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March 19, 2019 David Dyck

Google reviews: Why they’re vital and how to get more of them

Whatever your business does — from lion taming to cutting hair — Google business reviews matter.

Those reviews not only increase your online visibility and get your business in front of people, they add a lot of legitimacy.

Still not convinced? Don’t take my word for it — check out the data for yourself. Vendasta recently published an infographic, 50 Stats You Need to Know About Online Reviews that illustrates how much impact customer reviews really have.

Here are some examples:

  • 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 26% say it’s important that a local business responds to its reviews.
  • 95% believe censorship or false reviews if there are no bad scores.
  • 23% visit the premises directly after reading positive reviews.
  • 40% form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews.

As you can see, reviews are a big part of the conversion cycle — turning web traffic into customers. Ideally, those customers then turn into reviewers, forming a constant cycle of revenue for your business, allowing you to retire!

Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple. Often customers need a little bit of a reminder to provide that feedback in the form of a review, and the easier you make it for them to do that, the more likely they will take action.

You might be worried that by increasing the volume of reviews, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting more bad ones. But consider the above statistic that an overwhelming majority of consumers (95%) believe that there’s some kind of foul play or scale tampering going on when the reviews are all positive. While we aren’t suggesting you should seek them out, a few bad reviews — which are inevitable — go a long way in establishing credibility.

Don’t stress about only getting good reviews: 95% of consumers believe there’s something fishy going on if there are no bad scores.

How to get that review link

If the easiest way to get reviews is just to ask, the easiest way to ask is by providing the customer with a link directly to your Google review page. Here’s how you get that link.

  1. Google your business.
  2. Find the business listing and click Write a review.
  3. Copy and paste the URL from your address bar.
  4. Give that link to all of your customers, and ask them to leave their feedback.

5 ways to ask for that review

Maybe you don’t always think of it in the moment, but asking for reviews should be a regular part of your marketing efforts. Here are a few things you can do that will make asking part of a routine.

1. Make it easy

Asking a customer to leave a review is one thing, but providing them with the tools they need to do that is the next level. Give them a link, and provide step-by-step instructions so they don’t have to think about it.

2. Make a personal appeal

You can probably think of two or three people who have been longtime supporters of your company, and who you could depend on to leave a review if you just asked. Go ahead, email them right now! Put a note in your calendar to remind you to go through this exercise every month.

3. Offer an incentive

Technically it “isn’t allowed” to solicit reviews, but if you keep it tasteful you shouldn’t have a problem. Offer a discount for any review — good, or bad — and tie that to a contest.

4. Take the time to respond to existing reviews

Customers don’t want to feel like they’re just commenting into the void. If they see that you as a business owner are engaging with feedback, both positive and negative, it’ll be that much more of an incentive for others to jump into the conversation.

5. Add a link to your email signature

You have your phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile down there, why not add the Google review link with a call to action?

David Dyck

David is the editor-in-chief of Apollo Magazine, and co-founder of Apollo Insurance Solutions. He is an award-winning journalist who also enjoys ping pong and swimming with whale sharks.