Improve Your Google Business Results With Reviews

Get more Google reviews to improve your website's SEO, send it up the search engine results pages, and develop a strong, trustworthy online reputation. Find out how and why and discover the best way to get reviews in this guide from CraftJack.  

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Inspiring customers to write awesome reviews is one of the most important tasks a small business owner can focus on. You probably know how beneficial it is from a potential customer's point of view, but it's also a vital tool for SEO and developing a high-authority online presence. 

This article has all the information a general contractor needs to get more Google reviews and improve their online reputation. Whether your local business provides roofing, plumbing, electrician, HVAC, landscaping, or home improvement services — or any other trade — you can benefit from optimizing your Google Business Profile and getting more reviews.   

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What Is A Google Business Profile?

The best way to describe your Google Business Profile is as your very own directory listing on the biggest search engine in the world. Like a virtual phone book, it enables potential customers to find your company and its contact details quickly and easily by conducting a Google search. It's a free tool that's available to everyone, but many contractor business owners still aren't making the most of it. By optimizing your profile, you can get ahead of the local competition and find more customers in your local area. 

With a GBP, you get to decide how your company appears in a Google search. You choose the photos and available information and create a catchy write-up to attract people to your business. Considering Google has a 90% market share of search engines in the English-speaking world, being visible on its platform is essential for success — especially since a majority of consumers rely on search to find local businesses

Once your profile is optimized, expect:

  • Visibility on Google Search and Google Maps, including business name, photos, location, and hours
  • Manage your business from Google Business Profile, including adding videos and sharing updates
  • Monitor and respond to reviews and questions quickly and easily
  • View insightful data on searches and engagement
  • Manage appointments directly from Google
  • Take control over outdated and inaccurate business information 

What Are Google Business Reviews?

Google reviews are write-ups of the experiences customers have had with your company, found on Google Search and Maps results. They provide a space for people to share positive, neutral, and negative feedback and help other internet users assess the suitability of your company for their needs.

Whether you're a tiny local business or a big name with multiple business locations, your Google review score will directly impact your bottom line. People rely heavily on word of mouth and recommendations from other people — it's called social proof. As such, the higher your score, the more people will trust your brand. In many cases, when choosing between one local contractor and another, a potential customer will decide based on who has the best reviews. 

What's more, Google reviews have a major influence on how high up your business appears in search results. Google's algorithm considered reviews to be important traffic signals that confirm the authenticity and authority of your company.

How To Get More Google Reviews

The importance of getting lots of great Google reviews from customers is evident, but how do you get more? In the past, people thought asking for reviews was uncouth or unseemly, but that's not the case today. You're in business to provide a service and make money doing so, and customers understand and respect that.

Below are some top tips for contractors on how to get more customer reviews. 

Ask In Person

Take every opportunity to request that customers write a Google review without spamming or pestering them. When it comes to asking in person, you might start off by asking the customers you have a great rapport with. Once you're confident asking and start getting results, you'll find it easier and easier to do. 

Send A Personalized Email

After completing a job, consider sending out an email asking for feedback and requesting a review. It's a good idea to include a link that sends them directly to your Google profile. Also, there's a good chance some of your customers won't have written a review before — even if many already know. Include simple instructions on how to do it, the idea being that the easier you make it for people to do, the more you'll get. 

Use Social Media 

Most people spend time on social media every day, making it a great place to reach customers and ask for a review. Include a personalized message and ensure your tone is professional, friendly, and fun to inspire a response. Interacting with customers on social media is also a great way to remain fresh in their minds and humanize your brand, so you can get multiple benefits from this simple action. 

Send A Gentle Reminder

Wait around a week or two, then follow up with a subtle email reminder. People lead busy lives and might forget after opening the first one. Be polite and friendly, and aim to add some personalization, even if it's just a name. Avoid sending more than one follow-up, and remember that you can automate many of these processes to save time and resources.   

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How Not To Get Reviews

For your review mining efforts to be successful, they must be authentic. Manipulating or rigging reviews could lead to Google delisting your profile or shadow banning you from search results. Here are some tactics the company considers dishonest:

  • Buying reviews: Fake reviews won't just confuse Google's algorithm because they're not relevant, true experiences; fake content is also against Google's terms of service. Avoid working with agencies that offer this type of service.
  • Offering incentives: Google states that reviews should be unbiased and honest, which means offering discounts or coupons in return for reviews is strictly forbidden. 
  • Filtering: It's possible to find third-party companies that filter out bad reviews and only keep good ones. As tempting as this might seem, it's against Google's policy and could get you in trouble. If you get an unfavorable review, it's not the end of the world — and there are honest and effective ways to turn a negative into a positive.  

Responding To Negative Google Reviews

Of course, in an ideal world, you'd provide an exceptional customer experience every time so that you never received a bad review. However, expecting perfection is unrealistic and will only lead to disappointment. Having a policy in place for dealing with negative reviews is essential, as is actively listening to feedback and taking it on board to prevent similar feedback in future.

The best way to handle unfavorable reviews is by responding directly to them, demonstrating that you understand where the customer is coming from, acknowledging you've let them down, and providing a solution. Give an email address for them to get in touch directly so you can resolve their issue. Make it clear that you take customer feedback seriously and will assess current best practices to make sure nothing similar happens again.

Even if you're convinced that they're wrong or making it up, never argue or write a snappy response — and always admit that you have room to improve. Potential customers will be extremely put off by seeing a company engage in petty arguments online but will respond positively to seeing that you deal with issues proactively and professionally.  

Benefits Of Google Reviews

Positive Google reviews are a holy grail for business owners. They work magic on your online presence, are trusted by consumers from every demographic, and can boost your presence on the SERPs.

Plus, if your business’s reviews indicate that you offer a better service than a bigger, more established home service brand in your area, you'll get listed higher up on the local search results. Google is proud to offer customers this service because it bypasses the huge marketing budgets big companies have, putting power back into people's hands by basing search placement on genuine experiences.  

Let's look at five benefits of Google reviews for regional businesses in more detail. 

1. Reputation Management 

These days, consumers take transparency very seriously. With so much information available online, people are savvier than ever. Companies should focus on authentically establishing brand trust by focusing on delivering excellent service and doing a great job.

And some of the most critical information available to customers online is reviews from other people. Positive reviews are a clear signal that your business is trustworthy and the service you deliver is aligned with the promises you make on your website or in promotional content.  

2. Gain Key Insights

To succeed long-term in today's fast-paced world, you must be responsive and able to adapt to changes in consumer expectations and preferences. The only way to do this is through gathering genuine, honest feedback and taking fast, effective action. Instead of getting offended by criticism, see it as an opportunity to improve. Think of it this way: Customer feedback is free business consultation direct from the people who know your business best.

3. Boost Local SEO

Google's algorithm is hugely complex, taking into consideration more than 250 data points to determine how high up each website lands on any given search result. Despite this complexity, there are some elements of the algorithm that are clear-cut. One is that Google reviews have a major impact on searches with local intent (e.g., plumber near me, electrician in [city] or local HVAC technician).   

Quantity, diversity, and velocity of reviews are core considerations for Google. The better they are, the more likely your website is to be listed in the local pack, which is the top three results listed underneath the Google map at the very top of a local SERP. If your reviews are good enough and the customer is very close by, your business might even be the only one to appear.

4. Improve Click-Through Rate

Naturally, the whole point of search engines is to get people to click the link to your company website — not just get onto the top page. No matter how great your SEO efforts, if people aren't visiting your website, it won't make much difference. Having excellent reviews is often the magic that piques a web user's curiosity and inspires them to click through and find out more. Seeing a four- or five-star review next to your company name is a major benefit to contractor companies of any size.

Benefits Of Google Business Profile

If you haven't yet got a Google Business Profile, now is the time to sign up. In addition to all the benefits of managing your business directly via Google, including reviews, you can take advantage of:

  • Showing up on Google Maps results on mobile devices
  • Getting into the local pack
  • Gaining brand trust 
  • Establishing legitimacy and brand authority
  • Increasing organic website traffic
  • Gaining insights from data analytics
  • Ranking higher in search engine results
  • Increasing brand engagement
  • Advertising your business for free
  • Getting in front of your local competitors

Learn More About How To Manage Your Business With Google 

CraftJack is a lead generation website with a difference. We go the extra mile to help our customers by providing them with a wide range of tools and resources that are highly effective and relevant to their specific fields. 

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