How many Google My Business reviews does your company currently have?
One? Two? Zero?
If you don't have many reviews, you won't rank well in local search, and potential customers might go to one of your highly-reviewed competitors instead.
It's been shown that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so having lots of positive endorsements online is key to success.
But how do you actually get them?
Instead of sitting in front of your computer, praying for a new review, you need to take action – and we're here to show you how. Read on for a comprehensive list of things you can do right now to increase your chances of getting good reviews on Google.
Ready to watch those reviews roll in?
Let's do this.
Ask Customers for Reviews and Explain the Process
If you don't ask, you don't get – and that's especially true when it comes to businesses people forgetting to review. While many people go online to share their experiences on restaurants and hotels, few dash straight to the keyboard to review that new plumber or locksmith.
Let customers know that you're keen to get more Google My Business reviews by mentioning it at the end of your service, asking during a follow-up phone call, or dropping a card through the door.
Next, clearly explain the process to them. Remember that many people, particularly older customers, have never have left an online review before.
They'll need to log into a Google account, search for your business, and then click the ‘Write A Review' button. If people struggle to find your business via Google, make things easier by sharing a direct link with them.
Asking politely and making the process as simple as possible increases your chance of getting reviews.
Link to Your Review Form on Your Website
What if one of your customers wants to leave a review, but goes straight to your website rather than using Google?
No problem – it's easy to link to your Google My Business reviews straight from your site.
Simply search for your business, click the link to leave a review, then copy the URL in your address bar. You can now link straight to your review from wherever you like.
Want a handy trick to encourage positive star ratings?
At the end of your URL, add a comma, followed by the number 5. This means that five stars are automatically selected, although the reviewer can change the rating.
Not Sure How You Benefit From Google Ratings? Click Here.
Try including a ‘Reviews' link in your navigation bar, then linking it directly to your Google review form. You could also download a plugin to embed recent Google reviews, which should encourage new visitors to leave their own.
Just because visitors didn't find you via Google, doesn't mean they can't leave Google My Business reviews.
Use Your Mailing List to Ask for Reviews
Do you have a mailing list full of happy customers?
If so, why aren't you using it to ask for reviews?
A well-subscribed mailing list suggests that plenty of people are supportive of your business, making it the perfect place to put out a request.
If you send a regular newsletter, try including a note at the bottom saying something like, “We've recently joined Google My Business! Could you help out by writing us a quick review?”
Then link directly to your review form to make things as easy as possible for subscribers.
If you don't send a regular newsletter, consider segmenting your mailing list to target recent customers only. Send a friendly email asking for feedback on their recent interaction with you, then prompt them to leave a review.
Never send an email that only asks for reviews – always offer something useful to the recipient as well.
Still struggling with getting reviews? Read our blog on how to get Google reviews, where we show you all the secrets!
Share Your Review Form on Social Media
How many times have you received a great review, kind message or product endorsement on social media?
While it feels good, this kind of message quickly gets lost in a busy newsfeed.
Next time someone sends you a positive message or tags you in a complimentary post, try replying with something like, “Thanks so much for your support! Would you consider leaving us a review on Google?”
Where possible, try to personalize your replies, with comments like, “We love what you've done with X product!” This ensures you come across as honest and genuine, not just desperate for good reviews.
Link to your review form at the end of the comment so the customer can write their review right away, while the positive experience is still fresh in their mind.
On platforms with a character limit, like Twitter, use a URL shortener to share your link without losing out on message space.
Don't let good reviews get lost on social media – encourage customers to make them permanent on Google My Business instead.
Offer Incentives in Return for Reviews
Everyone loves being rewarded, and your customers are no different.
While you might already offer rewards when customers refer friends and family to you, you probably haven't incentivized reviews yet.
This is a great tactic to use if you have zero reviews and want to increase your numbers fast.
You could offer a ‘money off coupon', a discount on your next service, or a free sample to every customer who contributes to your pool of Google My Business reviews.
Chances are you won't need to use this strategy for long – as soon as you have a few positive reviews, your ranking will increase and you'll see more organic engagement.
Offering incentives for honest reviews is fine, but don't bribe customers into saying positive things they don't mean.
Why Should You Care About Google My Business Reviews?
Wondering if Google My Business reviews are worth bothering with?
The clear answer is yes.
Good reviews will improve your local search ranking, give new customers a positive impression of your business, and help drive sales. Not having any reviews could mean you lose out to competitors, or worse, don't show up in search results at all.
Take the time to encourage customers to leave reviews and you'll soon see the benefits.
Do you personally review businesses and products? We'd love for you to leave a comment below and discuss why or why not.