This month’s handy video tip is all about Google reviews, why they are important to your business, and how you can get them. You can watch the entire video below, and underneath the video there’s a link to the Google Review Link Generator I speak about which should help you.

If you need any help and support with digital marketing strategies such as this, then please get in touch with the FIMA Digital agency in Southampton. We help businesses all across the UK.

The full video transcript is below (please note, I would advise watching the video, as the transcript below has been generated by YouTube, and might not make a whole lot of sense if read in isolation to the video above).

Hey guys so today I just wanted to talk about Google reviews and why they’re important for your business, why you should use them, why you should keep an eye on them and why should encourage them as well.

Now hopefully this video will just take ten minutes but there’s going to be kind of three core aspects to it. For example;

  • why Google reviews are important for things like map rankings
  • and also how they can help develop the social trust and social proof for potential customers or clients
  • plus also how they can improve click-through rates in some different scenarios.

So what we’re going to do first is make a quick local search in Southampton so it makes sense. I searched for an electrician in Southampton. Now if we scroll past the ads which are here, the first thing we see are these local map rankings.

You always get a pack of three here and as you can see you’ve got three results. Now if you look at this this company here it’s unlikely that he’s going to get as many click throughs as this company above him because he’s got three five-star reviews so the click-through rates are probably going to be a lot higher than this company here.

There are some markets or some searches you do where you’ll only see one of the results in here actually have any Google reviews at all so it’s important, especially if you’re wanting to appear for local type searches or if you offer a local service to your customers.

It’s really imperative to get some Google reviews coming through. As I said the click-through rate here is going to be a lot higher even if this company was underneath this company. If this company was above this company it’s highly likely that this company still isn’t going to get those clicks into their website or a phone call even.

From a mobile device these results let a user just press the button to call so it’s  even more important with these type of services where a customer might need your type of company right now and immediately. This relates to the click-through rate aspect and why Google reviews can be very important.

The other thing with these is how you rank inside the maps. There are many different metrics involved in that, and I won’t take you through all of them today. But one of the metrics of getting into those maps is reviews. But it’s not just Google reviews.

What Google doses is go away and aggregate data from other review websites such as reviews on Facebook, Trustpilot, Yell or Yelp. So even having some great reviews here is going to help you.

Another reason why it’s important is let’s say people are aware of your brand and they search for you on Google.

Let’s use company here. I search for them what we see here is this section. As you can see it’s got reviews already and he’s quite lucky because he’s got some good ones.

I assume they’re probably naturally occurring and they’re 5 out of 5 so it’s going to be a good indication back to the customer that this is a trusted, reputable, local business.

You will also see here he’s got these reviews on Yell as well so as I was talking about earlier, Google actually looks at those reviews there and that helps them to decide where to rank you in those map results we just saw.

So any kind of online review is actually critically important to you as a business. If they’re are bad it might be that you’ve actually lost that customer. So it’s important to not just consider Google reviews but also ones from websites like Facebook and Yell and so on.

Another reason why I would like to encourage you to use Google reviews is let’s say a customer is already on your website. They might have been sent your details by a friend or perhaps they just saw an advert for you somewhere else.

Now this website it’s not great but let’s say I’m on this company’s website anyway and I’m thinking “okay he looks to be offering the services that I need as a customer, but you know what, I want to also see what other people saying about online”.

So let’s just go take a look again. Type the company name back into Google, like we did earlier, hit enter and again the first thing you sees are those user reviews.

If you have no reviews or they’re bad it’s not going to it’s not going to be easy to get that trust or social proof. That’s why Google reviews also really important here.

Here’s another real quick example. I type in “cake maker Southampton”. All the results here do have reviews. Unfortunately for this company here they’ve obviously had some negative reviews at some point in the past.

Now if that’s affecting your business don’t worry as it’s something I can help advise you on.

I will honest with you; it’s difficult to remove negative reviews or negative Google reviews but what you can do is dilute them with positive ones, and in a minute I will give you some tips on how you can actually generate user reviews, so let’s go into that now.

As a business I hope have a lot of happy customers and you’ve probably got partners that you work with, friends and family and so on. The first thing I would always encourage you to do is try and get reviews.

I work with so many businesses who just don’t have any Google reviews at all. But there’s a quick and easy way of doing this and making it as easy as possible for the person reviewing you to do so.

As an example let’s take let’s take this cake company. First of all you could ask the customer to type in your company name asking them to leave you a potitive review. They will need to go away and Google you online.

But now they’re thinking, “okay where do I leave the Google review?”.

Now I know obviously that it’s over here somewhere, because I’ve left reviews in the past and am used to it, but it’s all the way down and it’s not particularly obvious. So we’re not making it that easy for our potential customers to leave us a Google review.

So instead what I suggest is the following:

If you go here, there’s a website called WhiteSpark and they have a Google review link generator and all you do is type in your company name and location.

You then scroll down and here’s a review link. Now we copy that and then paste it up here and what happens is as you see, that link has immediately opened-up the review panel.

This means you don’t have to rely on a customer trying to find the review button. Instead they can come in here and do it easily.

I am just going to cancel that though, but that’s a real easy way of getting a quick link and you can use that link in emails, or you can email it to someone.

As business I help clients with things like this, and this is the type of advice I can give them each month, but if you want to start doing this yourself, then my advice is that you create calls to action in any email marketing you might do. Or it could even be in an email signature.

So with that link we just generated on the WhiteSpark website if I click back, you can just go use this yourself and with that link there, I would start putting that in my email marketing.

It might be the all the customers you’ve recently sold a great product to, or delivered a great service to, you can now just do a quick email campaign saying “how did you rate us, we’d love to hear feedback”.

You can ask them to review you on Google, but not just Google, you might also want to leave a link in there for a Trustpilot profile, your Yelp page or your Facebook page.

So that’s just one easy way. I’m sure you can think of more.

This could make a massive difference to not just the way you rank in that pack of three map results but also the social proof you have online and the trust that you can portray as a business or company.

I’d also ask any partners that you work with. Business partners, friends, family, anybody you know really to leave you a review. But if there is one thing I do want to give you at this point is the advice to not suddenly email a hundred people or hundred friends all in one go.

If you get 10 reviews in one day then that could potentially flag something to Google and a look a little bit un-natural and they might not actually publish those people’s reviews.

So it’s always my advice to take it slowly. Perhaps it’s just that you email the customer at the point they make the purchase or maybe two weeks after the purchase. And if you’re going to do this with existing customers or partners that you work with, just take it take it slow.

Another thing; if you’re a business, and let’s say you’re in your office and you’ve got ten colleagues, then please don’t get them all to leave you a Google review.

The reason being, all those Google reviews are going to be coming from the same location or perhaps the same IP address, maybe even the same computer and that’s going to flag something with Google.

Another example would be where let’s say you have a PC in your office and you’re saying to customers when they come in to please leave a review. This is going to look weird to Google if those are all coming from the same computer. Don’t do it, as same IP address could present a problem.

Now finally what if you have bad reviews?

Yeah it’s not great, and with Google is very hard to get those removed. I’ve never actually known any one being able to remove a bad or fake review, even with my help. It is just virtually impossible, so what you want to do is dilute those reviews with the positive ones.

I’ve just taken you through just a few tactics and ways you can do that yourself, so I encourage you to start doing it now because over time that average review score will start to increase. One thing to mention though, is that if your business has only got five stars out of five all the time then it doesn’t always look that legitimate, because not every customer’s always going to leave you a five out of five rating.

It could be four out of five in real life, so that’s probably another good tip to to take on, if if you do have some friends leaving them, maybe get one of them to leave you a four star rating rather than a five all the time. 

One last tip. I would also advise when you do get review through on Google then you’ll have an email from Google,  letting you respond to the customer.

I always recommend to respond to any review because you can write something here that gets published on the listing that’s publicly vieweable.

For me, this is an SEO opportunity. If you are a cake maker in Southampton, thenn respond back to the positive review with words and phrases that you might be looking to rank in Google for – make it sound natural though of course!

I don’t know for sure, but this might give you some advantage in the map rankings. It’s certainly worth considering.

I would also encourage you to always respond to any negative reviews where you try to resolve the complaint. This will make you look like a company that genuinely cares, and its is possible for the reviewer to edit their review so is worth doing everytime. 

If you do need any help with these kind of strategies please do contact me so I can give you a little bit more information.

Obviously I’ve taken you through the email marketing one, but there are loads of different ideas and it might be that I talk about those in the future on the FIMA Digital blog.

But anyway I hope you found this helpful, and as I said any questions just hit me up on the website or drop me a phone call.

Want Help With Your Online Reputation?

FIMA Digital offer reputation management services to businesses across the UK. Here’s a recent case study regarding some of our work on the south coast of the UK with a brand name client. We can help with SEO, Google rankings, and how your business appears on the Internet.