Making the most of Google is vital for any business keen to succeed.
Traditional offline marketing techniques like parish magazines, local newspapers and even that big yellow book are no longer enough – to win new clients and put your business in front of the right people at the right time, you need to consider:
– Your Google position
– Your presence on Google’s very own social network: Google +
– Your Google My Business Page preview (below)
– Your ‘Social Proof’ on Google (reviews)
Let’s focus on your Google My Business page and, more specifically, your Google Reviews.
What is a Google My Business page?
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool which allows your business to manage its online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, it helps customers find and interact with your company more easily.
The benefits of Google My Business
According to Google, the benefits of Google My Business can be broken down into the following categories:
1. Maintain accurate information about your business online
– Tell Google your hours, website, phone number and location (a street address, service area or place marker, depending on your business)
– Use the mobile app to stay up to date with your online presence wherever you are
2. Attract new customers
– Improve how your business appears online, so that new customers can find you
– Point customers to your website
– When you’re ready, consider using location-based ads with AdWords Express to reach an even larger audience
3. Interact with customers
– Post photos of your business and its products and services
– Collect and respond to reviews from customers
The importance of Google Reviews
Whether they’re ready to buy or still in the research phase, Google is typically a customer’s first touch point with your business – and they’ll often want to find out how your company compares to another.
Enter Google reviews.
Google allows users to write reviews on a company’s Google or Google Map listing, with these reviews obviously favoured by the search engine giant. Consequently, if your business wants to enhance its presence, the best place to start is by getting more Google reviews.
Ensuring that your business has a strategy in place to generate Google reviews is a crucial component to boosting your brand’s reputation – and here are some more reasons why reviews are so important:
Electronic word of mouth is equally as powerful as a face to face recommendation. In fact, a 2014 study showed that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So, when thinking about how your business is considered, you can see the importance of online reviews. If you combine this with the impartiality of the people generating the reviews, the perception of your business for new and prospective clients is going to be hugely boosted.
Google is a tool that can hugely benefit your business, but one that needs careful management – and generating Google reviews will help.
Think about it this way …
Imagine Google is a monkey who has a hold of your expensive necklace (your clients). The only way you can get Google to give your necklace back is by exchanging it for a banana. In a real life scenario, using Google’s products and, more importantly, managing your business using Google’s products, is the equivalent of giving Google the banana. So, when you work to generate Google Reviews, Google will reward you with high rankings, increasing the likelihood of customers and potential customers reaching your website and spending money with your business (the necklace).
Google reviews also give you honest feedback from your customers, which allows you to see exactly what it is that you’re doing right (and wrong) and make sure you keep doing it (or not).
Criticism can always be constructive if taken with an open mind.
Now we’ve explained why Google reviews are so important, and said the word Google more times than you thought you’d ever read, here’s more proof as to why you need Google reviews for your business …
Case study: Alexandra & Hillyfields Vet
Vet, practice owner, and animal lover – Tim Wilson of Alexandra & Hillyfields Vets in Somerset has implemented and cemented a Google review generation strategy to provide his two practices’ Google My Business Pages with the content they need to give the Google monkey the banana …
… and it’s working!
Based on the beliefs that:
1. If you do something every day for 21 day days it will become a habit
2. For every 30 attempts at something you will always have one success
To generate the reviews needed for his two practices’ Google My Business Pages, Tim has been sending Google review requests on a daily basis as part of his morning routine
In the past 18 months, Tim has been able to generate over 30 reviews across his two My Business Page sites by sending regular emails to people he saw on the previous day, asking them to tell him about their service.
Within the email there is a direct link to the text box where people can fill in the information, making it simple, quick and easy for his customers to provide feedback. The emails are sent on a case by case basis, so if he knows he had a particularly bad appointment, he doesn’t send the email.
On top of this, Tim has Google review cards in all consultation rooms within his practices, as well as reception desks, for any occasions that customers are giving particularly positive feedback as an on the spot prompt to get him the reviews.
All staff are thoroughly briefed, and these actions and resources, along with a common objective to generate positive reviews, has benefited the practices’ Google My Business pages no end.
So what are you waiting for?
Go and get some Google Reviews, for goodness sake!