Google Reviews can be a great way to build trust, authority and social proof for your company, but also to aid your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts.
If two websites are nearly identical in SEO scores, but one website has 4/5-Star Google Reviews, guess which one will appear more/higher in the search results?
The one with the best rating score, duh!
Why? Because Google trusts reviews more than you. Sorry!
We all intuitively agree with this. Right?
We are way more likely to trust the words of former clients than what a company says about itself.
So how can you get to work on increasing your Google Reviews?
We have pulled together some tips for financial professionals to help them get high quantity and quality Google reviews.
Google Reviews are not easy
It is impossible to force clients to complete a Google Review for you.
They must have the desire and time to do it, and genuinely think you’ve done a great job for them.
They are not easy to acquire, but that does not mean you should give up.
Google reviews, in particular, are prominently displayed to your target audience when they search for your business on search engines.
You are more likely to get clicks when your audience sees multiple Google reviews with 4/5 stars, while your competitors have relatively few or even none at all.
These website visitors are more likely than others to act, as they have already gained confidence from past clients.
For instance, they might be ready to book an appointment or leave their details immediately.
Your client must first have a Google account (Gmail) to leave a Google Review. Their name will then appear next to it in search results.
Depending on your client’s age range, this factor could hinder your clients’ willingness and ability to leave reviews. Bear this in mind when asking.
Although, if clients are having trouble leaving reviews on Google, they may be open to reviewing other platforms or channels. TrustPilot and VouchedFor are two great options, well used within the industry, if you’re having trouble convincing people to leave a Google Review.
A review in any form is better than none.
Let’s now look at some ways to increase your chances of getting a great Google Review.
After a good meeting, ask for a review!
Many financial professionals offer a free initial consultation to get to know clients and their affairs.
But, what if you asked them to leave a Google Review in return for your meeting?
Many people will view this as a small gesture, considering you will likely have to give up at least an hour to help them understand their financial position.
If you’ve just had a great review with a client or they’re super happy with a service that you have provided – ask for that review!
It can be a great time to strike while the iron is hot, since the meeting will likely be fresh in the person’s mind.
If you wait too long, your chances of getting the Google Review quickly begin to decline.
Therefore, it is important to act quickly.
We suggest asking at the end of a call or sending a follow up email within the following hours.
Don’t let a good meeting pass you by without politely asking!
Educate your clients
Many financial clients do not leave reviews on Google Reviews, because they didn’t know they could.
This may be due to an age range of clients that does not understand how to do so or is not in the millennial world of reviewing every new place they visit.
To maximise your chances of getting the review, include strategic calls to action (CTA) at various locations.
Perhaps you could include a CTA within your email signature. For example, recipients of your email can then click on the link to leave a Google Review.
To make it easier for people to click on your “custom review” link and quickly locate your Google Reviews, you can also create one.
This link can be used on many platforms, including your social media profiles.
Follow ups are also important.
You may not get a Google Review from every person you ask.
Although it is OK to gently ask again (perhaps they were having a crazy busy day when you first asked).
You shouldn’t insist on a Google Review from someone who doesn’t respond to a reminder – this could lead to a bad review.
Although, don’t be afraid of following up once politely.
Sometimes all it takes is a gentle nudge to get the job done.
How can you avoid negative Google reviews?
Sadly, not all Google Reviews are glowing.
Sometimes people can sometimes have unrealistic expectations about what they will receive when it comes to financial services.
Sometimes not all relationships end well, and things can go wrong. It’s life!
It’s all about how you deal with negative Google Reviews.
It is crucial that you don’t avoid reviews for fear of getting a negative one.
We always recommend responding to a negative Google Review – which is usually a better approach than to ignore it. You can share your story, apologise if needed, and show true professionalism.
Most people would respect that you have shown authority and dealt with a bad review with integrity and kindness.
It is worth noting, most people expect at least a few negative reviews. It can actually seem suspicious to have no bad reviews if you have quite a few, so don’t sweat it too much.
As long as you know how to handle bad reviews and respond well, you shouldn’t fear them.
We say ‘all feedback is good feedback’ …. until you respond badly!
Stay professional, go above and beyond, always put your clients first (as you already do), and seek the rewards in the form of wonderful Google reviews.
If you would like some help with a strategy to gain more Google reviews for your financial business, get in touch with our friendly team of financial marketing specialists