Before making a decision to purchase something or move forward with using someone’s services, many people will look up more information online. Often this comes in the form of a quick Google search. But the first thing most searches will see is your Google My Business listing, with reviews readily available. Google reviews have some additional benefits that can help your firm, and with the new SEC ad rule change, new opportunities become available. In fact, studies show that online reviews influence 67% of consumers and that four or more negative reviews could cost you up to 70% of potential customers. Read on to see how Google reviews help your business and discover 6 new ways to acquire more reviews.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your compliance team before establishing any new marketing strategies. The new SEC Ad rule is discussed in this post, though will only go into effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This has not happened yet.
Why Do Google Reviews Matter?
Like most products and services, reviews inform consumer perspectives. With Google being the most popular search engine for years, Google reviews stand front and center for many searches. But the benefits of Google reviews go beyond how often they appear. Here are a few other benefits that Google reviews bring to your advisory firm.
Google Reviews Affect SEO
Every advisor wants their site to be the first to appear on an organic search. And by acquiring more positive Google reviews, you can improve your SEO efforts. Though this may be one of several factors that ultimately impact ranking, it is particularly useful for local ranking. Google confirms this in their own article on local SEO, and consider reviews a factor within “Prominence:”
Google Reviews Influence Lead Generation
Imagine you’re purchasing a product online. You’re comparing two similar options to make your final decision when you encounter the reviews page. Here you find more positive reviews that support one product over another and decide that’s the direction you want to take. This process is common in many online transactions, including when one is searching for an advisor online. In fact, a 2020 survey from Bright Local found that 87% of customers read online reviews on local businesses:
Even if you don’t have Google reviews at the moment, it’s clear that many individuals searching for a firm look for more information before interacting with an advisor. You can see this with your firm by checking your Google Search Console. Many firms will find users are searching for their firm name, but not clicking on their website, this typically means they are looking for additional information before moving forward. Google reviews can be one of the best ways to provide the information they need in order to take action.
What Financial Advisors Need To Do To Receive Reviews
Reviews are easy to find, but preparing to receive them requires a little preparation. Make sure to cover these three steps before attempting to acquire reviews.
Create and Verify Your Google My Business Listing
Before you can begin receiving reviews you will need to set up your Google My Business and verify it. It’s not a problem If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business listing. Our guide to setting up and optimizing your Google My Business listing can help you.
Once Google My Business is set up you should be able to Google your firm’s name and find the listing. It should look something like this:
After your listing has been verified and set up you are ready to start receiving reviews.
Understand the New SEC Ad Rule
The Security and Exchange Commission’s new ad rule is a direct response to developments in marketing. Primarily a reaction to technology and the internet, the new rule affects the way advisors can approach online advertising, including Google Reviews.
Understanding the SEC’s new ad rule is integral to utilizing the following strategies. Some firms may not be able to enact these, while others might, the decision will ultimately be up to your compliance team.
If you’re interested in the additional opportunities created by the SEC ad rule, then feel free to check out our most recent webinar on the subject, or read our article on 5 opportunities created by the SEC ad rule change.
Read Google Review’s Terms of Service
Google’s terms of service are relatively standard, though if requesting reviews it is important to understand what is appropriate. You can find Google’s terms of service for reviews here.
6 Ways Financial Advisors Can Get More Google Reviews
Now that you’re Google My Business is set up, you’re ready to receive reviews. Though remember to consult your compliance team before implementing these methods, or any new marketing strategy.
1. Provide a Link and Guide To Write a Google Review
This can be as simple as a page containing reviews, or as detailed as instructions for writing a review. Helping your visitors and clients understand where and how they can write a review is key. Including the benefits of doing so can also be helpful for generating positive reviews, as those that feel they’ve received great service will be more inclined to show appreciation.
Writing a review is relatively simple. Looking at our sample Google My Business listing from WealthKeel, you will see a “Write a Review” button near the bottom of the listing:
Clicking this button will open a window allowing you to write a review using the Google account you are currently logged into. However, to get to your Google My Business listing, review-writers will have to search your firm’s name. Providing a link to your listing makes this review process easier. To do so, simply search your firm name until your listing appears. Then, copy the URL from this search, and include it as a link.
2. Create an Email Campaign To Request Reviews
Utilizing your client email list is a great way to acquire more Google reviews. If you do decide to go this route, make sure to send your campaign to everyone on your email list. This way your reviews are less likely to be considered biased, as you provide individuals who may not have become clients an opportunity to review your firm.
Your campaign should be direct, have a compelling subject line, provide a reason for requesting the Google review and be sent at an optimal time. The benefits above could be used to tell readers how the review will help you. Make sure to also make writing a review simple. Provide a brief guide to, if appropriate, or simply link out to your Google reviews page using the same link as your website footer.
3. Include A Google Review Request in Your Site’s Footer
Many websites include a contact section in the footer of their pages. This information carries through the entire website, allowing visitors to access it at any time. Often times other platforms can be found here, typically social media. But it is also not uncommon to find a link to your business’s Google Reviews and a call-to-action requesting a positive review. A button like the following can be designed using Canva:
To include something like this on your website, simply log into your Website Engine account and navigate to the bottom of the page where your footer is located. From here you can include an image by clicking on the editable field, where a new menu will appear. Click the “add image” button from this menu to add a new image:
Once your image is in place and scaled to a workable size, you will want to turn it into a link. To do so, simply click the image again, and from the new menu select the “insert link” icon:
Copy the Google search URL used to find your Google My Business listing, then paste it into this field. Your image will now become a button, allowing visitors to click your icon and take them directly to your reviews page. Remember to save changes before leaving!
Including a button like this in the footer makes your request simple and low-key while also ensuring that the request is not locked to one page of your website.
4. Add a Google Review Request To Your Email Signature
Much like including a Google Review request in your website’s footer, including a review request in your email signature provides the opportunity for any communication to create a review. Though less direct than an email campaign, this option is far more consistent.
Remember, just like other options, keep the link to Google simple and make it easy for readers to provide a Google review. Providing a call-to-action along with this can help improve how often you receive a review.
5. Include a Popup On Your Website
Popups can be somewhat controversial. Many people do not enjoy them when visiting a website, but they can also be an effective way to catch visitor attention. Whether this popup is for a sale, or to sign up for a newsletter, many sites utilize them.
For advisors, popups can be used on your blog pages to capture more leads for your email list, but they can also be utilized to request a Google review. Naturally, this popup should only appear in sections where the visitor would interact with your services. After all, relevance is key to making sure your popup effective, as you don’t want to annoy your visitors. In addition, make sure your popup is timed appropriately. Too late may never generate additional leads, while too quick may make a request from a visitor before they can even explore your site. We typically aim for around a minute with our popups.
6. Request Reviews During Client Interaction
Most interactions between clients and advisors have moved online, into emails and Zoom calls. Requesting a Google review may feel awkward at first, but if the client feels they have received great customer service, then they may be more willing to provide a review and help out your firm. Requesting reviews from every contact may be best, to avoid bias.
Alternatively, and with COVID-19 safety precautions in mind, adding a Google review request to your firm’s business cards can be a great way to acquire more reviews. These cards can be readily available for visitors to your firm, in order to avoid physical contact. This option is also great for advisors that don’t wish to push review requests during a conversation.
Wrapping It Up
Positive reviews are a great way to attract clients to any business. But, Google reviews, unlike the array of review websites that are available, provide additional advantages. For advisors, such benefits can help drive traffic to their website, enabling greater lead generation and a larger client list. Incorporating one or all of the tips above to generate more reviews will help enable these benefits. Remember to consult with your compliance team before establishing any new marketing strategies.
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About The Author
Stuart is a Content Marketing Specialist at Twenty Over Ten and enjoys creating content that both entertains and educates. A Game Designer at heart, he can be found pursuing one of his many hobbies during his free time.