Have you ever received a bad review of your business? If you’ve put your heart and soul into your business, receiving a negative review on Google Reviews can feel like a punch in the gut. It can also hurt your brand reputation!
Good Google reviews are super important. When people Google your business, the first thing they will likely see is your Google Business Profile (formerly known as “Google My Business”). Your Google Business Profile is free to make. It creates a good SEO opportunity for you to share your business’s particulars and collect reviews from clients and customers. If you have lots of great reviews, that helps to get people through your door to do business with you, and it helps with your website positioning (aka, the SEO part).
Clients regularly ask how they can get more good reviews and how to delete the bad ones from their profiles so they don’t scare away potential customers. Unfortunately, you can’t just delete bad reviews you don’t like (we’ll talk more about this below). Trying to get a Google Review removed is possible, but they must meet strict criteria for removal. This process can be arduous.
The best way to counter bad reviews is to get more good ones!
Keep reading to learn how vital Google Reviews are, how to get more good reviews, and how to ethically deal with bad reviews so they don’t harm your reputation. While we’re focusing on Google Reviews for this guide, you can apply many of the best practices to other review sites like Yelp and Facebook.
Why Google reviews are important for your business
Why are GOOD Google reviews essential for your business? It’s because most people will read your business or product reviews before purchasing! Too many negative reviews can greatly negatively influence their buying decision. In contrast, more positive reviews are more likely to move them one step closer to buying.
Reviews can be beneficial for your business because they:
- Increase your online visibility: A solid online presence is pivotal when potential customers research your business. Online reviews often show up high in search results. They are one thing your potential clients are looking for, as they’re perceived to be more trustworthy than your marketing.
- Have SEO benefits: Online reviewers will use keywords like your company name, product name and benefits, which can help you boost your local search engine rankings when others search for those exact words.
- Help you understand your reputation (and the customer experience): This type of unsolicited feedback can be a great indicator of your business reputation in the eyes of your customers. You can read about what products, features, or experiences customers enjoy most or least.
- Can increase (or decrease) sales: As we mentioned before, having a majority of positive reviews can convince many prospects to buy. However, having too many negative reviews can turn people off.
Google Reviews – How To Get More
The best way to counteract negative reviews you may inevitably get is to get more positive ones so they outweigh the negative. Getting good reviews starts with having excellent customer service and creating a stellar customer experience throughout the customer’s journey. The better this experience, the more likely your reviews will be great too!
Here are nine additional ways to get more reviews:
- Make it easy! Many people don’t know how to give a review on Google. Prepare a one-sheet handout (or quick video) with detailed directions to submit a review for your business. Email these to your customers or provide them after the online checkout process.
- Ask over email. Collect email addresses for your current customers. You should send a follow-up email to anyone who purchased within the past six months (then on a rolling basis, shortly after their purchase is completed or received). Thank them for their business, ask for a review and give them a link to leave you a review. You could also send this to your newsletter subscribers, encouraging them to review your business. Be careful, though, because of the Canadian Anti-Spam legislation, you can’t simply email everyone and anyone. You can send them a review request if they have opted-in to receive your emails.
- Get support to manage reviews: There are several online tools that can help you get more reviews. Podium, for example, uses AI and automation to prompt your customers to leave you a review (through email, text, or web-based prompts).
- Improve internal communication. Ensure your staff knows how important it is to get good reviews and incorporate asking for reviews into your business processes.
- Respond to all legitimate reviews. Seek out those who give good reviews, and thank them. If you ignore them, they’re certainly not providing you with more! If the review is spam and you can’t delete it, there is usually no need to respond.
- Ask on receipts and invoices. Add a link or URL on invoices and receipts for people to leave you a Google Review.
- Repurpose your reviews online. Showcase reviews on your website and in your social media marketing strategy.
- Add call to action ”Leave a Review” buttons. Add a call to action button on your website product pages encouraging people to submit an online review. A direct link to the Submit A Review page is easiest.
- Use the “Review us on Google” badge. When you set up your My Business listing, Google probably sent you a ‘Review us on Google’ sticker. Display this prominently on your website (usually on product pages or in the footer).
How to ethically deal with bad reviews
Inevitably, the day will come when you get a bad review. Whether the negative review is warranted or not, you can display some good brand building by responding to it publicly in the comments or replies of that review.
You can use words and phrases like:
- “We’re sorry this happened. Please contact us at [EMAIL or PHONE] so we can make it right.”
- “Thank you for your feedback. We have now fixed that error in the onboarding process, so it won’t happen again.”
- “We appreciate your review. Thanks for letting us know about that bug. Our developers are working on a fix as we speak.”
Expanding your digital presence with online reviews
Collecting and using online reviews should be part of your digital marketing strategy. How you use reviews in your digital strategy will be unique to your business. Out-Smarts can help you use them in your SEO and marketing efforts.
Contact us for a free discovery call today to learn how we can help you boost your business reputation through online reviews.