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How to get Google reviews: Strategies to grow your small business

How to get Google reviews: Strategies to grow your small business

With over 90% of consumers looking at, and reading Google reviews before deciding whether or not to buy from a company, asking satisfied customers to leave reviews is a highly effective strategy to help grow your small business

They can help build trust and credibility around your business, and improve online visibility to put you at the top of local search rankings.

But, in a world where online reputation is everything, what can you do to encourage customers to leave a review and how do you collect them?

In this article, we’ll look at the importance of reviews, detail some tactics you can use immediately to start getting reviews and list out some best practices.

Why do Google reviews matter?

Google is the biggest search engine on the planet, so it makes sense that acquiring good Google Reviews should be a vital component of any business growth strategy. Here are the top four reasons why they matter:

Enhancing Local Search Visibility and Click-Through Rates

Positive Google reviews are akin to beacons that guide potential customers to your doorstep. When someone in your area searches for a product or service you offer, Google takes these reviews into account when determining search rankings, and the more positive reviews you have, the higher the probability your business will rank higher for local searches. It’s this prime real estate on the search engine results page (SERP) that can significantly increase your business’s visibility, leading to higher click-through rates and more potential customers visiting your website or storefront.

Why Google reviews are the social proof that builds credibility

How can potential customers decide whether your business is right for their needs? Online reviews! 

Online reviews provide them with all social proof they need of your credibility, reliability and trustworthiness when comparing your offerings against those of your competitors. 

So, the more positive reviews you have, the more trustworthy and reliable you are viewed, which helps improve the chances of those potential customers choosing you over your competitors, even if their services are slightly better. 

How Google reviews help influence purchasing decisions

Today’s consumers are savvy and discerning and often trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family, if not more. Positive Google reviews are the social proof that can be the deciding factor for someone choosing to engage with your business, because they offer personal insights from previous customers into the quality and overall satisfaction they have experienced.

Why the quantity of Google reviews matters

It’s not just about the quality of reviews; quantity matters too, because you can only get gold stars with a certain number of reviews, and according to ReviewGrower, this number should be between 30 and 100. So your goal should be to accumulate a substantial volume of reviews,  because your local search results and rankings are influenced by these star ratings. This means that the more positive reviews you get, the higher your local search ranking will be, which will ensure your business stays visible to potential local customers.

Strategies on how to get Google reviews

To build a robust collection of Google reviews you need to be proactive and thoughtful in your approach. Here are effective strategies to encourage your satisfied customers to leave glowing reviews:

Ask customers directly

One of the simplest and most direct ways to get Google reviews is by asking customers in person. At the point of purchase or interaction, express your gratitude for their business and kindly request an honest review, and make it easy for them to leave a review by providing clear and easy-to-follow instructions.

Email follow-ups

After a customer’s purchase or interaction with your business, send a polite follow-up email. Express your appreciation for their patronage and include a direct link to your Google review page. Timing is essential; send these emails a few days after the interaction when the experience is still fresh in their minds.

In-Store displays and QR codes

For brick-and-mortar businesses, consider placing signs or displays within your establishment that feature QR codes linked to your Google business listing which makes it incredibly convenient for customers to leave a review on the spot.

Public responses to reviews

An essential part of reputation management is responding to all reviews you receive. You should always reply professionally and thank customers for their comments, whether they are positive or negative. Address any concerns gracefully, as it shows them you value their feedback and take it seriously. 

Claim your Google Business profile

Claiming your Google business profile is a fundamental step in review management. It gives you ownership and control over your listing details which ensures your business’s online information remains accurate and up-to-date. An active Google Business profile also allows you to actively engage with, and respond to customer reviews. 

Leverage Social Media

Utilise your social media presence to request reviews from your followers. You can share direct links to your Google review page, encouraging satisfied customers to share their experiences. 

Partner for cross-reviews

You could seek out complementary businesses in your area to collaborate with and encourage customers to share their experiences, as this will help both businesses improve online visibility and reach a larger audience

Best practices to get Google reviews

In your quest to garner Google reviews for your small business, staying true to ethical principles is paramount. Here are some key best practices to guide you toward success:

Maintain ethical integrity

Offering incentives in exchange for reviews can be seen as a form of bribery and may violate the terms of service of some review websites. Customers should always feel encouraged to provide honest and transparent reviews, not just because they’ve been incentivised to say nice things. Authentic feedback builds trust and credibility for your business and provides potential customers with a genuine reflection of your business.

Diversify your review generation methods

Variety is the spice of life, and the same holds true for gathering Google reviews. By creating a strategy that encompasses using in-person requests, email follow-ups, social media prompts, and more to ask your customers for reviews you can increase the likelihood of a response. 

Respond and engage

Businesses never stay still. To keep up with their customers’ ever-changing needs they need to constantly evolve. And that’s why feedback is essential to let you know what’s working and what isn’t to then implement the changes needed. Responding promptly and professionally to reviews, whether they’re positive or negative, demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction, and engaging with reviewers can turn a one-time customer into a loyal advocate.

Monitor reviews diligently

Regularly check your Google reviews to stay on top of customer feedback, and keep an eye out for any negative reviews and comments, or if any concerning issues arise. Constructively addressing problems promptly shows your dedication to continuous improvement and that you are committed to making things.

Practise patience and consistency

Building a substantial base of Google reviews takes time, and instant gratification isn’t always feasible. Consistency in requesting and engaging with reviews will pay off in the long run. The more reviews you gather, the more your business’s online reputation will grow which will help attract a bigger audience of potential customers.

Frequently asked questions about how to get Google reviews

How can I get Google reviews fast?

The easiest way is to provide exceptional services and then ask your satisfied customers to leave a review. But make it easy for them by sharing direct review links and ensuring your Google Profile listing is complete and up-to-date. If you’re looking to automate your review generation process, Magic Reviews allows you to link Google reviews to your dashboard so you can automatically send out review requests and keep track of, and respond to new reviews through the central dashboard. It’s also important to engage with your customers and promptly respond to reviews to encourage more feedback.

How much is a 5-star Google review worth?

In terms of monetary value, a 5-star Google review varies depending on your industry and location, but the impact it has on attracting new customers to your business is priceless. A high average Google review score can significantly improve your online reputation and search visibility, and helps build trust with potential customers. 

Is it OK to ask for Google reviews?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s a common and highly encouraged practice. However, it’s important to be polite in your request, avoid offering any incentives that might violate Google’s review policies, and never, ever buy reviews, because it’s illegal.

Do fake Google reviews get removed?

Google takes their review authenticity seriously and has measures in place to detect and remove fake reviews to maintain trust in their platform. If you suspect you have received a fake review, you can report it to Google, who will investigate and remove it if it violates their guidelines.

Key takeaway

In this article, we’ve discussed why Google reviews matter, tactics you can implement to gather more requests, from direct, in-person requests to the art of email follow-ups and leveraging social media, along with some of the best practices you should employ. 

For a small, local business, Google reviews aren’t just a digital pat on the back, they are the key to unlocking growth and credibility. Positive Google reviews wield the dual magic of boosting your local search rankings and establishing trust in the eyes of potential customers.

But remember, while the rewards in terms of business growth and customer trust are immeasurable, building a solid base of Google reviews takes time.

About Magic

Magic helps local businesses grow. Thousands of local businesses use Magic to get more online reviews, win new customers, easily manage customer conversations and grow sales. Magic offers these features:

  • Reviews: Get more reviews with automatic review requests for popular review sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, TrustPilot, and more. Rank high on local search and enhance your visibility on Google. 
  • Inbox: Keep track of customer conversations across channels in one inbox, including SMS, Facebook, Instagram, and Gmail. Manage conversations better as a team and do more with industry specific templates. 
  • Text Marketing: Drive more sales with instant text campaigns and reach your customers at the right moment with automation. Use prebuilt templates to send out text campaigns in minutes. 
  • Webchat: Turn website visitors into customers with SMS powered Webchat. Chat to website visitors directly through SMS so you won’t miss a lead, even when they leave your website. 

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