Upping Your Google Game
This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Fort Wayne Real Producers.
Have you Googled yourself lately?
What comes up?
This task can be both terrifying and illuminating, but is an essential step in moving your business forward.
According to ReviewTrackers’ online reviews survey (although you probably could have guessed), more than 6 out of 10 consumers (63.64%) look to Google for reviews, more than any other review site available. The next closest is Yelp (45.18%), TripAdvisor (30.03%, and finally Facebook (23.14%).
If someone is looking for your services, and they Google you—does your business show up on the right hand side of the page with a star rating, map, address, phone number, and hours? How many Google reviews do you have?
How many does your competition have?
Needless to say, reviews speak for themselves, and surveys have found that consumers don’t really trust businesses with lower than a 4 star rating. It goes without saying that businesses with reviews get clicked on/called more frequently than those with no reviews.
Does your Google profile need a little help? Don’t sweat it, I’m here to walk you through it. Let’s get your Google game going strong.
Establish Your Business Listing
First things first, in order to get reviews, you have to “claim,” or establish your Google business profile. Even if you are an independent contractor for a larger company (*ahem* Realtors!), you can still establish a personal Google profile in order to get reviews and to show up on Google maps—both of which will help you be more visible when people are looking for your services.
Claiming your Google business listing will also help you control and manage how, and what information appears when people search for you.
There are two approaches to getting started, mobile or computer, either way both start with Google My Business (there is also an app with the same name).
Once you’ve claimed your listing, you can adjust hours, location, services, add photos, and even make “posts” similar to Facebook or LinkedIn posts, that show up underneath your Google listing.
Love them or hate them, reviews are an essential element of modern business, there’s no denying it. How often do you look up a local business and check out the reviews before committing your patronage? Even if you don’t always, the studies have shown that a majority of people do as it helps build trust with potential customers.
According to Broadly: “84% of people trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a friend.”
Aside from people viewing your Google rating, an even more important aspect is: SEO. The more reviews your business has, the better your business will display in search results.
Let’s emphasize: Greater visibility in Google search results. Want to rank better when people search for your services? The more Google reviews you have, the higher you will rank in search results.
If you’re reading this magazine, you’ve probably heard about Aardvark Home Inspectors & Pest Control. Area director Joe Mishak has been committed to raising awareness of the brand for almost twenty years—to much success. Aardvark Home Inspectors now has over 592+ Google reviews and an impressive 4.9/5 star rating, more than 450 reviews more than the closest competition.
“Just ask for the reviews and make it easy for customers to leave them.”
Pretty simple, right? It doesn’t need to be any harder than that. In order to make it easier, Aardvark uses a service that sends out a text to clients and requests the reviews.
You can also request reviews via email, phone, and in person, but you want to make sure that it is after a customer or client has paid and seem happy with your services.
Create a Link
Not everyone is Google-savvy, simplicity is key and every opportunity to eliminate confusion or extra clicks should be utilized. After you establish your Google business listing, you can create a custom link to send out to satisfied clients that not only takes them directly to your listing, but pops out a little review box so they don’t have to click around or search for the correct place to leave a review.
This can be a little confusing, even for the experienced professional. I’ve assisted many entrepreneurs in creating this kind of link, but you can find detailed directions online.
Be sure to use a tool like bit.ly to shorten the lengthy review link.
Asking for a Google review can be nerve wracking or a little scary, but relax! It’s a normal part of doing business in 2019. Strike while the iron is hot, and try to request a review right after you’ve satisfied your client’s wants and needs.
Hot Tip: Have a “How to Leave a Google Review” form/email ready to send out when you ask. A straightforward step-by-step (think bullet points and hyperlinks) will help people who have never done it before, and are not sure where to start.
Do: Leave Google reviews for people and vendors you work with. You have to give to receive!
Don’t: Forget to respond to the reviews you receive, which in turn helps encourage more people to leave them.
Still Need Help?
There are many “how to’s” online listing numerous steps to get all your Google elements into play, and these can often be confusing, conflicting, and flat out stressful.
If you’re having trouble sorting out your Google business profile, or making a Google review link to send clients—reach out. We can meet one-on-one, or over the phone, and I’ll help you get your business Google sorted.
Consider me your fairy Google-godmother—and let’s get Googling!
DasFort Media has been kicking it since 2006. We’re happy to help with all your multi-media needs, especially establishing your brand online with custom content, and both in person and virtual assistance.