How to Stand Out from the Crowd with Plenty of Google My Business Reviews
Online reviews are the best way to grow your online business. When confronted with new products or services, users look for reviews first. Studies show that 91% of consumers read reviews before they visit a business. 84% of them believe reviews as much as they believe their friends.
And why not?
Reviews are simply everything:
- They are content of your site
- They are stories of your brand
- They portray a relationship between your brand and customers
From the day Google started showing ‘near me’ results in featured snippets, reviews have become more important than ever in SEO. Not only for local businesses but also for global businesses. For example, travellers search for the best places around the globe, and they trust Google reviews when making their final decision.
Now, the problem with Google reviews is almost all businesses are present online, and only a few with the best and/or most reviews get the chance to secure a featured spot on Google. The rest are waiting in a queue to grab a handful of customers who rarely check out the entire Google business listings, and instead settle for the first 3 choices.
Another problem with reviews is that they are not always positive. In fact, as per the New York Times research, only 1.5% of consumers bother to write online reviews, and that generally tends to be when they have a bad experience with a brand. This is one of the reasons why many brands avoid asking for reviews at all. But that is not an option anymore.
The more you avoid or fear reviews, the less chance you have to attract new customers. Also, you lose old customers who fancy checking out new businesses with the best reviews.
The only way out is to collect more and more reviews while managing negative reviews with extreme care.
Today, we will show you how to be shameless about asking for Google reviews without offending customers and how to handle negative reviews by turning them into positive ones.
Let’s first start with tips and tricks to ask for Google reviews.
How to Ask for Google Reviews Shamelessly
Here are 3 examples of some direct and indirect ways to ask for reviews.
1. Ask at the End of a Positive Interaction
During the initial days of Zomato, each time a representative delivered food, and I said thank you, they asked me to leave a review. They even instructed me on how to respond to the notification asking for reviews and ratings. I was happy to leave the review when I finished my food. I also appreciated the way they asked for reviews at the end of the transaction.
Happy customers always show it on their face or in their words. For example, a satisfied customer will say that this is ‘exactly what they were looking for’. It is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon. Request that your customers write a Google review and share their experience with your brand. A happy customer won’t feel annoyed when asked to write a few good words about a positive experience.
2. Send an Email After a Positive Interaction
If you offer online services, and you don’t interact with customers personally, then sending them an email or notification for review is your next option.
If you want to see an example of how to ask for reviews via email, check out the last time you received an email from Amazon. Such a big brand will still ask customers to leave a review after delivering goods to them.
Here’s one that I recently received from Amazon:
You can send a thank you email along with a note asking for reviews. Also, don’t forget to add a button that takes users directly to the Google review page.
3. Passive Ways to Ask for Reviews
Maybe you are on board with collecting as many reviews as possible, but you think that asking customers or sending emails again and again will only affect your business negatively. In that case, it may be better for you to adopt some passive ways to remind users to post a Google review.
Sending a follow-up email after a few days or weeks would be a good start. If you already send emails regarding new deals or offers, then there’s no harm in also keeping a Google review link in your signature.
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, then keep a sign board asking for reviews. Do the same on your site. Put a call-to-action in the corner that takes users to the Google review page.
Now that you have 3 ways to ask for reviews, let’s see what we can do about negative reviews.
How to Turn Negative Reviews into a Positive Experience
Positive reviews are great, and you should get into the habit of thanking your customers for leaving them. But negative reviews are not as easy to handle. They are sensitive and must be handled quickly with extreme care.
Follow these steps to take care of negative reviews.
1. Respond as Soon as Possible
Studies say that consumers don’t wait more than 4 hours to receive a response to a complaint. Obviously, they are in a bad mood, which makes them impatient. Responding to them quickly is the only way to control their anger before it spreads to Google reviews—or worse, social media.
First, make it a company policy to respond to reviews within 4 hours and teach your staff to respond as positively as possible.
2. Respond Graciously
Responding to negative reviews is a longer procedure than responding to positive ones. It requires fair acknowledgement and a suitable resolution.
Follow these 5 steps to handle negative reviews and find a personalised solution:
- Acknowledge: Before you say sorry, enquire about the nature ofthe problem. Was it the product itself, customer service or late delivery?
- Apologise: Once you know what the issue is, apologise while addressing it. For example, offer a genuine apology for not delivering the product on time.
- Explain: Now, explain why the problem occurred in the first place. It may not have been your fault, or it may have been. Either way, just give your customers a glimpse of what happened behind the scenes. This will calm the customer down.
- Compensate: Find an appropriate way to compensate for the mistake. For example, offering another dish for free if they found the previous one distasteful.
- Invite them back: If they are not in the mood for compensation now, then invite them back and promise an excellent experience next time. Then be prepared to do so!
You should now be ready to take on both positive and negative reviews! Let me tell you that big brands receive all types of reviews, but managing them well is what makes those brands a user’s first choice. Follow the above steps to start collecting an impressive collection of Google reviews and secure a featured spot on Google.
You want to read an article that recently caught your attention because of its compelling headline. You opened the link on your smartphone. Your expectations are high.
Do you have to zoom in to make sense of the content on your small screen?
Do you put effort into reading it or will you switch back to the search engine to find a link that offers better content on your screen?
The latter is the obvious option.
With the growing number of smartphone users, it’s become more important than ever to have a site that responds according to users’ expectations.
If your site failed to do so, you probably know well by now how it backfires.
But how do you create a user-responsive design?
Responsive design is your answer.
So… What is Responsive Design?
As the name suggests, responsive design is a design that stands up to your users’ expectations. It makes your website look good and well-fitted to all types and sizes of devices.
The design and structure of a responsive website is the perfect solution to your customers’ expectations as it adapts well to the different resolutions across devices.
Plus, you don’t need to create multiple versions of websites for mobile and desktop. Instead, a single responsive website plays various roles depending on the type of devices users are coming from.
But Why do You Need Responsive Design?
In 2015, Google introduced a mobile-friendly update to its search engine algorithms signaling a website’s mobile presence as an essential ranking factor. The rise of mobile web traffic till today alone is enough to justify why any business needs a responsive design.
Besides, there are many reasons why your organization receives 4-sided benefits from responsive web design. The list is too big to cover in one article, so we compiled a list of the top 6 reasons to have a responsive web design to upscale your business for current and future trends.
Let’s dive in.
1. Mobile Viewers Outnumbering Desktop Viewer
Do you know that over 50% of web traffic comes from smartphone users internationally?
Statista predicts worldwide smartphone users will reach 3.8 billion by 2021, which is up from 2.5 billion in 2016.
No doubt, all the facts, and statistics are pointing towards the trend of small-screen devices.
This means that websites not optimized for smaller screen devices often experience a massive decline in search engine traffic and rankings. This means users don’t find them anymore.
As you already know, smartphones are scoring well above desktop visits, but most mobile users are abandoning unresponsive sites at first glance.
In fact, 76% of users admitted that if the site functions well and runs smoothly on their smartphone, they are more likely to revisit it.
Overall, if your prospects open your website on their mobile and end up closing it within 3 seconds because they couldn’t view content properly, you need responsive design.
2. Google + SEO-Friendly Site
Google considers the responsiveness of a website and has even stated that search engine rankings favour responsive sites over non-responsive ones.
One fact worth mentioning is that responsive design makes it a lot easier for search engines like Google to crawl your website and reduces the chances of errors with on-page SEO.
Not having a responsive website is a simple explanation for a lack of Google traffic you’re your declining ranking. Unfortunately, without a responsive design, many of your potential leads are turning to competitors offering excellent user experience. Before it gets too late, take the step now and turn your website into a responsive, SEO-friendly site.
3. Enhanced User Experience
Responsive websites load faster than non-responsive ones. They consist of a technology that displays websites on all devices with content that adapts quickly to different screen sizes. They behave as if you have created multiple versions of a single site for each device, giving your users a personalized experience based on their device choice.
Non-responsive sites, on the other hand, squeeze content into small screens, which takes more time to process and compromises the content quality.
Responsive web design eliminates all the problems created by non-responsive sites like poor user experience, higher loading times and small, difficult-to-read content. Responsive designs appeal to the ever-shrinking patience of mobile and tablet users who are not willing to wait for more than 3 seconds for your site to load its content.
Responsive sites offer an unbeatable user experience by loading sites in the least time possible. Thus, it results in leaving a positive impression among users of your brand. Because of the fast response from the site, users feel valued and are more likely to revisit the site.
4. Easy Management
Many businesses, especially small ones, can’t spare much time to update or refresh their website every now and then. At the same time, they can’t afford to hire costly services of web designers to take care of all aspects of the website. And, if you have different versions of a site for desktop and mobile, the cost of management skyrockets.
Responsive design is one of the most cost-effective solutions. Making changes to adopt a responsive design is as easy and smooth as spreading butter on bread. Also, whatever changes you make, you don’t have to worry about making the same changes in multiple versions. Responsive design takes care of everything automatically after you are done editing the design or updating the blog.
Additionally, with one website working at the center of your online business, managing other marketing elements becomes more accessible than ever.
So, when updating a social media button or redirecting a link, you don’t have to wonder whether all users (mobile users and desktop users) are enjoying your new changes or not. Responsive design eliminates the management stress of your business website.
5. Decrease in Bounce Rate
Is your website falling prey to a high bounce rate?
Non-responsive websites are one of the many reasons behind a higher bounce rate.
High bounce rate signals to Google that perhaps your website is not as relevant as it should be when it comes to solving users’ problems or answering their questions. Content is usually not to blame. Slower and non-responsive websites are the main reason behind users landing on your website and leaving it as soon as it fails to load. This entire scenario negatively impacts your search engine rankings.
Design plays a vital role in the user experience of your website. No matter how great your content is, if it fails to fit properly in small screen devices, users are not going to strain their eyes or wait longer to load its content. They know that they have other options waiting in the search engines’ list to explore and enjoy for a more seamless user experience.
Responsive design never makes users wait or zoom in. It makes websites adaptable to all sized devices without affecting the content quality.
6. Increase in Leads and Conversion
A large news media organization was fidgeting with the thought of whether to invest in responsive design or not. To decide, they A/B tested with a responsive and non-responsive site where the goal was to increase the number of free trial sign-ups.
Here’s the proof revealing which website design won the game:
The conversion rate hiked up by 56% from the implementation of responsive design.
Responsive design makes it easier for website visitors to find what they are looking for without zooming in, waiting or straining their eyes. The more effortless the design is, the more users convert. Mixed with a lower bounce rate and better SEO rankings, you’ll get a strong, successful model of a website.
Embrace it Now
If you’re not convinced about the abilities of responsive design, give it a chance and allow it to save your time and money without compromising the quality of your website. This is a modern strategy most businesses follow to stay within budget while turning their small business into a brand.
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