Google reviews and why your school needs them.
Amazon has trained all of us to check online reviews. Every time we buy something online, we check the reviews.
Hotels, when you book a hotel, you check the reviews.
Restaurants, you know, we check Trip advisor.
So why would your school be any different?
If you went to look for a hotel and came across a hotel with only two stars on Google reviews, you probably wouldn't book that hotel. With reviews for your school, it works in the same way! You really need lots of good reviews for your school.
So Let's take a look at why reviews are crucial to attracting new students.
Are you aware that 97% of customers read online reviews? almost half of them said they'll only trust a business with four stars and above.
With a single negative review, immediately, you can drop your sales from five to eight per cent. 94% of people said they avoided a business because of bad reviews, so they're essential.
So what are the benefits of having good reviews?
- They increase social proof: 97% per cent of people said they check reviews before they even interact with a business.
- They increase visibility, and reviews give you a better SEO.
If you want to be on the top school in the Google Map Pack, you need reviews.
If I Google language school near where I live in Google Maps, it will show me a list of all the schools nearby. The schools with the highest reviews are pushed to the top of this map pack. So if you want to be in the top three, you need good reviews, or otherwise, you're on page two, et cetera. They give you better SEO. Google rewards businesses with better reviews. It forms almost 20% of your SEO score.
- They generate more trust for your school. So who would you trust more? A school that has between 0 reviews or five reviews? or a school with 100 plus reviews?
- There are increasingly becoming a significant part of the final sales decision: So imagine a student wants to go to school, but they don't know anybody who went there and that school had terrible reviews, They're probably not going to go there! But, If the same school had high reviews, it's an easier choice to make. People don't trust advertising anymore; we are becoming more skeptical of what we see and read. But reviews are basically what your students are saying about your school!
- They're an excellent source of feedback from your students. You want to know what students are saying. Are they happy? Are they are unhappy? If they're unhappy, you need to do something about that. It's pointless sticking your head in the sand and pleading ignorance.
- They are the actual proof of the quality of your school, and they have a clear impact on sales. More reviews have proven higher sales; Google has stated that a business with no reviews could double its sales with just five positive reviews.
The image on the left is from a Google My Business account encouraging the the owner to go out and start getting more reviews as it will attract more business
So how do you get more reviews?
But keep the following in mind when you're asking for reviews.
- So firstly, have believable reviews.
If you don't have reviews at the moment, you might be tempted to ask your friends to leave you some reviews! Please don't!
Be careful! Because fake reviews sound inauthentic.
It's better to get genuine reviews. They sound better. And like I said, they're more authentic.
- Ask often. Don't ask your students once, then leave it at that. You're going to have to ask your students again and again. Learn the best was to ask for reviews here
So it'll be good if you put it on your emails when you are communicating with students, get your teachers to ask students to regularly leave reviews. You need to ask repeatedly
- Make it as easy as possible for your students to leave reviews for your school. If you send them an email asking for a review, include a link to your Google My Business page so they can leave your reviews very quickly.
Please don't make your students work to give you reviews.
- Give your students at least two platforms to leave your reviews. So Google is the most important, but Facebook is excellent as well.
- Respond to all the reviews that people leave you! The good, the bad and the indifference. Always respond to them. If you don't leave a response, the people who are reading these reviews will think you don't care about the feedback or unsatisfied students.
- One very important thing to keep in mind!
Timing is crucial, so never ask your students for a review a couple of weeks after they've completed the course.
Always ask them, you know, when they're most excited and when they're most engaged. So this is probably maybe a week into the course, and students are excited. So this is the best time to ask for reviews, and it will increase the response by up to eight times.
What to do with your reviews?
Show them out, put them on your website, put them in all your marketing materials. If you have good reviews, show them off, they will attract more students.