It's long been known that what customers have to say about your business carries more weight than what you have to say about your business, no matter how great your services or how genuine your messaging may be. And knowing how much value consumers place into customer reviews, Google has factored them into its local ranking algorithm—not just the quantity, but the quality of those reviews.
So Google reviews impact your ability to acquire new customers not only through your reputation, but also through your rank. And that's why we're going to cover 17 effective strategies you can put into place to get a steady stream of positive Google reviews coming in about your business. We'll cover:
- The importance and impact of Google reviews specifically.
- The best and most efficent ways to get more Google reviews.
- Examples of these strategies with sample text so that you're not starting from scratch.
So if you're looking to boost your reputation, rank, and ultimately your revenue, keep reading for these Google review pro tips.
The benefits of more Google business reviews
A Google review may be a quick and simple process, but the benefits are ongoing. The more people you can get to leave a Google review for your business, the more you’ll be able to accomplish in the way of business objectives. If you’re not yet placing emphasis on Google business reviews, now’s the time to change that and prioritize it in your local marketing strategy. 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 a Google Maps listing and verify it through Google My Business are here.
These steps are crucial because not only are they prerequisites to the strategies below, but they also allow you to respond to and manage the influx of reviews you'll be getting once you implement the tactics in this post.
How to get more Google reviews
Alright, now that you know the impact of Google reviews on your reputation and ranking, and have the verified Business Profile through which to manage them, it's time to get more of 'em. These 17 strategies below will help you to do just that.
1. Tell customers how to do it
In order for customers to leave a review for your business on Google, they need to open up Google Maps, search for your business, pull up your Google Business Profile, scroll down to the reviews section, and then click on the prompt to leave a review. One way to get more reviews is to explain this process on your website, just as this HVAC company does below:
This local business has the right idea, but there's actually a much easier way of achieving this, which leads us to strategy #2.
2. Create a Google review link shortcut
The Google review process outlined above takes seconds, but it's 5 steps, which is far too many for even the happiest and most willing of customers. Luckily, Google has a tool for creating a shortcut link that enables them to get to the review section of your Business Profile in just one step. Here's how to create a Google review shortcut link for your businessL
- Go to the Google Maps Place ID Finder
- Search for your business
- Copy the place ID that comes up with your result.
- Paste your ID into the brackets in this link: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=[paste your place ID here]
So for example, Wordstream's review shorcut link is:
3. Shorten your review shortcut
It's easy enough to drop this link into a button on your website or hyperlink it through shorter anchor text. But there are plenty of offline methods of getting Google reviews for which this eye sore of a string will not work. Thankfully, there are free link shorteners out there like bitly.com through which you can shorten and even customize your review link.
Okay, now that you've got a nice and clean review shortcut link, it's time to look at various ways to present this link to customers to get more Google reviews for your local business.
4. Link out to your Google review page from your website
If a customer wants to leave a review for your business, the first place they're probably going to look is your website. Provide a clear and clutter-free call to action that is intuitively easy to find, as with the example below:
In this example, clicking on “here” takes the user directly to the review section of the home inspector's Google Business Profile which lives in the SERP.
5. Create a Google reviews page on your website
While the above method works, an even better one is to dedicate a full website page to Google reviews (or reviews in general), accessible from your main navigation menu. The page should contain both a CTA to write a review but also include existing reviews. These not only encourage prospects to become a customer, but also give that added inspiration for an existing customer to leave a review.
You can populate your reviews page via screenshots, but ideally, you want them to be in text form. The reason for this is that reviews are often keyword-rich, so including them on your website in a way that Google's crawlers can “read” makes for a great small business SEO strategy.
That being said, you may want to come up with a template where you can copy and paste the text in. There are also platforms and plug-ins that allow you to aggregate your Google reviews onto your website automatically.
6. Include a Google review CTA in your footer
In addition to or instead of having a designated page for Google reviews (or reviews in general) on your website, you may also want to include it in your website footer. This way, you don't have to worry about deciding where or where not to include the CTA. The below example uses images, but anchor text will do just fine.
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:
“Review Us on Google! Your Google review helps others who need our services to find our business. Plus, your feedback equips us to continue serving you best. Take a minute to rate and review us at bit.ly/WordStreamreview. Thank you!”
8. Ask for Google reviews in person
Having a good conversation with a customer in your store? Just finished a solid support call in which the customer felt eternally grateful? In your interactions with clients, there are many opportunities to ask for Google reviews. 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 that compact little card that has the link on it, or a link to your review page on your website that makes it easy peasy for them.
9. Emphasize to customers how quick and easy it is
So by now, you know how easy it is to leave a Google review, but your customers may not. Plus, review writer's block is a thing. An exuberant or long-time customer may have a hard time distilling everything they love about your business into one review. And then there are those who have a hard time articulating what's on their mind. 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
Whether via personalized messages or a larger blanket campaign, email marketing is another effective way to get more Google business reviews. Just be clear in your ask—don’t try to sugar coat it, beat around the bush, or coerce customers into leaving a review. There’s nothing wrong with asking them to do something that will help other future customers make informed decisions. Plus, when you have happy customers, you’d be surprised at how willing they are to write a review. As long as the process is clear and you make it fast and easy to do, you're likely to get warm responses to your request.
Fact: 86% of consumers are willing to write a review.
11. Include Google review opportunities in surveys
Asking your customers for their feedback lets them know that you value what they have to say and have their best interests in mind. If you've gotten someone to fill out a poll or survey, they're already in the proper mindset. See if you can take advantage of their momentum by asking them to review your business on Google while they're at it.
12. Ask for reviews on social media
Social media platforms are great for conversational marketing and transparency. Post a screenshot of your best review and ask your customers to leave their own feedback (including your clean and simple Google review shortcut link). Remind your followers that this is an opportunity for them to introduce someone else just like them to the benefits they experience from working with your business.
Platforms like Facebook have their own review system, so keep this in mind when reaching out in this regard.
13. Get Google reviews from vendors and partners
Vendors and partners may not be customers, but they can attest to what it's like to work with you on a regular basis. They also might be more willing to leave a Google business review if you write one for their business first.
14. Respond to your existing Google reviews
When you respond to your customers’ Google reviews, you are letting new potential reviewers know that you listen to customer feedback and that it’s worth their time to write their own review. There are two ways in which responding to reviews can get you more reviews.
- Positive reviews: Being specific, timely, and grateful in your responses to positive reviews will beget more positive reviews.
- Negative reviews: Responding promptly and politely to negative reviews and actually resolving the issue can oftentimes result in the conversion of a negative review into a positive one.
Among consumers that read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews.
15. Create a review instruction video
Even with a shortcut link, some customers might still be more likely to write a review if they see what the process looks like. In this case, creating a quick video on how to leave a Google review for your business may be just what you need. And with today's tools and technology, DIY at-home marketing videos are easier than ever. Here's an example from a home security supplier:
16. Include your Google review link in your email signature
Adding a link to review your business on Google in your email signature is a great way to ask for more Google reviews without actually asking! Something like:
- Have we helped you? Help others to find us by leaving a Google Review!
- Happy with [Business Name]? Leave a review here.
- Let others know about [Business Name].
This can be particularly effective if you communicate on a daily basis with clients via email.
Examples of asking for Google customer reviews
Coming up with the words to actually ask for a Google review can sometimes be hard, so here are some basic phrases you can use for starting points or inspiration:
- Reviews on Google help us to help more people like you. When you have a minute, please share your feedback about our business!
- Got a minute to review us on Google? We’d love to get your feedback.
- Thank you for choosing our business! Let us know how we're doing by dropping us a quick Google review!
- We appreciate your input! Help us continue providing the best service by posting a review on Google.
- Leave us a quick review on Google! This helps people who need our help to find us.
How to leave Google reviews (without the shortcut link)
While your shortcut link turns writing Google reviews into a one-step process, it's still good to know the steps just to have all of your bases covered. Plus, you may want to leave reviews for other local businesses in your community who may not have the shortcut link. So here's how to do it:
How to leave a Google review on mobile
- Go to the Google Maps app
- Search for the business name
- Tap on the listing
- Tap the “Reviews” tab in the listing.
- You’ll see a “Rate and review” section where you can give the business a star rating. Once you select the star rating, you’ll have the option to write a review about the experience.
How to leave a Google review on desktop
- Go to Google.com/maps
- Search for the business name
- Click the listing
- Scroll down to “Review summary”
- Click on “Write a review”
Alternatively, you can click on the star rating directly below the business’s listing title. This will take you directly to the review pane, which has an option to write a review.
For either of these methods, you will be asked to rate the business from one to five stars. You can add comments or even images of the location and offerings (provided they abide by Google's review posting guidelines). Then, to publish, you'll simply need to click “Post.”
Make Google business reviews a habit
The fact is, consumers trust what other consumers have to say. In fact, many people feel that reviews posted by strangers are just as reliable as personal recommendations. Use that to your advantage. Make a habit of asking your customers to review your business on Google. As long as you make it as easy as possible to do, you are likely to get more Google business reviews showing up on your listing and therefore reaping all of the ranking, reputation, and revenue benefits it has to offer. To sum it all up, here are the 16 strategies:
- Make sure you have a verified Google Business Profile
- Tell customers how to do it
- Link out to your profile from your website
- Create a short and clean Google review link shortcut
- Have a reviews page on your website
- Include a Google review CTA in your footer
- Create “leave us a review” cards
- Ask in person
- Emphasize how easy it is
- Run a Google review email campaign
- Include review opportunities in surveys
- Ask your social media followers to review your business
- Request reviews via social media posts
- Include your review link in your email signature
- Respond to existing reviews
- Create an explainer video