How To Get More Positive Google Business Reviews and Improve Your Google Rankings
Advertisers will tell you that word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective kind of marketing there is. What your customers have to say about your company and about your products or services carries far more weight with consumers than your own messaging strategy.
The same holds true for reviews written by your clients, as they strongly impact buying decisions. Google has certainly taken notice. In fact, the behemoth places such a high value on customer reviews that its algorithm uses this data when generating online rankings.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how Google reviews can make or break your customer acquisition and retention efforts, and secondly, what you can do to encourage more customers to write the sort of reviews that keep the almighty Google algorithm happy.
How positive reviews impact your business
Your customers want transparency and objectivity. They also know they’re more likely to get these things from other consumers who’ve patronized your business than they will from you as the business owner. For example, 82% of consumers check online reviews to learn about companies, and 52% of those aged between 18 and 54 claim to “always” read reviews.
You should consider the following benefits of positive reviews as well:
The more reviews you get, the more leads you generate
The aforementioned study also notes that 89% of people aged between 35 and 54 put as much faith in online reviews as they do in personal recommendations. It follows that a critical mass of positive reviews will bring you prospective customers who might become paying customers.
Positive online reviews spur decision making
Did you know that 68% of consumers develop an opinion upon reading between one and six online reviews? In other words, prospective customers can become full-fledged customers if they see a lot of positive reviews about your company.
More positive reviews lead to a higher ranking
Online reviews account for as much of 10% of what Google looks at when determining search result rankings. So it stands to reason that positive reviews will only improve your performance — especially if more of your customers start to post them.
Online reviews are good for local SEO
Google’s local search results are based on criteria such as relevance, proximity, and prominence. When the algorithm picks up all the new content on your site — such as new reviews that include relevant keywords — this will help your ranking. Of course, your local SEO objectives also depend on your website strategy.
What you can do to get more customer reviews
There are a few things you need to do before you can get the Google reviews you want.
- Step 1: Learn Google’s Policies: Google has a Terms of Service policy you need to follow when soliciting reviews. Familiarize yourself with it and abide by it.
- Step 2: Ensure Your Business is on Google Maps: After doing this step, you’ll get a profile page where your clients can write their reviews.
- Step 3: Verify Google Business Profile: Once you set up a profile, you will need to verify that you are the owner of the business in question.
But once you are set up to receive customer reviews on Google, how do you go about getting a lot of them? Here are some crucial tips to follow:
Let customers know how to post reviews
Don’t assume that your customers know how to leave a review about your company. You’ll need to explain the process so that they know that they need to do the following:
- Open Google Maps
- Look up your company
- Open your Google Business Profile page
- Go to review area
- Leave a review
Optimized for mobile
You need a website that is optimized for use on the type of mobile devices that people are increasingly using to research and buy products and services online. Most web designers typically charge anywhere from $74 to $350 per hour on average to redesign your website, including redesigning it for mobile devices.
Respond to customer reviews
Another way to get more online reviews is to respond to customer reviews — both the positive reviews and the negative — that have already been posted. Forty-five percent of customers say that there is a higher likelihood that they will patronize businesses that respond to bad reviews than patronize those that don’t respond to negative reviews.
Be persistent, but don’t be overbearing
If customers don’t immediately respond to your requests for reviews, you should give them reminders. Just don’t go overboard. It’s best to issue a maximum of two, and insert a few days between repeat requests.
Launch an email campaign
You can also get customers to post more reviews by launching a targeted email marketing campaign. By so doing, you can encourage your customers to post more Google reviews. Studies demonstrate that customers are often more willing to post reviews than business owners might think. But some customers simply need a nudge.
Migrate from HTTP to HTTPS
One of the most vital places you can begin optimizing your site is to migrate your website from HTTP to HTTPS, or else Google will actually penalize you with a lower ranking and mark your site as insecure if it does not come with HTTPS and SSL protocols. Creating a website that helps furthers your objectives might also mean tweaking your website content to attract more eyeballs.
The Google algorithm wants what it wants. And since you have a lot to gain or to lose depending on how your business performs in online search rankings, you need to take notice. By focusing on focusing on receiving more positive reviews, getting a suitable website, and pursuing a local SEO strategy, you’ll further your business objectives.
Gary Stevens is a front-end developer and copywriter who specializes in writing about cybersecurity, blockchain, and tech trends.
Correction: A former version of this article twice stated sites should migrate from HTTPS to HTTP. In fact, sites should migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. Street Fight regrets the error.