Figuring out how to get Google reviews doesn’t have to be a complicated process. If you haven’t already done so, the first step is to set up your business listing on Google. Once you have a business listing, you can get Google reviews. If you’ve gotten this far then continue reading.
If you’re a new business owner and want to start your Google review strategy off right — then we recommend starting with the guide below. It’ll teach you how to launch a successful review strategy on Google from the get-go — and covers some important implications for new businesses looking to get Google reviews.
New Business Guide to Google Reviews
To get more Google reviews, you have to optimize your Google Business Profile
To optimize your Google Business Profile:
- Make sure the information is accurate. Do you have a new location, phone number, or website? Have there been any changes in your products or services? Whatever the case, ensure your profile reflects it so you can avoid sending people on a wild goose chase trying to track down your business or a product you don’t actually sell. Remember: an irritated person is often more motivated to complain online about their experience with a business.
- Include photos. Share images of the inside and outside of your business, and your product, whether that be menus and food (if you have a restaurant), vehicles and tools, etc. Images show people that your business is legitimate and well-maintained. And consumers use images to get a feel for your atmosphere and service and to help them know what to expect before visiting your establishment.
- Use the right keywords. Make sure to include relevant location-based keywords and the product and service keywords that apply to your business. Make sure to get specific with them too. For example, if you’re a car dealership, don’t just target “new cars” try more specific ones like “the best car for a family of four.” When the keywords on your profile match the search terms people may use to find you, your profile can rank higher in local searches.
- Turn on Google Business Message. Give people a way to chat with you directly from your profile when they do a search. They can ask about your business and learn more about your products and services—and it’s a great way for your business to make a good first impression.
- Share updates and announcements. Tell people things about your business in Google Posts that are exciting or helpful using the Updates section of your profile. You can share and highlight new products, FAQs, events you’re hosting, and other content.
- Integrate appointment bookings. Fast-track appointments by enabling booking capabilities on your profile. Instead of having to book and confirm over the phone, customers can book right from your profile—seriously boosting the convenience factor.
A targeted, accurate, and engaging business profile shows potential customers that you want them to have a positive experience before they ever set foot in your business.
Optimizing Your Google Business Profile
Then, implement a review strategy designed to get more Google reviews
When those first reviews trickle in, it feels incredibly rewarding. But to get a return on your review efforts, you need a solid review strategy that’s focused on regularly getting reviews. That’s because the recency of reviews matters. How much does it matter? That can depend, but there is evidence of a correlation between new reviews and ranking increases on Google.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Ask for Google reviews and provide exceptional customer service
Asking for Google reviews seems like common sense. You’ll find that if you simply ask customers for reviews, someone is sure to step up. But the process of posting a review needs to be super easy, otherwise, you’ll lose folks if they have to jump through hoops or spend too much time on it. It’s all well and good to ask for reviews, but sometimes customers feel like it’s a hassle or an extra step they don’t have time for—or they may rapidly lose interest if the review process is way too cumbersome. Making the review process as quick and straightforward as possible is job one.
Beyond that, it’s also a good idea to always try and provide exceptional customer service. One of the top reasons customers leave a review is to acknowledge and reward a business that went above and beyond. Though it may sound too simple, sometimes treating the customer exceptionally well is all the incentive they need to leave a positive review and share their experience with others.
But other ways to increase your chances of review request success:
- Share links where customers can leave a Google review—in your emails, on your website, social media, and in-store signage, and at the bottom of receipts.
- Ensure the process is quick, easy, and doesn’t require extra steps.
- Have salespeople or the business owner (if that’s you) ask customers for reviews, especially if you have good relationships and regular interactions with them.
- Make sure you have the right Google review link URL for your business
2. Respond to Google reviews
Remember, Google is still the top search engine in the world. As a result, responding to Google reviews is critical to reputation management. And replying to reviews have many other benefits including increased brand loyalty, visibility, and conversions.
And when people see proof that you’re willing to engage with reviews, it inspires them to join in and leave a review, too, helping you build the body of quality reviews you’re after.
Best practice says to respond to a review within 24-48 hours after it’s posted.
How you reply to reviews also matters. You may not always know what to say—especially if the review is negative or even neutral in tone. You don’t want to say the wrong thing and make a bad situation worse. Nor do you want to miss an opportunity to engage with an indifferent customer and turn them into an interested one.
A review management platform can help manage replying to reviews. For example, GatherUp’s SmartReply feature uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate personalized, customized, human-like responses that identify and match customer sentiment (positive, neutral, negative) and reference specific products that were mentioned in the review. AI-generated review replies are especially helpful for teams with limited time and resources that don’t want to fall behind on replies—from agencies to franchises to small businesses.
Reviews Reply eGuide
3. Set some goals
Another key part of your Google review strategy is to figure out what you’re aiming for. What do you want to achieve? How many reviews do you want to get per month? What kind of conversion rates—click-throughs, sales, etc.—do you want to see?
Some stats to keep in mind:
- The optimal number of reviews to give consumers confidence in a product is between 20 and 50.
- According to Moz, 39% of people filter reviews to see the most recent reviews first and 17% view the recency of reviews as the top factor in choosing a business.
New businesses that are less than a year old can realistically aim for one new review per month for the first three to four months—in part to avoid tripping Google’s spam and fake-review filters. Slow and steady when you’re just starting out is the best approach, and then you can re-evaluate.
If you already have some customer reviews, don’t leave it at that. It’s best to aim for a monthly target of new reviews. For example, you could decide you want to bring in 50 new customers per month, and of those 50 customers, you want to get reviews from 20% of them. That amounts to 10 new reviews per month or 120 per year. This may seem like a lot, but the more reviews you have, the more your entire body of reviews will accurately represent your overall customer sentiment.
Keep in mind, your conversion rates could vary. But since some studies show that 12% of customers will leave a review every time they’re asked, you may want to start by asking 80 customers per month to hit that 10 new reviews mark until you can determine what your actual conversion rate is for your types of business.
One important factor to consider in your monthly or numerical targets is conversion rates based on the method of asking for a review. If you want to get 10 new reviews, for example, you would need to send an average of 200 email requests based on the average email open rate, feedback rate, and clicks to review sites, as illustrated below:
Use GatherUp to get more Google reviews
Paying attention to your Google reviews is critical. In reality, though, all customer reviews are important, including first-party reviews from customers who post them directly to your website and third-party reviews on other review sites like Yelp or industry-specific sites like TripAdvisor.
Using GatherUp’s review management platform, you can expand your review efforts by gathering reviews from a variety of places—not just Google—so you can use them to effectively market your business and win more customers. With GatherUp, you can:
- Request reviews from customers to build up a solid body of positive reviews and help convert even more customers
- Manage and monitor your reviews across multiple sites so you know what customers are saying and can respond appropriately
- Reply to reviews in your own words or with AI-generated responses
- Use the customer feedback you get to identify insights that improve your products and services and the overall customer experience
To learn more about how GatherUp helps you get more reviews, request a free trial today.