Learning how to get Google reviews is vital to any brand’s online success because of its popularity among consumers. According to customer reviews data, Google is outpacing other review platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook in terms of growth in online reviews.
Simply put: the search engine giant is dominating the review market.
- 63% of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.
- Google is also the number one site for online reviews as evidenced by its 57.5% share of all online reviews.
Why Learn How to Get Google Reviews?
Proactively requesting or asking for reviews on Google is a vital go-to marketing strategy for top brands and businesses because of its impact on a brand’s online reputation.
According to research, businesses that proactively request for reviews enjoy higher ratings (average of 4.34 stars) than those that simply wait for unprompted reviews (3.89 stars). Asking customers for Google reviews also tends to produce reviews that have a higher percentage of 5-star ratings; these are likely to remain steady over time. Unprompted reviews, on the other hand, claim a larger share of 1-star ratings; over time, the overall rating tends to drop.
Of course, not all reviews generated will be positive, but don’t be discouraged. Negative reviews can provide valuable insights for business improvement, while positive reviews can reinforce ongoing initiatives.
The question is: how to get Google reviews effectively?
Requesting Google Reviews? First, Some Important Things to Remember
Before your business gets started with asking customers for reviews, please take into consideration these key points:
Claim your Google My Business profile. If you haven’t yet signed your business up on Google, do so immediately. Otherwise, you won’t be able to manage your business information on Google Maps and Search, or respond to the reviews that may come from your review requests.
Avoid review-gating. Google doesn’t want businesses to discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers. Stay compliant with Google review gating guidelines while also being responsive to the ever-increasing demand for transparency and authenticity in reviews. Make it clear that customers can leave you a negative review if they feel the need.
Respond to the reviews that you get. Customer reviews data shows 53% of customers expect a review response within 7 days, but as much as 63% say that they have never even heard back from a business after leaving a review. Your responses can immediately improve consumer perceptions of your business, and taking the time to especially learn how to respond to negative reviews can help repair and improve the online reputation of your brand.
Don’t incentivize or buy reviews. If you’re asking for feedback don’t buy Google reviews or get into the practice of incentivized reviews. Not only do both methods violate Google’s guidelines, but government agencies and regulators like the FTC are cracking down on companies using these methods by handing out massive financial penalties.
How to Get Google Reviews in 7 Ways
With preliminary best practices out of the way, here’s how to get Google reviews that can help your brand’s online presence and improve your overall customer experience.
Use Google My Business Marketing Kit. The Google My Business Marketing Kit website lets you create, download, and print personalized marketing materials. With these assets you can turn your reviews and business information into ready-to-use social posts, stickers, and other pieces of collateral that can easily promote your business in the real and digital worlds.
Design a landing page to get more Google reviews. You can create your own dedicated landing page to encourage customers to be more vocal about their experiences. Once the page is set up, identify key touch points at which you can most effectively drive customers to the page. You can even share the link to the page across your social media profiles or give customers a friendly reminder in post-transactional situations.
To get the most out of these landing pages, you should use reputation management software, survey forms, and even use a reviews widget (with a Google review button) to further entice people to leave feedback and gather valuable data from each review.
Harness the power of email. One of the most effective customer feedback generation tools is a simple email. If you keep the message short and authentic and provide a short link to your GMB listing you save customers time and make it easy for them to leave feedback.
Authenticity is also important in your message, but it might be time-consuming to write a customized message every time. Here at ReviewTrackers, we developed the Ask Tool to ease that burden and help businesses easily request Google reviews and feedback via email.
Create a link for customers to write Google reviews. Remember that link in your review request email to your listing? You can utilize it as a special Google review link that goes directly to your listing on Google. Aside from the email, you can also use the link on your social media profiles, printed receipts, or handouts, all of which can help you generate more feedback.
Empower your employees. You can also use your onsite staff to request for reviews towards the end of a customer’s visit, which can work wonders. Remember to keep the pitch simple use some of the examples lines below:
- “We’re so glad you came in today. Would you mind reviewing our business on Google? Your feedback helps us know how we did today, and how we can deliver an even better experience for you next time.”
- “If you enjoyed your visit today let us know online. We love getting reviews on Google.”
Keeping your employees invested in the company’s success helps create a system of trust and loyalty among the staff. This mindset also helps your business achieve higher and easier adoption rates of the software or technology in which you may have invested.
Stay responsive. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of responding to feedback. Customer reviews data shows 53% of consumers expect a review response within 7 days and yet only 36% ever get a response from the business. Taking the time to reply to both positive and negative feedback shows that you value everyone’s opinion and that every customer is a key stakeholder in your brand’s success.
Make your customers happy. Perhaps the easiest, most effective, and most fundamental way to get Google reviews with five-star ratings is to consistently deliver excellent levels of service and create “wow” moments with customers.
If, on the other hand, you have customers who are not satisfied or happy with their experience, and are therefore likely to post negative reviews instead of positive, then make a point to reach out to them and identify and address issues.
Learning how to get Google reviews isn’t difficult, but getting the results you want out of the methods above takes time. As long as you keep up with your strategy, and more importantly, take customer feedback seriously and use it to improve your operation, your Google reviews can catch the eyes of more customers. These customers, in turn, can then add to the valuable social proof you need for your brand to stand out among the competition.