From higher rankings to increasing your online reputation and brand visibility, Google reviews can boost your business for completely free.
However, the term ‘get more Google reviews’ receives approximately 14,000 annual global searches, suggesting business owners and marketeers are struggling to find the secret to success.
Here’s what SEO expert Justin Berg has to say…
1. Ask for Reviews – They Won’t Always Come to You
Sometimes customers will naturally come to your Google My Business profile and drop you a review – especially if they had a negative experience. But you’re missing out on a ton of opportunity if you’re not asking your customers for a review of your product or service.
If you’re just getting started, you can easily copy the review link to your Google My Business profile and send it out to users manually via email.
There are a ton of manual ways to actually get the review link, but if you’re running on Chrome simply download the GatherUp Google Review Link Generator and all the heavy lifting will be done for you.
Navigate to your Google My Business profile, click the GatherUp plugin from your top Chrome menu, and drop this link into a URL shortener. Pair the links with craft hand-written emails to your customers that had a great experience and ask for their feedback.
If you’re looking for an automated solution, there’s also a ton of third-party review platforms that will help you to handle this entire process. Third-party review platforms will allow you not only to collect reviews for Google My Business, but also on other platforms as well such as Yelp and Facebook. Reviews On My Website’s Google Review Widget does a great job of this.
2. Don’t Just Ask – Follow-up
We’re all busy in our day-to-day lives, and not everyone’s going to reply to your initial request.
You don’t want to be annoying with the requests, but it normally can take a few tries to get a response.
If you’re planning to collect reviews via email outreach and have a handful of customers, you can probably manage this process manually, however it can be a bit tedious for higher volumes, so the easiest way to automate an email sequence is by using a third-party review collection software that will automate the entire campaign process.
One big benefit to using third-party review collection software is that you can easily automate the process via SMS. Sending review requests via text message generally yields better results as normally people are getting bombarded with emails, and believe it or not, asking for reviews via text is still not a (super) common practice.
3. Collect Reviews via Your Website
If you’re selling a product or service online, collecting reviews through your website itself can be very effective.
If you want to learn how customer’s buying experience was, their interaction with your website, and the support they’ve received prior to receiving their product or service, you can serve them a review right after the transaction or sign-up has occurred.
You’ll definitely see a lower survey completion rate when using this method, as some customers will wait until they’ve tried the product or service, but it can be effective for collecting some quality reviews quickly – especially if there’s a lag time between receiving your product.
On the other hand, if you want to collect a review after the customer has already had the chance to use your product or service, you’ll want to serve them the review request at the right time during the feedback loop.
You can also take the Google My Business review link and embed it behind a widget and display it on site. Using the Rich Plugins Google Reviews Widget for WordPress users, you can easily embed a widget on-site.
Not only does this build trust and rapport for your brand but allows users to easily click on your Google rating (or Facebook and Yelp) to easily leave a review.
4. Utilize QR Codes for Review Collection
Using the power of QR codes on print advertising is a very effective way to bolster your Google reviews.
If you send printed receipts with your products, you can include the code on the receipt and incentivize the review with a coupon code or discount on a next purchase.
Restaurants can print QR codes on their receipts, while customers serving B2B clients can add a QR code to their invoice they send, asking for a review.
To get a QR code setup for your Google My Business account:
- Grab your Google My Business review link using the GatherUp Chrome extension.
- Head over to the QR Code Generator and drop in the link
- Download the QR code, and add it where relevant to your print advertising process
5. Collect Reviews On-Site via Mobile Devices
Another great use case for those that have an in-store experience – collecting Google reviews via a mobile device.
If you’re dining in a restaurant and the waiter asks you to leave a review, while presenting a tablet or mobile device, you’re much more likely to complete one right there on the spot.
There are plenty of SaaS solutions out there on the market to help you achieve this.
Normally, you’ll first leave a review using the third party’s review software on the tablet device, as with Google Reviews you’d need to actually log in to your account first before leaving the review – which most people won’t be too keen on doing for security and privacy concerns.
But during the review process, the survey will ask for an email where you’ll later receive an email asking you to leave a review on Yelp, GMB, etc.
Collecting reviews in-store and in-person can be a super-effective method to bolstering your Google reviews.
6. Encourage Reviews by Always Responding
When potential customers are browsing your Google My Business profile, it will certainly stand out if you’re responding to the reviews that customers have left.
You should always respond to all reviews and engage with your customers’ reviews, whether it’s a positive or a negative review.
By responding to reviews, you’re actually encouraging other customers to leave reviews as they see that you’re engaging with your customers and their feedback.
This is especially true for negative reviews. Customers want to see that you’re taking recourse to resolve issues that have arisen with your product or service.
Justin Berg is the founder of SAAS SEO agency, Rock The Rankings.