By Sean Tinney May 30, 2023
It was a cool March day and I was sitting at my desk writing what was sure to be my next awesome blog post, when I heard my heater fan start up. A few seconds later the sound of a loud grinding made me look up, then all of a sudden it just stopped working.
Now my heater was almost 20 years old, so I knew this day was coming.
But now I had to find someone to install a new heater.
Anytime I make a purchase, no matter how big or small, I always do my research. And I’m not alone, 53% of shoppers say they do online research before making a purchase.
I did my initial HVAC research by asking family, friends, and even on a community Facebook page. This narrowed my search down to 4 companies, I had each come out to give me a quote.
Each company seemed like they would do a good job, so how did I make a decision?
It came down to the Google reviews.
The company I went with is just one guy, Pat, a true small business owner. He wasn’t the cheapest option, in fact he gave the second highest quote. But his Google review score and testimonials stood out, so he was my choice.
When he got to my house to install the new HVAC, he asked me two things:
- “How was my pricing compared to other quotes?”
- “Why did you decide to go with me?”
Two questions that any business owner or marketer would want to know. So I told him – it came down to his Google reviews.
What he told me next, is why I’m sharing this story. He said:
“I do some advertising, but I’m going to stop. I don’t need to advertise anymore, the Google reviews and word of mouth is where I’m getting most of my business. And I’m so busy, I don’t need the business from the ads.”
Wouldn’t that be great if you were so inundated with business that you wouldn’t need to advertise.
It doesn’t matter if your price point is a $12,000 HVAC, a $25 craft on Etsy, or you’re just sharing content. Reviews matter, especially Google reviews.
Reviews are the difference between a business that’s status quo and one that’s growing.
Benefits of strong Google reviews
There are several benefits to having a strong presence of positive Google reviews, including
1 – Increased visibility:
Positive reviews can improve your business’s ranking on Google, making it more likely that potential customers find and choose your business.
2 – Improved credibility:
Positive reviews can help build trust and improve your business’s reputation, making customers more likely to choose your business over your competitors.
3 – Valuable feedback:
Google reviews provide valuable feedback from customers that can help you identify areas for improvement.
4 – Free marketing:
Positive reviews can serve as free marketing for your business. Just look at Pat and how he no longer needs to advertise thanks to his strong Google reviews.
5 – Increased sales:
Positive Google reviews can lead to an increase in sales, as customers are more likely to choose a business with a high number of positive reviews over one with little to no reviews or negative reviews.
Google reviews are the most impactful
Google reviews matter more than other review sites because Google is the most widely used search engine, with over 85% of people using them to search.
And its reviews are prominently displayed in search results, making them highly visible and influential.
They are integrated with other Google services, such as Google Maps, which further increases their reach and impact.
So how can you get to the same place as Pat?
Requirements for getting Google reviews
To receive Google reviews, you need to have a Google My Business profile set up for your business. This requires a physical location or service area that meets Google’s guidelines.
If you don’t have a Google My Business profile, here are step-by-step instructions to set one up:
1 – Go to www.google.com/business. Click the “Start Now” button in the top right corner of the page.
2 – Sign in to your Google account: If you are not already signed in to your Google account, you will be prompted to do so. If you do not have a Google account, click the “Create account” button to create one.
3 – Enter your business information including name, address, and phone number. If your business does not have a physical location, you can select the option to “Add a service area instead” and enter the cities or regions you serve.
4 – Choose the category that best describes your business. This will help customers find your business when searching on Google.
5 – Google will need to verify that you are the owner of the business before your profile can be published. You can choose to verify your business by mail, phone, or email.
6 – Once your business is verified, you can add additional information to your profile, such as your website, hours of operation, and photos.
7 – You’re now ready to start receiving reviews.
How to get Google reviews
It’s that easy. If you just provided great service, delivered a product, whatever it may be – just ask.
You can ask in a follow up email or text. Pat sent me a text a few days after installing the HVAC, he asked if I was satisfied, then asked if I would give him a review.
Pat was very professional and did an amazing job with the install, so of course I left a review.
Make it easy:
If you don’t make it easy, you’re taking a chance that your audience won’t leave a review. Include a link to the review site with a clear call to action.
Automate your review ask
Setting up an automated email campaign to ask for reviews can be a powerful way to do this.
By using email automation, you can save time and ensure that your customers receive a timely and personalized request for feedback.
Here’s an example of an automated email I received from a local restaurant after I had placed an order online.
Provide clear instructions:
If customers are unfamiliar with leaving reviews on Google, provide clear instructions on how to do so. This could include a step-by-step guide or a video tutorial.
Timing is key. Ask for a review shortly after a customer has made a purchase or received a service, while the experience is still fresh in their mind.
Personalize your ask:
Personalize your request by addressing the customer by name and mentioning specific details about their experience.
Finally, always respond to reviews, whether they are positive or negative. This shows that you value your customers’ feedback and are committed to providing the best possible experience.
After the job Pat said something else that really stood out to me and made me happy that I gave my business to him, he said “thank you for supporting a small business.”
Share you success stories
Do you have a strong Google review score? Did you apply some of these strategies and have success? I would love to know. Add your scores and what you did to achieve that score below. Or what you plan on doing to improve your Google review scores.