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10 Proven Strategies To Increase Your Google Reviews (Is Email Outdated?)

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Feb 15, 2024
Read Time: X Min
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Sarah owns a small spa in Austin, Texas. She works hard to ensure her customers leave happy, and they do — her surveys show they love the service. But when you look at her spa's Google page, there are barely any reviews.

She got less than 15 reviews for two years, even though her customers were satisfied. 

Sarah is in a dilemma. She doesn’t want to pressure her clients to leave a review, even though she knows their importance.

This scenario isn't unique to Sarah. You probably face the same challenge with your business. Like Sarah, you know you're doing great work, and your customers are happy, but for some reason, this doesn't show in your Google reviews. 

It's frustrating, right? 

Remember, 81% of people look up local businesses on Google before visiting them. That's a lot of potential customers who might choose elsewhere because they don't see enough good things about your business online.

So, what do you do? In this article, we’ll show you proven strategies that encourage happy customers to share their positive experiences without feeling forced.

Why Are Google Reviews Important?

Google reviews are the current word-of-mouth for businesses. A report by ReviewTrackers found that Google is the review site that most consumers check before visiting a business — 63.6% of consumers are likely to check Google reviews.

Chart showing the different review sites that people check before visiting a business.
Source

This is one reason you must prioritize getting more positive Google reviews.

Here are more reasons why Google reviews are important:

1. Customer Trust

According to BrightLocal's Local Consumer Review Survey, 46% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.

Positive Google reviews build trust and credibility by conveying satisfaction through first-hand customer experiences.

So, when potential customers search for your businesses online, a strong collection of positive reviews will instantly boost your business's credibility. This makes it more likely that those customers will choose you over competitors with fewer or lower reviews.

2. SEO Benefits

Google's algorithm favors businesses with a higher number of positive reviews. It integrates ratings and reviews across searches, maps, and knowledge panels to signal authority and relevance.

It will, therefore, view these businesses as more reputable and relevant to user's search queries.

More reviews and higher ratings improve your business's placement in search results. This visibility is crucial, as the top three listings in Google's local search results attract the most clicks.

3. Online Reputation

Your business's online reputation is largely shaped by what customers say about it online. 

Google Reviews are a public testament to your business's quality, customer service, and overall customer satisfaction.

Positive reviews enhance your business's reputation, attracting customers and generating more revenue. Conversely, negative reviews allow you to address concerns and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction, positively affecting your reputation.

4. They Influence Purchasing Decisions

Consumers often view online reviews as an authentic reflection of a business's quality and reliability.

When researching options, a person will automatically favor listings with more 4- and 5-star ratings over those lacking transparent customer validation.

Research by Dixa shows that 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.

When potential customers see that others have had positive experiences with your business, they are more likely to feel confident in their decision to engage with your business themselves.

5. Enhanced Consumer Engagement And Feedback Loop

Reviews give you immediate feedback on your products or services. You can quickly identify areas of success and opportunities for improvement.

Responding to positive and negative reviews shows customers that you value and take their opinions seriously.

This engagement strengthens customer relationships, builds loyalty, and encourages repeat business.

How Do Google Reviews Work?

Google Reviews starts with your customers and ends up helping future customers decide whether to choose your business.

Google reviews work in 3 key steps:

  1. How customers submit reviews
  2. Where Google displays reviews
  3. How Google uses reviews to determine search rankings

Here's how the process goes:

1. How Customers Submit Reviews

The journey of a Google review begins when a customer decides to provide feedback on their experience with your business. 

Customers provide reviews in the following ways:

  • Via Google Maps and Search: Most customers find it easy to leave reviews through Google Maps or Google Search. After visiting your business, customers may receive a prompt from Google, especially if they use Google Maps for navigation or search for your business before visiting. This prompt is a straightforward invitation to rate their experience and write a review.
  • Directly Through Your Google My Business Profile: As a business owner, you can actively encourage reviews by utilizing your Google My Business (GMB) profile. You can send a direct link to your customers through email, text messages, or social media. This link leads them to a page where they can leave a review.
  • Embedding Reviews on Your Website: Once you start accumulating ratings on your Business Profile, Google generates embeddable snippets with highlighted star ratings and key customer quotes. You can embed these Google Reviews on your website.
  • Redirect From External Sites: Businesses also utilize external sites and marketing materials to encourage Google Reviews. By placing Google review badges or direct links on their websites, in email signatures, or on social media platforms, they make it easier for customers to access their review page.

2. Where Google Displays Reviews

Once customers submit ratings and feedback, where exactly does Google showcase these reviews to influence perceptions, drive discovery, and impact purchasing decisions? 

Google reviews are primarily displayed in three key areas: Knowledge Panels, Local Search Packs, and the Google My Business listing itself.

Each location offers unique value in capturing the attention of prospective customers.

Knowledge Panels

Knowledge panels appear on the right of Google search results pages when someone searches for a business name or related keywords.

Google's search results for the term "Kajabi" with a red square around the knowledge panel.
Source

Your reviews, including star rating, total review count, and select positive quotes, will be prominently integrated here.

The prime real estate of knowledge panels means prospects immediately see your ratings and social proof while scanning results. This subconsciously builds confidence to click through to your listing or website.

Local Search Pack

The local search pack refers to the three listing clusters at the top of search results for location-based queries like "pizza places in Chicago." It includes your core business information, map pin, and the number of Google reviews.

Google Map results for the query "pizza places in Chicago"
Source

Appearing in this top pack means your review count and rating are prominently displayed, outranking other competitors.

These metrics powerfully influence which options users engage first.

Google My Business Listing

The listing hosts your reviews, including a quantity breakdown for each star rating, highlights, and full commentary accessible by scrolling down. Visitors researching your brand see reviews here most prominently, especially on mobile.

Getting more reviews on your Google My Business listing should be the foundation of your review strategy. 

Why? Your GMB profile is where Google shows your reviews across search results and maps.

3. How Google Uses Reviews To Determine Search Rankings

Google has access to extensive data on local businesses, including reviews and ratings left by customers.

But how do they factor these reviews into determining which businesses appear first for relevant search results?

Google keeps its ranking formulas secret, but we analyze algorithm updates to understand the influence of reviews.

Here is what we know:

  • Quantity and Quality of Reviews: The number of reviews and the overall rating directly affect your business’s search engine rankings. A higher quantity of positive reviews signals to Google that your business is popular and trusted by the community, contributing to improved search visibility.
  • Freshness and Relevance: Recent reviews carry more weight in Google’s algorithms. Keeping a constant flow of fresh reviews suggests that your business remains relevant and continues to satisfy customers.
  • Engagement and Response: Google values businesses that engage with their customers. Responding to positive or negative reviews demonstrates that you value feedback and are committed to customer satisfaction. This engagement can influence your business's SEO performance.

How To Set Up And Optimize Your Google My Business Account

Google My Business is a free tool to manage your business's appearance on Google Search and Google Maps. 

It lets you supplement your website with key details like address, contact info, opening hours, photos, etc.

By accurately setting up and optimizing your GMB account, you can enhance your business's appearance on Google Search and Maps.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Setting Up Your Google My Business Account

Getting your GMB account up and running involves a few key steps:

  1. Claim Your Business: Visit https://www.google.com/business/ and log in with your Google account. Search to see if your business is already listed. If it is, you can claim it. If not, add it to Google.
Google My Business website
Source
  1. Fill Out Your Business Details: Provide comprehensive information about your business, including the name, address, phone number, website, and business category. The accuracy of this information is critical for helping customers find your business and improving your search rankings.
  2. Verify Your Business: Verification is crucial to confirming authenticity. Google often verifies businesses by mailing a postcard with a verification code to their business address, although some businesses may qualify for phone or email verification.
  3. Optimize Your Listing: Once verified, enhance your profile by adding a thorough description, high-quality photos, business hours, and more. This will help your listing stand out and provide potential customers with useful information.

2. Optimizing Your Google My Business Account

Once you have claimed or verified your Google My Business Profile, the next step is to optimize the listing fully.

An incomplete or sparsely populated profile means missed opportunities for visibility, customer engagement, and reviews.

Here are a few tips to optimize your GMB profile:

  • Keep Your Information Up to Date: Regularly update your business hours, contact information, and services to reflect changes. Accurate information helps avoid customer frustration and improves trust.
  • Collect and Respond to Reviews: Encourage your customers to leave reviews and take the time to respond to them. This interaction boosts your profile's visibility and demonstrates that you value customer feedback.
  • Utilize Google Posts: Regularly post updates, offers, events, or new products. These posts appear directly in your GMB listing and keep your customers engaged and informed.
  • Add Products or Services: Listing your offerings, descriptions, and prices helps potential customers understand what you provide and make informed decisions.
  • Monitor Insights: Google My Business offers insights that show how customers interact with your listing. Use this data to adjust your business strategy and improve your online presence.

A well-managed GMB account drives more traffic to your website, increases calls and visits to your physical location, and contributes to the growth and success of your business.

10 Tips To Get More Google Reviews

Getting positive reviews on Google is key to success today. However, many struggle to get happy customers to leave ratings, even when providing great service.

Fortunately, there are straightforward and effective strategies for increasing your collection of Google reviews. These tactics don't require special expertise and are accessible to anyone eager to enhance their online reputation.

1. Ask For Reviews After Closing A Contract

The first step in getting more Google reviews is asking. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews and testimonials!

Research by BrightLocal found that 12% of consumers leave a review when the business asks them to.

Now, the timing of your request is just as important as the act of asking itself. 

Ask for a review immediately after closing a contract or completing a service because the customer's experience is fresh in their mind. They're more likely to recall specific details that can enrich their review, making it more useful to potential customers and more beneficial for your business's reputation.

When asking for reviews:

  • Be Direct but Polite: Use a straightforward request that respects the customer's time and experience. For example, "We hope you're delighted with our service. If you are, we'd greatly appreciate it if you could take a few moments to leave us a review on Google”
  • Personalize Your Request: Tailor the message to reflect the specific service you provided or mention the customer's name to add a personal touch.
  • Make it Easy: Provide a direct link to your Google My Business review page to remove any barriers to leaving a review. The easier it is for customers to leave a review, the more likely they will do so.
  • Explain the Value: Explain to customers how their review can help others make informed decisions and how it supports your business. Understanding the impact of their feedback can motivate customers to contribute.

Expert Tip: Use automation tools to transform how you collect Google reviews. These tools integrate into your existing workflow, like your CRM, sending out review requests when your customer's experience with your service or product is still top of mind.

Automation tools are also excellent in personalizing each interaction. They can tailor messages to address customers by name and reference specific services they've used, making each request feel thoughtful and direct.

2. Maintain An Active NPS And Encourage Satisfied Clients To Leave Reviews

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a proven metric for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty after a purchase or service interaction.

The NPS system works by asking customers this question:

“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely would you be to recommend our business to friends and colleagues?”

Based on the rating given, customers fall into one of three categories:

  • Promoters (9-10): Loyal enthusiasts who will refer others.
  • Passives (7-8): Satisfied but indifferent.
  • Detractors (0-6): Unhappy and unlikely to recommend.

After service delivery, send NPS surveys via email or SMS. 

Identify promoters who gave ratings of 9 or 10. Follow up with these happy customers personally and request they leave an online review based on their positive experience.

Remember to provide a direct link to simplify the process. Prioritize these promoters for review since they already lean toward endorsing your business.

If someone is unhappy or unsatisfied, call them to resolve the issues triggering dissatisfaction. Then, reevaluate once the issues are addressed.

Actively maintaining NPS identifies the most favorable review candidates primed for conversion. It allows you to target customers who are already delighted with your service.

3. Request Reviews Via SMS

The average open rate for an SMS is 90%+, while the average open rate for an email is between 20% and 30%, depending on the industry.

The personalized nature and ubiquity of smartphones mean customers are more readily able to open an SMS. Leverage this channel to stand out from routine emails.

Keep text review requests short yet specific:

"Hi [name], did you have a positive experience at [business]? Would you mind taking 2 minutes to leave us a Google review? Your feedback helps grow our business!"

Then, insert a shortened redirect URL to your Google reviews page.

Prioritize sending SMS review invites to recently satisfied customers. A week later, follow up on non-responses with an email version.

4. Include A CTA For Reviews On Your Homepage

This strategic move capitalizes on your website's traffic, turning casual browsers into potential reviewers.

When customers land on your site, whether to browse your offerings, check out your latest blog post, or get in touch, a prominent CTA can gently nudge them toward leaving a Google review.

This CTA should hyperlink directly to your Google My Business reviews page to reduce friction.

Positioning this CTA is also key. It should be visible enough to catch attention without disrupting the user's experience.

Consider placing it in a sidebar, as part of the footer, or within a popup that appears as users scroll or prepare to exit the site.

The design of your CTA matters as well. It should be eye-catching and clearly labeled, making it obvious that you invite them to review your business on Google.

Finally, the wording of your CTA also plays a crucial role. It should be direct yet courteous, encouraging customers to share their experiences. Use phrases like "Loved our service? Leave us a review on Google!" or "Tell us how we did" to provide a clear action for satisfied customers to take. 

This increases the likelihood of gathering more reviews and signals to prospective customers that you value feedback and are committed to maintaining high standards.

5. Leverage Your Social Media Profiles To Ask For Reviews

Your existing social media followers are a lucrative yet often overlooked source for Google reviews.

When asking for reviews on social media, the key is to be genuine and appreciative.

Craft posts that express how much you value customer feedback and how it helps your business grow and improve. 

"Your feedback means the world to us! If you've enjoyed our service, please consider leaving us a Google review," strikes the right balance between appreciative and instructive.

The timing is also important here. Choose the timing wisely. It’s best to ask for reviews following a successful promotion, event, or product launch, capitalizing on moments when customer satisfaction is likely high. 

However, be mindful of frequency. Inundating your followers with requests will lead to annoyance rather than engagement.

Expert Tip: Social media is a two-way street. Engage with those who comment on your posts about leaving a review. A simple "Thank you," or a more personalized response shows that you're not just collecting reviews but are actively engaging with your customer base.

6. Create A QR Code For Reviews On Landing Pages

The beauty of a QR code lies in its simplicity. With a quick scan, customers are directed exactly where they need to go to leave a review, bypassing the need to navigate search results or type in URLs. 

This reduction in steps significantly increases the likelihood of someone leaving a review. It minimizes effort and time investment from the customer's side.

When incorporating a QR code into your landing pages, the code should be in a spot that's easily noticeable but not intrusive to the overall user experience.

Accompany the QR code with a friendly, encouraging message, such as "Loved our service? Scan here to leave us a Google review!" 

This draws attention to the QR code and provides clear guidance on what action you want the customer to take.

While landing pages are a prime location, don't limit the placement of your QR code to just the landing page. Feature it in your email newsletters, on your contact page, and within your social media profiles. 

Also, place QR codes at physical locations like checkout counters or tables where customers often linger after availing services.

Woman sitting at a table scanning a QR code with her phone.
Source

Consider signage near exits to capture feedback effectively before departure.

7. Incorporate Videos In Your Messages Requesting Reviews

According to Wyzowl, personalized video drives 35% higher clickthrough rates.

Videos uniquely convey your brand's personality, sincerity, and appreciation, making your request for reviews feel more personal and heartfelt. 

A short video message from you or your team thanking customers for their business and asking for a review can make a big difference in how your request is received.

  • Keep it Short and Sweet: Aim for a video length of 30 seconds to one minute. Respect your customers' time while providing clear and concise information.
  • Be Genuine: Authenticity resonates with viewers. A genuine thank you message from the business owner or employees creates a personal connection and can motivate customers to leave a review.
  • Clear Call-to-Action: End your video with a clear, straightforward call-to-action directing viewers to leave a Google review. Make sure to explain how their feedback helps your business and future customers.
  • Easy Access to Your Google Review Page: Accompany your video with an easy-to-follow link or QR code that takes customers directly to your Google review page.

Ensure you monitor how your video review requests perform across different platforms. 

Pay attention to metrics like view count, click-through rate to your Google review page, and the subsequent increase in reviews. This data will help you understand your audience’s response and refine your approach for even better results in the future.

8. Foster A Review Culture Among Your Employees

When your team understands the value of customer feedback and is motivated to encourage reviews, the process becomes a collective effort that reflects positively on your business.

Creating a review culture within your organization means embedding the pursuit of positive customer feedback into the DNA of your business operations. 

Employees can gently encourage happy clients to rate services without appearing desperate or forceful.

Equip your team with the knowledge and tools they need to ask for reviews confidently. They should understand the following:

  • The optimal moments to request a review.
  • How to approach the topic with customers.
  • The use of any technology or tools, like QR codes or links, makes leaving a review easier for the customer.

Consider implementing a rewards system for employees who successfully encourage reviews. Incentives can motivate your team and highlight the importance of gathering customer feedback. 

Ensure that incentives comply with Google’s policies. You should focus on incentivizing the act of asking for reviews rather than the review content itself.

9. Obtain Google Reviews From Business Partners

Think beyond direct customers by approaching partner brands, influencers, or vendors to offer a unique perspective on your company's reliability, professionalism, and the quality of your work.

Business partners can provide insights into aspects of your operations that typical customers might not see, such as:

  • Your commitment to timely deliveries.
  • The quality of your materials.
  • Your collaborative approach to problem-solving.

Just like with customer reviews, timing is important. A good time to ask for a review is after the successful completion of a project or when you have achieved a significant milestone together.

Tailor your request to reflect your business relationship. Acknowledge your mutual achievements and express how their feedback would benefit your business’s growth and reputation.

Some partners might be unfamiliar with a review based on a business-to-business interaction, so they offer guidance on what aspects they could cover.

Expert Tip: Offer to provide a review for your partner's business as well.

10. Of Course, Continue To Use Emails To Request Reviews

Earlier, we saw that SMS has a very high open rate compared to emails. Does that mean asking for reviews through email is outdated? Not at all. 

Email remains a powerful tool for gathering Google reviews. It’s versatile, you can personalize it, and it's widely accepted in professional communication. 

Email requests can significantly boost your review numbers when executed correctly while maintaining a professional and engaging approach.

With email, you have the space to include detailed instructions on how to leave a review, making the process as easy as possible for your customers. You can also embed direct links to your Google My Business listing, reducing the steps they need to take to leave a review.

Best Practices For Email Review Requests

  • Timing is Key: Send your review request emails when your customers are most likely to read and act on them. This should be shortly after a purchase or service completion when their experience with your business is fresh in their minds.
  • Keep it Short: Including much information is tempting, but keep your emails concise and focused on the review request.
  • Follow-Up Strategically: If you don't receive a response to your initial request, a polite follow-up email can be effective. However, be mindful not to send too many follow-ups, which can become intrusive. Use automation tools for this.

Expert Tip: Integrate Email Into A Multichannel Strategy

Email is a powerful tool, but integrating it into a multichannel strategy for requesting reviews amplifies your results.

Combine email with SMS, social media, and in-person requests to cover all bases and engage with your customers through their preferred channels.

Benefits Of Getting More Google Reviews For Your Business

Positive Google reviews are valuable for local businesses beyond just enhancing online visibility and reputation.

A report by Bizrate Insights states that when given options like coupons, loyalty perks, or free shipping, 32.1% of online shoppers rank high ratings and reviews as the most important factor when purchasing.

When properly executed, the ROI from generating Google reviews is very high relative to most marketing channels.

Here’s why you should prioritize the collection of Google reviews:

1. Enhanced Online Visibility And SEO

Google uses reviews as a ranking factor, especially for local searches. The more positive reviews your business has, the higher it may appear in search results, making it more likely for potential customers to find you. 

Also, pages and profiles with embedded reviews rank high over competitors in local pack search results.

The compounding SEO effects become significant, especially for highly competitive niches and geo-targets.

2. Build Trust And Credibility

Consumers often turn to reviews to gauge a business's reliability and the quality of its services or products. 

A substantial number of positive reviews can build trust and credibility with potential customers before they even interact with your business. 

This pre-established trust can be a decisive factor in their purchasing decisions.

3. Influence Purchase Decisions

Reviews serve as social proof, significantly influencing consumer's purchase decisions. 

Positive feedback from past customers reassures potential customers about the quality of your offering, making them more likely to choose your business over competitors. 

Overall, reviews act as a recommendation system, guiding consumers in their decision-making process.

4. Boost Conversion Rates

The presence of positive reviews directly impacts your conversion rates.

Customers who read positive reviews are more likely to take the next step, whether making a purchase, booking an appointment, or visiting your location. 

Reviews lower the barrier to conversion, directly impacting your bottom line.

5. Competitive Advantage

Having more positive Google reviews gives your business a competitive edge in a crowded market. It sets you apart from competitors and can be the deciding factor for customers choosing between multiple options. 

6. Valuable Customer Insights

Google reviews provide feedback about what your business is doing and areas where it can improve. 

This direct customer feedback helps refine your products, services, and customer experience. 

Acting on this feedback demonstrates to customers that you value their input and are committed to improvement, fostering loyalty, and encouraging repeat business.

Start Collecting Your Google Reviews Today

Without enough good ratings and recommendations, you become almost invisible next to competitors who have lots of reviews. This means losing potential clients and money over time.

Remember, your website is the foundation of this effort. It’s where potential customers can learn about your offerings, engage with your content, and read those valuable Google reviews.

If you want to sell online courses or digital products, use Kajabi’s website builder to create a stunning website and harness the full potential of Google reviews. 

Kajabi offers an all-in-one platform that simplifies building a website, marketing your products, and engaging with your audience. By integrating Google reviews directly onto your site, you can enhance the trustworthiness and appeal of your offerings.

We make it straightforward to embed Google reviews on your Kajabi site with tools like EmbedSocial’s review widget, allowing you to showcase real, positive customer feedback. 

This provides social proof to prospective buyers and enriches your site’s content, improving SEO and boosting your visibility in search results.

Get started with our 14-day free trial today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Embed Google Reviews On Your Website?

A third-party widget is the simplest and most effective way to embed Google reviews on your website.

Alternatively, you can directly leverage the native embed feature from within Google My Business using the following steps:

  1. Log in to Google My Business and access the reviews section.
  2. Click on “Publish.”
  3. Choose either the Badge snippet or Embed code option.
  4. Copy the generated code.
  5. Paste into your website's HTML on relevant pages like “About Us” or “Testimonials.”

While quicker for basic needs, this 1st party Google embed route has limitations in customization and dynamically pooling the latest reviews. You only showcase a sampling of content.

How Do You Delete A Google Review?

Google doesn’t allow business owners to remove or delete reviews directly. This policy aims to preserve impartiality and transparency around customer feedback.

However, in cases of defamatory, harassing, or factually inaccurate reviews, you can take steps to report the violations for potential Google removal after investigation:

  1. Go to Google Maps or your Google My Business account and find the review under your business listing.
  2. Click the flag icon next to the review to report it to Google. You'll be asked to choose why you're reporting the review.
  3. After flagging a review, Google may take several days to review and take action. If the review remains and significantly violates Google's policies, consider contacting Google My Business support for further assistance.

Remember, Google will only remove reviews that violate their policies. Genuine customer feedback — positive or negative — is not removed. You should address it professionally through a public response.

How Do I View My Google Reviews?

View of reviews on a Google My Business page
Source
  • Go to the Google My Business website and log in with the account you used to claim your business listing.
  • If you manage multiple listings, choose the business you want to view reviews for.
  • In the dashboard, find and click on the "Reviews" section on the left menu. Here, you'll see a list of all the reviews your business has received.
  • From this section, you can read and respond to your reviews.

How To Remove Bad Reviews From Google My Business?

Removing bad reviews from Google My Business can be challenging, as Google aims to maintain transparency and honesty in the feedback system.

However, if a review violates Google's review policies, you can request its removal.

  1. Sign in to your Google My Business account. Select the business location if you have more than one.
  2. Go to the "Reviews" section on your GMB dashboard, where you can see all the reviews your business has received.
  3. Locate the review in question, click on the three-dot menu next to it, and select "Flag as inappropriate." This notifies Google that the review may violate their policies and should be reviewed.

How To Leave An Anonymous Google Review?

Google doesn’t allow fully anonymous reviews to be posted publicly to maintain accountability and prevent abuse. All published ratings require linking to a Google account with associated details.

When you write a review on Google, your name and profile photo from your Google account are displayed alongside your review. This transparency helps to ensure the authenticity and trustworthiness of reviews, both for businesses and consumers.

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10 Proven Strategies To Increase Your Google Reviews (Is Email Outdated?)
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