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Google reviews can make or break your business, especially since we are living in a world where online reviews are becoming more and more important. You need to be networking online now more than ever.
Of course, this can be really difficult, especially when the only people to leave you Google reviews are the people who had a bad experience with your business, or worse yet the people who didn’t use your business at all. After all, more and more reviews completed online aren’t even real.
So, if you’re at a place in your business where you need to get more Google reviews, I want you to know that you aren’t alone. In this article, I’m going to walk you through why Google reviews are important, how to get more Google reviews, and what Google reviews for photography should look like.
Why Google Reviews Are So Important
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It’s important for you to get more Google reviews because Google reviews are really important for your business’ SEO ranking, for your business’ credibility, and for your business’ bottom line.
To start, when a business is able to get more Google reviews, then that business is also more likely to show up when a potential customer searches for that type of business in their area. If you know anything about Google’s search engine optimization, then you know that when a website seems “more credible” to Google, it is more willing to recommend it.
When you get more Google reviews, you seem more credible to Google. In turn, Google will recommend you to people looking for your services nearby.
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Of course, Google reviews aren’t just important for SEO purposes because they are also important for overall credibility. 91% of young people between the ages of 18-34 trust reviews they read online. This means that when your business is rated well, people will be more willing to work with you.
Lastly, Google reviews are important because they actually convince a lot of people to spend, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, Google reviews can also convince people not to spend. According to Podium, an all-in-one messaging platform for small businesses, “3.3 is the minimum star rating of a business consumers would consider engaging with.”
How Google Reviews Help You Market
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It’s also important to get more Google reviews because they can help you market your business. I already mentioned the fact that Google reviews help drive local search engine optimization, but they can also help you to get feedback that is invaluable to your marketing strategy.
For instance, if you are constantly getting wonderful ratings from people in a specific part of town, then that might tell you where you should be focusing your marketing efforts.
I’ve also seen some businesses use reviews in really interesting ways in their marketing campaigns...
Some of the most interesting ones I’ve seen is where people take 1-star reviews and turn them into mini-commercials for their businesses. For example, there was a mattress brand that got negative reviews sometimes because their beds were too firm for some. However, their 1-star reviews were still positive because people would write that they hated the mattress, but loved the customer service. That brand used even their negative reviews for their marketing campaigns.
How to Claim Your Business via “Google My Business”
Now, if you don’t know anything about Google My Business for photographers you aren’t the only one. I’ll explain.
Google My Business is a free tool from Google that allows businesses to build their Google profile. However, if you aren’t using Google My Business, Google will still make a business profile for you, it just won’t be as thorough.
Since this is a completely free service, you don’t want to let your business profile sit there unattended. You need to claim your business on Google My Business so that you can help your clients find all of the information they need from you.
Thankfully, it’s really easy to claim your business. The above video by Google Small Business walks you through the steps.
How to Make Your Business Look Better
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Once you’ve claimed your business, you have to do three really important things: add information about your business, update your hours of operation, and use the power of images.
In order to get more Google reviews, you need to make sure that people know how to get in touch with your business. Make sure that your business description explains exactly what kind of photography you do. You can use some keywords here, but the most important thing is that potential clients understand what they can come to your business for. If you do use too many keywords, Google will know and it won’t put your business high up in its rankings.
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Of course, your customers also need to know when they can come to you and where your office is. Make sure that your address is correct. If you run a small photography business and your hours are irregular, then only set your hours of operation to hours that you know you will be in. There is almost nothing worse than a customer coming to your business and when they get there you aren’t there. I know you are trying to get more Google reviews, but pulling a stunt like this might mean all of those reviews are negative.
Finally, you are a photographer. Use that power. Upload as many phenomenal photos as you can. You should definitely include images of the outside of your office or studio (so that people know what they’re looking for when they’re coming to find you), but you should also include images of the types of photography that you do. Listings that have photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions from Google Maps. They also get up to 35% more clicks on that business’ website.
Make Sure to Use a Good Review Management Platform
No matter how much time and effort you put into your campaign to get more Google reviews, nobody knows how to get more Google reviews than a Google review management platform.
Podium, the all-in-one messaging platform that I mentioned earlier, is that company. Podium helps you to consistently get more Google reviews because they allow you to follow up with each of your clients after their shoot is over via text to ask for their honest feedback.
Since Podium operates over text, your requests for more Google reviews won’t go unnoticed like they might if you were to send your clients an email asking for the same thing.
Plus, Podium is currently offering a free trial for our photographers at PhotographyTalk. You’ve literally got nothing to lose.