There’s no denying Google plays a role in most of our lives. We rely heavily on search engines to find solutions to our problems and satisfy our questions. As search has evolved, Google has invested heavily in its ability to empower individual consumers to discover and choose the best product or service for them.
Why are reviews an integral part of this decision? Well, studies show that 90 percent of customers will consider reviews before making a purchase. A wide range of websites, including household names like Yelp and TripAdvisor, are purely dedicated to providing customer reviews. However, when it comes to visibility and influence, Google Reviews lead the way.
Google is the first point of contact between you and your audience, and we all know how important first impressions are. According to SmartrMail, which makes review request email templates, Google recognises the weight that reviews have on a person’s purchase decision, therefore displays them prominently.
Reviews are a critical consideration for both local and international businesses. According to INC, 90 percent of people trust a Google Review as much as a personal recommendation. What’s more, bad experiences are more likely to be posted online than positive ones. A proactive strategy around collecting good Google Reviews is necessary for both reputation management and marketing.
Here are our top tactics to collect positive Google Reviews:
Target the right customers
The first step is to figure out who your happy, long-term and loyal customers are. Then, reach out to them! You’ll be surprised by how much of a response you get from targeted review requests.
Anytime a customer expresses that they’re happy, there’s no better segway into a casual review request. Make life easy for yourself by creating standard email templates that are personalised for different customer segments, such as:
- Recently expressed satisfaction (get info from sales / account managers)
- Long-term customers (get info from CRM)
- Most engaged customers (clicked emails)
- Big spenders (total transaction value)
- Brand ambassadors (shared social content)
Show them you care
Make sure your customers know that their opinions are valued, both by literally telling them and by taking an active role in responding to your Google Reviews. In your email template, you can tell your customers that you’re proud to have them as a satisfied customer, that their endorsement is valuable to the business and greatly appreciated.
Here’s an example of a standard review request email template:
Hi (Customer Name),
I want to thank you for choosing [Your Business Name]. We’re proud to have you as our customer and excited to continue meeting and exceeding your expectations into the future.
Google Reviews really help our business build an online presence and help other people like you discover us. We value your opinion and would greatly appreciate if you could take a few minutes to leave us a review?
(Leave Review Button)
Thanks (Customer Name),
The team at (Your Business Name)
Make it easy
You can create a link that will pop open a box to write a Google Review for your business. You could then place this link on a prominent “Leave Review” button within your email. To get this link, follow these steps:
- Determine your Place ID by searching for your business on this page.
- Add your place ID to the end of the following URL: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=
If you have a store, you can turn your Google Review Popup Box link into a QR code or shortened URL for easy access in-store.
You can even print and supply review cards to customers. Simply pay for business card printing and send through a design that encourages and instructs your customers to leave a review. Easy!
Another easy yet overlooked way to build Google Reviews is to design a banner which sits within the email signature of all your customer facing staff members. Again, this can be linked to your Google Review Popup Box for that one-click convenience.
It’s important to note that you can only incentivise unbiased reviews and can never offer an incentive for a positive Google Review. With that out of the way, incorporating incentives into your strategy is an effective way to build genuine reviews, which many businesses use today. It also pairs nicely with many of the tactics already mentioned in this article. For example, store owners can hand out review cards at checkout and offer $5 off in exchange for a Google Review.
Another popular technique is to run a competition. It’s not uncommon for businesses to raffle off products or prizes in a competition, with entry via a Google Review.
If you are running or marketing a business in this day an age, the importance of solid Google Reviews needs no explanation.
An advantage you may not be aware of is the ability to repurpose your Google Reviews as testimonials your marketing collateral. You might already have processes in place to collect testimonials, which can be tweaked for Google Reviews. In addition, the more Google Reviews that you collect the more you can derive meaningful business insights from the information.
The best approach is a proactive one.
This article was written by Jack McCann, a digital marketing strategist at Splashbox. Splashbox is an innovative digital marketing agency that offers tailored design, marketing and technical solutions.