But how should you go about getting new reviews? Let’s walk you through the process so that you can get started with revolutionizing your marketing strategy.
How to Get More Google Reviews
1. Claim Your Google Business Profile
Google reviews are hosted in what is called the “Google Business Profile”. The first step to generating more reviews is to ensure that you have an active Google Business Profile. Sometimes Google automatically creates a basic profile based on information it can find about your business online and sometimes the profile has to be created from scratch manually. Both are fairly simple processes.
Navigate to business.google.com and sign in with your Google account. You’ll then be able to search for your business name. If Google has already created a profile for your business, it will show up in the search results. If not, you’ll just need to enter some basic information about your business to get your profile set up. Google will usually require some level of verification, such as receiving a code through email, text, or mail.
2. Copy Your Reviews Link
Once you’ve claimed your business profile, your business profile dashboard will display many useful features for your business. Search for your business name on Google. If you’re logged into the Google account that manages the business profile, you’ll see a group of options for how you can edit your business information. Click the down arrow to show more options and you’ll find the “Ask for reviews” tab. Click this option and Google will provide you with a link that you can use to send your customers, friends, or family directly to your reviews page.
3. Create a Process to Get Consistent Reviews
Now that you have your link to share with customers, you need to decide how you will go about asking for reviews. Here are a few ideas for methods you might use:
- Ask for reviews from everyone. Have your review link ready every time you talk to a customer. Close a new policy? Ask for a review. Give an update on a claim? Ask for a review. Give a bundling discount? Ask for a review.
- Set up an email campaign to ask your customers for reviews. You could use an email platform to load a list of all your customers, and then create emails to solicit reviews. Make sure you don’t blast all your customers at the same time though! (see more below)
- Use a review generation service to handle it for you.
Regardless of what you decide to do, here are some things to keep in mind:
Consistency is More Important than Volume
44% of consumers consider reviews older than 1 month to be irrelevant. Getting a large influx of reviews initially and then going silent for months afterwards is not going to be an effective method of generating reviews. When users view your reviews and see that you haven’t had a new one in, say, 6 months, they will wonder if you still have any happy customers.
Google also prefers to see consistency over volume. Google has been known to suspend accounts for suspicious activity when they see a huge influx of new reviews come through in a short period of time. One of Google’s primary ranking factors is called “Relevance”, which includes how actively you’re receiving new reviews.
Your process needs to take into account a way to smooth new reviews over time. A healthy target is about 1 new review each week.
Your Reviews Should Feature a Variety of Topics
When users are viewing your reviews, they’re looking to have their desires and concerns validated. They want to know if you offer the things that are important to them. If you ask for reviews from your customers at the same point in your relationship (for example, immediately after closing a sale), then your reviews will all talk about the same topics. Reaching your customers at different times will ensure that your reviews have diverse information and you will be more effective at helping users make a purchase decision.
4. Follow Up on Feedback
Aside from the outward value of public reviews, there are huge opportunities in understanding which of your customers are satisfied and which are not. You should use the feedback you receive from your reviews to save unhappy customers. Saving a customer that would have canceled has the same financial impact on your business as a new sale. You should make it part of your process to call all your customers who leave a negative review and try to resolve their concerns.
Likewise, knowing which of your customers are delighted allows you to know who your prime prospects are for upsells, cross sells, and referrals. Call your positive reviews to say thank you, and get a feel for if there are any opportunities for new sales.
Let Us Help
At Lift Local, we’ve developed an automated review generation process that has helped thousands of businesses generate healthy reviews on their Google profile. Our service is hands-off for you, meaning we’ll handle all the details and all you have to do is look forward to the reviews flowing in on a regular basis.