Consumers trust online reviews more than ever before. In some cases, they base their purchasing decisions on what other people have to say about your business. Therefor it’s no surprise companies are asking themselves how to get Google reviews. Let’s look at a few customer review statistics:

  • 88% of consumers trust Google and Yelp reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Generation Y shoppers will not make purchases without reviewing feedback for major electronics (44%), cars (40%) and hotels (39%)

If you want to get great Google reviews, you’ll need to establish a positive presence on review sites. You’ll need to get started with a profile if you don’t have one already, earn positive reviews, ask for them, and keep the conversation going in a friendly way that reflects well on your business. We’ve outlined the eight important steps you’ll need to take to develop a strong, positive presence on review sites and earn a great reputation with good reviews.

Contact our team to improve your search results with better reviews.

Identify Review Sites That Fit Your Business

There are hundreds of different review sites available online, and some may not be a good fit for your business. Before you decide which sites to use, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it a good fit your industry?
  • Are your customers likely to use it?
  • Can you develop a positive, active presence here?

If you answered yes to all three, the site is worth using. With a limited number of profiles, you’ll be able to devote more time to managing them. Not only will your profiles be kept active, but your reviews will be easier to find in one spot. As a result, they’ll make more of an impression on potential customers.

Popular online review websites include:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Angie’s List
  • Consumer Reports
  • Facebook

You may also be interested in niche industry review websites such as TripAdvisor, HealthGrades.com, or WeddingWire. Find out which review websites are popular in your industry and get an account started.

Start Your Online Review Profiles

Just getting an account for your business on a review site is not enough. You’ll need to get set up with a complete profile. Develop a strong profile with photos, business details, and other information about your business. This tells customers that you’re active and interested in what they have to say. Some experts believe that review websites may favor businesses with complete profiles. So include these details in each online review profile:

  • Photos of your business and/or products
  • Website address
  • Social media accounts
  • Direct contact information
  • Hours of operation
  • Address and/or directions
  • Parking information
  • Price range
  • Menus, if applicable

Tip: Check to see if customers have already left reviews for you. If that’s the case, you may just need to claim your profile and fill it out.

Before You Get Started

It’s easy to start an online review profile, but it’s hard to earn great reviews. To do so, you’ll have to deliver great customer service that gets people talking.

  • Ask customers what they like about your business: First things first, find out what you’re doing right. Ask your most loyal customers why they keep coming back — and make sure that you’re giving every customer the same treatment that your regulars love.
  • Find out your shortcomings: Take the good news with the bad, and find out how customers would like to see you improve. It’s not always easy to hear what you’re doing wrong, but finding out can help you deliver better service, have happier customers, and earn better reviews.
  • Rely on basic customer service principles: Be helpful, friendly, and consistent, offering customers what they need without hassle or frustration.

How to Ask for Reviews from your Customers

Unfortunately, a review profile and great service doesn’t always add up to a mountain of perfect five star reviews overnight. In fact, that almost never happens. The unfortunate truth is that unless there’s something wrong, customers often won’t seek out opportunities to leave you a review, and that’s bad news if you’re trying to develop a positive online reputation.

If you want positive reviews, chances are you’re going to have to ask for them. And while it may feel a little awkward asking customers for reviews, the positive feedback happy customers will leave is incredibly valuable, showing potential customers that they can trust you with their business.

Tips to ask for positive reviews

  • Ask for feedback right away – Reviews are the most positive immediately after your transaction. So to capture the excitement, request feedback right away.
  • Identify your strongest customers – Regular customers and brand ambassadors are likely to leave the most positive reviews. Since your relationship is already established, they’ll probably jump at the chance to provide a glowing testimony.
  • Take your time – Contrary to popular believe, you don’t want to get too many reviews all at once.  To combat spam, many websites will filter reviews if they suddenly start pouring in. Aim for just a few positive reviews per month, not several in one week.
  • Create a handout – Design a simple handout so customers can easily offer their opinion of your company online.
  • Leverage receipts, invoices, and emails – Place calls to action on receipts and invoices requesting reviews on a particular website. Even better, provide links to your review profiles on email communications, newsletters, and order updates.
  • Make review requests routine – The best way to get Google reviews is to ask every customer for them. Incorporate review requests into your regular business routine. If you’re afraid of getting bad reviews, you could always start by informally asking for feedback first. When a customer raves about your business, ask them to make that statement again online!

What to do when you get good reviews

  • Show off past reviews – Display praiseworthy feedback on your social profiles, website and in your store. You’ll help customers find your review profiles and also send the message that you take customer feedback seriously.
  • Be appreciative – Say “thank you” when customers write kind reviews — in person, and online.

Need help building a positive online reputation? Contact us today

Never Buy Google Reviews, or Fake Them!

It’s certainly tempting to write or buy fake positive reviews to boost your numbers. Don’t do it. Not only is it deceptive and unfair to your customers, it can get you into trouble with review sites and even the FTC.

Review websites have developed sophisticated algorithms designed to sniff out fake reviews. They know terms to look for, usage patterns, IP addresses, and more. If you get caught, they could filter your reviews and even place public warnings on your account. You could even be sued for writing fake reviews or have to pay a hefty fine to the FTC.

It may seem like a lot of work to get Google reviews, but the basics are simple. Here’s a recap:

  • Sign up – Open or claim accounts on important review websites for your industry. Then, complete your profiles to develop a strong, trustworthy presence.
  • Earn and ask for reviews – Deliver great customer service, then follow up by specifically requesting that your customers leave feedback.
  • Stay in touch – Thank customers for their feedback and respond to every review.
  • Address negative reviews – Negative reviews don’t have to be a big deal, and they may even provide useful information to improve your business. But it’s critical that you respond appropriately. Follow these steps to fix bad Google reviews
  • Don’t do fake reviews – Fake or paid reviews are against the rules — and they’re just plain wrong. Avoid the temptation.