Why Are Google Review Important?

What do people do when we want to find out more about your business or suss out whether or not your business is legit? 

They Google your business name. 

And what is one of the first things that pops up? 

It’s your Google My Business listing (provided you have set this up and optimised), appearing on the right hand side of the top search results. 

One of the first things they will see inside this section is how many Google Reviews your business has received, along with a row of stars and a number the indicates the average number of stars you have received from all those reviews. 

Not only is this great social proof (provided you have managed to gain a lot of 5 star reviews), but it can also help with SEO. That’s because having a lot of 5 star reviews can increase your organic clickthrough rate and website traffic, which in turn can help boost your SEO ranking.

Google itself sates that “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.”

So in a nutshell, the more 5 Star Google Ratings and Reviews you have, the more likely it is that people will choose your business over a competitor. Therefore, it is important that you prioritise gaining more 5 Star Google Reviews as part of your digital marketing strategy. 

How We Got Fifty-five 5 Star Google Reviews

I am more than a little embarrassed to admit that up until about nine months ago we only had a few (exactly 3) Google Reviews.

Now we have fifty-five 5 star Google Reviews. 

So how did we do it? 

It was actually quite simple. 

We asked for Google Reviews!

Yep, up until nine months ago, we never asked for Google Reviews. NEVER! And now we do. 

Whilst the concept is simple, it’s how you execute it that makes all the difference. 

You can’t just casually ask random people to leave you a Google Review when you bump into them in the street. You need to be strategic in terms of who you ask, when you ask, how you ask and who asks for the review.

Let me break that down for you…

Who Should You Ask For A Google Review?

This is probably the most important thing to consider, assuming you want a clean sweep of 5 stars across the board. 

You need to ask your happiest customers. 

This might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but I see way too many businesses sending out Google Review request emails to ALL of their customers, without pre-qualifying them first. 

You can pre-qualify them in a variety of ways. A popular method is to send out an email that uses the Net Promotor Score (NPS) to determine their willingness to recommend and then only sending requests to those people you identify as your ‘promotors’. 

But I find the easiest way to determine who to ask is just to listen to what your customers say. You know who your raving fans are. They are the people you want to ask for a Google Review. 

When Should You Ask For A Google Review?

It’s not just a case of asking your ‘happy customers’, it’s also important that you ask them when they are at their ‘happiest’. That means keeping an ear out for when they are gushing about something you did that was pretty awesome, and then using that as a cue to strike whilst the iron is hot.

Not only will this help get you the best possible result in terms of both ratings and a glowing review, but it will also greatly improve your conversion rate between request and review. This has to do with the law of reciprocity, i.e. when people receive something, they feel compelled to return the favour in kind.

But if you restrict when you ask for a Google Review entirely to when your customers provide you with the appropriate signals, then chances are you are going to miss out on a whole heap of stars that you could’ve received if you had a procedure in place that prompted a Google Review request. Because, let’s face it, you’re probably going to forget if not prompted. 

That means identifying key milestones that would be an appropriate time to make the judgement as to whether or not you think a customer would be most likely to provide you with a 5 star review if asked. 

For us, within our digital marketing mentoring program, we realised that by the end of the third two hour mentoring session the majority of our mentees will have received massive value from us and be most likely to return the favour by leaving a Google Review. So we have it embedded in our third session processes. This includes a box that team members need to fill in when they complete their session reports, indicating whether or not they have requested a Google Review. 

We also prompt our mentors to follow up with the mentee in the fourth session if they have already asked for a review, but a review is yet to be received, or if they haven’t asked yet. 

How Do You Ask For A Google Review?

This for most businesses is the missing link. They know who to ask. They may even ask at the right time. But they don’t ask in a way that that will set them up for success in terms of actually receiving a 5 Star Google Review.  

Here’s what we do…

Firstly, we listen for that moment when the client expresses gratitude for the service we have provided. This can be as simple a phrase as “Wow, now that I know how to do that myself, that’s going to save me at least a couple of hours each week” or “Thanks, you’ve just prevented me from wasting loads of money on Facebook Ads”.

They are the types of comments we want to appear in our Google Reviews. So it’s important to acknowledge the comment immediately and then ask if they would be able to leave a Google Review mentioning what they just said.

This is best followed up with a comment like “Leaving a Google Review helps us to be found by more people online and allows us to help other businesses that experience similar issues to what we’ve just helped you with.” I’ve found that explaining ‘why’ this is important to your business increases the chances that they will leave you a review. 

Getting them to agree to leave a review whilst you are speaking to them in person is a great way to gain a micro-commitment from them, making them more likely to actually leave a review. 

Then it’s all about the follow up. Let them know that you will send them an email with simple instructions on how to leave a review and a direct link, making it easy to be able to do in a couple of minutes. 

Here’s a template example of what to write in that email:

Hi {Firstname}

It was great to hear in our recent conversation how much value you’ve received out of our <PRODUCT/SERVICE NAME> so far.

I would really appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave a Google Review, outlining the value you have gained so far from working with us. This helps us to be found by more people, so that we can make an even bigger impact.

It only takes a moment and we’d be so grateful.

If you feel that your review is anything less than FIVE STARS please hit reply and let me know why and how we can address any concerns you might have. We would love the opportunity to rectify this.

You can leave a review here: <INSERT DIRECT LINK TO YOUR GOOGLE REVIEW

Once again, thank you for your support.

<SIGNOFF>

You can find the direct link to your Google Review form by logging into you Google My Business account and then scrolling down on the home page to the section that is titled “Get More Reviews” and then clicking on the link to share your review form. 

Note the paragraph in the above email template copy that says “If you feel that your review is anything less than FIVE STARS please hit reply and let me know why and how we can address any concerns you might have. We would love the opportunity to rectify this.” This is gold in terms of increasing the chances of a 5 star rating being received. 

This email could be sent as a stand alone email that you have pre-written and saved as a template.

Or you may have an email automation set up where you can tag a contact as soon as they demonstrate a behaviour that would indicate that they are in the prime state to provide social proof. This would then trigger a “Google Review Request” automation to commence.

If you did that, then you could also add in a reminder email after a week or so if you haven’t received the review as yet. But if you do this, then you just need to make sure that you add a tag that removes them from that automation as soon as they leave a review, so that anyone that does leave a review then doesn’t receive the follow up email. 

My preference is to have this as a template email, as then you can also go in and customise the email itself, reminding them what they said to you, making it easy for them to know what to write and increasing the chances that they write a review about an aspect of your product/service that you want other people to be aware of. 

For example, instead of saying in your Google Review Request email “I would really appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave a Google Review, outlining the value you have gained so far from working with us”, you could say “I would really appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave a Google Review, including what you said about ‘now that you know how to automate invitations for people to book appointments with you, that’s going to save you at least a couple of hours each week'”.

However, if you do send this email as a stand alone email, then you just need to make sure that you set yourself a reminder to follow up after a week or so if they are yet to leave a review. We use our next session with our mentees as another touchpoint to remind them again. 

Who Should Ask For A Google Review?

The best person to ask for a Google Review is the person that worked directly with the client. This is another reason why I prefer sending a stand alone templated email sent from the person working with the client, rather than an email automation that may not necessarily come from the person that had the most contact with the client. 

The other great thing about this, is that quite often people will mention the person they worked with in their reviews. This can help demonstrate the strength of depth you have in your team. If you take a look through the our Google Reviews, you will notice that most people talk about how awesome my team are (there are only a couple of people that mention my name). 

This is not because I am no good. It’s because its my team that are client facing and doing the work, so it is the team members that are asking for the reviews, and it’s our team members that our clients are shining a light on. This has been great for me as a business owner, who over the past 10 years has transitioned from being the person who does all the work to becoming the person that manages the people that do the work. 

In the early days, everyone wanted to work with me. But now that there is so much social proof around how awesome my whole team is, people aren’t asking to work directly with me as much. Instead they are using the information they obtain from our Google Reviews to make informed decisions around which team members may have the particular skills they require. 

What Should I Do After I Receive A Google Review?

The very first thing you should do after you receive a Google Review is to respond to that review directly on the platform. This demonstrates publicly that you value your customers and their feedback.

Acknowledging the person who left the review in other ways is great also. This could be as simple as a verbal thanks or a small gift of appreciation. 

Then it’s time to leverage the content that your Google Reviews provide. Your reviews are effectively testimonials. You can repurpose the written reviews and include them on your website, in social media posts or as social proof in emails when you are promoting a product/service that is relevant to a particular review. 

You can also ask for more. 

For those people who left a glowing review, you can ask them if the wouldn’t mind cutting and pasting that review to your Facebook Page or seeing if they would be interested in providing a video testimonial, outlining their experience with your business further. 

Any of these actions will help generate more social proof for your business. 

How Can I Learn More About Getting More Social Proof For My Business?

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people follow the actions of others, whether that be a trusted friend, celebrity, stranger, certification or the masses, in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.

We have several training resources within the Click Engage Convert Academy that are aimed at helping you to generate more social proof. If your business could benefit from gaining more social proof, whether that be Google Reviews, video testimonials, user generated content or something else, then I invite you to join the Click Engage Convert Academy here: https://clickengageconvert.com