How to Get Google Reviews For Your Business
- Wes McDowell
- May 31, 2018
Over 90% of consumers rely on reviews before they’ll even consider giving you their money, so let’s go over the easiest, most effective ways to get more google reviews for your business.
Hey guys, Wes McDowell here from The Deep End, and one thing my clients are always asking me is how to get google reviews for my business.
So today, I’m gonna show you my best tactics for getting more of those 5 star google reviews. This video is going to be comprehensive, I’m going to take you through the entire process, including who to ask, how to ask, and when to ask, as well as a super effective way to make it as easy on your customers or clients as possible to do what you want, and leave a positive review. Because most people do want to be helpful, but only if it’s EASY. So if you make them have to think too much on their own, or click and fumble around with it, they’ll just give up.
But before we get to the how, let’s take a quick second to look WHY google reviews are so powerful, and why you need them. So I wanna show you something.
- Showing up in the map listings is a great way to be found for many local businesses
- Many factors go into being found here, ratings and reviews are one of them
- Even if you did show up here with no reviews, reviews make the difference who gets the click or the call
- Who would you choose?
- Stats: 90% of people read reviews before visiting a business, and 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (Source: Forbes)
- What if you’re a business that relies on word of mouth, that people vet online? (show The A.C.T. Group, Ltd. example)
So the first step in getting more google reviews is to remove as many barriers as possible between your customers and those reviews. Before I discovered this trick I’m gonna show you, I’d ask a client if they’d mind leaving a review, and that request would come with a set of step by step instructions how to do it, so some would figure it out, but most would just have a hard time making it work, so no review for us. But lucky for you in 2018, there’s a better way.
So let’s make a super simple link you can use over and over again to make it as easy as possible on your customers to help you out.
In order for you to start getting reviews at all, you of course need a Google My Business listing. If you don’t have one, there are a million videos that can show you how to claim yours, but for this video, I’m assuming that you already have it and are ready to go. Let’s jump back over to the computer.
Ok, so now that you have your custom review link, there are a few places you can use it to your advantage. Of course, you can use it in emails, which we’ll talk more about in a bit. You can also use it in your email signature if you want. This works really well if you have a sales staff, and they can all be using that link in every email with their customers.
You can use it on your website, but here’s the caveat to that — if you’re going to publish that link, and make it very easy for people to review your business, I only recommend you do that if you KNOW that you have an extremely high satisfaction rating with your customers. The last thing you want is a disgruntled customer seeing that link. They may choose to leave a bad review on their own, but you might not want to make it that easy for them.
And what you can also do is have that link printed on your business cards, or on dedicated cards that you only hand out to certain customers.
Ok, so if you want to get a lot of reviews, you’re going to need to ask for them. But there are good ways and bad ways of going about that. So I’m going to share all the best tips I’ve come up with over the years that tend to work the best.
First of all, when you ask, whether in person, or in an email, you want to give a reason for them to leave a review. There’s a pretty famous study from the 70s where a woman tried to cut in line for a Xerox machine. Sometimes she’s just ask if she could cut, sometimes she’d say it’s because she’s in a rush, and sometimes she’d just say because she needed to make copies. Which is a pretty stupid reason, right? I mean everyone in line was there because they needed to make copies, but the 2 scenarios where she gave any reason at all increased her success rate in actually getting to cut the line. I think it was like 60% up to 95% when she gave either reason. All that to SAY that if you just ask for a review, you’re less likely to get it than if you were to give a reason. That reason can be as simple as because it would really help us out, and be found by more customers. This can really help when you’re asking somebody who doesn’t know you very well, and would probably be on the fence about if they want to take the time at all.
And I do wanna address the elephant in the room here. While google encourages you to ask for reviews, their guidelines forbid incentivizing reviews. Their old policy just said not to offer anything in exchange for positive reviews, but now they’ve widened that to ANY reviews at all. So offering a deal or coupon in exchange for a review is technically against their policy.
But, there’s nothing in their policy against rewarding your team members for bringing in google reviews, which leads us to a really effective tactic that may work for your business. If you have a sales team, you can offer a bonus for each review anyone in the company brings in. And when one of those team members asks for a review from a customer, if they simply tell them they will get a bonus for that review, guess what? Reviews will increase, because you’re appealing to the part of human nature that enjoys helping other people out. And it seems to work.
So there are a few different methods you can use to ask for a review, the absolute best being in person, or on the phone. And the best time to do it? Right after they’ve given you a compliment on how much you’ve helped them. But be sincere, and humble. Say something like “Thank you, I love hearing that. It would really help us out if you could take a minute to let others know that in a google review.”
They’ll most likely at least verbally agree, then you can just email them the link, or if you’re in person, you can give them a card with the link on it. But with an email, you can always follow it up with another message if they don’t actually leave the review. More on that follow-up a little later on.
The second best way to ask would be in a personalized email to customers or clients who you know are happy with their experience. And the best time to send the email is right after you’ve helped them. The more time that passes, they may start to forget the details that make for a really good review, and they’ll be less excited about the experience too. So send the request with a few details so they know you’re reaching out personally, and again, give them the reason.
So those are the 2 best ways, but they aren’t really scaleable. And what if you don’t personally KNOW your customers very well? The third way is a way to reach higher numbers of people, but it’s a little more dangerous, because if you don’t know what they’re thinking, you may run the risk of getting some negative reviews in the mix as well.
This method involves sending out automated emails to your customer list. You can send out a blast all at once, but I’d actually recommend staggering them a bit. Google looks at patterns, and if you get a bunch of reviews all at once, they may think something’s up, and penalize you for faking reviews. So I’d go little by little, then get new customers into an automated email funnel that starts once they become a customer. That way, everyone goes at their own pace, not all at once.
SO how do we lessen the chances of negative reviews when you send out these mass requests? What I like to do is start the email off by asking about their experience. Then make it clear that if they are unhappy for any reason, you’re committed to making it right, and that they should contact you directly. This will help weed out the people who may have otherwise left a very public negative review. It won’t stop everybody, but just knowing they can come to you and hopefully have it made up to them, might be a more appealing option than just venting about it.
Next, say if you’re happy, we wanna know about it, please review us be clicking this link! Then remember to give the reason, which is that it helps other customers like you find us, and of course we’ll be eternally grateful.
Now for bonus points, I actually want you to make a very simple, very short video making this request that you can include in those emails. If you have a smartphone, and I know you do, this will really increase your odds of getting positive reviews, and dissuading the negative ones. Just be sincere, and genuinely appreciative in that video. Just say something like: I just want to thank you for your business, and I want to know about your experience. If you’re unsatisfied in any way, please reach out to me so I can make it right. If you love what we did for you, I wanna know about that too. Just take a few seconds and click the link below to leave an honest google review. Real client success stories help us reach even more clients that we can help as well. It would mean a lot to me, and I thank you in advance for taking the time.
So when you’re sending out these emails, whether they’re automated email blasts or personalized outreach emails, there have been a few studies that suggest if you send that email between 1 to 3 pm, your odds of them following through on it shoot up by about 20%. Probably because people are just getting back to their desks and emails after lunch and aren’t ready to jump into their work yet. So let their procrastination work for YOU.
So what about those people who don’t follow through on leaving a review after you ask? One simple trick is just to send a follow up email reminding them how much it can help, and be sure to let them know in this follow up email that they CAN just leave a star rating with no written review if they want. A star rating on its own is never going to be a powerful testimonial, but its better than nothing, especially when you realize that most people aren’t reading through all the reviews anyway, they’re simply scanning to see the number of reviews, and the average star rating. So this is a great way to pick up some extra stars from people who might have been intimidated by trying to think of what to write.
And lastly, once you start getting reviews, you should personally respond to each one, even the positive ones. Thank them for their business, be genuine, and show future customers researching your business that you’re someone they want to work with.
And if all of this sounds like something you’d rather outsource, click the link below to see how I can take this off your plate, and get you a steady stream of 5 star google reviews on autopilot.
Alright, that will do it for this video, and be sure to look out for my next video, which will show you how to get fake negative google reviews removed. For more tips like these, just subscribe to our channel right here. And if you’d like to speak with me to see what we can do about getting you set up with more google reviews, just click the link below. I’m Wes McDowell with The Deep End, see ya next time.
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