Getting satisfied customers to leave online reviews will improve your small business's ranking and bring in more leads.
How many times have you searched for a type of business in Google Maps? Whether you’re seeking “printing services” or a “bakery,” the app will always come back with a list of local suggestions for you to choose from. If you find your small business is lower on the list than you’d like (or doesn’t even appear at all) then it’s time to try and climb the ranks by asking for reviews from customers.
There are multiple ways you can do this, but the important thing is to always include a link to the Google profile you want them to rate. You can send an automatic email after services are completed and request a review on your Google My Business account. You may want to hand out business cards or small flyers to happy customers at your brick-and-mortar location. Or you can even make gaining reviews a long-term effort by including a link in your email signature and having it printed at the bottom of invoices.
Since Google tries hard to keep things fair among businesses, they have rules against bribing for reviews. You cannot offer customers anything in return for a positive review, such as a coupon or contest entry. If the search engine somehow finds out that you’re greasing palms, not only will that negatively impact your search ranking, they might even choose to remove your profile totally. Because of this, it’s best to just nicely ask for reviews and hope that your good service speaks for itself.
So let’s say you have the reviews steadily coming in — now what? It’s a best practice to reply to every Google review you receive, whether positive or negative. If it’s a positive opinion, take the time to thank your customer for their praise. If it’s negative, still thank the customer for reaching out and try your best to offer a resolution to satisfy them. Actively engaging with reviews on Google shows that you care about your business, which both potential customers and the search engine will take notice of.
If you’re interested in learning more about getting raving reviews, read our guide for Leveraging Google Reviews to see sound strategies and learn how Infomedia can help you improve your business.