Google Reviews are a fantastic way not only to build up social proof for your business, but also help with your SEO.
All things being equal, if two financial websites have near-identical SEO but one has a wealth of 4/5-Star Google Reviews, then this company is likely to perform better online. The reason? Google trusts your reviews more than it trusts you.
Intuitively, we all agree with this. We tend to give more weight to the words of a previous customer or client than what a business says about itself. Given the value of Google Reviews, however, how do you get more of them?
In this post, our SEO team at MarketingAdviser shares some ideas for financial planners to get more glowing Google Reviews. We hope this content is helpful to you. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your own digital marketing project with our team.
Recognise the challenge
It isn’t easy to get a Google Review. You cannot force a client to complete one for you, and they need to have the time and inclination to do it.
However, just because they are hard to attain, does not mean you should not try. Building up a solid Google My Business (GMB) profile of Google Reviews is well worth it.
In particular, Google Reviews are displayed prominently to your audience when they search for your business in search engines. If they can quickly see that you have, say, 20 Google Reviews comprising 4/5 stars whilst your rivals in the listings have comparatively few, then you are much more likely to get the clicks.
Not only that, but these website visitors are more likely to take action if their confidence has been built up by reading positive past experiences from your clients. Perhaps they are prepared to book a consultation straight away, for instance.
To leave a Google Review, your client will need a Google account (e.g. a Gmail account). Moreover, when someone leaves a Google Review then their name appears next to it in the search results. These two factors can get in the way of your clients’ willingness to leave a review.
If you are really struggling to convince people to leave a Google Review, you can ask them to consider leaving a review via another channel or platform (e.g. TrustPilot or VouchedFor). After all, a review in some form is better than no glowing review at all!
Let’s now turn to some ideas to help increase your odds of getting a good Google Review.
Ask for a review after a consultation
Most financial planners offer a free, no-commitment initial consultation when getting to know a client and their affairs.
However, have you thought about asking them to leave a Google Review as a form of “payment” for your meeting? Given that you likely will have given up at least an hour of your time to help them, many people will see this as a small price to pay.
This can be a good time to “strike whilst the iron is hot”, since the meeting is likely to be fresh in the person’s mind. Leave it too long, however, and your chances of getting the Google Review quickly start to fall. Act quickly, therefore.
This can even work with clients who turned out not to be a good fit for your business, but you helped them anyway – pointing them in the right direction. Never let a meeting go to waste!
Make it easy to leave a review
Many clients simply do not leave a Google Review because they are not even aware that Google Reviews exists, or that you use is.
Here, it helps to include strategic calls-to-action (CTA) in various places, to maximise your chances of getting that much-coveted review.
For instance, perhaps you could include a CTA in your email signature. Those receiving your email in their Gmail account, for instance, will be able to easily leave a Google Review simply by clicking on the link.
You can also create a “custom review link” to make it easy for people to click and quickly find your Google Reviews. You can then use this link on a wide range of platforms such as your social media profiles.
Another important thing to consider is follow up. Not everyone you ask for a Google Review is going to leave one for you, the first time. You may need to gentle ask a few more times (perhaps you caught them in a bad moment the first time).
Obviously, don’t keep pushing for a Google Review from someone who clearly doesn’t want to give one. But don’t be afraid to follow up politely, either. Sometimes a little nudge is all you need to get it!
How do I avoid bad reviews?
Not all Google Reviews will be glowing. Some people are just not very generous with their words, or perhaps they had unrealistic expectations of what you would deliver in that initial consultation.
Here, it is important that you do not simply avoid getting reviews out of fear of receiving a bad one.
You cannot “delete” a bad Google Review once someone has posted it. However, you can leave a response – and this is generally a good idea, rather than trying to ignore it. This allows you to show your side of the story and demonstrate professionalism.
It’s worth noting that most people expect to see at least a few bad reviews. In fact, it looks suspicious if there are none! The key thing is how you handle these reviews and respond to them.