4 Ways to Get More Google Reviews (and how these create leads)

4 ways to get more google reviews

Have you ever searched for a new local dentist, restaurant, landscaper, etc. and noticed that one business had 26 Google reviews full of 5-star ratings —

While a competitor had a couple — or even ZERO — reviews?

Ask yourself this:

What do you think about a business with just one or two reviews (or worse, none)?

Your trust in them automatically plummets, am I right?

ANY time you see a business’s marketing, you make a decision about their credibility in a fraction of a second. And reviews are no different…

Marketing today is not like when I started PostcardMania way back in 1998 (when the Internet was still in its infancy!). Today, consumers are bombarded with endless options of where and how to spend their money. Your competitors are no longer limited to the other brick-and-mortar shops in your zip code…

Your competitors are online. And they’re everywhere.  

Tax preparers now have to consider their clients just downloading TurboTax instead of visiting their office. Orthodontists now lose clients to mail-order invisible braces — bypassing their medical expertise. I guarantee that no matter what your business is, your prospects could find a replacement online in some capacity…

Which is why reviews have become not a luxury item in your marketing, but a MUST have.

People don’t want to think or research if a business is legit and worth their hard-earned money —

They want to SEE the proof immediately.

Check out these statistics from a 2017 consumer survey:

  • 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
  • 85% of consumers trust reviews just as much as word-of-mouth
  • 68% say positive reviews increase their trust in a local business

These stats are a nice confirmation for something we all probably know already…

Reviews REALLY, REALLY matter.

Think about this:

Have you seen a restaurant with an average of 2 stars and thought:

Hey! I should eat there tonight!

I’m guessing not.

This reaction has a name — social proof.

Social proof is just a fancy term that means we care what others think and say about businesses, experiences, and ideas — as in, we require proof from others in order to feel confident about our decisions.

In fact:

We care so much what others say that we’ll even adjust our own behavior according to complete strangers’ opinions.

illustration of 2 contrasting reviews

It’s almost like peer pressure, but the playground of your childhood is now replaced with the wild, wild web, aka:

The Internet.

Since 88.5% of people use the internet today, that means generating reviews — and LOTS of them — will help the majority of your prospects decide more quickly whether to trust (and contact) your business, or not.

But there’s a caveat…

You don’t want just any reviews —

You want Google reviews!

Here’s why:

  • Google is the #1 search engine used
  • 90% of mobile searches occur on Google
  • Reviews are one factor that can help rank your business higher in local searches (meaning, on Google Maps)

Google simply dominates internet search, and its very name has become synonymous with easily researching something: “Just google it.”

Google search results for PostcardMania Growth Summit Event

But I have to say this:

I personally feel Google portrays small business reviews more fairly and honestly compared to some other review sites.

Yelp, on the other hand, actively skews their review system so that even though your business could have MANY amazing reviews, their system shows negative reviews higher on your Yelp profile — even deliberating hiding valuable 5-star reviews. (Ugh… I hate Yelp!)

So here’s how to stack up more quality Google reviews online (and even offline!), so you can build a reputation that will actually attract more leads for your business.

1. Simply ASK to generate 70% more reviews

You don’t get what you don’t ask for! (Just ask any kid!)

A surprising 70% of consumers left a local business review specifically when they were asked.

Your customers will typically take the time to leave reviews when they’ve had a bad business experience, so in order to rack up more GOOD reviews:

You need to ask them!

hand writing 'let us know' on wall

I recommend telling your staff that you’re wanting to increase your number of Google reviews. If you train your staff to get in the habit of asking happy customers to review you online, I’ll bet that you see an increase in your Google reviews. Satisfied customers are only happy to leave reviews, and will IF they’re asked!

One dental client of ours implemented a program at their Minnesota practice to incentivize staff to encourage patients to review them online, as well as generate referrals. This strategy, combined with consistent postcards combined with Google ads marketing using DirectMail2.0, created a 143% increase in new patients!

Plus:

There’s another benefit to asking for reviews…

You could potentially catch customers who didn’t have a satisfactory experience and remedy it BEFORE they head home and review you poorly online.

For some reason, clients can feel embarrassed to complain to your face, yet going online and submitting a review that they think is anonymous can seem like a safer way to voice their opinion. So asking for reviews isn’t just a way to get a good review posted online —

It now becomes another way to open up the communication between your business and your clients to double-check that your products and services truly delivered.

Here’s my point:

You need to communicate with your clients and remind them that you care they were treated well by your business! Don’t assume just because they pay that they’re happy.

Ask!

And you’ll either receive a beautiful review — or an opportunity to fix something in your business and make sure your client gets what they were promised.

2. Add reminders at the bottom of your emails

Again, since 70% will review your business once asked, you can nudge customers to review you — automatically — by outright asking them at the bottom of these:

  • Your emails
  • Your invoices
  • Thank-you cards
  • Maybe even post a sign at your front desk!

How?

Add a line as simple as this:

“Did you enjoy your experience with us? Leave us a review!”

Easy!

sticky note says don't forget

Just like when you’re marketing your business, the more impressions your message makes, the more likely you are to generate a response and results!

Onto the next…

3. Respond to negative reviews

Now this may not generate brand new Google reviews, but it’s worth mentioning because you could take a negative review, and with the right care and communication, turn it into a stellar review —

One that generates more business for you!

Sometimes our clients forget that we have a dedicated Quality Control Department that specifically handles orders that need extra attention. And clients tend to do what most do when they’re really upset with a business:

They head online and write a negative review.

angry woman with smoke coming out of her ears

When we receive a notification that an unhappy review got posted online, we quickly jump in and respond to the review.

We genuinely reach out to clients and ask them to contact us directly so we can look into their order and fix it right away. Handling the complaint and what caused it is an absolute urgency!

In case you need more proof, check this out:

30% of consumers will look at how you handle negative reviews online before deciding whether to try out your business — or not.

30% may not seem like a super impressive percentage….

But remember these statistics?

  • 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
  • 85% of consumers trust reviews just as much as word-of-mouth
  • 68% say positive reviews increase their trust in a local business

That means 30%, over time, could amount to MANY prospects (and leads) that your business never gets a chance to speak to —

A problem that could be solved by taking just a little time to reach out to people who review you online and at least try to make things right, whether you succeed or not.

4. Increase your 5-star reviews by 489% by automating how you collect them

I can’t recommend this strategy enough…

In fact, in writing this article I discovered that a local dental practice used this same strategy and now has 1,350 total reviews online from it. Crazy!!

Here it is:

Last year, we were looking at how to increase our number of Google reviews. We not only wanted more of them, but we needed a streamlined process where clients could simply be sent a link to review us with using any device. So we set out to find a program that would automate this for us, and we found and chose Podium.

Here’s how Podium works for us:

Every time one of our Customer Service Representatives or Marketing Consultants find out that one of our clients is happy with their service, all they do is send them a link (by email or text). With 2 taps on their smartphones, clients can write a review, and it gets posted to Google — automatically.

No signing up for anything, no navigating any dashboard — just 2 clicks and DONE! The review is live.

Here’s what happened to our Google reviews…

We started using Podium on August 11, 2017.

Before August 11th, we had 164 reviews total — 131 of which 5 stars.

Since then, and thanks to Podium, we’ve generated 242 total reviews (an increase of 78 in just 7 months)…

195 of which are 5-star reviews — a 489% increase from before we started using Podium!

screenshot of PostcardMania's Google rating

Podium is SO easy to use, and I’m sure you can see why we love it from our 489% increase!

Check out the results other businesses have received from Podium:

  • A local dental practice received 1,178 total reviews with an average 4.9 star rating
  • A huge dental lab company generated 8,217 total reviews with an average 4.4 star rating
  • A plumbing, heating, and cooling company has 346 reviews, an average 4.7 star rating, AND a 30% conversion rate from their reviews

Although Podium can be used for generating more reviews on Facebook, Yellow Pages, and even industry-specific review sites, we currently just focus on Google reviews.

Now one last note on reviews…

Consumers today recognize star ratings as meaning “business review alert!” (thanks to Google’s influence), so you can even use them in other forms of your marketing to generate trust in your business…

Such as on your postcard:

effective dental postcard design

In fact:

I recently wrote an article dedicated to reviews as one of the most forgotten design elements which can grab prospects’ attention and get them reading your postcard.

I hope you found this focus on reviews helpful! If you want to print out this information to give to any of your staff, I made it available as an easy-to-print report.

I know marketing can seem complicated with so many online options and new things to learn. If you need any help with navigating the best marketing strategy for your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-628-1804, and one of my expert Marketing Consultants will help you — remember, their advice is 100% free!

You’re also invited to attend our LIVE Small Business Owners’ Growth Summit event right here in Clearwater, FL, April 18-20th. I’ll be covering more on Google marketing and social media, using Everywhere Small Business, and of course, my personal favorite — direct mail!

Hope to see you there!

Best,

Joy

P.S. Just 1 month away!! Get your tickets and learn more about our LIVE Growth Summit event designed just for small business owners… I made it super affordable just for you!

FREE DOWNLOAD: How to Get More Google Reviews

 

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