Did you know that nearly 90 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?
With this in mind, small businesses have a big opportunity to attract new business via the Internet.
In short, you want to generate as many authentic Google My Business reviews as possible.
While most small businesses will get a negative online review from time to time, keeping a high average rating will go a long way in getting more traffic, and converting more of this traffic into sales.
In other words, the best defense is a good offense.
Of course, this is easier said than done. And here is why: most consumers don’t take the time to leave a review, even if they had a good experience.
You must have a proactive online reputation management strategy. The fact is (in terms of percentages) great customer experiences rarely get posted on the Internet, while bad experiences almost always do.
The system is rigged against your business, so you need to stay ahead of the curve on this one. And in order to do this, you need to make it as easy as possible for your customers to leave you a review.
Fortunately, there is an easy was to to provide a direct link to your Google My Business review page. By making the process simple, you will greatly increase the chance of adding new reviews on a regular basis.
In order to get Google reviews, the steps you need to take are:
Above all else, you need to have the person’s email address for this strategy to work. For online companies, such as a web design agency, this is never a problem.
As a local brick and mortar store, it may take a bit more work to collect the email addresses of your customers (but it’s not impossible).
From here, it’s time to create a direct link to your Google My Business review box. Consumers don’t need this to leave a review, but it saves them a lot of time. They don’t have to search for your company and then verify that it’s the right business.
Tip: email the URL to yourself so you can see what it looks like. Also, click through to make sure that it’s exactly what you want it to be. After all, you don’t want to send out the wrong URL to your happy customers.
If you want to spend a couple extra minutes on this strategy, use the Google URL Shortener tool to shorten the link and make it “pretty.”
You’ve done all the hard work. Now it’s time to have a little bit of fun. This is when you send an email, including your link, to your customer.
You don’t want to come across as an annoyance, so keep your email short and to the point. Here is an example:
Hello Mr. Doe:
It was a pleasure serving you, and our entire company thanks you for your business.
Would you mind taking a couple minutes to leave a review on our Google My Business page?
We value your feedback and know that it will help future prospects make an informed decision.
You can leave your review by clicking this button:
Thanks again for your business!
It doesn’t get any easier than that. Once you settle on an email script that works, you can use it for all future customers.
Another way to make this process even more effective is to handout review cards. We practice what we preach and made some for SEO for Growth:
If you want to generate more Google My Business reviews – and you should – this one tip will put you on the right path to success.
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask for feedback! But to do it right, you need to make “asking for reviews” part of your daily routine.
To learn more about reputation management, be sure to check out our SEO book, SEO for Growth, we have an entire chapter dedicated to reputation management.