How Google Reviews Improve Your Bottom Line
Getting reviewed on Google is essential to your brand and marketing because Google is not only how people become aware of your business, it is how they become aware of what others think about your business. Here is everything you need to know to assure excellent Google reviews.
Make More $ Using Online Reviews
Best places for online reviews:
- Angie’s List
- Trip Advisor
- Industry Specific Sites
- Reviews aren’t just for ranking, they’re for real people.
- Your own web site
All reviews must be original content and must not appear anywhere else online or you may find Google taking any of several possible actions that will impact your online presence.
Schema Markup: Google’s standard markup language. It is important to translate your web site’s back-end text into Schema Markup language to increase your chances for being found on Google.
Why are Google Reviews Important?
They improve your online rankings, which positions your business higher on the organic search results (the top ten results displayed on a Google search outcome).
- Improve your “local pack” results –the first few listings Google displays when a search asks for a type of business in a given area, such as “Restaurants, Denver”.
- Add trust to business.
- 85% of people trust these reviews even more than word-of-mouth.
- Good Google reviews give you the ability to own the top ten listings that come up in a search about your business. Take up to ten spots – or more. Push your competitors off the page.
- Provide information for people who make decisions quickly. Many do so based on reviews displayed instantly in that Google search.
Why Google reviews instead of Yelp or Facebook reviews? Simply, most people use Google to search the Internet.
How to Get Google Reviews
- Ask (nicely) your satisfied customers. For example, leave a Google review on Google+ page.
- If you are a business that uses contractors or vendors, ask them. Offer to exchange Google reviews with them.
- Add a “review us” button to your website, as shown on awesomedynamic.com.
- Ask your email list.
- Ask on your web site. Promote the link through other media. Near the review form, provide a link to somebody who can instantly help any reviewers who may be unhappy.
- Via a presentation, whether in a lecture hall or in a webinar (like this one!). You have a captive audience, so why not?
- Ask on social media, especially LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
- Throw a review party, or a business social event, etc. Get them to do a review of your business as well. Propose to exchange reviews. But don’t do it all at once from one WIFI location. Google’s algorithms can detect blocks of concentrated activity from a single IP address, and could possibly triggering actions that may impact your efforts. Establish a system to make sure there is some consistent flow of reviews. Have people spread out the timing of their reviews, next week, the week after.
Videos: How to Access Google Reviews
A good example is at how to leave a review from a smart phone.
You must have a Google account in order to leave a Google review. Apple iPhone users may not have set up a Google account. If so, have them leave a review on Yelp or on your web site if you have it set up that way. In all cases, offer to facilitate their review by asking them to hand you their phone so you can access the review site for them.
Google Reviews “Do’s and Don’ts”
- make a regular review schedule. Get the initial 5 stars and then try to get 2 or 3 more reviews each month. You need a minimum of 5 reviews to receive your “gold stars” from Google.
- a site review audit. Check out your online presence, see what your rating is on the various websites. How are you rated?
- respond quickly and positively to both positive and negative reviews.
- have your reviewers include keywords naturally. Have your reviewer to tell a story, relating the highlights of their experience. Ask them to be careful about key word stuffing, using all caps and lots of exclamation points. You want their review to be genuine.
- have family members or employees write reviews.
- use your company’s Wi-Fi to post the reviews.
- flood Google with many reviews all at once. The algorithms know. Too many reviews (beyond what you regularly get) in one day will be detrimental. No incentives for reviews (no goods, services, exchanged, etc.) The penalty may be removal of your web site from the Google search engine.
- incentivize your reviewers. No bribes allowed.
Responding to Reviews
- Claim your “Google My Business” (GMBL) at gybo.com. This is really the first step to ranking on Google. Search for your Business on map.google.com Get control it so you can respond to reviewers easily. Good information is at Google My Business Help.
- Respond quickly (within 24-72 hours), regardless whether they are positive or negative reviews.
- Positive tone – respond to reviews in a very positive tone, and always take the opportunity to relay new info about your business in your comments.
- Apologize for negative reviews. Set it right.
- Gently discredit bad reviewers that seem inaccurate or nonsensical to you – better to make them look crazy than let them make you look bad.
- Address specific items, line by line, issue by issue.
- Offer personal contact
- Be factual
All of these actions will help you to get more great Google reviews online.
How to Take Down a Negative Review
- Wait to Respond. Take a breath. Think through your response. Don’t start a combative argument in a public forum.
- Check Google’s policy violations
- See if the Google negative reviewer posted any hate language within their text, mentioned a specific name, or is underage (cannot be younger than 13 years old). In such cases, you can flag the inappropriate behavior and ask Google to have the review removed.
- Reviews cannot mention specific identities of people
- Reviewers must be a certain age
- If competitors are posted, you can get that review taken down
- If it contains inaccurate info, the review can be taken down
- Reviews cannot promote other web sites or businesses
- Google’s support site maintains a full list of qualifiers for getting them to agree to remove a review.
Be patient, but persistent. If you get a review that is negative and difficult to remove, bury it with more good reviews. Always shoot for 5 stars. Don’t be satisfied with less, as your average is displayed and bad reviews can only pull that down.
Note: although they are similar platforms, differences exist between Google+ and Google My Business such as configurations with other systems (YouTube, etc.). Google+ is more for people than for businesses but can be used for both. More information on the differences is available.
Remember, 84% of people searching on line go through Google. Manage your online reputation!
Google reviews are a good way to promote your business on a shoe string. It will take some time but not a lot. Take advantage of it and put the process in place, Ask you happy customers for Google 5 star reviews. You’re the business that will get the phone call if you have great Google reviews.