A couple of months ago, we were out of town and having dinner in a new restaurant. The food and service were fantastic, and as we were savouring our meal, we could hear the other patrons also raving about how wonderful everything was. The staff were justifiably delighted by this and requested that everyone leave a positive Google Review to help get the word out online.
So far, fantastic! This is exactly what every business should do because having Google Reviews is every bit as important (if not more so) as having customer and client testimonials on their website and social media pages.
But what we observed next was, from an SEO perspective, slightly alarming.
The restaurant owner brought out their own tablet for patrons to post their Google Review then and there. This is a huge mistake in terms of SEO.
The issue is that Google’s system can track and record the IP from which any review is posted. If multiple reviews are received from the same IP address, Google will flag these as illegitimate, spam, or simply questionable – and this can be detrimental to your rankings and your business.
A much better option is to provide customers or clients with a custom link or QR Code to publish reviews.
Why are Google Reviews Important?
- They help you increase your sales.
- They help improve your SEO rankings and support your SEO strategy.
- They provide valuable feedback on your customer’s experience.
- They help inform an unlimited audience.
- They provide authenticity for your business.
- They boost your brand awareness.
- They help build your business.
- They provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your integrity, transparency, and how you manage customer care.
How To Elicit Google Reviews
It’s not always easy to get customers and clients to leave a review, no matter how happy they are with your product or services. It takes time to write a review and a lot of people just don’t have the knack (or inclination) for the written word. As such, you need to make it as easy for them as possible.
The simplest way to elicit Google Reviews from your customers is to get a QR Code.
The QR Code will be personalized for your business Google Reviews page. All clients and customers need to do is to scan your QR Code with their smartphone and they will be taken directly to the form on which they can leave their review.
- Tell your customers what you want them to do! Ask them directly to “drop/leave/submit a review” – this sounds more appealing to most people than asking them to “write a review”.
- Tell them how to do it. Provide your QR code and basic instructions on bills/receipts, emails, print materials, your website, marketing SMS messages, your social media channels, carry bags, and instore.
- Respond to every review – warmly. People need to feel heard and to know their opinion matters. Express gratitude.
If the review is anything but completely positive (and even if it is unreasonably negative), ensure you respond politely and calmly and seek to continue the conversation one-on-one over a more private channel to resolve the issue.
How To Create Your Google Review QR Code
- Go to the Google Place Finder Tool.
- Search for your Business via the Search Box.
- The Maps Tooltip will provide your business Place ID. Copy this.
- Go to the Reviews URL and paste your Place ID.
i.e. https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=PASTE YOUR ID HERE
- Choose your preferred QR Code Generator.
- Copy–Paste your new Reviews URL into your chosen QR Code generator website.
- Download your QR Code.
- Print Your QR Code, add it to your website, social channels, and other media and start encouraging your customers to leave reviews.
You’re All Set!
Back To Our Restaurant Experience…
As a professional SEO provider in Sydney, we understood the potential issues our restaurant owners were setting themselves up for. Understandably, they had no idea that by encouraging their diners to leave reviews en masse from the same tablet whose IP was linked to their actual business premises, they could be self-sabotaging in terms of Google and SEO.
When we paid for (and praised) our meal, we quietly explained what the issue was and that there is a better way to manage their Google Reviews – by providing their patrons with a QR Code to send and publish reviews from their smartphone, tablet, or computer at their own leisure. We were delighted to offer them this simple complimentary advice, and implementing the change was quick and easy for the restauranteur.
For all SEO queries, and for a customized search engine optimization analysis, as well as a bespoke strategy and campaign, contact us now. We look forward to hearing from you and helping your business succeed online.