Your small business might recognize the importance of positive Google reviews, but struggle in actually getting these reviews. This is not because your customers don’t like you or your food is bad. You probably just aren’t going about asking the right way!
Make it Personal
When it comes to getting more online reviews, personalization is key. You may have a sign in the store that says “Leave us a review on Google!” — This probably will not be effective. You need to ask customers individually, when they are IN the store, to leave you a review. Don’t pressure them, but be sure to let them know a review would mean a lot to you — “Thanks for coming in today, John! You’re one of our most loyal customers. Would you mind leaving us a review?” This lets John feel he is valued as a customer and makes him feel inclined to help your small business out.
Asking someone in person for a review is effective. But what if they leave the store and forget you asked? John is probably a busy dude, so it may be hard for him to take a few minutes out of his day and go search your business up online to leave a review. So make it easier for him! Send him a text! Text messages have a 99% open rate, compared to the 23% of emails. Giving John the same message you did in the store, via text, and adding in the link to leave a review will make it much easier for John to leave you guys a review.
Watch your traffic increase
Once the reviews start rolling in, so does the traffic (: All of your happy customers leave great reviews, which leads to more happy customers and EVEN MORE great reviews. It’s a never-ending cycle you want to be in. We can put you in the middle of that cycle. Check out a demo at https://www.revyup.com/schedule-a-demo–revyup.html
Google tends to be the first place a customer hears about your business. Whether they’re searching you out or not, what they read on Google will affect their opinion about your business; good or bad.
Accessibility is key.
For example, say I just moved into San Francisco and I need a haircut. With no experience or knowledge of barbershops or salons in the area, the first place I’m going to go is Google. I’ll type in “salons in San Francisco” and hundreds of results will pop up. I’m not about to dig through hundreds of results, so I’ll stick with the top 4 or 5 and check those out. (Fun fact: 90% of clicks on Google searches happen on the top 3 results). It is VITAL to get on the first page of results in your area, and it is even more important to get into the top 3 on that page.
People trust Google reviews.
According to Vendasta, 88% of people trust Google reviews as much as a personal recommendation. When reading Google reviews, people don’t simply look at the overall star rating. They READ the reviews! They want to know what kind of experiences others have had with your small business, so they don’t pay too much for a car repair or get a haircut that looks like it’s out of a 90’s yearbook.
You can shell out hundreds, even thousands of dollars towards improving your SEO, but no optimization effort will be as successful as obtaining more Google reviews. Your small business has worked hard on boosting its reputation. Let your customers talk you up! (P.S. it’s cheap…). Raw feedback and analysis from your customers is unmatched in importance, so go out of your way to urge your loyal customers to leave a review for you. Trust us, it’s worth it!
Young small businesses are at a disadvantage in almost every way. Competitors will always have higher marketing budgets, a longer history, and more manpower to work with. Deep pockets sure can buy a lot of things in business — So how do you beat money?
Don’t use money.
If you try to play their game, you will lose. You need to play YOUR game, based on YOUR strengths.
As a small business, your biggest advantage is this — You are small. You have a unique opportunity to build deep, meaningful relationships with your client base and keep them coming back. You probably already do this and don’t even notice it!
If your customers are coming back regularly, they are probably telling your friends about you (Word-of-mouth marketing, nice!). This is a huge step. Your customers love you enough to not only come back, but tell their friends about you.
Next step? Give them a platform where they can brag about you. Be sure to create pages where your happy customers can leave reviews about you. Then, invite them to do so. Don’t try to compete with the million dollar marketing budgets of competitors — Let your customers do your marketing for you.