Google Reviews – a free marketing tool which is underutilised by many cafes to elevate their search results versus the competition.
Did you know that Google Reviews are one of the most effective marketing tools available for small businesses, with 88% of people trusting a Google review?
Most Australians use Google Reviews as a way to shortcut their selection process. These reviews not only help your potential customers decide to visit your venue, but they also work to drive your ranking on Google, so when people are searching for “a cafe near me”, for example, you’re more likely to come up at the top of the search if you have more reviews.
So how do you get more Google reviews? First things first,
1. Your business needs to be a “Place” on Google Maps. This will give you a Google Business Profile on which customers can leave reviews.
2. You need to have your Google Business Profile verified.
3. Creating a listing on Google Maps (which automatically creates a Business Profile) does not give you control over that listing. You need to create a Google My Business account and verify ownership of your Business Profile through that account.
These steps are crucial, though it’s a one-off to do, and it’s quite intuitive.
Once you’re all set up; here are some ideas to start getting those valuable Google reviews rolling in:
1. Just ask! The first and easiest is to ask for one. Give them a link to your business to make it as easy as possible – one of the most effective ways is having a QR code that takes them directly to where to leave a review. You can have it as a card with the bill or showcased where they pay.
2. Again, ask for one on social media! Encourage your community to post and pop a link in your bio to make it as easy as possible. Those who follow you obviously like what you offer, so they’ll be more likely to leave you a review.
3. If you’ve got a solid takeaway coffee biz, we’ve seen a lot of success just by the barista writing a quick note on the coffee cup asking for a review. You could do this ahead of time, then pop the name on top of the message. People love personalised messages, and this cup will be in their hands for at least five or so minutes!
Make sure you respond to your reviews (good and bad, hopefully, the latter is the exception) to show your customers their feedback is valued. When people read these, if they consider coming to your cafe, they’ll get a sense of who you are by your responses.
We hope this sparks some ideas for you – remember, Google Reviews are a Free marketing tool for your business, so you should use them to elevate your cafe above others in your area. Remember, though, that your reviews will only be as good as your service and offer.