How To Successfully Ask Your Clients For Google Reviews
How often do you make a purchase or engage a service through the web without any reassurance that you’re making a good choice?
Very rarely, if at all, right?
As consumers, we decide to make a purchase when we feel confident in our decision. Therefore, if businesses want their customers to take a particular action, they need to make their customers feel confident.
But what does confidence look like? How do you get a potential customer to feel confident in your product or service?
You build trust.
And how do you build trust? I thought you’d never ask.
Introducing *Cue Friends intro song* online reviews.
Positive reviews are really powerful for local businesses and could help increase conversion rates by up to 270%! The majority of consumers use reviews to check out if a business is trustworthy before deciding to buy their products or invest in their services.
In particular Google My Business reviews are a really big deal. You could call them your best friend for creating online trust and confidence in your customers and their purchase decisions.
What is Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their digital presence all in one place, from maps to search. Oh and yes, you read that right - it’s free so you really don’t have an excuse not to hop on the GMB bandwagon.
While there are other host sites that you can get reviews on, the majority of search traffic is directed through Google these days. Hence GMB is the place we suggest you start with, in terms of hunting down online reviews. It’s particularly powerful for businesses wanting to attract local customers.
How are reviews good for SEO?
Did you know that Google reviews can also help with SEO, especially for local businesses? Local SEO is all about helping business be found by people searching in their area.
Check out this piece of advice straight from Google themselves:
“High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”
You might be familiar with the major tactics of SEO that help get you at the top of Google’s search results. Reviews support this effort by establishing your brand as credible and trustworthy.
Think about it this way: Google wants to make its users satisfied so that they’ll keep coming back. Therefore Google wants to show searchers the most reliable, relevant and helpful results and one of the major ways Google decides who’s going at the top of the search results is reviews!
Who do you think will receive more clicks: a business with heaps of 5-star ratings or a business with 2-star ratings? It’s pretty simple: the more stars, the more clicks you’ll be getting. And SEO rankings are influenced by click through rates because if you’re getting the clicks, Google will assume you’re doing something right.
At the end of the day, if you focus on making your customers happy and do a good job of asking for reviews, you’ll be on your way to getting those shiny stars and a whole lot more clicks.
Ways you can ask your clients for reviews
According to one study, 85% of buyers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. This is a pretty incredible statistic when you think about it. It means if you put effort into getting reviews from past customers, you can be confident you will begin to attract more and more new customers.
There are so many ways to ask a customer for a review. Emails are often the most convenient, but the important thing is to choose a method that your unique customer base will respond well to. Check out the ways below for some inspiration.
Asking via Email
Asking for reviews through email is definitely one of the most effective methods. To ensure a high success rate for yourself, try and implement the tips below. If you’re still wondering, “How do I ask my client for feedback via email?”, download our PDF of Google review email templates and make them work for you.
- Make it personal
Give and get. If you don’t show that you’ve put in the effort for your customer, they’re probably not going to want to put in the effort for you. Show them that you care by using their name and even mentioning the specific product or service they used.
- Make it easy
- Watch your tone
Avoid sounding desperate, pushy or robotic. These are major turn offs. Instead, use a casual, friendly tone so that you come across as personal and sincere.
- Don’t waste their time
Everyone’s busy, and you’re just about to ask your customer to take time out of their day to write you a review. Don’t eat up any more of their time by writing a really long email. Keep it simple and get to the point.
Your email needs to only do the following: thank them for their business, explain why you’re asking for a review and how they can leave one, and tell them how long it will take.
- Test & Adjust
Your business and customer base are unique; what might work for Joe down the road probably isn’t going to work for you. Testing out different email templates and making the necessary adjustments has been proven to dramatically increase the number of reviews that come in, as much as 80% according to this case study. In time, you’ll be able to create a really solid email template that has a high success rate. Just don’t forget to personalise!
How to link your Google My Business review form in an email
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: make sure you provide a review link when asking for a review! This will make it so much easier for your customers and the easier it is, the more likely they’ll do it. Follow the steps below to generate your own review form link.
This is the simplest and latest way:
- Sign into your Google My Business account
- Go to Info>’Add short name’ to create a profile short name if you haven’t already done so.
- Find the ‘Get more reviews’ box on the homepage
- Copy the link and paste into the email to your customer
You can also use this longer method:
- Sign into your Google account
- Search your business on Google
- Click the button ‘Write Review’ to the right of your results
- Copy the URL in your browser address bar
- Optional - shorten the URL with a free tool like Bitly
- Paste into the email to your customer
If you’re already talking to a customer on the phone, it could be a good opportunity to ask them if they’d be willing to give you a review. If they agree, you can send them a link via email so they can do the review at their convenience.
If your business involves meetings or on-site visits, you could ask for reviews by leaving a business card with a review link on the back. Make it even easier for them and put a QR code on there.
Some customers will be proactive and want to give you a review, so make it easy for them and include a link on your website. In the website footer or on the testimonial page would be ideal.
Thank You Pages
If your website normally comes up with a thank you page after someone purchases a product or makes a download, you can use this as an opportunity to ask for a review. Say thank you, ask for a review, and include a link.
Things to consider when asking for a Google review
To give yourself the best chance of success when asking for reviews, there are a few things you should think about. Keep in mind the best practices below.
- Timing: when should you ask for a review?
When asking for reviews, you’ve got to find the sweet spot. Ask too early and your customer might not have had enough time to experience your product/service. Ask too late and their initial excitement may have worn off. Think about your specific customer base and try to ask them at an appropriate time. Be willing to test this out and adjust accordingly.
- Make it easy
It’s human nature to put off stuff that takes a lot of effort. Unless we are super motivated, we won’t get around to it. Whatever you do when you’re asking for a review, make it as easy as possible for your customers.
- Don’t fake it
Potential customers have a pretty accurate bull-dust radar. Don’t try and bribe people to leave you a review because it will end up negatively impacting your credibility. Instead, focus on giving your customers a really good experience because the best reviews are honest and unbiased.
- Use organic opportunities
You probably have many opportunities to ask for a review that come about naturally. For example, if a customer gives you positive feedback without you asking, see if they’ll be willing to write that up into a review. Make the most of these organic opportunities.
- Create opportunities
When the opportunities don’t come to you, it’s time to create them for yourself. Ask for feedback, send an email, leave a review card. It might feel funny at first, but it really works: 68% of consumers have left a review after being asked.
- Show your customers you care
When asking for a review, you’re essentially asking for a customer to do something for you to benefit your business. Always take care to avoid sounding insincere or that you only care about the review and not the customer. Take care of them, and it’s likely they’ll take care of you.
So, you get reviews, then what?
Getting reviews isn’t the end of the story. The next step is to respond to any reviews you get. As Google says, “Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback they leave about your business.”
Your interaction with reviews is really important for maintaining credibility because 97% of consumers who read reviews are reading what businesses write in response. Whether you get an amazing 5-star review or a measly 1-star, you have a chance to respond and show potential future customers that you care.
Treat your customers well and try your best to get glowing reviews, but don’t be discouraged if it’s not all 5-stars. Research has shown that people are most likely to spend their money when a business has a rating of 4.0-4.7 and actually less likely when the rating gets closer to 5.0. It goes back to the point of not faking it; if you only ever got 5-star reviews, consumers might think something’s up.
If your business relies on local traffic to your website, reviews are essential. Whether good or bad, reviews have a massive impact on consumers’ decisions on where to put their money. If you can invest some time and energy into getting positive reviews from your customers, you’ll reap the rewards.
So if you haven’t started collecting your own reviews, now’s the time!
If you need any assistance or advice about Google My Business or creating a killer local SEO strategy, get in touch with us at Dilate Digital. Our team of SEO specialists have helped heaps of businesses build their credibility and increase their customer base, and we’d love to help you too.
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