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How To Encourage Google Reviews From Your Customers


If searching for a product or service online, do you read a review or two before clicking “book” or “purchase”?

If so, you aren’t alone: 93% of consumers say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions, while 70% will only use a business with a four-star rating or more.

But it’s no longer enough to list a review or two on your website and call it a day; today’s customers want to see much social proof before they trust a business. 54.7% of consumers read at least four product reviews before purchasing.

So, what does this mean for businesses?

It means you need an ongoing source of cheerful Google customer reviews to maintain a strong customer acquisition rate. In this post, we will explain how you can quickly get more Google reviews – with some help from Marsello.

Why Google business reviews are essential for any business

With 92.6% of all search queries going through Google as of June 2021, it’s no secret that Google business reviews are some of the most valuable.

When Google is the one-stop shop for consumers searching for everything from hairdressers to restaurants, you must ensure you’re at the top of those search results. Otherwise, your business is practically invisible to potential customers. And if they can’t see you, they won’t click through to your website.

By managing Google reviews more effectively, you can make your business more visible – all thanks to local SEO. You can also embed Google reviews on your website to increase your local SEO.

Why frequent positive reviews are essential for good SEO

Local SEO focuses on optimizing a business’s online presence to assist nearby consumers in finding it more easily in search. If a consumer shows search intent for a particular product or service, Google’s algorithm matches that search query with relevant businesses close to the person's location.

For example, if you’re a restaurant in Manhattan, your target audience will likely be people living or visiting that area. So, if a person searches for “best restaurants in Manhattan,” you want your establishment to be as high as possible in those results.

According to Moz’s State of Local SEO Industry Report 2020, 90% of search experts believe that review activity is “moderately important” or “very important” in determining local SEO, while 78% agree that Google has become the new homepage for businesses. If you do it right, Google reviews are a fantastic tool to boost local search presence.

How Google My Business reviews work

You must either claim or set up a Google My Business listing to collect Google reviews. This free tool offered by Google allows businesses to manage their presence on the search engine. In addition to examinations, Google My Business listings can also include information such as:

      • Opening hours
      • Address/Contact details
      • Menus
      • Booking widgets
      • Photos of your establishment

It’s essential to try to fill out. as many parts of your profile as a comprehensive listing will help boost your local ranking.

Check out the listing of the restaurant Chat Thai, which has several locations across Australia. Chat Thai’s Google listings are fully populated; you can view key business details, contact info, photos, and reviews. An “Order Online” button even lets customers order straight from Google.

A screenshot of Chat Thais Google business reviews overlaid on a photo of their restaurant

You can start the driving review activity once Google My Business is set up and optimized.

This is where Marsello’s Google Reviews feature comes in.

How to use Marcello's Google Reviews Manager

Integrating your Google My Business account with your Marsello marketing lets you quickly generate new reviews through automated email and SMS campaigns.

Here’s how it works: connect your Google My Business account to Marsello, then enable automated email or SMS flows to encourage people to leave a review. You can customize your email flow with segmentation rules to ensure that you’re engaging the right customers. For instance, you can configure the workflow only to ask your “Best” customers for a review after they purchase.

Note that Google Reviews workflows will only be triggered after someone places an order so that you can guarantee the authenticity of your business reviews.

A Google Reviews collection flow showing tiggers, an SMS campaign, and the eventual Google Review all using Marsello's Generate and Manage Google Reviews feature.

Finally, it’s easy to track the success of your review automation. And when you receive a review, you can respond to your customers in-app, reward them with loyalty points to say thank you, or email the customer directly – manage reviews your way!

Please reach out to our team to book a demo and learn more.

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How to use Google Reviews to increase brand awareness

Before the web existed, businesses and hospitality establishments had to rely on being as visible as possible to attract foot traffic. Everything from flyers and store signage to branded shopping bags have been valuable tools to help businesses increase brand awareness.

This principle is no different online. Your business needs to take up as much “space” as possible to become known and recognized by customers in such a competitive environment.

In a time where digital marketing can feel increasingly like a pay-to-play model where only the most significant budgets see results, Google reviews offer a way for less-established businesses to level the playing field. By getting more reviews on Google, you’ll stand out over bigger but less-reviewed competitors.

How to encourage customers to leave positive reviews

It’s easy to assume that customers will shout from the rooftops when they have a stellar experience at your establishment. But this isn’t the case; less than 50% of customers (47%) say they don’t post negative or positive reviews online.

There are a variety of reasons for this. Many of us are busy and must remember to write a review. Many businesses don’t make it easy or intuitive to leave reviews. If we’ve written reviews in the past and haven’t gotten a response, we might decide it’s not worth the effort.

By this point, you’re probably asking: How can I get more Google reviews for my business? Continue the following top tips:

Prompt for reviews after purchases with automated emails and SMS

The first step to getting customers to leave reviews? Strike while the iron is hot.

Businesses want to create balance by asking for reviews while a customer’s experience is fresh – this can be tough to coordinate if your establishment asks for reviews manually.

Moreover, sending out individually-written emails or SMS is a massive drain on your time. To make asking for reviews as painless as possible, could you invest in marketing automation software to handle your review requests?

Marcello’s automated email and SMS campaign tool enables businesses to send and manage review requests via a straightforward interface. Set the ideal time for your messages to go out to customers and even automate sending follow-up messages to give you another shot at securing positive reviews.

Could you make an effort to respond to customer feedback?

Getting more customers to leave reviews isn’t just about how you ask for them but how you respond when you receive them.

89% of consumers read a business’s responses to reviews during consideration. Why? Because how an establishment engages with positive and negative reviews tells potential customers a great deal about how that business treats its patrons.

Suppose a customer leaves a negative Google review and that business makes no effort to respond; this could be interpreted as the company not caring about the quality of their customer’s experience, which is a massive red flag.

Plus, if you aren’t in the habit of replying to reviews and showing that you’re listening to feedback, what incentive do customers have to put in the effort?

Restaurant and Bar The Monday Room has done a great job of replying to Google reviews, even thanking customers who write more detailed studies and provide photos:

The Monday Rooms Google Business Reviews page featuring a response from the business to the reviewer.

Use positive reinforcement, but don’t bribe customers.

Suppose you’re looking to shape consumer behavior in advantageous ways for your business. In that case, offering customers a discount on their next order might seem like a good idea in exchange for leaving a positive review. However, this isn’t a good long-term strategy for most businesses.

Too many 5-star reviews on a business listing create suspicion, with studies finding that consumers were more likely to purchase a product or service when the rating is between 4.2 and 4.5 stars. You don’t want your efforts to come across as though your business is buying reviews or deleting negative Google reviews, which can cause potential customers to doubt their authenticity and even result in your business being penalized by Google.

It’s much better to reward customers after leaving a review to guarantee honest feedback. For example, lifestyle and clothing boutique Harry & Her rewards customers with loyalty points if they leave four or 5-star reviews, but they don’t actively promote this policy on their marketing channels. This practice increases customer satisfaction and ensures that all positive reviews are genuine.

The team at Harry and Her was also one of the first to test Marcello's Google Reviews Manager, and they've found that Google Reviews are an undeniable source of revenue growth for their business, so much so they're not going back! Here's what they had to say about their review process and the response from customers:

We use Marcello's Google Reviews feature to encourage customer reviews after they buy something from one of our stores. First, we send an automated SMS; then, we follow that up with an email to those who have not seen the SMS campaign. Seeing our customers respond with many positive reviews has also been exciting – we now have a 5-star average across our stores!

Final Word

Managing online reviews can feel overwhelming, especially if you have a brand-new Google My Business listing and gather thoughts from scratch. But it’s well worth the effort to create a streamlined outreach strategy to build social proof for your business; when you have a long list of positive customer testimonials, you’re in a much stronger position to acquire new customers.

You can build a lasting Google review strategy that acquires and retains loyal customers by using SMS and email automation to coordinate review requests and communicate how feedback enhances the customer experience. Marcello’s Google Reviews Manager makes this easy! Book a demo to get started today.

Special thanks to our friends at Marsello for their insights on this topic.
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