As local businesses in Hampshire and Surrey adapt to the challenges of Lockdown 2.0, they have been the beneficiaries of indirect help from Google. The help is in the shape of local business reviews.
The search engine giant has rolled out a TV and press campaign promoting the reviews element of its My Business platform. #DearLocal is the name of the campaign. It features the boxer Anthony Joshua. Google is encouraging customers of local businesses to leave a review for the product or service they have received. It’s a small thing, but like all small things it adds up. Reviews are not time limited and more reviews means more online influence for local businesses.
We’ve been advocating businesses to make use of reviews for a long time. There are other review platforms apart from Google (TrustPilot, Amazon, Trust-a-Trader etc.) Choose the one that works best for your business.
The #DearLocal campaign has a benefit for Google too. It raises the profile of its review platform relative to the competition in what is a competitive area. Leave that aside for now and let’s focus on the benefits that local businesses can derive at this difficult time.
Our tips for customer reviews
- Choose the most suitable review platform for your business and grow the number of reviews gradually over time.
- If Google reviews is your platform of choice, use this #DearLocal campaign to engage with customers and ask them to leave a review. Make it easy by sending them a link in your emails or have small cards printed with the tiny url link to your review page.
- Download the Google My Business app to your smartphone. Set it up to receive a notification whenever you receive a new review. It is good practice to reply to a review soon after you receive it.
- Consider adding a link to leave a Google review for your business to your email footer.
- Accept that not every review will be positive. Respond to negative reviews. Accept responsibility if something went wrong. Do not let a ‘spat’ take place in public. Any dispute must be taken offline quickly and managed away from the spotlight.
- Did you know that you can add your Google Reviews as a plug-in to your website?