Google My Business reviews is an area that people often overlook. Businesses often have a listing but tend to neglect it once it’s been set up.
Why should you care about Google My Business reviews from your customers?
Simply because the quality and quantity of Google My Business reviews are two of the most important ranking factors for local SEO.
Business listings that include customer reviews present greater credibility and, naturally, receive more clicks. In fact, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
If you aren’t sure if you are handling your reviews correctly, here are 7 tips to make sure you’ve got this part of your GMB listing covered.
1. Respond to reviews right away
Imagine someone pays you a compliment. You stare at them blankly. Then you walk away without saying a word. Rude. Right?
You wouldn’t do this in person, so why would you do it online? There are so many business listings that have reviews but no response from the owner. This doesn’t give a very good impression. That person who has left a review has taken the time to do so. If it’s a glowing review, that feedback might very well be the deciding factor for someone else to contact you.
So, the best thing to do is to respond to reviews right away. You will receive a notification from Google letting you know that someone has left a review. Respond that day or within 24 hours at the latest. It shows you care about your customers’ feedback and you value their opinion.
2. All you have to do is ask
You may not like the idea of asking your customers or clients for feedback. It can feel awkward. And it may do at first, but the majority of your customers will be more than willing to leave you a review. Get into the habit of sending a review request email shortly after your client has done business with you. Their experience with your company will be fresh in their mind.
3. Don’t leave long gaps
Having lots of good reviews will help you stand out from your competitors. Naturally, someone is going to click on a listing with reviews over a listing that doesn’t have any at all. But, don’t fall into the trap of getting a whole load of reviews from your customers and then getting none for several months or a year. Reach out to new clients regularly so that you can gain a steady stream of reviews.
How often you get reviews will depend on your business of course. Understandably, if you’re a landscape gardener, you might only be working on a small number of projects a year so there might well be long gaps between reviews. However, if you sell a lot of products, then you will be more likely to get reviews more often.
4. Don’t stress about negative reviews
It’s ok if you don’t get a 5-star review from everyone. Listings with only a 5-star rating can look fake. No business is perfect all of the time. The ideal review score is between 4.2 and 4.5.
What’s really important is how you deal with a negative review. Not responding to a negative review gives a really bad impression. Your response to this type of review should be polite. Invite the customer to get in touch to resolve the issue. Everyone gets it wrong sometimes and everyone gets a customer who is never pleased. That’s ok. It’s just really important to demonstrate that you care about feedback.
5. Draft a review request template
Drafting a review request template will save you a lot of time when sending your emails to clients. There’s no need to write the email from scratch each time. The body of the email saying why their feedback is important and how to go about leaving a review can stay the same.
You’ll definitely want to personalise each email. Say something specific about the project you worked on or the service you delivered. People will be more likely to leave a review if they feel you’ve taken the time to tailor it to them.
6. Make it really easy
When asking for a review, make the process quick and easy for your client to do so. You want to take them directly to the review page with the stars, rather than have them go to your listing, only to have to scroll down, find the Write A Review button and then write a review.
To send your clients the direct link, log into your GMB profile and click on the Home tab. You’ll see a Get More Reviews box on the right-hand side. Click on Share Review Form.
Clicking on the Share via email option will bring up a prepopulated email with the link that will send your clients directly to the review form. Copy the link and hyperlink it into the review email you have drafted.
7. If at first you don’t succeed, try again
Not all of your clients will write a review right away. Don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email a couple of weeks after your first email. People get busy and might just need a little reminder. Or, if you happen to be speaking to them on the phone, take the opportunity to remind them then. One reminder is probably enough. You don’t want to make people feel pressurised into leaving a review, but you can be the judge as to how many reminders you give people.
So, don’t overlook Google My Business reviews. They are powerful third-party testimonials about your business and can really boost traffic to your website. Ask for reviews from all of your clients, even if it’s from six months ago. Respond to reviews right away, even the not-so-positive ones.