TripAdvisor, booking.com and many more online travel and booking services are using reviews as a mechanism to encourage customers to book. Even Facebook has a reviews area on it’s business page area so that your followers on FB can leave comments about your business. With this in mind, surely Google reviews are very important.
Google is the starting point for many people planning a holiday or business trip.
Google is also pushing to play a bigger role in booking accommodation rooms. The initiative includes adding more photos and reviews to its listings. Customers can even search for availability on the Google search results screen.
This video published by the Wallstreet Journal in September 2014 explains this in more detail. The information provided in the video is also relevant to the UK market.
So how do you encourage customers to leave reviews on Google?
Here are 3 handy tips to get your Google reviews steadily growing and encouraging customers to book with you direct.
- Make sure that your establishment is verified on Google. In order to do this you need to have a Google+ account. You can then claim your business via Google+ at which stage you will then be required to verify the location by phone or Google will send you a postcard.
- Ask you customers to review your business on Google. This should really be done for all reviews platforms, not only for Google reviews. If you leave it to the customer, they are likely to leave a negative review rather than a positive review. This is why it is important to encourage your customers to leave positive feedback after their stay.
- You should respond to new and existing reviews. This show interaction on your behalf and other potential customers will gain a level of trust with you at the business owner or manager
The above process can and probably should be followed with other reviews services that your establishment will appear on.
If you would like to ideas or advice on how to manage your Google reviews and/or Google+ account please get in touch.