The Importance of Google Reviews
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Imagine a couple who is having trouble with the amount of clutter in their house. They realize they need some help, so they search for “professional organizer near me” on Google. They see a few different options and are not sure which one to go with. How do they make a decision?
Acquiring new customers is hard for any business. Even if a business truly does offer the best services, it’s tough to get that message across without it sounding like typical marketing-speak. Though every business can claim to have “superior service” on its website, customers are looking for real proof.
So where can these potential customers find out which professional organizer could best help them with their problem? The answer is through reviews.
The best way to reach customers is through authentic testimonials. A message from a satisfied former customer is powerful. Research shows that 92% of customers consult online reviews before making a purchase decision.
Of the hundreds of different review websites on the Internet, Google may be the most important. Google reviews are the first thing customers see after a Google search. A large amount of quality Google reviews shows right away that your business provides real value for your existing customer base.
Tips for how to get more reviews
Just ask – and consider the timing
Unlike Yelp, Google encourages business owners to solicit reviews. That means it’s okay to ask your customers directly to leave reviews on your website.
The best time to ask for a review from a customer is right after the service is performed. Most of the time, customers feel ecstatic right after having their space organized and would be happy to give a 5-star Google review. The chances of them leaving a review are a lot lower if a review request is given weeks later.
Send a direct link
Don’t ask customers to find you online. The more work that customers have to do, the less likely they are to do it. To get the best results, you want to make the process as painless for them as possible. First, get a shortened URL that you can send directly to customers. Then, text or email it to the customer so that all they have to do is click the URL and fill out the review form.
Respond to all of your reviews
Responding to all of your Google reviews shows customers that you sincerely care about every individual opinion. This not only helps your business’s reputation but also encourages other customers to share their feedback in the future.
Though it might be tempting to ignore negative reviews, the best way to deal with these are to apologize and try to address the issue immediately. Remember, negative reviews are inevitable, but when you respond to these reviews in a timely fashion, you are sending a message to everyone reading your page that you sincerely care about every single customer.
What to avoid
Google reviews are meant to serve as a reflection of authentic, unbiased experiences of customers. Google’s policies prevent artificial manipulation of your business’s reviews. You don’t want to mislead your customers and risk a penalty from Google.
Do not publish fake reviews
It’s not hard to tell a real review from a fake one. Posting fake reviews will only end up hurting you in the eyes of potential customers.
Do not offer incentives.
Offering a discount or special offer to customers for submitting a review might sound like a good idea. Unfortunately, this practice is against Google’s policies since reviews posted for an incentive are not “unbiased”.
Remember, there’s no need to cheat the system. When you get offer great services and follow the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to show potential customers what your organizing business can do for them.
Dhiraj Nallapaneni writes for the BirdEye blog, where he creates content about the importance of reviews for small businesses. In his free time, he likes to run, do yoga, and write.