Digital Marketing

How To Get More Google Review Stars From Guests

Getting a great review on Google can seem a tricky art to master – but once you get the hang of it, you can reap the rewards of this ever-popular, quickly accessible review function. Customer reviews are very important to local rankings in SEO. Research suggests that earning more (positive) reviews can help you skyrocket to the top of Google search – and generate more clicks – meaning more chances of scoring that all-important hotel booking!

Reviews are a way to impress upon potential customers exactly what it is you have to offer – and are a cornerstone of hotel search engine marketing. Customers only see your average ‘star’ rating when they search for your business, alongside the total number of reviews you have obtained. Keeping track of your ratings are therefore also a vital part of your online reputation management.

But how do you get more review stars from your guests?

Request Honest Reviews
Having perfect ratings might not be as desirable as it seems. Google sometimes finds it a bit unlikely to have consistent five star feedback, and could penalise your SEO results if they detect foul play. In addition, new customers like to know about any potential ‘issues’ before booking – it doesn’t mean they will necessarily avoid your establishment as a result, particularly if the review stated your staff dealt with any conflicts or problems efficiently. If you receive a review with lower star ratings than you wanted, you can always turn this review into positive action to improve your hotel – meaning you’ll be more likely to get better reviews next time round.

guest review
Ask Everyone
You shouldn’t afraid to ask all of your customers for a review, not merely repeat customers or those who you think may be the most likely to give you a positive review. Unless they’ve had an awful time, most customers will be happy enough to respond to your request by rewarding you at least an average review – which, as Google reviews are aggregated and averaged-out ‘at a glance’ – will help to negate the possible reputational damage of any negative reviews you have.

Don’t Focus on Google + Alone
While you should certainly try to steer reviewers in the direction of your preferred platform – in this case Google + Local – don’t be too pushy, and emphasise that you value reviews received through all means. While your Trip Advisor reviews won’t appear within your Google reviews, they are still valuable to your hotel search engine marketing efforts.

Keep It Personal
Asking for a review should be done as close to the time of the actual booking as possible. As guests are checking out in person, or in a follow-up e-mail after they’ve left – don’t leave it too long, and try not to send out ‘one size fits all’ mailshots when requesting reviews, as customers will likely find this off-putting.

Don’t Be Pushy
Leaving reviews is ultimately an organic process for customers. If you deliver a great experience, then they are far more likely to want to tell the world about it than if they had a lacklustre stay. Focus on making sure your guests have a fantastic trip – and then ask if they’d be willing to tell the world about it with a review.