You’ve taken an idea and built it into something great. Now, you need a way to get your business in front of more people.
Business owners and marketers alike know that online reputation is a critical piece of the marketing puzzle. Nothing speaks about your business and products quite as powerfully as a genuine review.
What better way to tell the world about your products than through your customers?
Let’s talk about how to get Google reviews without being pushy or intrusive. By the end of this article, you’ll have some great ways to ask for reviews and make it a natural part of your customer interactions.
Yes, without feeling scummy about it!
What Are Google Reviews?
Google reviews are the reviews that are specific to Google My Business.
Once you’ve signed up for a Google My Business listing and verified your account, you’ll be able to start collecting reviews. These reviews are displayed in search results and on Google Maps.
Why Are Google Reviews So Important?
You know reviews are important, but why Google reviews, specifically?
According to Bright Local, Google is the number one site consumers use to search for information on local businesses. Being on Google My Business so you can collect and display reviews to searchers is a must.
On top of that, the average person will read a whopping 11 reviews before making a decision to buy from a business. The more reviews, the better. There’s no better time to start getting reviews than today.
However, it’s not all about the customers.
Reviews have an impact on local SEO as well. We’ve talked about optimizing your Google My Business listing in previous articles and one of the key ranking factors is exactly what you’d think: reviews.
And don’t just take it from me. Other SEO’s talk about how important reviews (and responding reviews) are when it comes to increasing your local search visibility.
Now for what I promised: some non-sleazy ways to ask customers for reviews.
Here are some great tips to maximize the potential of Google reviews for your business.
How to Get Google Reviews: 13 Easy Ways to Ask for Reviews (Without Harassing Your Customers)
Before you get started, you’ll want to grab your Google My Business review link, which can be found on your dashboard under the “Get your first review” or “Get more reviews” block.
Click on the “share review form” button and you’ll get a pop-up with your link.
1. Include your link for Google reviews in your email signature.
You’re probably already sending out dozens of emails a day. This is one easy way to get people to review your business, without being too obvious about it.
You don’t want to go overboard with links in your email signature. So if you’re focusing on reviews, try not to detract from your review link with too many other links. Just include the usual things, like your photo, name, contact info, website, and a few social media icons.
At the bottom, just grab your review link and politely ask for a review and show your appreciation: “I’d be thrilled if you could take a moment to share your experience! We appreciate your time and read each of our reviews.” Or, something to that effect.
2. Don’t forget to put it on your invoices!
If your business offers services, you probably send a lot of invoices.
Regardless of what invoicing software you use, there’s generally some real estate at the bottom to leave a note to your customer.
First, thank them for working with you. Then, ask for the review. Smaller businesses have the capacity to be a little more personal here and let them know how much of an impact reviews have on your business.
3. Email your customers asking for Google reviews.
While it’s a little less personalized, you can automatically collect reviews for your business.
If you have an email list, you can make asking for reviews part of your welcome sequence.
Give customers a little time to try your product out and email them a couple of days after they make a purchase. A simple headline like “Penny for your thoughts?” or “We’d love your feedback!” often works well.
4. Create a landing page for reviews.
You can create a dedicated landing page with a link to leave a review on Google. (Remember the Google review link we created? Add a button for that here.)
You’ll also want to display a feed of reviews. While it’s tempting to try and focus on multiple platforms at once, just focus on Google in the beginning and slowly branch out to other review sites. You don’t want to overwhelm your customers (or your in-house team!) with too many platforms.
This page can serve a few purposes:
It shares real-world experiences with potential customers.
It gives you a place to send existing customers after their transactions.
You can share it on social as a reminder to leave reviews, or for reference for interested viewers.
5. Include CTAs in these 3 places:
- Menu bar
- Order page
While you’ll want to have reminders scattered throughout your site (intentionally, in places that make sense), you at least want them on your menu/navigation bar, the order page, and in your footer.
The link in the navigation bar should be more for new customers. Link to your review landing page we talked about in the last section. You can create a separate link just titled “reviews.”
Or if you have an expanded menu, put it under your about section. If you have more room to work with titles, you can name it something like “What People Really Think” or “What People Are Saying.”
Include links on the order page and in your footer, both using your Google Review link that goes straight to Google. Make sure they know they’re being sent to Google, with text such as “Leave us a review on Google.”
Personalize your message and be a little creative, just make sure they know they’re leaving your site. Viewers prefer a predictable experience and being unexpectedly sent away from your site can cause them to leave. No reviews today!
6. Check out the GMB marketing kit.
Obviously, this is only helpful after you have a few reviews, but this nifty little kit is a great way to show off your reviews. (And as a customer, it’s pretty cool to see your own quote on social media or even in the store.)
The Google My Business marketing kit comes with printable materials for flyers and posters, stickers, and more to display customer reviews in-store. You can also display them digitally with social media posts.
They’re already done for you—no design skills needed!
Sharing these on social media can help encourage customers to leave their reviews as well. You can also combine these with some of our earlier tips (like sending emails). Include your graphics in an email blast to spruce it up a bit.
7. Ask for Google reviews on social media.
Asking for reviews on social media can be a little scary, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you do it right, you can do this while keeping it tasteful. Create a social media post (maybe even with your new graphics from the GMB kit!) and let people know that you would love their feedback. Don’t forget to include your review link.
It’s clear, direct, and to the point.
If you want to elaborate, you can include something extra in the comments. Let people know you genuinely love seeing everyone’s feedback and that you use it not just to show people what a great product you have, but to make improvements to your products.
People sometimes forget reviews don’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows. And while you do want positive reviews, you also want a healthy mix of critique so you can use their feedback to make improvements.
Most importantly, don’t forget to let them know you appreciate them! They’re taking time out of their day to help you. Make them feel appreciated by responding to their reviews or maybe even sharing your appreciation in future social media posts.
8. Ask for reviews in any customer surveys.
If you’re sending out annual surveys, this is also a good time to encourage customers to leave more reviews.
At the end of the survey, prompt them to leave you a review on Google. They’ve already taken the time for the survey—a review is a really easy way to show their appreciation and summarize their feedback for others to see.
9. Get Google reviews from business partners.
If you have business partners with who you’ve built a solid relationship, consider asking them for reviews.
It doesn’t have to be a typical product review. For retail, this could come from long-standing vendor relationships. They could review what it’s like to work with you on a regular basis.
Even if it’s just things like courteous negotiations or generally pleasant/professional interactions, these kinds of reviews can have a big impact on your image. (I’ve also seen reviews from vendors who were treated horribly—customers aren’t the only people who can get upset over customer service interactions!)
10. Show your customers how to leave Google reviews (step-by-step).
Depending on what your demographics look like, leaving a Google review might actually be a little daunting.
Not all of us are technically inclined and, depending on the tech we use, leaving reviews isn’t always as simple as scanning a QR code and quickly adding our feedback. (Android has made this much more easily accessible, but it wasn’t always that way!)
In my time working as a computer repair technician, I had a lot of customers ask me how they could leave a review (or wanted to “tell my boss I needed a raise”).
I would walk them through the process (some would just hand me their phone) and direct them to where they could leave a review, which we went through and responded to on a daily basis.
Sometimes the only thing stopping you from getting another review is as simple as someone not knowing where to go. Make it easy and help them out.
11. Add a QR code and/or link to your business cards.
And for those of us who do have it as simple as “scan this QR code and drop a review,” this is where the magic happens.
Put QR codes on your business cards.
They don’t look terrible. If you’re worried about the design, you can always make cards specifically for leaving reviews, separate from your normal business cards.
You don’t even have to limit it to your business cards. Put them everywhere: cash wrap, windows, menus, table displays, standing signs, posters…
Okay, maybe there is such a thing as overdoing things, but you get the idea.
The point is, you want to make it easy for customers to leave reviews. They shouldn’t ever have to go hunting for a place to leave feedback. You can subtly include links and QR codes into your marketing materials both, digital and in print.
12. Include review cards with product shipments.
If you’re also an e-commerce store that ships products, add review cards to your shipments.
If you have multiple locations or warehouses, ask your employees to include review cards with their shipments.
I used to always include a little handwritten note on each card, even if it was just a quick “thank you!” or “we appreciate your business!” It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. But writing notes can add a personalized touch that shows you’re taking the time out to show your appreciation.
13. Get your employees on board.
This is a tough one for a lot of companies to get right.
Anyone in customer service probably sees this idea and cringes. Working the promotion of reviews and surveys into phone calls and in-person interactions can be daunting.
For some associates, it comes naturally. They can work it into interactions with ease and customers don’t care (or they’ll even do it right there with them). For others, it’s not that easy.
In a perfect world, employees could ask for a review in all their interactions. However, they often know customers well enough to know when it’s just not appropriate to ask. (Or, they know it’s a customer who gets put off with that sort of thing.)
Give them a more subtle alternative.
Hand out review cards (or business cards) as a way to get in touch with them again. Include them in bags, if you’re a retail store that has lots of in-person transactions. Mail them out if you’re already sending print materials.
What to Do Once You Start Getting Reviews
This part largely depends on what kind of business you are in (and the size of your business). For me, I would immediately know when someone left a review.
First, you’ll want to respond to your reviews on Google. Keep an eye on them and respond to them within a day, when possible. I keep the app on my phone, which makes it easy to leave a quick response to reviews.
When customers leave a review, they expect to hear back. Don’t disappoint them!
In addition, Google does look at review responses as a form of engagement. Different types of engagements, whether it’s photos, comments, clicks, reviews, questions, or responses, do have an impact on your visibility.
Wrapping Things Up
In this guide, you learned:
- Why Google reviews are important
- How to generate your custom review link
- 13 ways to get more Google reviews
- What to do after you start getting reviews
Asking for reviews doesn’t have to be a big deal. The worst that happens is customers say “no.”
That’s okay. Don’t take it personally!
As you gain reviews through your everyday interactions, you’ll learn what works and where to spend your time. You’ll learn to ask more naturally, without it feeling out of place or intrusive.
The best part?
You’ll be able to take this and do the same thing for other platforms. While Google should remain a focus for local businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll eventually want to branch out into other industry-specific platforms.
Remember that every business is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for getting reviews, so it’s up to you to decide what works for both you and your customers.