by Justin Berg
From higher rankings to increasing your online reputation and brand visibility, Google reviews can boost your business for completely free. However, the term ‘get more Google reviews’ receives approximately 14,000 annual global searches, suggesting business owners and marketers are struggling to find the secret to success.
To help out indie retailers everywhere, here are six top tips to take your business to a whole new level:
- Ask for Reviews — They Will Not Always Come to You
- Don’t Just Ask — Follow Up
- Collect Reviews Through Your Website
- Utilize QR Codes for Review Collection
- Collect Reviews On-Site via Mobile Devices
- Encourage Reviews by Always Responding
1. Ask for Google Reviews — They Will Not Always Come to You
Sometimes customers will naturally come to your Google My Business profile and drop you a review, especially if they had a negative experience, but you are missing out on a slew of opportunities if you are not asking shoppers for a review of your product or service.
If you are just getting started, you can easily copy the review link to your Google My Business profile and send it out to users manually via email. There are other manual ways to get the review link, but if you are running Chrome, simply download the GatherUp Google Review Link Generator.
Navigate to your Google My Business profile, click the GatherUp plugin from your top Chrome menu, and drop this link into a URL shortener. Pair the links with craft hand-written emails to your customers that had a great experience, and ask for their feedback.
If you are looking for an automated solution, there are also many third-party review platforms that will help you handle this entire process. Third-party review platforms will allow you not only to collect reviews for Google My Business, but also on other platforms as well, such as Yelp and Facebook. Reviews On My Website’s Google Review Widget does a great job of this.
2. Don’t Just Ask — Follow Up
We are all busy in our day-to-day lives, and not everyone is going to reply to your initial request. You do not want to be annoying with the requests, but it normally can take a few tries to get a response.
If you are planning to collect reviews via email outreach and have a handful of customers, you can probably manage this process manually. However, it can be a bit tedious for higher volumes, so the easiest way to automate an email sequence is by using a third-party review collection software that will automate the entire campaign process.
One big benefit to using third-party review collection software is that you can easily automate the process via SMS. Sending review requests via text message generally yields better results, as normally customers are getting bombarded with emails. Believe it or not, asking for reviews via text is still not a super common practice.
3. Collect Google Reviews Through Your Website
If you are selling a product or service online, collecting reviews through your website can be very effective. If you want to learn how the customer’s buying experience was, their interaction with your website, and the support they have received prior to purchasing the item, you can serve them a review right after the transaction or sign-up has occurred.
You will see a lower survey completion rate when using this method. Some customers will wait until they have tried a product or service, but it can be effective for collecting some quality reviews quickly, especially if there is a lag time between receiving your product. On the other hand, if you want to collect a review after the consumer has had the chance to use the item, you will want to serve them the review request at the right time during the feedback loop.
You can also take the Google My Business review link and embed it behind a widget and display it on your site. Using the Rich Plugins Google Reviews Widget for WordPress users, you can easily embed a widget on a website. Not only does this build trust and rapport for your brand, but it also allows users to easily click on your Google rating (or Facebook and Yelp) to easily leave a review.
4. Utilize QR Codes for Google Review Collection
Using the power of QR codes on print advertising is a very effective way to bolster your Google reviews. If you send printed receipts with your products, you can include the code on the receipt and incentivize the review with a coupon code or discount on a next purchase.
Restaurants can print QR codes on their receipts, while customers serving B2B clients can add a QR code to their invoice they send asking for a review. To get a QR code set up for your Google My Business account, you need to:
- Grab your Google My Business review link using the GatherUp Chrome extension.
- Head over to the QR Code Generator and drop the link.
- Download the QR code and add it where relevant to your print advertising process.
5. Collect Reviews On-Site via Mobile Devices
Another great use case for those that have an in-store experience is by collecting Google reviews through their mobile devices. If you are in a restaurant and the waiter asks you to leave a review, while presenting a tablet or mobile device, you are much more likely to complete one right there on the spot.
There are plenty of SaaS solutions out there on the market to help you achieve this. Normally, customers will first leave a review using the third party’s review software on the tablet device, and as with Google Reviews, they will need to actually log in to their account first before leaving the review — which most consumers will not be too keen on doing for security and privacy reasons.
Although, during the review process, the survey will ask for an email where the customer will later receive an email asking them to leave a review on Yelp, GMB, or others. Collecting reviews in store and in person can be a super effective method to bolstering your Google reviews.
6. Encourage Reviews by Always Responding
When potential customers are browsing your Google My Business profile, it will certainly stand out if you are responding to the reviews that other shoppers have left. You should always respond to all reviews and engage with consumers, whether it is a positive or negative review.
By responding, you are actually encouraging other customers to leave reviews as they see that you are noticing and appreciating the feedback. This is especially true for negative reviews, since consumers want to see that you are taking recourse to resolve issues that have arisen with your product or service.
Justin Berg is the founder of SAAS SEO agency, Rock The Rankings.