Improve Your Company's Google Review Rating
Google reviews are often the first online impression potential customers will get of your business when they search. No business can afford to ignore the impact of your rating here – the majority of customers will consider 4 and 5-star rated businesses equally, while only a third will consider a 3-star rated company. We can't control everything that customers say online, but these four concrete actions are within our control:
1) Don't give customers a reason to leave a negative review
This sounds really obvious, but business owners (and employees) have to remember that the customer is always right (even if that really means that they just think they're right).Customers will also assume Google is always right, so make sure your Google business listing is up to date with location details (including a picture helps people find your physical store if you have one) and opening hours. If Google tells them you're open on a Sunday they'll expect you to be open on a Sunday! Customer service is imperative, so even when there's a problem, going out of your way to fix it can rescue a 1-star incident and make it a 5-star experience.
2) Ask for good reviews
Don't be afraid to ask happy customers for a review on Google. Sites like Yelp and Trustpilot are also worth being reviewed on, but the Google review is the first real feedback people are going to see when they find your business online. The overall rating depends on the number of reviews you have and the ratio of good to bad. One bad review can affect the rating of a business with only a handful of reviews, while a business with hundreds of them can withstand a negative review here and there without impact.
You can't force someone to leave a review, but asking politely, and explaining that it really helps a local business like yours to have great online feedback goes a long way. People love to be thought of as helpful and positive, so if you frame your request in this way you're much more likely to get that glowing review.
3) Respond to reviews
Responding to both good and bad reviews shows dedication and reliability, which are two factors your customers will be looking for. This is especially true if you provide a service, because it shows you're active and responsive. No-one wants to be chasing up quotes or appointments, so demonstrating your availability and dedication can pay huge dividends down the line.
Responding to negative reviews can salvage something that could have damaged your reputation, and it shows prospective customers that you take your business seriously. People know mistakes can happen, but it's how you deal with it that counts.
4) Auditing for fake reviews
While many review sites pride themselves on being tough on review fraud, it still happens. Actively look for reviews that could have been left by a competitor looking to steal customers and report these to the platform. It's also worth checking reviews for competitors and reporting any reviews you think might have been left by the owner or staff in order to bolster their online reputation. The good news is that consumers are much more savvy about fake reviews than they used to be and most will avoid businesses that are clearly engaging in review fraud.
If you're engaging with us for local SEO it's really important that all our collaboration doesn't go to waste. These four easy to action points will ensure your Google review rating is another positive sign for potential customers when they find your business at the top of their local search results.
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