Over the last 2 weeks, we have described what Google Reviews are, why should you care, and what are the benefits. These 16 strategies below will help you to do just that.
1. First, know the process
It takes about a minute for a customer to write a Google review. Easy enough, right? Well, there’s a process to get there. The customer has to:
Open up Google Maps
- Search for your business
- Click on it to pull up your Google Business Profile
- Scroll down to the reviews section in your profile
- Click write a review
2. Create a Google review link shortcut
- Your customer has to go online to write the review, regardless, so create a review shortcut link and put it on your website.
- Go to your Google My Business account, click the Home tab, and find the “Get your first review” (or “Get more reviews”) card. Click “Share review form” and copy the link to your clipboard.
3. Shorten your review shortcut
It’s easy enough to drop this link into a button on your website or hyperlink it through shorter anchor text. But there are plenty of offline methods of getting Google reviews for which this eye sore of a string will not work. Thankfully, there are free link shorteners out there like bitly.com through which you can shorten and even customize your review link.
Okay, now that you’ve got a nice and clean review shortcut link, it’s time to look at various ways to present this link to customers to get more Google reviews for your local business.
4. Link out to your Google reviews page from your website
If a customer wants to leave a review for your business, the first place they’re probably going to look is your website. Provide a clear and clutter-free call to action that is intuitively easy to find.
5. Create a Google reviews page on your website
While the above method works, an even better one is to dedicate a full website page to Google reviews (or reviews in general), accessible from your main navigation menu. The page should contain both a CTA to write a review but also include existing reviews. These not only encourage prospects to become a customer but also give that added inspiration for an existing customer to leave a review.
You can populate your reviews page via screenshots, but ideally, you want them to be in text form. The reason for this is that reviews are often keyword-rich, so including them on your website in a way that Google’s crawlers can “read” makes for a great small business SEO strategy.
That being said, you may want to come up with a template where you can copy and paste the text in. Some platforms and plug-ins allow you to aggregate your Google reviews onto your website automatically.
6. Include a Google review CTA in your footer
In addition to or instead of having a designated page for Google reviews (or reviews in general) on your website, you may also want to include it in your website footer. This way, you don’t have to worry about deciding where or where not to include the CTA.
7. Create “leave us a review” cards
This is an offline method of getting more Google reviews, for which your shortcut link from #3 comes in handy. Have physical cards made up that say something to the effect of:
“Review Us on Google! Your Google review helps others who need our services to find our business. Plus, your feedback equips us to continue serving you best. Take a minute to rate and review us at <<insert link>>Thank you!”
8. Ask for Google reviews in person
Having a good conversation with a customer in your store? Just finished a solid support call in which the customer felt eternally grateful. In your interactions with clients, there are many opportunities to ask for Google reviews.
And then you have that compact little card that has the link on it, or a link to your review page on your website that makes it easy for them. Don’t hesitate to ask for the Google Review.
9. Emphasize to customers how quick and easy it is
By now, you know how easy it is to leave a Google review, but your customers may not. Plus, reviewing writer’s block is a thing. A long-time customer may have a hard time distilling everything they love about your business into one review. And then some have a hard time articulating what’s on their mind. So, when you’re encouraging a review, it might be helpful to:
- Tell them they can leave a star rating without writing anything (if applicable).
- Remind them that if they do write, the review needs only be one or two sentences.
- Use terminology like “leave a review” or “drop a quick review” instead of “write a review,” as it might feel less cumbersome.
10. Run a Google review email campaign
Whether via personalized messages or a larger blanket campaign, SMS & email marketing is another effective way to get more Google business reviews. Just be clear in your ask—don’t try to sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or coerce customers into leaving a review. There’s nothing wrong with asking them to do something that will help other future customers make informed decisions. Plus, when you have happy customers, you’d be surprised at how willing they are to write a review. As long as the process is clear and you make it fast and easy to do, you’re likely to get warm responses to your request.
11. Include Google review opportunities in surveys
Asking your customers for their feedback lets them know that you value what they have to say and have their best interests in mind. If you’ve got someone to fill out a poll or survey, they’re already in the proper mindset. See if you can take advantage of their momentum by asking them to review your business on Google while they’re at it.
12. Ask for reviews on social media
Social media platforms are great for conversational marketing and transparency. Post a screenshot of your best review and ask your customers to leave their feedback (including your clean and simple Google review shortcut link). Remind your followers that this is an opportunity for them to introduce someone else just like them to the benefits they experience from working with your business.
Platforms like Facebook have their review system, so keep this in mind when reaching out in this regard.
13. Get Google reviews from vendors and partners
Vendors and partners may not be customers, but they can attest to what it’s like to work with you regularly. They also might be more willing to leave a Google business review if you write one for their business first.
14. Respond to your existing Google reviews
When you respond to your customers’ Google reviews, you are letting new potential reviewers know that you listen to customer feedback and that it’s worth their time to write their reviews. There are two ways in which responding to reviews can get you more reviews.
Positive reviews: Being specific, timely, and grateful in your responses to positive reviews will beget more positive reviews.
Negative reviews: Responding promptly and politely to negative reviews and resolving the issue can oftentimes result in the conversion of a negative review into a positive one.
15. Create a Google review instruction video
Even with a shortcut link, some customers might still be more likely to write a review if they see what the process looks like. In this case, creating a quick video on how to leave a Google review for your business may be just what you need. And with today’s tools and technology, DIY at-home marketing videos are easier than ever.
16. Include your Google review link in your email signature
Adding a link to review your business on Google in your email signature is a great way to ask for more Google reviews without actually asking! Something like:
- Have we helped you? Help others to find us by leaving a Google Review!
- Happy with [Business Name]? Leave a review here.
- Let others know about [Business Name].
This can be particularly effective if you communicate daily with clients via email.
No matter the size or type of your business, getting Google business reviews is an essential part of your marketing strategy. And while it might seem like a daunting task, there are many different ways to go about it. By following these tips, you’re sure to see an uptick in the number of reviews left for your business—and more.