As a local business, you know that Google reviews are more important than ever. Google currently hosts the most visible reviews on the internet. More reviews mean more leads, more sales, more SEO, and ultimately, more revenue. The good news is that getting high-quality Google reviews is not rocket science.
Approximately 86% of consumers are willing to write a review—you just need to know how to ask them. To that end, we’ve compiled 33 fast wins for Google reviews. In the three minutes it takes to read these quick tips, you’ll have everything you need to dominate the online review world and beat your competition.
Before you start, there are just a few things you need to do:
- Know Google’s policies concerning reviews.
- Create a Google My Business account and make
your business a place on Google Maps
- Verify your GMB profile.
33 Quick Wins
01. Text. Over a third of consumers who receive a text review invite leave one, and approximately 41% of consumers prefer text to communicate vs. 18% who prefer email. If you want to increase your Google review collection, text is the key—and the results speak for themselves. After switching to text to collect reviews, Paul’s Pest Control jumped half a star on Google within 24 hours and gathered more reviews in one month than they had in five years.
02. Create a Google review link shortcut. The first step in setting up text review invites is to create a Google review link shortcut. This allows you to send customers messages with a short link that they can click to review you quickly and easily.
03. Ask at the right moment in your customer journey. In our experience, the best time to ask for a review is when there’s some downtime in the sales process. For example, in the auto industry, a good time might be after the sale is completed and the customer is waiting in finance. Asking at the right time can make all the difference. The Bridal Collection re-strategized their review invitation timing and attained a 4.9 star rating with over 1,200 reviews in a matter of months.
04. Automate. How do you guarantee that your customers will receive your text review invites at the right time, every time? Automations. Automate your review system to send invites at the key points in your customer journey to increase your collection rate and save time and hassle for your team. For Zerorez cleaning company, automations were the key to blowing up review numbers.
05. Post a sign. After having a good experience with a local business, consumers are 12% more likely to leave a review if they see a sign asking them to. You can print out a free sign here to hang on the window or wall right by your cash register.
06. Train your employees to ask in person. Before sending a review invite, your employees should always ask in person. When doing so, it’s important to set expectations for what you want customers to do by letting them know:
- Why online reviews are important for your business.
- How they will be receiving the invite (text or email).
- When they will be receiving the invite.
07. Use powerful language when you ask. When asking for a review, you need to help customers understand how leaving a review will benefit them. Use active language that focuses on benefits, like “Leave a review to help us create a better experience for you” vs. “share an opinion.” Whenever possible, use language that will put your customer in the driver’s seat.
08. Follow up. If a customer has not responded to your initial invite, no worries. Send a brief text reminder, which can be triggered by your automated system. Pro tip: always make sure to balance automation with personalization to maintain human connection.
09. Add CTA pop-ups to your site. In addition to text invites, employ CTA pop-ups on your website such as: “Are you enjoying your new tires? Leave us a review!” These pop-ups will actively engage customers and catch any who may have fallen through the cracks.
10. Send review requests to previous customers. Collecting reviews doesn’t just start with your current customers. Employ your CRM data to connect with previous customers and ask for Google reviews. You’ll have higher success if you recall the experience, ask straightforwardly, and emphasize convenience. Hi Mark! Hope you’re enjoying your boat. It would mean so much to us if you could take 10 sec to leave us a review! Thanks!
11. Make things personal. Something that really comes in handy when contacting previous customers is having a good relationship with them. Focus on deepening customer relationships with existing and new customers to boost your Google review numbers. You can do this by maintaining contact after purchase and creating a seamless customer journey through text, like Utah Valley Dermatology.
12. Incentivize your employees. In addition to training, incentivize your employees based on the number of Google reviews they collect. You can also offer extra incentives if their name is mentioned. For specific tips on incentive programs, download Show Me the Money.
13. Talk through good/bad reviews with employees in weekly meetings. One reason furniture industry disrupter James + James boasts hundreds of reviews and a 4.9-star rating is because they discuss reviews in their team meetings. Celebrate positive reviews and use negative reviews as case studies to help your team pull together and continuously improve your customer experience.
14. Manage reviews. If you want to collect reviews, it’s crucial to show your customers that reviews matter to you—and that means managing them. Respond to negative reviews within 2 hours and positive ones within 24 hours. Showing your customers that you are responsive and open to taking their feedback will make them more willing to leave you reviews.
15. Change according to reviews. Another great way to increase collection and demonstrate your responsiveness is to implement changes according to the feedback you receive. Ashley Furniture Homestore crushes the competition by continuously improving their business through the valuable feedback they get from their customers.
16. Publicize those changes. “No pic, didn’t happen,” is not just an unspoken rule of social media—the same principle applies to the world of reviews. When you make changes from the feedback you receive, publicize those changes on your website, social media, GMB listing, etc. to let customers know you are hearing and responding to their comments.
17. Tell your customers you appreciate/read their feedback. In addition to all of this, make sure to let your customers know that you appreciate and read their feedback—both in-person and online.
18. Turn negative reviews into positive ones. Once an issue in a negative review has been resolved, invite the customer to leave another review. You can do this by first responding to negative reviews quickly and proactively. For specific tips on turning negative reviews positive, download Turning a Negative into a Positive.
19. Add a review link to your website. Most review sites offer widgets that you can add to your homepage, and Google is no exception. Add a Google review widget to your site, like our customer CT Braces, to keep reviews rolling and front of mind.
20. Create a Google reviews page on your website. In addition to adding a widget, create a page on your website dedicated solely to Google reviews. On this page, you can include an invitation to leave a review and highlight existing reviews. Pro tip: when highlighting reviews, put them in text form— as Morrow County Dental does on their page—instead of using screenshots so that any keywords will boost your SEO.
21. Create a template for your review text. On that note, create a simple template where you can copy and paste review text to save time and hassle when highlighting reviews. Pro tip: there are specific platforms and plug-ins that allow you to automatically input your Google reviews.
22. Include a Google review CTA in your footer. If it isn’t elsewhere on your homepage, make sure to at least include a Google review CTA in your footer!
23. Run a Google review email campaign. While text is clearly king, and emails only have an open rate of just over 16%, they can still be helpful in collecting reviews until you implement a text messaging platform. Run a Google review email campaign asking customers to leave a review.
24. Include a Google review link in your email signature. Speaking of emails, it doesn’t hurt to include a subtle CTA in all of your email correspondence—both marketing and personal. Consider employing an invite like the ones below in your signature:
25. Leave a Google review card. This tip may sound rather old-fashioned, but business cards are still fairly common, especially among contractors and service companies. In addition to leaving a business card, consider leaving a Google review card that includes a link and brief instructions.
26. Include Google review opportunities in surveys. Collecting feedback presents a perfect opportunity to ask for a review. When sending surveys to customers, include the opportunity to leave a review at the end— after they’ve had a chance to remember how awesome you are.
27. Ask for reviews on social media. Social media is an excellent place to collect Google reviews and increase review visibility as the average consumer spends 3 hours a day on various platforms. You can start by posting
a screenshot of your best review and asking your customers to leave their own feedback.
28. Share positive reviews in other ways. This includes highlighting them in those weekly meetings and making them more visible—like physically printing them out and hanging them up in your physical location!
29. Get Google reviews from vendors/partners. Neil Patel suggests networking with other local businesses to increase visibility, and Google reviews are no exception. Collect Google reviews from local vendors or partners or even larger businesses and brands. In collecting these, it might be helpful if you write one for them first.
30. Create a “how to leave a Google review” video. If you want customers to leave reviews, you have to eliminate barriers. And that starts with showing them how easy it is. You can do this by creating a short YouTube video that demonstrates how to leave your business a Google review with catchy music, high-quality imagery, and gifs.
31. Incentivize your customers to leave a review. While incentivizing customers to leave a positive review is against Google’s policy, Neil points out that incentivizing them to leave a review is not. Consider creating a rewards system or promo of some kind to incentivize your customers to leave a review.
32. Use text to provide an outstanding customer experience. Ultimately, collecting Google reviews starts with providing an outstanding customer experience. Consumers are almost twice as likely to prefer texting over any other communication method. Over 85% of consumers expect businesses to offer more convenient communication than they did prior to COVID-19. Strategize how you can reduce friction and increase convenience in your customer journey through the power of text.
33. Use a reputation management platform. Managing, responding to, collecting, and analyzing reviews can be quite a task for any team to take on. But using the right reputation management platform makes it easy. After adopting a platform, Vasa tripled their reviews (jumping from 2.9 to 4.0 in star rating) in just three years. A platform such a Podium makes managing reviews successfully a breeze for any local business of any size.
And that’s it.
No lengthy processes, theories, or complicated steps. If you’re feeling at all overwhelmed, remember—you don’t have to do these all at once. Pick a couple of ideas that make sense for your current Google review strategy and begin with them. As you work your way through each of these 33 tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the go-to option in your local community.
See how quickly you can gather reviews for free with Podium Starter.