Did you know 68% of online experiences start with a search engine? Ask yourself, are you searchable? Perhaps just as important as hanging your sign on your building or getting a business card is setting up your Google Business Profile. This allows you to be found when customers are searching for the type of fitness that you offer.
In fact, studies show that 66% of consumers perform online research before making a purchase. And here is the even better news: 76% of consumers who search for a local business visit a related business in the next 24 hours.
Knowing these important facts should make you want to stand out amongst the competition. The way to stand out is to not only be searchable, but to be found at the top of the list or at least on the first page. Some sources say that 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page.
So, how do you move to the first page and even to the top of the list? I didn’t know that answer either until I reached out for help. I began working with a company by the name of TrainWithMe. This is the company that my franchise, Journey 333, uses for our body composition software and our website build-out.
More than a website or body composition company, these guys are software developers. Together we have developed a one-of-a-kind lead magnet, an indispensable sales tool and, most recently, a way to use the body composition software to garner automatic Google reviews which has brought us to the first page and to the top of the list when someone is searching for fitness in our area.
Here is how it works. When someone updates their measurements and gets a positive result, the body composition software is set up to recognize that result, congratulate the customer and ask for a 5-star review. We also let them know that “5-star reviews are important to the success of our business so if for some reason they don’t feel that a 5-star review is appropriate, please give us the chance to address any issues before leaving a review.”
These reviews not only boost SEO, but they boost traffic flow because 86% of customers rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and online reviews.
Harvard Business School found that online reviews impact your bottom line. Brands that are viewed positively have better sales. Even improving your star rating can have a positive effect on your sales. According to the study, a one-star improvement on Yelp.com leads to a boost of 5% to 9% on sales in the short term. In a 2016 study, Revoo found that online reviews drive an average of 18% sales uplift.
By now you understand the importance of Google reviews and are probably wondering how to boost your own reviews. There are several ways to get started:
- First, you should be armed with a link to give to customers when they have a good experience. You can create this shortcut by going to your Google business page home tab and click on “get more reviews.” This will take you to the spot where you with have an option to share a link. Save that link for when you know you have a raving fan and ask them for a 5-star review. For those customers who are not standing directly in front of you, they will most likely go to your website to leave a review so be sure to have a shortcut installed on the site.
- It’s important to remember that you don’t have to wait for the raving fan or someone who has visited your website to leave a review. Instead, you can be more proactive about it. Launch an email or text campaign asking your customers for a review. Be direct. Explain that reviews really help your business, and it helps future customers to make an informed decision. If they feel they have had a great experience at your company, ask them to please leave a 5-star review. If they haven’t had a 5-star experience, then tell them to please contact you right away so you can find out how to make it a 5-star experience. Either way, you win. You will either get reviews or have an opportunity to correct and negative customer experience. You can also ask for reviews on social media. Consider posting your best review and ask for more!
- Looking for even more low hanging fruit to get your Google reviews? Consider asking your vendors or partners.
Now that I have given you a few ways to get Google reviews and some very important statistics as to why this should be a priority, I’ll leave you with one final tip. Make sure that you have a good lead magnet on your site when they get there like the one that I built with TrainWithMe. So often, people just offer a newsletter or a free workout, but I suggest being different and doing your best to offer a fitness solution like we do at www.journeyfitness333.com.
Travis Barnes is a best-selling author, international presenter, founder, and franchisor of Journey Fitness 333. Journey 333 is a group training franchise that prides itself on including all the benefits of one-on-one training while customers save money and enjoy the energy of working in a group. Travis has a vision for 1000 franchise locations by the year 2033. He wants 5,000 to 8,000 coaches waking up every day to go change lives. He wants to help hundreds of entrepreneurs to live their dream of running a successful fitness business. To get in touch with Travis just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.