Getting Google Reviews Impacts SEO & It’s Free
Summary: Getting reviews for most directory websites – especially Google reviews – will impact your company. Google Reviews is one of the most impactful activities you can do to impact your business’s SEO positively, and it’s free.
I already know this is important, just show me how to do it.
One part of being search engine optimized is the completeness of your Google business profile listing, and one part of that profile is Google reviews.
There’s an adage about how a person with a negative experience will tell 10 people about the negative experience. This effect is multiplied by the internet. You can control this activity – that affects your business – by following this guide.
- Be proactive with getting reviews.
- Do it on a regular rhythm.
In this guide:
What About B2B Companies?
Reviews for any business type can be beneficial. In general, they are a terrific way to get real-world testimonials from people who deal with your company. Who wouldn’t want their best customers to speak on their behalf? Their words are marketing for your company long into the future.
- Karen is a landscape architect and buyer for a landscape design company. She can leave a positive review for the wholesale plant nursery she buys her plants. She’s probably never been asked.
- Mike is a project manager for a warehouse supply company. He can easily leave a positive review for the forklift company that services his machines. Maybe he has done business solely with the forklift company because of the good relationship. Who better than a long-term customer to leave a great review that tells others about his experience? He’s probably never been asked.
No matter the scenario, people do business with other people. Use your best relationships to help express to potential new business what they can expect. Pro move: get reviews from people you deal with in the supply chain!
Why Google Reviews Specifically?
As of May 2022, Google holds ~87% of the search engine market share.
Regardless of your opinion, Google is the go-to place for most people searching online for your business. Reviews are one of the first things that appear when people search for your company. They are also engrained in your knowledge graph (your business profile) as you’ll see in the next section.
Quality & Quantity of Google Reviews
This infographic shows the top 20 local search ranking factors, as ranked by the search experts. You can see that reviews affect several of the top 20 factors.
Responding to Positive & Negative Reviews
Always, always, always respond to reviews – positive and negative. Your customers spent time telling the world about their experiences. The least you can do is take a few minutes to validate their efforts.
Be proactive with getting reviews! A mass quantity of positive reviews – gathered regularly – will shroud negative reviews.
Responding to Bad Reviews
In many cases, their experience with your business is still valid. You can do one of two things:
- Pro move: work with the customer offline directly to fix the issue. Then ask them to change their review. If it moves you from 2-stars to 4-stars, that’s still a win. Few can pull this off, but the best will go the extra mile.
- Respond politely, respectfully, and in a non-confrontational manner. For many owners, negative feedback can be personal. Put the emotions aside. Remember, this was their experience, so maybe there’s an internal problem worth investigating first.
In rare cases, the reviewer may be trolling or is genuinely a lost cause. If you’re proactive, negative reviews are piled under a mound of good ones.
The habit of soliciting reviews is significant. If your last review was 18-months ago, and a new negative review comes in, then you must go through the practice of getting more positive reviews to push the negative review(s) further down the list. Again, if you’re simply doing this regularly, negative reviews become less impactful all-around.
99% of the time, reporting a review with do nothing. Unless Google finds that the IP address wasn’t local, or their algorithm can’t find a connection between the reviewer and your business.
“Don’t report a review just because you disagree with it or don’t like it. Google doesn’t get involved when businesses and customers disagree about facts.”
Here are Google’s guidelines on How to remove reviews from your Business Profile on Google.
Should You Automate Your Reviews Strategy?
The big buzzword nowadays! Automation…
I’ve worked with several companies on their review solicitation practices. Every one of them had significantly higher review conversion rates when the review came as a genuine request from a person.
You can automate your practice, you can stick stickers on windows, etc… But there’s nothing humbler that getting a text from your contractor or salesperson expressing appreciation for the relationship or sale. Most of the time, the customer will leave a review. Automated reviews are very robotic; expect low conversion rates with automated emails. Passive encouragement, like window clings and decals, should also expect low conversion rates.
Once you’re familiar with sending a link via text, it takes less than 60 seconds. Do it once or twice a week, and you’ll soon find that you’re addicted to the constant stream of positivity!
Reviews in General
Bake this activity into your sales process. It will seem like less of a chore once the activity becomes a habit. It’s safe to assume that you have some follow-up or post-sale customer interaction. Solicit reviews from everyone who has had a positive experience at your business: B2C and B2B companies.
- Don’t limit yourself to only sales interactions. Your business is diverse, so you could leverage people that you deal with directly in the supply chain, administration, and more.
- Reviews display online forever – positive and negative. Past customer experiences are working to grow your business into the future.
- Don’t be so wrapped up in the sales process that you neglect to solicit your best relationships to help potential new business understand what they can expect.
- Create the habit because there are dates associated with reviews. Fresh reviews are always impactful.
I touch on Google Reviews & Optimization in my article discussing Three SEO Marketing Strategies for Your Business.
It’s never too late to start.
Step by Step Guide to Getting Google Reviews
Your Google business profile (including reviews) is managed directly from Google Maps or Google Search, depending on what device you’re using.
Manage your Google reviews on a smartphone from the Google Maps app. Apple or android. Screenshots are android.
Step 1: Open app, click on profile
Step 2: Tap “Your Business Profile”
Step 3: Select your business
Step 4: Scroll slightly to business profile cards
Step 5: Swipe right to Get more reviews and tap “Share profile”
Step 6: From here, it’s up to you. Email, text, apps – you name it.