Landing Those Google Reviews
The importance of Google reviews for your local service business should be an ongoing practice of your marketing strategy. When was the last time you Googled your business? What kind of reviews did you have, and how many? The fact is, 90% of buyers research online reviews before making a purchasing decision, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends, family, or coworkers.
Not only are Google reviews often seen as the final factor that tips prospects to customers, but they also hold a substantial amount of weight in the Google search algorithm.
Simply put: The more reviews and higher ratings = The higher on the SERP you go
When automated, or made a regular habit by employees, a review growth strategy can be a major contributor to attracting new business – And at no cost! 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust local business more. So, whether you’re looking to grow your reputation on Google, Bing, Facebook, BBB, or Angie’s List, you can develop your online review strategy in 5 easy steps:
1. Set up your profile
First thing’s first, if you haven’t already you must set up a Google My Business profile for your local service business. A complete profile should include a description of your business and services, address, phone number, hours of operation, and photos of your building or staff.
Once that is complete, you’ll want to create a direct link to your GMB to use in your online review management strategy. This will remove any questions or road bumps when it comes time for a customer to leave their review.
To create your link:
- Go to the Google Places API
- Enter your business name/address in the “enter a location” field
- Click your business name that appears
- Your place ID will appear on the map beneath your business name
- Add your place ID to the following url
By clicking on the link, users will be taken directly to your GMB review window, removing any confusion on how to leave a review.
2. Identify Your Strongest Customers and Partners
Regular customers, partners, and vendors are low-hanging fruit for your review growth strategy. Often, they become great brand ambassadors and are likely to leave the most positive reviews. Even though your vendors may not be your customers, they can still attest to what it’s like working with you on a regular basis. Identify customers you have an established relationship with, as they will probably jump at the chance to provide a glowing testimony for your service business.
3. The Ask
Now, it’s time to put a plan in place. There are several ways you can go about asking customers to leave your service business an online review:
Follow up Email – The best time to ask your customer for an online review is to ask right after you’ve completed your service and it’s still fresh in the customer’s mind. Follow up shortly after with a personalized email from the service technician, account manager, or even business owner. Your email should be thanking the customer for choosing your local service business, letting them know you would appreciate feedback on their experience and include a brief explanation as to why their feedback is valuable.
Company Email Signature – Adding a link to your signature can be the easiest way to get a boost in your reviews. Think about how many emails your employees send each month. A simple CTA could be:
- Got a minute to leave us a review on Google? We’d love to get your feedback.
- Thank you for choosing our business! Let us know how we’re doing by dropping us a quick Google review.
- We appreciate your input! Help us continue providing the best service possible by leaving us a review on Google.
- Leave us a quick review on Google! This helps people who need our help to find us.
4. Respond (to the good, the bad, and even the ugly)
The most important thing to remember when it comes to growing your online reviews is to keep up with your responses. You want to be the last person responding to everything – even the bad reviews.
If you receive a negative review, don’t panic, and definitely don’t ignore them. You don’t want those unanswered comments lingering on your Google My Business profile for everyone to see.
- Acknowledge their point of view – Tell them you understand the situation and apologize for their frustration or negative experience.
- Clarify the situation- Use this as your opportunity to offer your point of view or the facts of the situation.
- Offer a solution – For more simple situations, you may be able to offer a quick solution within your response to the review. For more complex situations, let the user know that someone from your team will be personally contacting them shortly to offer a resolution.
5. Hire an email marketing team to grow your online reviews
Leave the online growth to us. Our email marketing experts not only know how to grow your lists, but your Google reviews too. We use automated “drip” campaigns that trigger when a customer takes a certain action – like completing a service appointment. Give us a shout, and let’s elevate your reviews.