Do you want to know how to start getting Google Reviews for your business to increase your social proof and make your company stand out on search results? Follow these 3 simple steps and learn how to get started – from setting up your Google Business profile to how to ask clients to leave a review on Google.
Did you know that 81% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses? Yes! According to survey by BrightLocal, more consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses than ever before. In 2021, 81% did, but the year before that, just 63% did.
Since most people are checking what others have to say about products and services before they make a purchase, it’s needless to say that you, as a business owner, should definitely be driving clients to leave a review on Google after working with you. But how do you get started with Google Reviews for your business?
3 Steps to get Google Reviews (and make your audience notice them)
1. Create and set up your Google Business account
First things first, you need to tell Google that your business exists, even if you, like me, is offering a home-based service not open to the public. Good news, creating your GBP is free! Start by searching “Google business profile” on Google, and you should be presented with Google Business Profile page as the first result. From there, you’ll be asked some questions about your business such as locations you serve, your business hours, website and contact information. You’ll also have the ability to upload photos to be presented on your business page.
It’s important to note that setting up your Google Business Profile will help your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The information you add onto your Google Business Profile can show up in Google search results and Google Maps, which means that setting up your profile on Google will increase the chances of your business being found on Google and other third-party platforms that use the Google Maps to gather location information. Note that your GBP does not replace your business’s website, but serve to complement it by giving it a public profile on Google.
Google will guide you through this process and may need to verify your business prior to start showing it on search results. They may do this verification digitally, or by sending a physical letter with a unique code to your mail address.
You can check out Google Business frequently asked questions if you want to learn more.
2. Start collecting Google Reviews
Once you have set up and verified your Google Business Profile, it’s time to start sharing your “Leave a Review” link.
Even if clients have the most amazing experience doing business with you, you shouldn’t expect them to be voluntarily writing reviews out of the blue.
To get Google reviews flowing, you have to do something quite obvious: ASK YOU CLIENTS TO LEAVE A REVIEW ON GOOGLE after working with you.
Since the goal here is to get positive reviews to show on Google results, I recommend asking for a review on Google only if you know that your customer has something positive to share. For service-based businesses when you or your team have direct contact with clients, you will have a good idea whether a client has had a good experience.
How to encourage your clients to leave a Google review?
I like to be honest and say how much their feedback will help spread the word about my services and enable my work to help more people achieve their business goals. I also tell them that a review doesn’t need to be fancy or too long – it can simply mention what I helped with and how I contributed to solving their problems. If they don’t leave a review straight away, it’s likely they have forgotten and it’s okay to remind them after a few days, but don’t be too pushy!
This is how your GBP will show up on search results. This box with your business information appears to the right of the screen (on a desktop), and people can click the links to get in contact, visit your website, check your business hours, read your reviews or leave their own review.
3. Share your Google Reviews on your website and social media
Now that you are set to start collecting Google Reviews for your business, you should make the most out of that positive feedback you will receive. My advice is to share your best reviews on social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook, but it’s really important to integrate your best Google Reviews on your website so that anyone considering your business can easily read your verified reviews. Below is an example of how I embed my Google reviews on my own website using the free Widgets for Google Reviews plugin for WordPress:
Can I hide bad reviews from my website?
When using this WordPress plugin, there is a way to filter and make it show only your best reviews rather than every single one. I believe your website is your sales tool, so you get to decide what reviews to show there. Certainly displaying your best feedback will help you get more clients, but you should always be looking for ways to improve your product or service in case your customer’s expectations have not been met.
Displaying Google Reviews where your potential clients will easily see them is extremely important to help create trust and social proof among those who are still forming an opinion about whether they should or shouldn’t do business with you.
I hope this post has helped you to start collecting your customer’s feedback and show evidence that other people have found value in your product or service.