16 Oct How to make reviews part of your Digital Strategy
What if I told you that Google review signals contribute towards around 8.4% of ranking a website’s’ ranking signals? That’s according to this ranking factor pie chart by Moz.
What are Google reviews?
Google reviews are the star rating reviews that appear in Google Maps and local search results next to a business’ listing.
Why does Google put so much weight on reviews?
Simply, search engines love reviews because consumers do! One of Google’s main goals is to provide the best results possible for its users, and they understand that reviews and recommendations heavily influence consumers’ buying decisions. In fact, according to Shopify, more than 90% of consumers read reviews to make informed purchasing decisions. The more positive reviews you get, the more favourable your website will be to search engines.
If you put yourself in the shoes of your consumers’, you’ll know that if you’ve had a Michelin Star worthy meal at top London restaurant, you want to be the first to rave about it; and if your meal didn’t live up to expectations then you’re likely to want to let others know of your disappointment.
Reviews are also a great form of user-generated content, and as we all know, content is king! But it isn’t just Google reviews that contribute towards SEO efforts, as social reviews are still a great form of user-generated content. This allows you to form an informal relationship with your consumers and gain a better understanding of the types of products and services they are looking for.
Negative reviews can be useful too!
Of course we’d all like like hundreds of five star reviews, but as the saying goes, you can’t please everyone. Reviews can give you a better understanding of your consumers’ and target audience’s needs, so negative reviews aren’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as the positive far outweigh the bad then they won’t put too much of a dampener on your rankings.
How to get Google reviews
Set Up Google My Business
First things first, if you don’t already have a verified Google My Business account, you need one ASAP! It’s super-easy to do and only takes five minutes, but will make the world of difference when it comes to boosting your local rankings and driving more traffic to your site. You might even notice an increase in the number of calls to your business.
Once you’ve verified your listing, you’ll get a little Google Maps pin with an ID that is unique to your business and location. You’ll also be able to create a personalised URL to send to happy customers, so they can rate your business at the click of a button! Not sure how? Just speak to the Geobots.
Some sectors naturally acquire more reviews than others without even asking for them – especially in hospitality! But for other sectors, if you don’t ask you don’t get. There are various ways you can ask customers to leave you a review, and you can be as inventive and imaginative as you want, but however you go about asking, make sure you make leaving a review as easy as possible.
Run an Email Campaign
An email campaign is an effective method of asking for reviews, but it is important that you time it right! The best time to send these email campaigns entirely depends on the products or services you’re providing. If you send your email too early then the customer might not have felt the full benefit of your product yet. Send it too late and the experience may have lost its ‘wow factor’.
If your customer purchases a product from your eCommerce store, try sending a follow up email campaign a couple of weeks after the customer made the initial order or purchase, and take into consideration the time it will take for the customer to receive and enjoy their new purchases.
“Thanks for ordering from example.com, we hope you’re enjoying your x,y,z! Why not leave us a review and receive 10% off your next order?” is bound to work a treat. Everyone loves a freebie or a discount so why not try it out? You’ve got nothing to lose, just good reviews to gain and rankings to climb.
If however, you offer an online booking services and want customers to leave reviews about how quick and easy it is to use your booking service, you might want to send an email within the hour to ask about their experience. For example, “Thanks for booking with example.com. Please click the link below to us know your thoughts!”
What are you waiting for?
Do you need help with creating an engaging email campaign that jumps out in a crowded inbox? Give us a call and let’s go get those reviews!