Ever heard of Google My Business?
I hope so and I hope you are using it, especially if you have a physical store location.
Because it is one of the latest essential elements to outranking your competition on Google.
Good job if you are using GMB because it means you’re awesome!
History of Google My Business
So a little bit of history on why Google My Business even exists.
Google wants to provide the best possible experience for someone doing a search, but they also want to own as much of the customer experience as possible.
Reviews have long been one of the ranking factors they used in local search results and product searches.
So they created Google My Business to get more information about a business to show in rich snippets and reviews so that they don’t have to rely as much on (potentially flawed) third party reviews like Yelp.
The product has been increasing in its capabilities over the years and feeds into many of its other services.
So being on Google My Business really isn’t an option for most businesses, but Google My Business is a requirement for good SEO.
What SEO Factors Does Google Care About?
There are three core things that Google search results look at for local listings and they state it here.
- Relevance. This is how relevant your business is to what the person searched for. This is mostly about your content matching up with their search.
- Distance. How far the business is from where the person is searching. We can’t control this one unless you are looking for a new place for your business.
- Prominence. How well a business is known in the region. This is where Google My Business comes in.
It is Prominence that we have to pay close attention to.
Prominence looks at many factors, but two factors it includes are whether or not you have a good Google My Business account setup and your reviews on Google My Business. (I keep spelling this out for SEO reasons, and I wish they would change the name of the service.)
The more positive reviews you have the better of course. And people do read your reviews, so make sure you have lots of good ones.
Now let’s dig into how to get those reviews.
3 Strategies You Can Do To Increase Positive Reviews on Google My Business
First off, you need a Google My Business account, so if you don’t have one, log into GMB and set up an account.
So to get reviews, someone has to do a lot of extra work to find your business on Google Maps or some other platform.
It’s kind of a pain. Or…
You can share a link directly to the Review form with them.
Once you login, scroll down till you see this section and copy the link it gives you.
That was easy. Now we have something we can share with our customers.
1) Sharing Google My Business Reviews Link On Your Website
This is a no brainer.
Simply add the link to your website like in the footer, a thank you form or any place where a happy customer might be.
Make it easy for people to find it.
2) Integrate the Google My Business Reviews Link Into Customer Interactions Online
- If someone bought something on your website, make it part of the receipt and thank you page.
- If someone used your service, like a plumber, send happy customers a thank you email (or direct mail) and kindly ask for a review.
- To get a bunch of new reviews, ask old customers in your database you know are happy by sending them an email.
Here is a good example. If you think there has been a value to the visitor, politely ask them for one. For instance, if you have found this useful so far, just leave us a review and see how easy it is.
3) Integrate the Google My Business Reviews Link Into Customer Interactions Offline
Getting reviews from customers means they have to take an extra step in interacting with your business.
They typically will do this automatically if they either got really bad service or they are superfans.
Everyone in-between usually needs to be prompted into providing a good review.
So how do we get more than trolls and superfans to provide a review?
There is a number of ways, but think through how you can integrate this into part of your customer interaction on a daily basis.
- So if someone visits your business, simply ask them (assuming they seem happy) to leave a review and send them the link.
- If you run a physical business, like a daycare, show a sign at the entrance desk asking for reviews or politely ask the customer for one.
- Mail them a thank you letter (or postcard) and ask for a review.
- Leave a card behind after a service call.
- Of course, the number one thing to get reviews is to be awesome at customer service. Above and beyond awesome.
What To Do Next with Google My Business Reviews
So when you ask for reviews, you are going to get positive reviews and negative reviews.
Regardless of the review, always, always, always respond in a positive way.
Remember, you can’t undo a review on your own and your future customers are watching.
So be sure to respond with kindness and respect to bad reviewers.
I have seen many times where a bad reviewer treated with respect will remove, edit or append a bad review to be positive.
For positive reviewers always thank them and if it is a business think about mentioning their business in your response.
How Do Reviews Impact SEO?
Reviews are a psychological factor for visitors that are determining if they are going to use your business products or services.
A business with lots of positive reviews will be clicked on from search results more often of course.
Additionally, a business with positive reviews will be analyzed more closely by a search visitor.
This visitor behavior impacts Google Rankbrain in a positive way because it also is “always watching” what visitors search on and which search results the visitor interacted with. Read the linked article to understand more about why that is true.
Studies by some of the Review software platforms state that 50-60% of people who look at reviews will typically visit the business in person within 48 hours.
So if you want to convert more search visitors into customers, get those reviews working for you as soon as possible.
If so, please leave us a good review and let us know if you want help coming up with ideas tailored to your business.