How to Become the Highest Rated Web Agency on Google in Your Region

“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” 

When Oscar Wilde said these famous words in the late 1800s, he wasn’t talking about Google reviews! But by the end of this article, you’ll learn why the same principle applies and why it resonates particularly powerfully in 2021. 

Google reviews are an important tool that can increase the visibility and authority of your business while boosting local SEO. Read on to find out how you can increase your reviews in just 90 days.

50 Google Reviews in 90 Days 

This story starts back when I had just quit my day job and had taken the leap to full-time web development work. I’d been creating websites for years and had worked on countless projects. Everything was going smoothly, the business was growing, and I had been given excellent feedback – clients had even left reviews on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.

But when I checked my Google review count, I had zero! Meanwhile, my top five competitors had anywhere from 26 to 34 reviews.

I knew something had to change. So, in early 2018 I set myself a challenge: 50 Google reviews in 3 months.

Read on to find out the exact method I used, and you can implement what I learned today.

Why are Google Reviews Important?

Before diving into detailing the steps you should take to generate reviews, it is important to explore how they can help your business. Here are some of the top benefits of increasing your Google review count:

Increase local SEO: 

There are numerous signals and factors that determine your search rankings on Google. Some research suggests that Google reviews play a major role in the Google algorithm and therefore, more reviews equals more SEO success!

Increase Map Pack visibility: 

Google reviews help your business to be shown in the Map Pack, thereby boosting the visibility of your business online. Map Pack listings generate significant views and engagement, leading to more website visits, phone calls, and sales.  

Boost credibility: 

People value the opinions of others, and Google reviews can be the difference between someone choosing you or your competitor. Great reviews can do wonders for the online success of your business while having a high number of bad reviews can be a red flag for prospective customers.

Increase brand trust: 

Every business wants to be perceived as reliable and trustworthy. And when others talk about how great your business is – people listen!

3 Steps to Grow Your Google Reviews

Here is the exact 3-step process I used to grow my Google reviews in 90 days.

Step 1: Ask

Your request doesn’t have to be long or complicated, but the simplest way to get a review is to ask! While it may seem awkward at first, if you’ve done great work, then most clients are more than happy to spare a minute.

My Awesome Ask Email:

Subject: A Quick Favor… 

Hi {FirstName}, 

I hope you’re having a great week! 

I was wondering if you could take a moment and leave a review on Google about working with us? This is the URL: {insert URL} – it will only take 30 seconds. Writing something is optional. We’re trying to get to {XX} Google reviews and we’re almost there. 

Thanks,

It’s as easy as that! Plus, here is a Google Review Link Generator to help you:

https://whitespark.ca/google-review-link-generator/.

Step 2: Set a Goal

The next step is to set an internal goal of how many reviews you want to reach. As with goal setting in any aspect of life, the aim is to keep you on track and focused. 

Why? 

Because you focus on what you keep track of. 

Here are my top tips for goal setting:

  • Make a list of people to ask
  • Ask a set number of people per week
  • Build asking for a review into your project process
  • Ask clients who have already left reviews on other platforms
  • If clients love you, skip the review funnel
  • Make sure reviews appear and respond where possible

After consistently asking people for reviews and working towards our goal, we made it to the top. 

As of May 1, 2018, we had 46 Google reviews. And our results went up with that figure. Our Map Views increased by 176%, and our rankings in the Map Pack went up too. 

It also increased our Google ranking significantly:

My 90-day experiment was proof that the system works, and that there is reward for effort.

Step 3: Keep Asking

Once you reach your goal – set a new number! 

The best way to do this is to build asking for reviews into your process. This means you can capitalise on every opportunity and grow your reviews consistently. That’s how we have continued to grow our reviews for Johnny Flash Productions. We now have 100 reviews, and we’re still on top.

How to Handle Negative Reviews

As you grow your agency, you’re bound to make mistakes. We all do. The important thing is that you learn from them. If you do receive a negative review, it matters how you respond! I recommend this 5-step process:

  1. Reply publicly.
  2. Acknowledge the issue.
  3. Apologize.
  4. Re-state your values.
  5. Offer to resolve offline.

A great response to a negative review looks something like this:

 Hi [Name], 

I’m sorry to hear about your recent experience where we did not meet your expectations. Failing to notify you of [event] does not align with our business values and we apologise for this. Please notify me directly on [phone-number] and we would like to resolve this with you. 

Kind Regards, 
[Your Name] 

Utilising Your New Google Reviews

During the decision-making stage of the buyer journey, social proof plays an important role in the outcome. For your prospective clients, the outcome is whether they choose your agency or one of your competitors. 

If you’ve worked hard to generate reviews, then you should showcase them on other platforms. Here are three of my favourite ways to utilise reviews on other platforms:  

1. Website: Why not showcase your glowing reviews on your website? Your home page and portfolio are two of the best places to highlight recent reviews.

2. Social Media: Social media is an ideal platform to share positive news about your business. If someone takes the time to leave you a review, why not share it with the world in a fast, simple and impressive social post?

3. Newsletter: Email is a great way to connect with customers past, present, and future. Sharing your reviews on email is a great way to enhance your brand trust and credibility while encouraging others to share their similar experiences.

Ultimately, Google reviews are a highly effective tool that can help you boost your online trust, visibility, and credibility. I took my reviews from 0 to 46 in just 90 days using these simple and free methods, and you can too!

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Johnny Flash

Johnny Flash

Johnny Flash (aka John Falke) started Johnny Flash Productions in 2002. He has over 100 monthly clients scattered throughout the U.S. – mostly small businesses, churches and nonprofits and eCommerce sites. He is based in Virginia, USA with his wife and four children. In his spare time, he enjoys snowboarding, playing bass guitar, throwing a football or playing a board game.

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