As you consider SEO basics, like utilizing the very best keywords for your target audience and creating content that resonates with your readers, be equally motivated to focus on what others are saying about you -- we're talking about Google reviews.
Google wants to encourage searchers to choose the best company that will meet their needs and the most powerful tool to those searchers is authentic reviews. That's why reviews is a major component of a company's Google Business Profile (GBP) and consequently carries heavy SEO weight.
Consider these tips to get people to visit your profile to leave a review.
Claim Your Google Business Profile
A business' Google Business Profile shows up when someone searches for the business by name or uses the primary keywords and location for that business. There is no cost to set up or “claim” your business profile, but once you do, be sure all of your information is accurate, add photos, and be sure to utilize your primary keywords in your business description and additional text entries.
When people find your profile through search, they have the ability to leave a review. You aren't required to do anything to allow people to leave a review, but it's likely that you will have to prompt or encourage them to do so.
Link from Your Website
Make sure your website has a link to direct people to your Google Business Profile where people can leave a review. The request or text surrounding the link doesn't have to be long or involved. Make it short and sweet, “If you’ve worked with us and enjoyed stellar service, leave us a review on our Google Business Profile.”
Having this link allows anyone who has done business with you to easily get to your profile to leave a review.
Use Reviews as Testimonials on Your Website
The reviews you collect on your Google Business Profile can be shared across your platforms and add value to your digital presence. As you get reviews, select a few and use them on your website or on social media. This may encourage someone who follows you on social or is browsing your website to gain more trust in your business.
And don't forget to add a link back to your Business Profile with an ask to leave a review for anyone who hasn't already left one.
Send a Message to Clients You Just Worked With
Your business completes a project for your client. They rave about it. You ask them if you can send them a link to fill out a short review to help you share their story. It really can be this simple!
Make sure to request a review immediately, or very soon, after your work or sale is complete. This increases the likelihood your customer will want to share their positive experience with the world, and the service is fresh in their mind.
If you routinely send your customers messages via text, this request could easily be made over text. Just be sure to include a link to your Google Business Profile.
Send Customers an Email to Ask For A Review
Google does not want you to solicit reviews in unethical ways. Don't ask people who are not actual customers or those who haven't experienced your products or services to leave you a review. Asking for a review should be a natural part of closing the loop on a sale. One way to do this is to include the ask (and a link to you GBP) in a final invoice you're sending to your customer or in a follow-up thank you email.
“Help us to continue to help others in our community. Please consider leaving a review of our services.”
Make it super simple for them to click the link and reach your profile.
Hand Out a “Review Us” Card
Though a bit more difficult to do in a digital world, if you provide services in person, such as home improvement or plumbing, you can hand your customers a card with your Google Business Profile link on it.
To make it digital friendly, consider getting a QR code for your review. This is free to do and takes seconds to generate. Once you have the QR image, you can embed it on your printed cards. That way, all they have to do is scan the QR code to arrive at your Google Business Profile.
Add a Link to the Footer of Your Site and Your Emails
The footer, or bottom portion of your website, is usually a space that holds your business name and information. It is also a good place to include a link to your Google Business Profile. Many people scroll all the way down to learn how to contact a company or find a location. This is a simple way to get your profile link in front of customers.
This same idea of including a link in your website footer can be carried over to your email footers, too.
Just Asking Is Just Fine
There are lots of ways to get people to leave a review. The most direct is the most effective. Just ask them. If you’re providing fantastic services, they’ll want to thank and support you. All you have to do is reach out to your customers, explain what you're looking for, and provide the link.