How To Ask Customers For Google Reviews
Google business reviews are essential ranking signals for local SEO, as well as one of the most powerful ways of providing social proof and promoting trust and confidence in your business. But knowing how best to ask customers for google reviews can be a little tricky.
Reviews matter to customers when choosing between you and your competitors. A recent survey from Zendesk found that 90% of respondents claimed that positive reviews affected their purchasing decisions, with 86% saying negative reviews were also an influence.
Google dominates online search with around 80% market share so it makes sense to place focus on your search engine optimisation (SEO) and Google My Business page and reviews.
Follow these steps to create a personalised Google business review link to give your customers
It goes without saying that the most genuine and natural looking reviews are the ones that customers leave without any prompting. That’s not to say you can’t prompt someone into writing a review by asking them directly what they thought of your business and if they minded leaving a review. Far from incentivising, engaging with someone directly about their experience is actually good customer service and will often prompt a (hopefully) positive review on your Google My Business page.
Here are some steps you can take to make the Google review process a little easier and a positive outcome more likely:
- Timing is Everything
Get the timing of asking for reviews right, tread carefully between asking too early and asking too late. Too early and your customer may not have got the full benefits of your product or service and may simply not have an opinion on it yet; too late and that initial sense enthusiasm and positivity about your business may have faded.
- Make it Fool Proof
This might sound obvious but many businesses fail to make it obvious enough about how to leave a review. Don’t just encourage people to leave feedback on your website, Google and social media but actively show them how to by linking to it.
- Integrate With Other Marketing Channels
You could simply incorporate a call to action on your email signature with a link to your Google My Review page. When sending out marketing emails, ask people what they thought of your business or services and encourage them to write a review. If you’re meeting customers face-to-face give them a card with a link to takeaway with them after their stay, trip or tour. If appropriate you could even have a laptop/smartphone/tablet to hand and actually ask them there and then to complete. If you’re having trouble think about providing an incentive such as a prize draw entry or discount on their next purchase.
- Timing is Everything
Linking to your Google reviews
The easiest way to ask customers to give you a Google review is to give them a link to click on Click To Tweet that will take them straight to the review pop up of your Google + business page.
- Search for your business in Google (you will need to have set up Google My Business and verified your business first)
- Click on the button ‘Write a Review’ within the listing on the right hand side and the review box will pop up
- Copy the URL from the address bar – this will give you a URL similar to this: https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=njoy+hostel+cairns&lrd=0x697866855f84260b:0x2a80e08ebc2cf514,3,
The last digit 3, is the part that opens the review box. You can make the box pop up with 5 stars automatically filled out by adding ‘5’ to the end of the URL like this: https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=njoy+hostel+cairns&lrd=0x697866855f84260b:0x2a80e08ebc2cf514,3,5
Making it super easy for your customer to just type their comments in the box!
- Shorten the URL – make the URL look a little better by shortening it using Google’s URL shortener. Copy and paste your long URL into the box and click ‘shorten URL’, which will generate a link that looks something like this: https://goo.gl/ZZ2ocZ
- You now have a nice short link that you can send to your customers to ask them to give you a review. The next step is to send it to them, if you’re not sure how to phrase your communication you can download our template here. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and speak to your customers and remind them – if you explain how important it is to your business generally people are more likely to take a minute to do it for you.
Other Review Sites for Social Proof
In this post I have focused on getting Google reviews on your Google My Business page. That doesn’t mean you should ignore other review sites.
Google reviews for local businesses are worthy of your time definitely, but there are so many other review sites out there such as Yelp, Trust Local, Yahoo Local, Booking.com, Trip Advisor, Tour Radar, Trust Link, Trust Pilot and FreeIndex to name just a few, which will all go a long way in helping you build trust for your business, improve your SEO and increase website traffic.
Don’t forget you can also incorporate reviews into your own site which can help to gain those star symbols in Google search results. You can do this using Schema Markup.
Social media is also not to be forgotten. Whilst positive reviews on social media won’t have a direct effect on your local SEO, they will build trust in your business and encourage engagement which can lead to more reviews.
Facebook page reviews are particularly relevant to us in the travel industry. Unfortunately for B2B travel, LinkedIn pages cannot yet have reviews but you could get some recognition by collecting recommendations on your LinkedIn profile.