Customer reviews are an important part of your business strategy. In this article, I will discuss why reviews are essential, a review hack that will make getting reviews from your customers a breeze, and how to supercharge your reviews so they carry more weight in the eyes of Google.
Why Reviews Are Important
Think about the last time you purchased an item on Amazon. After looking at the images and reading a brief description, what do you do before adding to cart?
If you’re like many consumers online, you scroll down to the reviews and see what others have said about the product. Why do we do this?
Practically speaking, positive reviews build trust in the product or service a customer is considering buying. People want to hear about the experience of others like them.
Nowadays, reviews can be your business’ best marketing tool.
Here are some interesting stats about reviews and their power to get you more business:
Let’s dive a little deeper into the last three points – the content of the review, that so many customers are willing to leave a review, and where the vast majority of customers are researching your local business.
Google is obviously a place a large portion of research is performed on local businesses. Let’s use that to our advantage and focus on getting good, quality reviews on our Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business).
Google makes it easy by providing a unique link to the review section of your GMB profile. However, the link they provide is a generic one and can look like a spam link because Google’s name is not in the URL. It looks something like this:
Not a very professional looking review link. I’m going to show you how you can transform that review link to make it match your brand (and also make it super easy for you to remember).
First, you need to find your Google Business Profile review link from your profile page. This is easy – when you login, you’ll land on the home tab of your profile.
Scroll down until you see the “Get More Reviews” section and click on the button. It will open up a popup window and there is where you’ll find your generic review link.
Now, you’re going to head to your hosting company (where your small business website is hosted – Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround, etc) and create a subdomain for your website.
Let’s say this is your website’s domain: yourwebsite.com. A subdomain for that website would look like this:
Creating a subdomain is free and you can create as many as you’d like. Once you’ve created your ‘review’ subdomain, we need to redirect all traffic from that subdomain to your Google review link.
To do this, all you need to do is create a permanent 301 redirect. Where it says “redirects to”, paste your google review link you copied from your Google Business Profile.
Here’s what it looks like on SiteGround:
Now, test it out. Open a new browser window and type in your custom review link (review.yourwebsite.com) and make sure it opens up to the exact place in your profile where customers can leave a review.
Your custom review link is now ready to be used. It’s easy for you to remember, looks more professional than the standard review link Google provides, and it’s branded for your business.
Content of a customer review
Now that you have your custom review link ready to go, it’s time to start getting more reviews for your business. In a future article, I will discuss how to ask for reviews and how to get customers to leave reviews with keywords you are trying to rank for.
For now, I want to give you a quick way to boost the power of your reviews in the eyes of Google. And it’s simple – ask customers leaving a review to include a photo.
Boost the power of your reviews
In the eyes of Google, reviews with photos carry more weight than a standard review. Potential customers looking at your reviews also like seeing photos with the review.
If your business sells a service, you may need to get a little creative on how to represent your service with an image. For example, if you’re a general contractor – take a photo of the completed job and send that photo to your customer when asking them for the review. Ask them to include it in their review on Google.
As a web designer, I create a mockup of my client’s new website and send that image along with my review request.
When a customer clicks on your custom review link, it will bring them to the exact place for them to leave a review for your business. Inside that little review popup box, there will be a button they can click to add a photo(s).
Reviews are an important part of your business marketing and striving to get consistent reviews from your customers is important.
With 77% of customers willing to provide a review, asking for a review once you’ve completed your work with them is a no-brainer. Use the custom review hack to create a more professional (and easy to remember) review link.
And don’t forget to provide a photo in your review request to help boost the weight of your review in the eyes of Google.
If all this seems too complicated or time-consuming, reach out. I’ve created a done-for-you Reputation Management service that helps local businesses like yours get more consistent, high-quality reviews.
You can read more about it HERE.