete fake reviews or ones that violate the Google review policy. Or you can also ask the reviewers to remove their own review. Burying a bad review through accumulating positive ones is also a good strategy.
❓Can I Buy Reviews?
You can, but you should not. Google prohibits fake reviews. They can remove fake reviews from your listing. And if you get caught, the Federal Trade Commission can also impose a hefty fine on your business.
The bottom line is...
More Reviews, More Customers, More Sales!
Leveraging your customers' opinions and feedback can greatly benefit your business.
After all, they shape your reputation that can gain your prospects' trust.
Fortunately, Debutify Reviews can improve your business's social proof... and gain more customers. You shold give it a try if you want to build customer relationships.
It'll be impossible for your customers to say anything but good things about you.
So take the next step and...