As most people know, to succeed online often means being found in Google search results; and preferably in the first page of those results. And one of the additional ways to achieve this is through Google Reviews, as these appear next to your business profile in Google Maps and Google search results, helping your business to stand out.
How long will it take?
And there are plenty of get-to-the-top-quick Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) providers who will guarantee you that they can do just that, but unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. There are no quick fixes to getting to the top of Google’s search results, and it’s the same with Google Reviews too. It’s easy to spot the fake review profiles that have tons of reviews all added with days of each other.
Don’t try and game the system. Just run your business professional and deal responsibly with your clients and candidates, and over time your positive profile.
Build a local presence
For agencies that are starting out, particularly those that are working with local candidates and clients, a strong local presence is critically important. In fact, even if the agency is well-established too, if the client and candidate network is predominantly local, then a good number of positive reviews on Google Reviews is definitely important.
Responding to negative reviews
As Google is an open platform, it’s also possible for clients and candidates to leave negative reviews for your business. And it’s important that you respond to these too. You need for your business to be seen as responsible and reactive; stick to the facts, present your case clearly and if the individual wants to continue interacting beyond that initial response, give them a mechanism for taking it offline – such as email or phone. Negative reviews can skew your overall score, particularly during the early days of your profile being established and can drag down your average star rating on the platform.
How to get Google Reviews
One of the obvious ways to get a Google Review from your customers is to simply ask for them. You can make it easier for them by providing a quick link to your business listing online. Find out more about how to create a short business link HERE.
You can also automate this approach somewhat, by adding your Google Reviews link to your email signature, or by scheduling follow-up emails – such as to candidates after they start a new role, or to clients once they start working with you and you business.
Although it may be tempting to incentivise candidates or clients to leave positive reviews, it’s best when reviews are genuine. It’s often quite easy to spot when Google reviews are created by employees. The names of employees are readily available on LinkedIn and other social media networks, so anyone familiar with the company can easily see when fake reviews are being left on google. It can create the wrong perception of a business even if the reviews were left with the best of intention by well-meaning employees.
Ultimately many businesses just want to ensure that they can reach their customers wherever they exist and wherever they are being searched for. By ensuring there are positive reviews on Google, a business will appear in search results and be more easily found by their target audience.
Google Reviews should be part of an integrated plan of marketing communications and will benefit from occurring alongside other activities that include paid search, advertising, pay per click promotions, traditional sales and business development, and other marketing activities.