“Google My Business” reviews are among the most powerful tools you have at your disposal to improve your search engine rankings. Not only that, but research shows that 81% of people claim that they read online reviews when looking for a service. 97% of them say that their decision to purchase is influenced by reviews. So, that’s basically everyone.
Needless to say, you have to create a “Google My Business” account. Once you do that, you have to start implementing a few strategies to get as many reviews as you can. Below, you are going to find 10 of the most effective ways to collect “Google My Business” reviews.
1. Ask your clients for reviews
This may seem like a basic solution, but you would be surprised at how well it works. Many people are willing to leave reviews on their own, but you can encourage it by simply asking them to.
Now, how you ask and when is of the utmost importance. For one, you must find the perfect time—the Goldilocks of asking for a review if you will. You should not ask too early, but after the transaction is done. You don’t want to wait for too long, either. The client’s impression will fade. The experience must be fresh.
As to how you ask for reviews, there are a few tricks that work almost every time. The best thing you could do is to ask the client for a review in person. It’s more personal, that way. 9 times out of 10, the client will say yes.
You can also ask them via email or phone once you have a list of your clients’ contact information. However, no matter the method you choose, choose your words carefully. Always provide a reason for asking. For instance, you can say something along the lines of “Please leave us a review because it would help us a great deal in the future.” Or, “Our clients will have an easier way finding us if you give us a review.”
One thing worth mentioning here is that no matter how and when you ask for a review, you must not provide any kind of incentives to the customers who leave reviews. It’s against Google’s guidelines. But there’s a loophole here, and many businesses take advantage of it.
Google’s guidelines say nothing about rewarding your staff for getting Google reviews. So, if you have a sales team, for instance, you can incentivize them to bring in as many reviews as they can. You can also have a bonus for the employee who convinces most customers to leave a review. You have an opportunity here to be creative.
2. Create and send links
Yet another good strategy to collect as many “Google My Business” reviews is to send your customers a link to your Google My Business listing. However, you don’t want to send them the incredibly long and ugly link you get from accessing your listing. You want to send them a shortened link.
If you access you “Google My Business” listing, you will see that the link looks like this:
Admittedly, it doesn’t look very appealing, does it? Instead, you can use a “Google Reviews” link generator. It will turn that long and ugly link into a shorter one.
First, you need to access a “Google Reviews” link generator. There are multiple ways to go at this. For one thing, you could use Google Place ID.
Once you are on the platform, you must search your business in the search bar. Then, you select your listing from the drop-down menu. The place ID will be generated and displayed on the map. But that’s not enough. When you send the link to your clients, you have to send them this format:
https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=[PLACE ID GOES HERE]
Once your customers click on the link, they will be redirected straight to the window where they can write the review.
If you prefer, you can send an even shorter version by using bit.ly. Your link will look something like this:
While you can share the link to your “Google My Business” reviews page via all social media platforms, many businesses prefer to send it via email too. Email marketing is incredibly efficient.
As mentioned earlier, it is very important how you deliver the message. You must give your customers a reason why they should review you. Make the subject catchy so that they open it, and then say something like, “Hi! Nothing helps us more than you leaving a review telling us how your experience with our business was.” Then add the link below your message.
One essential aspect you must consider here is that you should not send too many emails in one campaign. If you receive numerous positive reviews in a short period, Google will see it as a red flag, and you risk having them taken down.
On the other hand, if you do not receive enough reviews, don’t be afraid to follow-up. Sometimes, people forget about your first email, and all they need is a little push. There’s nothing wrong with that.
There is also a trick here to avoid getting negative reviews. You can ask your customers about their experience. Add that if they are not satisfied, you are 100% committed to making it right, and they should contact you directly.
3. Add a Google Review button on your website
One of the easiest ways to get Google reviews is to create a “Leave a Google Review” button on your website. That way, your visitors will see it on all pages. So, it’s easy to find. Here’s a great example:
Another way would be to create a floating button. It will move along as the visitors scroll up or down the page. That way, they cannot miss it.
4. Add a live Google Reviews badge with a link
There are platforms out there, such as embedsocial.com, that can give you a tool that creates a live Google Reviews badge.
You can choose from several designs. But one of the best things about the badge is that it is live. It will automatically change whenever someone leaves a review. Plus, if someone clicks on it, it will redirect them to where they can leave a review, as well.
5. Create graphic materials to encourage your customers to leave a review
You’ve probably seen in restaurants and other shops how they use TVs and posters to promote different aspects related to their business. So, why not use them to encourage reviews too?
For one thing, you can generate a QR code that, when scanned, leads to your business listing, and the customers can leave a review. The option that makes the most sense is to print the QR code on your menus, for instance, or on your business card. You could also place a graphic material near the cash register.
If you have the financial capacity, you should hire a graphic designer. He could make some catchy posters that encourage your clients to visit your “Google My Business” page and leave a review.
6. Display Google Reviews on your website
If you have a website, you can create a “Testimonials” page and showcase real reviews from real people. Of course, you’ll need, once again, to find a platform that can help you with that. If you visit embedsocial.com, for instance, you’ll see that they can help with this too.
If your visitors see something of this nature on your website, you will earn their trust faster. And once they use your services or buy your products, they will likely give you a review, as well. Action encourages action.
7. Get a marketing kit from “Small Thanks with Google”
Google created this fantastic platform that allows you to download posters with reviews, social posts, stickers, updates, etc. It’s called “Small Thanks with Google,” and its purpose is to showcase your 5-star reviews. It can also be used to post any relevant updates related to your business.
At the moment, the platform is available only for US-based businesses, and you must have 5-star reviews to be able to download posters.
Creating a “Small Thanks” poster is straightforward. First, you have to access Small Thanks with Google. You’ll get this:
In the bottom-left side of the page, you’ll be asked to insert the name of your business. Keep in mind that you must have a Google My Business page to be able to get the marketing kit. If you do not, you must create one. Please refer to our step-by-step guide on how to create and customize a “Google My Business” listing.
Once your business is found, you’ll come across this page:
You must click on “Get my free materials,” and you’ll be redirected to a page where you can customize your poster.
You can change the message of the poster, choose a color palette, and select a style for your materials. Once you are done, you must click on the “download” button, and you will receive a .zip file with your posters to print them in any size you want. If you wish, you can send the folder directly to the printers.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you don’t necessarily have to print your materials. You can display them on your business’s social media or on the TVs inside your location. The choice is yours.
8. Deliver remarkable service
This may seem like a given, but you have to deliver remarkable service if you want your Google reviews to help promote your business. The expression, “There is no such thing as bad publicity” is not at all accurate when talking about a business.
If potential customers see that you have bad reviews and your star-rating is under 4, you’ll likely be ignored. But how can one avoid bad reviews? For starters, make sure that all your customers are satisfied. However, you can also use something called the “net promoter score” to your advantage.
Net promoter scores “measure customer experience and predict business growth.” To calculate your NPS, you must ask customers, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our business to your friends and family?”
The people who give you a score of 9 and 10 are loyal customers who will refer you to others. We call them promoters.
The ones that give a 7 or an 8 are satisfied with your service, but they are tempted by your competition. They are called passives.
And lastly, detractors are the ones who give you a 6 at the most. They are not satisfied with your brand, and they can damage your reputation by leaving negative reviews.
To get your NPS, all you have to do is to subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.
To avoid damage to your business, ask the question above after each transaction. Then, encourage people who give you a 9 or a 10 to leave a review.
9. Conduct a short interview with your customers
This may not be a strategy that fits all types of businesses. You may want to use it if you deliver a service. Although it may work for some products too.
The whole point of the interview is to obtain a success story. Do not forget to use a recorder and let the customer know that you are recording him/her. It would be best if you asked, “Is it okay if I record this interview?”
First, you want to ask what problem the customer had before hiring you. Then, ask them about their experience working with you. And lastly, ask if they are satisfied with the result. The point is to focus on the problem and what you did to fix it to make your customer happy.
If the interview goes well and your client is satisfied with the result, you can encourage them to visit your Google My Business page and leave a review.
10. Respond to reviews
When customers leave a review, it is best to take the time and leave a reply. Don’t use the same response every time. Make it as personal as possible.
For instance, you can leave something like, “Thank you for giving us the opportunity of working with you!” You can even add an “It was our pleasure!” Or, you can say something along the lines of “Thank you for taking the time to help us grow our business.” No matter what you decide to say, be courteous and friendly. Make the reviewer feel good about leaving a review.
As for negative reviews, while they can happen, you should never engage in a dispute. You can say something like, “Thank you for your review! Can we contact you directly so that we can find a solution to your problem?” Basically, you have to be accommodating, no matter how unfair you find the client’s assessment of your business.
The bottom line is that there are many strategies you can use to improve your search engine rankings and grow your business with the help of Google reviews. Neither of the ones listed above is difficult to implement. Besides, if you need some help, we are at your disposal.