Here’s a too-good-to-be-true situation: Somebody opens up their laptop, types your industry into Google, and sees your business pop up first. They click your website, scroll through what you have to offer, and — BAM, they make a purchase.
Dare to dream, right?
Okay, you really do have something great to offer. We’re not doubting that. And you have a website that’s designed to make you look your best, so you can convert visitors into customers.
The problem? Turning Google searchers into web visitors. In other words, getting people from that search engine onto your website.
So here’s where Google reviews are so important.
When you’re working on search engine optimization (SEO), it’s easy to think it’s all about making technical updates and tweaks to please the Google algorithm overlords and have them show your listing to people first.
All of that is important — and you should definitely be working to optimize your website with keywords, external links, and internal links. But reviews play a big role too!
Why Google Reviews Are So Important for Your Business
First, Google puts its search results in order based on a variety of factors, one of which is prominence. Per Google’s own definition, prominence is how well known a business is.
Does your business have a lot of reviews? If so, Google’s algorithm perceives your business as being one that people know about.
In other words, having plenty of reviews (whether good or bad) means your business is more likely to show up higher on the results list.
It’s SO easy to forget that the whole point of SEO (and Google’s endless algorithm updates) is to better serve searcher intent — to give people the information they need in an easy and efficient way, so they keep coming back when they have searches to make.
Plus, those Google reviews are what will make people interested in clicking on your page. For example, if you were trying to hire a private chef for your mom’s upcoming birthday, and you found a handful of companies that looked promising, you’d probably read their Google reviews before sending out inquiries, right?
You’d want to know what kind of experience other people had with this business that just showed up in your Google results. Did the business live up to expectations? Were there any problems? If so, how were those problems resolved?
These reviews give you a deeper understanding beyond what the website itself tells you. (And don’t forget that people tend to trust what reviews say about a company over what a company says about itself!)
Now imagine this: You’re still trying to find that caterer for your mom’s birthday party. After you do your Google search, the business that showed up first didn’t have any reviews that mentioned private catering. Instead, the reviews were all about boxed lunches and wholesale desserts at coffee shops. You’d probably be a whole lot less likely to reach out for a quote.
You must have been mistaken in thinking that they did private catering. Evidently, they only do boxed lunches and wholesale desserts. Otherwise someone would have mentioned it. Why waste your time emailing someone about something they can’t help you with?
And just like that, a business that probably could have met your needs and done a great job missed out on your money because it didn’t have any reviews to catch your attention. Don’t let your own business make that same mistake!
How to Get Google Reviews from Your Customers
So, how can you go about encouraging your customers to leave a review?
- Just ask. As they are finishing up, ask them to leave you a positive review on Google. Many people are more than happy to follow through if they know it helps you out.
- Send a follow-up email to customers a week later, reminding them. Provide a link to your Google business listing so they can easily find it.
- Place a plaque in your lobby or near your exit with a QR code. Once again, it’s a reminder and it makes finding you completely dummy-proof.
Want more tips on getting good Google reviews? Read or listen to our podcast episode, “How to Get (Better) Google Reviews”!