Today we bring you some good news. After years of contention, Google has decided to axe anonymous reviews from Google My Business. Now that might not sound like much, but in reality it’s pretty big news for any business that relies on word of mouth and online reviews to get new business. The new rule is also going to be applied retroactively – meaning that any past reviews that were posted ‘anonymously’ will be revealed as well. This is good for buyers, as it allows them to get a genuine feel for you and your business, and believe it or not it’s good for you too. The removal of anonymity signals a real desire for genuine, authentic reviews, and it’s this that will determine whether or not Google recommends businesses, and if prospects buy from them. So, it’s more important than ever for your business to start earning those positive reviews! Want to find out how? Read on.
Optimise Your Review Presence
Before you even speak to a customer about getting a review, you need to pay some attention to your Google My Business listing. Since it is a Google product, a lot of importance is placed on claiming your business listing and then optimising it for search engines. Frankly, we’d be disappointed if it didn’t! This makes it much easier for customers to find you, and for Google to promote you through SEO. It will also give a big boost to your local search results, since Google My Business is significantly influenced by the location of the searcher. So if you’re tagged as in that location, your listing will appear. It’s a no-brainer! There are a few things you should make sure you fill in when optimising your listing:
- Your business name
- Your business addres
- Your business phone number
- Your website address
- Your operating hours (which should be updated if they change, even just for Christmas)
- Your logo
- Photographs of your business, your team, your products and your offices
- Your services, and all the relevant categories for them.
All of this information helps not only Google, but your customers too. It gives them a comprehensive overview of your business, and helps existing customers know who they are leaving a review for as well!
Interact With Reviewers
Whenever you get new reviews on any platform, it’s just good manners to interact with them! At least a basic ‘thank you’ is essential as far as we’re concerned, but when it comes to Google My Business reviews, it’s mandatory! Not only does it show that you are a polite person, but it also shows prospective customers that you are engaged – you’re appreciative of customers who send positive feedback, and you take the concerns of any dissatisfied customers seriously. Google’s ban on anonymous reviews puts even more pressure on businesses to be authentic and engage with their customers on multiple levels.
Promote Your Reviews
Your 5-star reviews are nothing to be ashamed of – in fact you should be shouting about them from the rooftops. But they don’t just have to stay on the Google My Business platform. With a little creativity you can use that positive feedback to market your business across all channels. From embedding a widget into your website that showcases your latest reviews, to taking them, integrating them with some custom graphics and creating social media posts from them, you can capture attention and build confidence with your customer base.
Of course, that’s not all you can do with a Google My Business listing. But if you want to know more, you’ll have to get in touch. At Ad-Extra, we specialise in helping businesses make the most of their Google My Business listings, from set up to ongoing running and maintenance. If you would like to know more about how we can help your business, please just get in touch with the team today.