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Why are Google reviews so important?
Even though local search queries are rarely associated with an enormous search volume, local search has an important significance in today’s world. Because: every 5th search query in Germany now has a local reference (source: Xovi.de).
Let’s put ourselves in the position of a physiotherapist in Wiesbaden for a moment. The numbers are right so far, but things could be better. You see that your competitors are upgrading their websites and advertising more online. Of course you don’t want to lose touch.
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So you go to the online marketing agency you trust and book the most expensive package. You don’t want to do things by halves. Everything is optimised, great. The first results are visible relatively early, you quickly climb up the relevant keywords and are soon among the first 3 companies in the Google Maps search.
Without reviews, a place in the top 3 of the Google Maps search is unfortunately of no use to you; reviews have great relevance for Google and create trust among users and provide them with added value in the decision-making process.
You have now achieved a prominent position, but you are not getting any noticeably more enquiries. Why is that? You are in the first three ads and your company profile is perfectly optimised. It’s simple: you’re missing the Google reviews! If you take an unbiased look at the selection of physiotherapists, the first thing you will notice is the 4.7 stars of the practice in 3rd place. The colour, the shape, it’s simply eye-catching.
You lose your first impression to the entry on position 3. According to a survey by searchengineland.com, 88% of internet users say they have already read Google reviews of local businesses, 35% even do so regularly. Just 12% claim not to have read any reviews yet.
In addition, almost 85% of internet users trust online reviews and are even influenced positively and negatively by them. (Source: brightlocal.com)
But reviews are not only essential for potential customers. Many reviews also give positive “feedback” to Google. Companies that are rated a lot are logically also visited a lot, which Google also notices. Businesses that are visited a lot and subsequently rated well obviously offer the user added value. Exactly what Google wants to offer us internet users.
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Problem solved, but how do you get your Google reviews now?
First you have to ask yourself how the customer can rate your business in the first place. The rating function runs via our Google My Business account, which is directly linked to Google Maps. Meanwhile, there is the useful function of simply creating a link to the rating page.
But, how do you get a link to your Google My Business reviews?
To create a Google review link, you need to go to the following page:
Here you can then search for your company or Google My Business entry and copy the Place ID.
The procedure: You can find your Google My Business entry via the company name and then copy your Place ID.
Once this is done, copy the following link into a text file
http://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid= and add your Place ID directly.
If you now paste the above URL into your browser, you will come to the following page:
If you have followed the procedure, you will be presented with the following page. Under the company name, you will find the star rating and the text field in which the reviewer can write their rating.
You can now work with this and collect Google reviews as easily as possible.
Tips & tricks to get Google reviews quickly
First of all: Of course, not every tip can be implemented directly for every company. In modified versions, however, each tip should be interesting for every entrepreneur. However, a well-maintained Google My Business profile has a high relevance and is a basic requirement.
- ask family, friends and acquaintances for help
To begin with, it is important to first get a few Google reviews so that the stars are displayed. Important here: Don’t be alarmed, sometimes the stars are only displayed from the 5th reviewer who has submitted a review. So don’t be put off. To quickly get a few Google reviews, you should first ask your family and friends. There are bound to be some “customers” who will be happy to support you and leave you a positive review.
- contact satisfied and long-standing customers for positive reviews
If you are in good contact with a few customers, you can ask them directly if they would like to act as reviewers and write a review for you. Of course, not everyone is a fan of this “Google reviews cold-calling”, but you can also get reviews this way. Of course, you should be careful not to approach dissatisfied customers. Negative reviews are not always bad, but if you only have a few reviews, a 1-star rating will of course drag down the average noticeably.
If you do get negative feedback, that’s not a bad thing. There will always be customers who will react negatively to this kind of acquisition. Therefore, think carefully beforehand about who you can ask for a Google review.
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- business cards with Google review link
In order to also win the share of customers as reviewers who are not so Internet-savvy, there is the possibility of the business card. Simply print the rating link on the business card. Add a nice text and, ideally, a picture of the evaluation form, and you’re done.
A little trick:
If you print this crazy evaluation link on the business card, most people will simply be put off. To make the whole thing a bit fancier and easier, you can simply create a page from your website, a kind of company profile, and then redirect this page to the rating URL.
Like us, for example: https://reachx.de/bewerten
This way you have a short, simple link that redirects directly to the rating page. Easier and looks better too.
- QR code in the shop for Google reviews
Although QR codes are used very little and the former “marketing hype” is in danger of being forgotten more and more, QR codes can speed up the evaluation process extremely, especially on the business card or on a mini display in the shop counter. In this way, the customer can be addressed directly and he or she can quickly and easily submit his or her evaluation while still in your shop or practice.
Although the proportion of QR code users is decreasing, they can be useful in certain situations, such as on a business card, and provide an incentive for customers to rate you.
- give the client an incentive to rate you
Nobody likes to do something just because. For most people, even clicking on a few stars is too “stressful”, let alone typing something in the text box below, unless there is a specific reason for doing so. Usually that reason is either disappointment and anger or joy over a great product or service. But how do you get the customers who are satisfied but don’t write a Google review?
In order not to have to spend too much money here, it would be possible to create an incentive, e.g. in the form of a competition. Everyone who submits a Google review has a chance to win a free treatment or a 20€ voucher (just as an example). Come up with something! 😉
Large companies also follow this strategy. The only difference here is that there is no personal contact and most users think “oh dear – there are so many taking part, I won’t win anyway!”
Promotions such as “Rate a product and win up to €300” create an incentive for customers to write a review.
- product tests or free treatments
If you want to go one step further, you can also look at the principle of product tests or free treatments. For example, you can simply select a few people (perhaps a good mix of regular and new customers) to offer them a free service.
After the treatment or product test, you can then kindly point out your evaluation request to the customer. However, please do not ask for a 5-star rating, but simply for a review if they were satisfied.
- integrate a rating link prominently on your website or newsletter
The rating link you created above should also be placed prominently on your website. A nicely conspicuous call-to-action button is probably the best way to do this. Even if the customer is not offered a special incentive here, perhaps a few satisfied customers will react to the CTA button. As I said: Every rating counts!
You should also integrate your rating link in your newsletter (if available). Newsletters are still an important medium for generating reach.
8 General tips on Google reviews
Try to turn your regular customers into fans, not just customers. Create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere so that people continue to come to you and recommend you to their friends and families. Only then can you collect many honest and positive Google reviews.
After all the fun and many collected reviews, there will always be one dissatisfied customer and thus a negative review. Be it a real or a fake review. Don’t get angry, you can’t please everyone. Try to deal with it calmly and professionally.
It always looks good when reviews are answered, so take the time to answer your customers’ reviews. Not just the negative reviews, but the positive ones too. When potential new customers go to your reviews and see that all reviews are answered, it shows how important your customers and their opinions are to you.
Also, very important: Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for reviews.