How to Boost Your Google Reviews: A Guide for Businesses and Nonprofits
For small businesses and nonprofits, customer reviews can help keep the doors open. Good reviews can win over potential customers. They can build your reputation and boost your search engine rankings. And in this SEO-driven world, Google reviews are the crème de la crème.
So, how do you increase your Google reviews? In this post, we’ll show you everything you need to know, from an introduction to Google reviews to how to solicit positive reviews and even deal with not-so-positive ones, too.
What are Google Reviews?
Google reviews are customer feedback published on your business listing, which includes a star rating and comments. These reviews are visible to everyone on Google, making them highly influential in shaping your online rep, search engine ranking and influencing Google users comparing businesses (and where to give theirs).
Why are Google Reviews important?
Positive Google reviews make your business appear trustworthy, reliable and high-quality. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely that potential customers will choose you over your competitors.
But don’t just take our word for it! In Brightlocal’s 2023 Local Consumer Review Survey, studies found that “98% of people read online reviews for local businesses” and “87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses in 2022.”
Moreover, Google reviews signal to Google that your business is worth displaying in search results. In other words, they make you more discoverable by upping your rank in Google Maps.
How to Solicit Google Reviews From Your Customers
Okay, so we know what Google reviews are and why they matter. Now, let’s dive into strategy. How the heck do you get more (quality) reviews? With careful planning and persistence, it’s not as difficult as you may think. Try these approaches when soliciting Google reviews:
- Ask customers directly: Most satisfied customers are happy to leave a review if you simply ask them to. You can request them to leave a review in person, with an eblast, social media and/or a thank you card (see TRIO’s notecards below).
By the way…we’d love to hear from you! Can you leave us a Google review of your positive experience?
- Make it easy: Share a direct link with your customers to your Google reviews page. You can send an automated email or text after the customer makes a purchase, directing them to your Google Reviews page. Or you can create a Google Review shortcut URL and add it to your email signature or website.
- Share your positive reviews: Sometimes, all we need is a little push! Creating social media content/ads using existing positive reviews can do more than inspire new positive reviews. It can also spread the word of your excellent service.=
- Offer an incentive: Everyone loves a little treat! You can reward your customers for leaving honest feedback. For instance, you could enter the names of all the customers who left a review into a drawing and prize giveaway.
- Respond to reviews: Always respond to recent reviews and address the user by name. Thank your customers for feedback, answer questions and/or address any concerns. Doing so shows customers that you appreciate their opinions and care about their experiences.
How to Handle Negative Google Reviews
Negative reviews may hurt to see, but remember they can also help you grow. When handled correctly, this feedback can be an opportunity to earn trust and respect. If you’ve received less than positive reviews:
- Respond promptly and professionally: Don’t ignore negative reviews. Instead, treat them as an opportunity to showcase your customer service skills. Respond politely, apologize for any inconvenience and offer a solution if possible.
- NOTE: Apply this tip to RECENT negative reviews only. A late response to negative feedback could make matters worse.
- Don’t take it personally: Remember, people are entitled to their opinions, and negative reviews do not reflect your personal worth. Instead, see them as a chance to improve your business and grow your processes.
- Address the issue: If a genuine problem caused the negative review, resolve it promptly and effectively. This will demonstrate to the reviewer and future customers that you’re dedicated to client satisfaction.
Discover Results with TRIO’s 5-Star Marketing Agency
Good reviews are out there! Are you ready to find them? TRIO’s digital marketing specialists are ready to help you chart the 5-star ratings you’ve worked so hard to create. With more than 20 years of creative excellence, our full-service agency can help your brand shine. Contact us to learn more about our marketing, event and web solutions.
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