Thinking of starting your own business? Great! Keep in mind, however, that it can be challenging. For one thing, you want to have a plan—one that puts your ideas and goals into concrete terms. After all, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time and resources on it. Considering that, you definitely don’t want to just wing it!
There are other things that you want to do as well. For instance, it’s a good idea to evaluate your target audience. What’s the market size? How easy would it be for you to attract a customer? These are all things that you want to consider.
Similarly, you want to analyze your industry. You can do this by speaking to people or by reading relevant news sites. You might also want to search your potential rivals—that way, you’ll be able to distinguish yourselves from them. The bottom line is—running a successful business isn’t easy. If anything, it requires a significant amount of time and effort.
Positive Google Reviews Attract Customers
Ultimately, your goal is to attract customers. There are several ways that you can go about doing this. For example, it helps to have a good marketing strategy. How else would people learn about your products and services, right?
Another thing that you can do is to ask for customer testimonials. If anything, they’ll help boost your conversion rates. After all, they provide credibility. Who would you rather buy from? Someone who has hundreds of positive reviews or someone who has none? The answer is obvious, I’d say.
Benefits of Customer Testimonials & Reviews
Customer testimonials are powerful. They’re one of the best things that you can have on your website. In a way, you can think of them as persuasive social proof. Here are a few reasons why they’re worth getting:
They Build Trust and Credibility
We mentioned this earlier but testimonials allow you to build trust and credibility. Why is this important? People want to know whether a business or product is trustworthy before they take out their wallets.
As it is, testimonials are a great way for you to put the anxious minds of potential customers at ease. Let’s face it—it’s much more reassuring to know that there have been other customers who’ve bought something and were satisfied with the experience. This is what we mean by “social proof”. If anything, it’s one of the most powerful persuasion tools out there. Why do you think Google Reviews and Yelp is so popular?
They Capture Attention
Testimonials are essentially stories—there are characters (your buyers), an unfulfilled desire (conflict) and a solution (resolution). Well, you know what? Nothing captures attention like a good story! As a matter of fact, our brains are programmed for stories. This is why reviews are so important. When used properly, they allow you to connect with potential customers on an emotional level; they can help draw your prospects in.
They Offer Learning Opportunities
Not all testimonials are positive—for instance, a customer might mention something that you’d rather not highlight. Believe it or not, however, but that can actually be a good thing. Why? It provides a great learning experience. It allows you to remedy the issue, which will help your business in the long run. Given how hectic things can get, you might not have even realized there was an issue if it wasn’t pointed out to you!
They’re Great For SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. You might have heard this before but it’s crucial for growing your business. Essentially, it’s the thing that will determine how visible your website is when someone searches for a specific product or service. In other words, it provides visibility and web traffic, both of which are crucial for sales.
How do testimonials help with SEO? They can help make your site more visible. Gather enough first-party reviews and the page will eventually come up on Google with an overall star rating. As you can imagine, this makes it stand out from the rest of the sites on the results page—that is, there’d be a greater chance that someone would click into your site.
Using Google Reviews For Your Business
There are numerous ways that you can present customer testimonials. For instance, you can have a page dedicated to them on your website. There are also other services that you can use such as Yelp, or Foursquare. On this page, however, we’ll be focusing our attention on Google Reviews. If anything, it’s the most popular platform for ratings.
Why Google Reviews Is So Popular
Google is, without a doubt, one of the largest companies in the world—millions of people use it every day around the globe! Given that, it’s not surprising to know that their reviews platform is so popular. As long as you have an account (which most of us probably do), you can easily write a review and submit it to their site. What’s great is that it’ll be visible as soon as you’re finished typing it up! If you want, you can even include photos from your visit.
How to Get More Google Reviews For Your Business – 6 Best Methods
As easy as it may be to use, however, not everyone leaves a review. If anything, only a small portion of your customers will leave a testimonial—that’s normal. After all, it’s not a mandatory thing; those who decide to write a blurb do so on their own.
Given that, it can be quite difficult to build up reviews—this is especially true if your business is new. You want testimonials but not everyone will leave them, what can you do? Several things, actually. Believe it or not but there are actually a number of things that you can do to get more Google Reviews for your business. Here are some of them!
1. Ask Customers to Leave a Google Review
One of the easiest ways to get reviews is to simply ask. Don’t be shy—reach out to your customers and make a request. Chances are, most will be happy to write you something, especially if they’re satisfied with the experience! You can do so in person or by phone, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is just to ask directly.
2. Respond to Existing Reviews
Take the time to respond to your customers’ reviews on Google. If anything, it lets others know that you value customer feedback. In doing so, they’ll probably be more likely to submit their own review.
As far as how to respond, you want to be timely, grateful, and specific in your responses. Don’t just respond to positive reviews, though, you want to address the negative ones as well. Make sure to do so politely and promptly; your goal is to help the customer resolve the issue. Who knows? That might decide to change your negative review to a positive one later!
3. Send a Follow Up Email
Do you run an online business? If so, it might be a good idea to send a follow-up email. Not only does it show that you care about the sale, but it provides you with an opportunity to ask for a review. Generally speaking, you want to send it 2-3 days after the estimated delivery date—that way, the product will still be fresh in their minds and they’ll be more likely to write about it.
Avoid send boring, desperate e-mails—they’ll probably get ignored. What you should do instead is to personalize the message. Make the customer feel special. How? You can include their name, their company’s name, or mention the specific product that they purchased in the e-mail. Keep the tone casual. It’s important not to sound needy as that’ll only divert them from following through with your request. Nobody likes pushy people!
4. Emphase How Easy The Process Is
Some people might be reluctant to write a review simply because they think it’s a hassle. Well, guess what? They might change their minds if you let them know just how easy it is! For instance, you can remind them that it’s perfectly fine not to write anything. If they want to write, they don’t have to write a whole lot either—just a couple of sentences will do. The goal is to make it sound quick, easy, and simple.
5. Leave a Handwritten Note
Nothing beats a handwritten note when you’re trying to make an impression. Consider making small cards, ones with a shortened version of your Google review link. Don’t forget to include a short message as well. For instance, you can thank them for the purchase and remind them to leave you a review. You might also want to let them know that you’d be happy to address any concerns that they might have. After all, the happier they are with the experience, the more likely they’ll leave you a review!
Need some notes? Feel free to check out what we have available!
6. Make Your Customers Happy
Customer service (e.g. answering their questions, resolving their issues) is crucial when it comes to running a business. After all, you want your clients to be happy. The happier they are, the greater the chance of them leaving you a positive review.
Don’t forget, the opposite is also true. A bad experience can easily lead a customer to write a negative review, which can impact your overall rating.
A Word of Advice: Do Not Buy Fake Google Reviews
You’ve probably heard this before but there are many websites that offer fake review services. Our advice? Stay clear of them. Believe it or not but these “reviews” can actually tarnish your reputation—quite easily, actually. After all, it’s not that difficult to spot fake reviews. As a matter of fact, anyone can find out—all they need to do is input your business into a site like fakespot.com.
Trust me, your business will definitely take a hit if word goes out that you bought your positive reviews. As it is, people don’t take kindly to these kinds of things. Skip the shortcut and put in the effort for real reviews instead. After all, you want genuine reviews, not fake reviews.
Don’t forget, Google can find out as well if you’re buying fake reviews. If they notice any shady behavior, your account will come under evaluation. Depending on the severity, they may choose to give your business a penalty, which as you can imagine, can significantly impact your sales (not to mention reputation). Just some things to think about when you’re trying to get reviews for your business.
Claiming Your Google Business Listing
It’s important that you claim your Google My Business listing—that way, you’ll be able to provide customers with up-to-date information such as business hours, location, and more. If anything, it’ll make it easier for individuals to find your business when they’re searching on Google.
You can read more about how to do that here.