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Google reviews are an essential part of the success of any online business, and with Google My Business, business owners have plenty of control over how they want to drive their interactions with consumers. However, online reviews aren’t a given for every purchase or transaction, so knowing how to get google reviews is a key part of your skillset as a vendor.
There are a few ways to approach increasing your customer engagement and even encouraging a positive review where you might otherwise get a negative review.
Online reviews have been proven in studies to drive business more than most factors when it comes to the online presence of any vendor- over 90% of consumers say they refer to online reviews and ratings before making a purchase.
Google My Business is the most popular review platform in the United States, followed by Amazon and Facebook, which means getting reviews on Google My Business should be a #1 priority. It goes without saying that happy customers make the best reviewers, but if you understand how to engage with consumers on Google’s platform, you can potentially soften the feedback of even customers who’ve had a less-than-positive experience.
For customers, leaving reviews on Google My Business is a simple and quick process, so encouraging them to leave feedback isn’t asking for a big time commitment, but considering that typically only 5-10% of online customers leave reviews on any platform, it’s still not something you can count on without encouragement.
For businesses, Google My Business gives you easy-to-use options that can help you get more reviews.
Over 90% of consumers say they refer to online reviews and ratings before making a purchase.
Google My Business has a simple function for business owners that allows you to directly request reviews from customers, and it’s been proven that asking for customer reviews directly is the most effective way to get more reviews, especially considering the small amount of effort required.
Google My Business lets you make these requests after purchases using a URL customized for your business. Using this and keeping your requests short, polite, and as personalized as possible will make your customers feel listened to and valued, and more likely to leave feedback. That is the same way personalized messages are used when getting reviews on Amazon.
Verifying your business on Google My Business has enormous benefits, increasing visibility and encouraging consumer feedback. Verification ensures your business will appear on Google Maps, Google search, and several other Google services and apps, including non-Google search engines, and only verified businesses are able to respond to reviews on Google My Business.
In addition to requesting reviews, replying to customer reviews is crucial, making customers feel valued and heard, and thus more likely to give repeat business and spread the word to potential customers via friends and family or on social media.
As with your review requests, short (but not curt), personalized, and polite responses are essential. With bad reviews, an apology and acceptance of responsibility should lead to a response. Even an unhappy customer can be turned into a repeat one if they feel they’re being respected and heard. You can read more about how unhappy customers can change their feedback from our guide on how to get Facebook reviews.
Email marketing is an effective tool, and emphasizing how much your business appreciates reviews and how easy the process is to the customer is another good way to encourage reviews. Keep in mind that Google reviews have policies about directly contacting customers via email and that some sort of permission is needed from a customer in order to add them to an email list without violating regulations.
Only 5-10% of online customers leave reviews on any platform.
Why are Google reviews important?
Google is the most popular platform for business reviews in the U.S., topping even Amazon and Facebook, and over 90% of consumers say they look to online reviews before making a purchase. Additionally, the number of Google reviews a business directly affects its star ratings, which allows it to appear higher in rankings and search results.
Why should I verify my business on Google My Business?
Verifying your business allows it to appear on Google Maps, makes your Google reviews appear in searches, and allows you to respond to customer reviews- which further encourages customer engagement. Google Maps is frequently where consumers encounter online reviews they haven’t specifically searched for.
What other business review platforms should be prioritized?
Google reviews are the most influential online reviews in the U.S. and Google My Business is the most popular platform, but Amazon and Facebook are #2 and 3, respectively, making them incredibly important for businesses as well.
There are ways to get a fake Google review removed, but you’ll need to go through some work. And, keep in mind that Google likes fresh, real content, so try not to buy Google reviews if you can help it.
STAT: Google is the biggest platform for online reviews, constituting 58% of all reviews. (source)
STAT: Google reviews data shows that over half of customers expect a response to their feedback within one week. (source)
STAT: 63% of customers say they have never received a response from a business after leaving a review (source)