We all know that reviews are great for business.
And some businesses would do anything to get them—even if it risks their integrity and their online presence.
The fact is: paying for reviews is a bad business model.
So, how can you get more reviews on Google without paying the price or risking your honor?
Let’s find out.
Use Your Website: Link to Google Reviews on Your Landing Page
One of the best ways to get someone to do what you want is to make it easy for them to do it.
That’s why you should link directly to your review page on Google (or TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) on the landing page of your business’s website.
Instead of creating a tab for feedback or burying the link somewhere among your pages, give your customers an easily accessible pathway to the task at hand.
Use Your Storefront: Create Signs
In addition to bringing reviews to attention online, another way to generate more organic reviews is to remind your customers in person.
While your customers can’t click a link to teleport to the Google review guru, adding signs throughout your store (think near the register, on the front door, or between products) will prompt them to give their honest opinions.
This one might seem self-explanatory but asking customers to leave reviews is a great way to organically generate reviews.
Now, think of all the ways you can ask.
In-store. You could train employees to ask customers for reviews after they receive their service or project. A genuine and kind person asking for a quick favor can make an impact on your customers’ memories.
Via email. You could also send out emails to your customers requesting reviews (with those easy-access links!). With emails, know when to ask.
Via text. We live in the era of the smartphone. Sending out text messages is another great way to reach customers. With a clickable link and a quick request, you can generate organic reviews in no time.
Ask at the Right Time
Asking for reviews is a great method, but timing is everything.
Depending on your product or service, there are better (and worse) times to ask for a review. If you ask before your client has time to use the product, they’re less likely to leave one. And if you wait too long after they’ve received a service, they’ll probably forget the finer details (and emotions) from their experience.
The best time to send review requests will depend on your unique business model but sending the query with an invoice is a great idea, especially if your customers or expecting (and eagerly waiting for) it.
Reply to All Reviews
Replying to reviews is a great business practice—and not only because it can turn unhappy customers into satisfied ones.
When you reply to all your Google reviews, your Google business page becomes a discussion thread between you and your customers. Instead of leaving comments for other customers to see, your clients can see it as a method to communicate directly with the real people behind your business.
When you reply to customers, don’t copy/paste a generic response. If you want your reviews to feel organic, you need to be genuine and real, too.