Consumers place a lot of value into customer reviews.
Google has factored customer reviews into its local ranking algorithm, taking into consideration not just the quantity, but the quality of the reviews.
- The importance and impact of Google reviews specifically.
- The best and most efficient ways to get more Google reviews.
- Examples of these strategies with sample text so that you’re not starting from scratch.
If you want to improve your reputation, ranking, and earnings, read on for tips on writing great Google reviews.
The benefits of more Google business reviews
Although it is a quick and easy process, leaving a Google review for your business has many benefits. The more people who leave a review, the more likely you are to achieve your business goals. Here are some facts and stats to back this up:
- More reviews, more leads
Did you know that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? Building up your reviews builds up the likelihood that a Google searcher will engage with your business upon finding it.
- More positive reviews, more purchases
Consumers research and read reviews before making purchase decisions. In fact, they read a minimum of 10 reviews before feeling confident in making a decision. The more Google customer reviews you have, the more likely a purchase is to be made.
- Higher reviews, higher rank
Google rewards businesses that have frequent and positive reviews. They are a definite local SEO ranking factor, as confirmed by Google itself.
- Lots of reviews, lower costs
There are no fees to leave reviews or to respond to them. Positive endorsements for your business on your Business Profile serve as free Google advertising for your business on the world’s most trusted platform.
The initial requirements for obtaining Google reviews
A very important thing to note here is that in order to get Google reviews, a few things need to be in place:
- You need to know Google’s policies
You must follow Google’s Terms of Service when soliciting reviews. This means you should not offer any rewards and should ask your customers whether they seem to have had a positive or negative experience.
- Your business needs to be a “Place” on Google Maps.
This will give you a Google Business Profile on which customers can leave reviews.
- You need to have your Google Business Profile verified.
Creating a listing on Google Maps (which automatically creates a Business Profile) does not give you control over that listing. You need to create a Google My Business account and verify ownership of your Business Profile through that account.
The steps to create and verify a Google Maps listing through Google My Business can be found here.
It’s important to follow these steps because they’ll help you be prepared to use the strategies below, as well as respond to and manage the increased number of reviews you’ll get once you start using the tactics in this post.
How to get more Google reviews
Now that you know the impact of Google reviews and have a verified Business Profile to manage them, it’s time to get more of them. The 17 strategies below will help you to do just that.
1. First, know the process
It doesn’t take long to write a Google review, only about a minute. 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
I appreciate your kind words! You can leave me a review by going to my profile and clicking the “Reviews” tab. Thank you for your feedback!
Would you rather have to say:
Would you be willing to write a review on Google for us? You can search for us on Google Maps and when you come to our listing, scroll down to the review section. There will be a button there that says ‘write a review’.
A review on Google would be much appreciated! You can easily do so by clicking on the link on our website.
2. Create a Google review link shortcut
The customer will need to write the review online, so create a link to the review process on your website.
Log into your Google My Business account. Click on the Home tab. Find the card that says “Get your first review” (or “Get more reviews”). Click on “Share review form.” Copy the link to your clipboard.
3. Shorten your review shortcut
It’s easy to add a link to your website or hyperlink it with shorter anchor text. However, there are many offline methods of getting Google reviews for which this long string will not work. Fortunately, there are free link shorteners like bitly.com that you can use to shorten and even customize your review link.
After you have created a shortcut link to your Google review page, there are various ways that you can present this link to customers in order to increase the number of reviews for your local business on Google.
4. Link out to your Google reviews page from your website
-free path for visitors to follow, whether that’s an obvious “Review Us” button or a link in your site’s navigation. If you want customers to leave reviews for your business, make it easy for them to do so by providing a clear path to follow, whether that’s a button that says “review us” or a link in your site’s navigation.
In this example, if you click on “here,” it will take you directly to the review section of the home inspector’s Google Business Profile.
5. Create a Google reviews page on your website
While the first method mentioned in the text works, an even better one is to create a separate website page that is solely dedicated to collecting Google reviews (or reviews in general). This page should have a call-to-action asking customers to write a review, as well as displaying existing reviews. Having existing reviews on the page not only encourages prospects to become customers, but also gives existing customers the extra motivation to leave a review.
The best way to include reviews on your website for small business SEO is via text so that Google’s crawlers can “read” them. Screenshots can also be used, but text is preferable. This is because reviews usually contain a lot of keywords, which can help improve your website’s ranking in search results.
You could create a template to copy and paste text into, or use a platform or plug-in to automatically display your Google reviews on your website.
6. Include a Google review CTA in your footer
If you’re wondering whether you should put a Google review page on your website, or just include it in your website footer, anchor text is a fine option. The example below uses images, but you could just as easily use anchor text.
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 says something to the effect of:
We would really appreciate it if you left a review for us on Google! It helps other people who might need our services to find us, and it also lets us know what we’re doing well and what we could improve. You can leave a review at bit.ly/WordStreamreview. Thank you!
8. Ask for Google reviews in person
If you had a good conversation with a customer in your store or finished a support call in which the customer felt eternally grateful, let us know. Here are some scenarios and examples of asking for reviews:
- “I’m so glad to hear how happy you are with our business. Hey, if you wanted to leave that in a Google review, you’d help a lot more people like yourself to find us.”
- “This feedback is super helpful. You know what would be awesome is if you shared that feedback online for other customers to see.”
- “I’m so happy we could help you. If you wouldn’t mind sharing a sentence or two in a Google review, that would help us a ton.”
And then you have a small card with a link to your review page on your website, which makes it very easy for them.
9. Emphasize to customers how quick and easy it is
By now, you should know how easy it is to leave a Google review, but your customers might not. Also, review writer’s block is real. Someone who is really excited about your business or has been a customer for a long time might have a hard time writing everything they love about it in one review. 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 need 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
Email marketing can be used to increase the number of Google business reviews. Be direct in your request and make the process easy to follow. Customers are more likely to write a review if they are happy with your product or service.
The three most important, yet simple ways to get more Google reviews:
- Ask for a Google review
- Show how to leave a review
- Remind them to review you
The one thing you do before you check out when you shop on Amazon is read the reviews.
I certainly read the reviews.
I usually look at the star rating before clicking into a product. If there is a low star rating, I assume that the experience or product is not worth my time.
I also look at how many people have reviewed the product. If only one person rated it five stars, then I don’t really know if the product is that great. Someone could have just given it a good rating because they work for the company. I need at least 3-5 people to confirm it’s either good or bad. If there are dozens of reviews, or even hundreds, and the rating is still 4 or 5 stars, then I know I can trust that business.
The same is true for Google reviews.
Google Reviews As A Deciding Factor
However, if we look closer, we can see some important differences. Let’s do a quick test to see what we’re dealing with here. Let’s say I’m in Nashville and searching for a plumber. The first two results, along with a map, show that they’re about equal distance from where I’m located. However, if we look closer, we can see some important differences.
If you are looking for a plumber, it is more likely that you will call TN Plumbing Solutions rather than GNC Plumbing. This is because TN Plumbing Solutions has a higher score and more reviews than GNC Plumbing.
Google has changed the way we search for information online. Now, we can use tools like reviews and ratings to make decisions about which businesses to patronize, without ever having to visit their website. This means that Google reviews are extremely important for local businesses. If your business has good ratings and reviews, you’re more likely to get calls and clicks from potential customers.
If you have bad ratings and reviews, customers are less likely to want to do business with you.
If you’re looking to improve your business’ local presence on Google, the best way to do so is by focus on getting reviews from your peers. Having endorsements from others is the number one deciding factor for acquiring new business traffic from Google.
Where Are Google Reviews Shown?
If you’re new to Google reviews or have your business/organization on Google, you may wonder where the reviews actually show up.
Google reviews will show in two prominent places:
1. WITHIN GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS
When searching for a business/organization by name, if they have a Google My Business listing then you will see their listing and any reviews for them directly in the search results. You can also search for something local, such as “local hamburger joint,” and see Google reviews for those listed in Google’s search results. We call that section of maps listings in Google the “local pack,” and you can see their star rating, which is derived from their Google reviews.
2. WITHIN GOOGLE MAPS RESULTS
You can also see Google reviews by looking up a place on Google Maps. If a place has no reviews, that information will also be listed.
Google Search and Google Maps allow millions of people to see your business/organization’s reviews, so it’s important to have Google reviews to make your business/organization stand out.
If you want to know if you are doing better or worse than your competition, one way to measure that is to see how many reviews they have. If they have more reviews than you, then you have some work to do. On the other hand, if they have less reviews, you can give yourself a pat on the back. However, don’t stop there. Keep trying to get more Google reviews.
Can I Control Google Reviews of My Business?
In short, no.
Although it can be frustrating when you receive a bad review that affects your star rating and public image, it’s a necessary process to ensure that Google is providing accurate information. For example, if the plumbers shown above were able to delete any unfavorable reviews, their ratings would be skewed and would result in more negative interactions with no chance for improvement or accountability.