Google’s sophisticated algorithms use a staggering number of criteria to assess organic rankings. Though many of them are simply more advanced technological variations of old-fashioned modes of communication. You see this showing up in how Google Reviews influence rankings, as a sort of 21st-century version of “Word-of-Mouth Marketing.”
Though Google Reviews takes this concept a big step forward by customizing results through things like customer reviews, local reviews, claimed business, and other activities like guest blogging. This means that the more reviews and the more positive reviews your business has the higher your local ranking will be.
However, getting online reviews isn’t always a piece of cake. Especially for some businesses that have struggled in the past to maintain or respond to customer feedback. So, if you are ready to improve your rankings through better Google reviews, you might want to embrace a few of the following tips.
Ask Customers For Reviews
In the early days of Google reviews, a lot of business owners just asked friends and family to post five-star reviews with sparse comments. Though Google quickly caught on to this and now lowers the rankings of businesses that have propped up reviews.
Though something as simple as a card or a sign saying “If you liked your experience, we’d love to hear about it” in your lobby or at your front door can encourage real-world customers to share their reviews. Then the hope here is that you are doing such a good job that they leave you a positive review.
Put A Link To Google Reviews On Business Cards & Promotional Items
When you meet people, attend trade shows, or hand out promotional items like pens, mugs, and business cards with your key contact information, make sure to add the link address to your Google reviews. This is just another passive way to encourage people to post a review of your business in a way that is truly organic, as well as authentic.
Another handy way to make this easy is to include a QB code on your business cards and other large promotional items. This lets people scan it quickly with their smartphone without having to actually type in the address to your Google reviews.
Include Links To Your Google Reviews On Your Website
People who come to your website will often ask for reviews in popular search engines. Even other competitor search engines will sometimes crawl and index your Google reviews. Leaving a link to your reviews on your web page not only encourages bots to crawl those reviews, and improve your rankings, but also makes it easier for customers to post a review.
Print Review Requests On Your Receipts
These days a lot of receipts leave room on the back or at the bottom to print customized messages. Something as simple as a request to review your business’ products or services can easily be noticed by new or returning customers. This could even be as simple as a printed QR code to take them directly to your reviews via their smartphone or tablet.
Launch A Customized Email Campaign Seeking Google Reviews
If your business, website, or point of purchase policies include harvesting customer contact information and e-mail addresses, you can use that information in a targeted email campaign. One easy way to do this is to offer a discount, coupon, or other promotion as part of responding to the message and posting a review. This can also be a great way to boost customer loyalty, by reminding past clients about your business and offering them a promotion for posting a review or returning for a future purchase.
Include Google Review Links In All Of Your Social Media
Social media remains one of the most effective marketing tools in the world of commerce. So, it only makes sense to include links to your Google Reviews. This strategy can be used in free organic ways as well as via paid social media ads such as Facebook Ads.
Use Popup Ads On Your Business Website
Popup ads are all the rage these days as handy tools to help encourage site visitors to stay and learn or continue to shop. They tend to be very popular vehicles for boosting targeted promotions or helping with loyal customer retention. So, it only makes sense to repurpose site popups and landing pages as vehicles to direct people to either read or contribute to your Google reviews.
Include Links To Google Reviews In Your Podcasts, Blogs & Videos
One of the best ways to improve and maintain your positive rankings with Google and a lot of other popular search engines is to demonstrate activity. Podcasts, blogs & videos are a great way to post user-engaging content that demonstrates to Google that you are a good source and influencer in your industry niche. Adding a link to your Google reviews helps to further boost these rankings while making it easier for loyal customers and site users to post their own reviews.
Use Google Reviews As Part Of Your Online Reputation Management Strategy
Online reputation management is a strategic process of carefully controlling the narrative of your company’s reputation on the internet. This includes active participation from social media managers who monitor things like mentions and shares on your company’s social media platforms. Adding links to your Google reviews to targeted social media mentions, or embedding them in content that people share is a great way to get organic reviews, without directly asking for them or incentivizing them.
Make Sure To Always Respond To All Google Reviews
Google love to see activity, and will rank an active website with a strong reputation for responding to customers higher. This means tasking your social media managers with responding politely and professionally to all posted reviews. This can be as easy as saying “Thank You” to a positive review. Though it can be more complicated if someone posts a negative review. By responding professionally to all reviews you gain the opportunity to control the narrative, while also demonstrating critical activity to Google and other popular search engines that crawl your reviews.