As a business, having reviews is essential to being able to compete in the marketplace. If you don’t have any, you have absolutely no social proof. Why would anyone want to buy/hire your products/services?
In recent years, Google has leapfrogged other review platforms like Yelp. In 2020, it’s the premier option, which is why it makes sense to prioritize it.
So, how does one go about getting Google reviews? Let me help.
This article will cover 12 tactics working in 2020 that will help you get Google reviews.
Why Should You Care About Google Reviews
You might be wondering “why Google reviews are even important in the first place?” You’re probably wondering “why does my business need them?”
It’s quite simple really — reviews help your business succeed. They help you sell your products and services. They help you generate revenue, profit and income.
But, just how exactly, do reviews do that?
There are a few key points:
- Social Proof
- Builds Trust With Your Target Market
- More Leads
- More Sales
- Better SEO Ranking on Google
- Reviews Are Free Marketing
Reviews increase your “social proof,” which is a powerful psychological phenomena that marketers and copywriters harness. It’s that bias a popular, or well-liked person has — people elevate them. Translate that directly to business, and you can understand how reviews fit into it.
The more reviews a business has, the more popular and credible it appears. When consumers look for options when buying, they’re swayed by that social proof.
Builds Trust With Your Target Market
Reviews are also helpful tools for consumers when conducting research. When looking at potential options, they’ll analyze the testimonials and reviews of each business. This is the grassroots — what people are saying.
When a business has lots of high quality reviews, what do you think that does to the potential buyer? It builds a megaton of trust.
When you’ve got oodles and oodles of social proof, when you’ve got bucketloads of consumer trust, what do you think that can lead to?
Leads. A whole lot of leads.
Reviews will get you leads. It’s as simple as that.
And what comes with more leads? Sales.
Social proof, consumer trust, leads, It all leads to the bottom line. The conversion. And it’s all thanks to the power of reviews.
Better SEO Ranking on Google
Google reviews are particularly awesome because they also help you rank well for local search. Don’t believe me? Google have stated this themselves:
Google Search is the heart of the internet, and that’s why Google reviews are best reviews out there.
Reviews Are Free Marketing
When you actually think about it, reviews about your business is a form of marketing. One that you pay absolutely nothing for. This is quite amazing when you consider most, if not all forms of marketing cost money.
How to Get Google Reviews: 12+ Actionable Ways Explained
Below, you’ll find 12+ actionable ways to get reviews on Google, without buying them. These are strategies and tactics that are working in 2020.
1. Use Your Google My Business Account to Verify Your Business Profile
If you want to maximize how many Google reviews you can get, you need to verify your business profile.
Your business profile is your geographical, Google Maps popup that appears in Google searches.
Oftentimes someone else has already created it for you. Even if you did create it yourself, you still don’t have 100% control until you verify it.
Verifying your business profile allows you to respond to existing reviews, and helps you get rid of misinformation. It also really helps with local SEO — ranking high in localized search queries.
All of these things will help you get more Google reviews.
So, how do you verify your business profile? You need a Google My Business account.
Once you’ve created an account, go back to your business profile listing and click “Own this business?”
You'll need to follow the verification process. It shouldn’t be a problem.
After you’ve verified, you’ll be set. This is the first step towards getting more Google reviews.
2. Create a Direct, Shortened Link
Then next thing you should do is to create a link that goes straight to the review submission page. This is the link you’ll share on a number of different platforms to get Google reviews, like email, social media, or even your own website.
It’s necessary because it’ll make it as easy and effortless as possible for people to write Google reviews for you.
Here’s how we’ll create it — type your business name into the Google Maps Place ID Finder tool.
Copy the place ID from your result, and paste at the end of the link below. It should start after the = sign.
If you did it right, it might look like this:
Look at how that link goes straight to the Google review form.
Pretty neat, right? Without a direct link like this, they’re forced to manually search for your business profile, which takes way too long. The harder it is to write a review for you, the more likely they won’t.
Now, that link is pretty good, but it’s kind of long.
We need to shorten it.
Easy fix: just use Bitly.
Much shorter, much nicer.
And there you have it — a direct, shortened link straight to the review page of your Google business profile. This is so important because you’ll be posting this link in a wide variety of places.
3. Ask Your Customers to Leave Reviews
Sometimes the simplest strategies work out the best. If you really want more Google reviews, try just asking them.
Most customers would be happy to write a review for you. This is due to the law of reciprocity.
People are more inclined to “return the favor” after you’ve helped them out. So try to ask them for a review after you’ve provided your services to them.
4. Reply to Existing Reviews
Another simple strategy to get more Google reviews is to simply respond to older ones.
When individuals see that you respond to reviews, they’re more likely to write a review themselves. This is because they see that you are active, and acknowledge feedback.
You should respond to as many reviews as you can. However, make sure you provide an appropriate response for each individual review. Do not, under any circumstances, copy and paste something generic. That’s worse than writing nothing at all.
For positive reviews, be grateful for their effort. They’ve taken time out of their day to personally write a review for you. Acknowledge that — trust me, it makes a difference.
For negative reviews, be positive, and help solve their issues/concerns. Be humble and accept criticism. You shouldn’t ever respond with hostility. That will only add fuel to the fire.
Try to also personalize the response — Or in other words, use their name!
And last, but not least, respond fast. How long you take to respond says a lot.
5. Ask Them in Person
If you get to see your clients/customers in person, why not ask them to give you a Google review? It may seem like it wouldn’t be worth the hassle, but you’d be surprised. Having someone say something to you in person has more weight than an email message.
Train your employees (if you have any) to always remember to tell customers to write a review. This can be done at the cash register, after they’ve made a purchase.
There are a variety of strategies you could implement in person to get Google reviews. Experiment — the old ways of marketing still work. In fact, they might be a little underrated these days.
6. Put a Call to Action Button in Your Website Footer
The footer of your website is actually a great spot to ask customers to leave a review. You can place a clickable “call to action” button there. It’ll lead them straight to your Google Maps page, where they can write a review.
7. Create a Dedicated Reviews Page For Your Website
Putting a CTA asking for Google reviews in your footer is good, but why stop there? You can, and should, dedicate an entire page to it!
The page should not only show existing reviews, but have its own CTA button to write a review. Make sure they’re not just screenshots, but actual text — this can help with SEO. You can use an embed tool like EmbedSocial or Elfsight to do this.
Not only does this help you get more Google reviews, but it also helps you convert leads into sales, thanks to social proof.
8. Create a Popup Asking For a Review on Your Website
Another ingenious way to use your website to get Google reviews is to use a popup. Whenever your visitors are on your website, you can essentially proposition them for a review. You can place it on any page you want, or all of them.
I’d recommend you make it an “exit intent” popup, which basically means it appears as website visitors are leaving. It senses when your mouse cursor hovers over either a new tab, the back button, or the exit button.
Make the button stand out, and use your shortened, direct link. Use nice, inviting copy/writing to persuade them to give a review.
Also make sure you don’t try to offer them anything. No incentives, that’s the Google rules, remember.
9. Run an Email Campaign
Hopefully you’ve been building an email list, because email marketing is a great way to get Google reviews.
There are many ways to use email marketing — to get reviews, we’ll run something called a “drip campaign.”
This is where you create an automated sequence of emails, which is known as an autoresponder sequence. These sequential emails are triggered when an individual on your list does something. That could potentially be:
- Buying your product or service
- Signed up for something
- Downloaded an eBook
These specific “triggers” all act as potential instances for you to automate and send an email asking for a review.
10. Put Your Review Link in Your Email Signature
If you want your email marketing strategy to get Google reviews to be even more effective, utilize your email signature.
An email signature is the “footer” of every email you send. It happens to be a great place to put your Google review direct link.
You can either link it as a clickable, HTML button, which is the example above, or you can just text hyperlink it.
Either way works.
This is a simple, but highly effective way to boost your efforts to get Google reviews with email marketing.
11. Post Your Direct Link in Your Instagram Bio
Instagram is another platform that you can use to funnel traffic to your business profile review page.
Instagram allows you to have one link in your bio at all times. Simply put your direct link there, and then promote it with content/posts.
Have you ever seen the phrase “link in bio” before? That’s basically what this is: funneling people to your link with new images and video posts.
There is a lot of room for creativity — this is absolutely one method to get more Google reviews.
12. Post Your Direct Link on Your Facebook Business Page
Instagram is good, but Facebook business pages might be even better for getting Google reviews. This is because you can post far more links on the platform. Look at how this business has a direct link to their business profile for each new image post.
The amount of links you can put out is immense. You can even put some links in the descriptions of videos, if that’s what you want to do.
In this article we covered 12 tactics being used in 2020 to get reviews on Google.
As a business, acquiring Google reviews is not only essential, it should be a priority. They build social proof, consumer trust, generate leads, and ultimately sales. Not to mention they help local SEO.
To ignore Google reviews would be a massive mistake.
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