Undoubtedly, the significance of reviews is important, yet many businesses fail to fully grasp the key role they play in your search page rankings. A consistent influx of keyword-rich reviews, particularly those with high scores, can radically boost your business’s landing page visibility.
Beyond their SEO benefits, reviews are often the first point of entry for prospective buyers researching a product or service. Bearing this in mind, it’s paramount that your business reviews are a true and comprehensive representation of what you offer. This understanding can set your business up for dominance on the Search Engine Results Page.
Google Uses Business Reviews as a Local Ranking Factor
Social proof is one thing, but did you know that Google also uses your business reviews to determine relevance to queries? That’s right, your business reviews are part of determining if you show up in Google Search!
Google also uses reviews to help asses trust in your business. In fact, online reviews are consistently listed in the top 7 Ranking Factors in Local Search. It’s that big of a deal. The number of reviews you have, the review scores themselves, review keywords, and the number of reviews you have coming in ( Review Velocity) all matter to your business’s search engine visibility.
Google Review Checklist:
- Create a Google Business Profile
- Create a Review Link
- Hit the “Ask for reviews” in your Google Business Profile to provide you with a short URL that goes directly to your Review Form portal.
- Ask For Reviews:
- Asking the customer right after the service is completed to consider leaving a review can yeld effective results.
- Sending a follow up email to a product purchase after they have had time to use the product.
- Provide some suggestions or questions for your customer to consider.
- Writing some details about the service completed, or providing some prompt questions can really help your client leave meaningful feedback.
- Provide your customer with images of the work for them to add to the review.
- Add the Review link to outgoing Business Emails
- Encourage customers to leave a review on billing invoices
- Add the link to follow any chat interaction.
- Make reviews a part of your company culture
- Reviews should be part of every single workflow to ensure you capture as many valid and transparent reviews as possible.
- Ensure all your employees are asking for reviews in a way that doesn’t seem like a chore to the customer.
- Ensure your team is celebrated for bring in good reviews but make it the normal expectation
- Respond to negative reviews
- Ensure your respond to reviews: Once and in a professional manner
- This is so you can potentially save this customer and also win over dozens of potential customers.
- Responding to reviews show that every single customer matters
- Ensure your respond to reviews: Once and in a professional manner
Do Not Buy Google Reviews
While you may come across services that claim to sell Google reviews, it’s important to know that buying or selling reviews is against Google’s policies. It’s considered fraudulent activity and could lead to penalties for your business, including the removal of all your reviews or the suspension of your business profile.
We know it is tough to get reviews, but it’s better to encourage your customers to leave honest reviews about their experience with your business. Not only is this ethical, but it also provides a more accurate and reliable representation of your business. Genuine reviews, offering insightful feedback, are best earned through top-tier customer service and high-quality offerings.
How to Delete Bad Google Reviews
Short answer, you can’t.
If they are a valid review they are here to stay, but it’s important to remember you can stay actionable! Respond professionally ( one time ) and see if you can make the situation better. If a review isn’t great, but if it is true, then you have to accept it and try to make it right. A lot of customer’s only want to be heard.
That being said, If the review is not applicable ( and the reviewer truely was not a customer ) you can take action here too! Google provides you the ability to flag the review as inappropriate and fill out a short follow-up survey. Then respond to the review as you would an actual customer.
Additionally, you can go to Googles Review workflow page and commit the same flagging and follow-up survey action as you did before.
Google will review this and if it is apparent the review doesn’t apply to your business the review can be removed!
Use Text Review Software to Gain More Reviews
A handy way to generate more reviews on Google or any platform is the ability to get your review request right to your customer’s device. There are many software platforms that can send a Text Message (SMS) link to your customer that will deliver them directly to the review platform.
Ensure that the review management software you use is compliant with Google’s terms of service. Google has a set of guidelines that all review management software must follow in order to be used on Google properties. These guidelines include things like not allowing users to post fake reviews, not allowing users to pay for reviews, and not allowing users to remove negative reviews.
There are several Text Message Review Apps out there that can be sent right to your customer at the time of service when users are most likely to leave reviews. This can be a great way to ensure the accurate and guine reviews of your services.
How to Futureproof your Business with Reviews
New technology trends and algorithm updates are always going to be around the corner. A solid way to stay ahead of the constant updates is to focus on delivering outstanding service to your customers so that they in turn will leave solid, accurate and meaningful reviews.
Google’s Generative Search Experience ( SGE ) looks to roll out sometime at the end of the year. SGE’s ‘Map Pack’ has expanded the traditional pack by ~two slots, providing 5 brands to compete in Local Search. These listings will prominently display the aggregate review rating as well as the review count. The snippets will also draw out any pertinent information from the review content.
This is exciting news to provide more opportunities for your business to outshine the mediocre companies in your area. Now you could potentially have a map listing on the left, but possibly an article on the top right, doubling your search presence. Since this is just a prototype details are still coming out, and changes will be rolled out however it is clear that reviews are going to continue to be important moving forward.
Your Business Reviews are a Powerful Asset
Mastering the art of reviews is a strategic move for any business aiming for dominance in the local digital landscape. Reviews are not just testimonials of your products or services, they’re a robust tool for SEO and a valuable source of customer insight. The impact they have on your search page rankings cannot be overemphasized.
Above all, make it your mission to consistently deliver outstanding service while providing your customers an easy way to sing your praises and your customers will do the rest.
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