When it comes to searching for a new product or service it’s no surprise that most people head to Google first. With 3.5 billion searches a day, consumers rely on Google to help them find local businesses and services. It’s also where users determine if a company is trustworthy.
Local search results put a heavy emphasis on Google Reviews, which also impact your SEO ranking. As important as curating reviews on Facebook or Yelp may be, Google Reviews reign supreme. One out of seven searchers is prepared to immediately act on their search results, so it’s vital you make a good first impression.
Improving Your Reviews
Before establishing a review strategy the first thing you need to do is make sure your business is Google Verified. Thankfully, Google makes this process as easy as possible. Simply head over to Google My Business to register your business address. To complete the process Google will mail a postcard to your business containing a unique PIN within two weeks.
Once your business is verified you can begin interacting with your reviewers. Always respond to reviews, from the most negative to the glowingly positive. This shows potential customers that you’re engaged and willing to do whatever you can to ensure customer satisfaction. Responding also encourages more users to leave reviews, since it’s evident that their feedback will be valued and acted upon.
Never pay for reviews, as this violates Google’s terms of service and can lead to the removal of reviews. Asking current and former customers to review your company is fine, as long as you are requesting unbiased and truthful reviews. A positive review will do you no good if users can tell it isn’t genuine.
Promote your Google page across social media and on your website. Once your page is verified it’s wise to inform your customers that it exists and promote reviews. You can do this by sharing the link on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social platform your business is active on. Another tactic for collecting reviews is to place a call to action (CTA) button on your website. This will direct users to your Google page, making it easier for them to leave you a review.
Leaving a Review
Now that you know how to curate and respond to reviews, let’s explore the process for leaving one. It’s fairly simple, begin by opening Google Maps on your computer. Then search for a business/service with a physical location. On the left side of the screen you will see the option to Write A Review. Clicking this will allow you to leave a star rating and write a review for the business. Once you’ve finished the review is published!