Positive Google+ reviews are an important way to increase your business’ credibility with potential customers. Providing your Google+ page is set up correctly, your reviews will show below your search listing for generic searches and in the right-hand sidebar on exact searches for your brand.
Google+ reviews are becoming so important that they can even influence search rankings – meaning that gaining positive reviews from real customers should be part of your overall search engine optimisation strategy. While this post is aimed at Google+, the strategies and techniques are very similar for other review sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp.
1. Set up your Google+ page correctly. This might seem obvious, but there are plenty of businesses out there who either don’t have a Google+ page, have multiple competing pages for the same business, or some other Google+ debacle.
2. Direct link to the review page. It’s simple and easy to create a direct link to the review form on your Google+ by adding “?review=1” to the page URL. Remember, the easier you make it for customers to review you, the more reviews you are likely to get. You can find the Content First review form at: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ContentfirstAustralia/about?review=1
3. Get out and ask your customers to review you. Most of your customers probably don’t know that they can review you on Google+, nor are they even aware that you’d like a review. If you are speaking to a customer on the phone, let them know that all reviews are appreciated, whether positive or negative and will be acted upon accordingly. You can even add an automated email as part of your sales funnel to remind customers to review post-purchase.
4. Ask customers who have provided a testimonial to post them on Google+. You might already have existing customer testimonials, either on your website or in email correspondence. It isn’t appropriate for you to post them yourself, so reconnect with your customer and ask them to post it online. It might even turn into repeat business from your existing customer.
5. Follow up on all negative reviews professionally and promptly. Customer feedback is a huge asset, even when it isn’t the sort of feedback you’d like to hear. Negative reviews allow you to continuously improve your product or service. It gives you the opportunity to publicly fix problems – often a customer who has complained and had their complaint resolved will turn into a more loyal customer. Potential customers will also see that any problems that they have will be resolved quickly and easily.
6. Use QR codes on your printed material. Whether it’s a business card, flyer, receipt or menu – a QR code linked to your review page is an ideal way to drive instant reviews on your Google+ page.
7. Review your suppliers who have given good service. If you appreciate a good review, so will your suppliers and business partners. You might even get one in return. Just make sure that your review is honest.
8. Ensure that your product or service is worth reviewing. There are a wide variety of ways that you can increase the number of reviews you have, but there is only one way to ensure that the reviews are positive. That is, meeting or exceeding your customers expectations. Make sure that your customer service is on point, your products or services do exactly what is advertised or more. A great customer experience is the best way to get great reviews – this is something that you cannot afford to take any shortcuts on.
NEVER get sucked into the trap of purchasing fake reviews from outsourcing sites such as fiverr.com. It is dishonest, it is against Google’s terms and conditions and potentially illegal and in breach of trade practices legislation. Google is constantly screening for fake reviews and any accounts found to be placing fraudulent reviews can potentially be removed, along with other reviews you may have on your page. It’s not worth the risk, and its impact on your reputation can be far worse than having negative or no reviews.
While you are at it, go on and give us a review yourself if you have used our service and found it worthwhile.
Google+ is a powerful tool for increasing the number of visitors and potential leads generated by your business. While it’s possible to manage it yourself, more often than not it causes confusion for small business owners and ends up neglected.
Don’t neglect your Google+ presence and miss out on thousands of potential leads through local search and improved rankings. Give us a call instead and discuss with us how we tune up your social media presence the right way, turning both your social media and website into a lead generation machine.