With so many review sites online it may seem impossible to manage your business’ reputation and stand out from the crowd. New businesses are cropping up constantly so it has never been more important to build a strong online presence.
Did you know, 92% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision?
What your customers are saying about you online could be the key determining factor in the success or failure of your business.
Google Reviews is an easy-to-setup reputation management tool that makes it easy for potential customers to find everything they need to know about your business at first glance.
In this post, learn about the importance of Google Reviews and how to get the most out of it for your business.
What are ‘Google Reviews?’
We use Google for everything these days. Any question we have have seems to be met with the answer ‘Google it!’ If you’re lost in a new part of town and need a coffee, within seconds on Google you can have a list of the best reviewed cafes within walking distance. They are even pinned on a map for you.
Google is the first point of contact a potential customer has with your business. Google Reviews are what helps them to choose your business over another.
Everything a user needs to know to make a decision about your business can be seen before they even reach your website.
Why you should be using Google Reviews for your business
Unlike third party review sites like Yelp and Yellow Pages, Google reviews are displayed directly in the Google Search results. This means that no matter where a potential customer is on the Buyer Journey, they are influenced by what can be instantly seen about your business.
The Buyer Journey
Awareness stage: In which a buyer realises they have a problem that need solving
Example: My computer is running slowly and has strange ads popping up.
Consideration stage: Where a buyer has defined their problem and is researching options to solve it.
Example: I have a virus and need to clean and protect my computer with a quality Anti-Virus product.
Decision stage: Your buyer chooses a solution and with luck, it is something your business offers.
Example: I have found the best product for me at xxxxxx.
An additional step that can result in return business is the Post-purchase stage, in which a buyer may submit an online review or decide to share feedback about a product or service they have used.
The Buyer Journey Stages engaged by Google reviews are the awareness, consideration and post-purchase stages, while a customer is still deciding how to solve their problem and who offers the best solution.
Good reviews on Google build confidence in your brand and give you credibility in the marketplace. A customer who can clearly see your 5 star reviews is likely to have higher confidence in your business than in those who aren’t sharing customer reviews or rank lower.
How to get Google Reviews
Setting up Google Reviews requires a Google Local listing. Follow these steps to get started or contact us and we will do it for you.
- Get a Google+ page for your business and setup Google ‘My Business.’
- Once your business is verified, start asking for reviews!
Getting customer reviews
Getting customers to leave reviews should be done in a natural way. Constantly asking customers is likely to get tiresome which could have the opposite effect and lead to a negative review. Here are a few tips to get your initial reviews and encourage others to leave them:
- Share your Google page on your other social media networks. Ask customers to leave a review based on a past experience they have had with your business.
- Place a CTA (call to action) on your website, such as a Google+ Reviews button to encourage site visitors to leave reviews.
- Put a sign at your physical address. Have your customer service staff ask customers to leave a review if they were happy with the service they received.
- Pin a post to the top of your Facebook page referring users to your Google reviews page if you aren’t already using Facebook Reviews.
- Never leave a customer review without a response. Reviews are a great way to improve engagement with your brand.
- Give your customers a thank you card with options to review your business.
Just as positive reviews can build your brand, negative reviews can impact your reputation. Unfortunately, you can’t delete negative reviews but you can report them if they are spam-like or offensive in nature.
The best way to approach negative reviews is calmly. Write neutrally, don’t respond in the heat of the moment and be sure someone else has read your comment before you hit send. Attempt to move the conversation to private messaging as quickly as possible to prevent further ugliness on your reviews page.
Keep in mind, however that your good reviews will need as much, if not more, attention than your negative reviews.
Try these tips when managing good reviews:
- When you receive a positive review, don’t post the same blanket response that you use to reply to every customer. Take the time to read your review, use the customer’s name and write a considered response to the feedback you have been given.
- Your customers are telling you directly what they like about your service, what to keep doing and perhaps what to improve. Be sure to utilize this feedback to continually improve your business.
Valued customers are repeat customers, additionally, potential leads will have more confidence in your brand if they can see how well you treat those who have already purchased your product or service.
There are a few steps involved to make Google Reviews work for your business but the results have the ability to transform the way your brand is perceived online. So verify your business, start collecting those reviews and be sure to implement feedback in a visible way. Show your customers what they are worth to you and you’ll see that value returned.