Getting Google reviews from customers is essential for building your brand’s reputation and online presence. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your ranking on Google and other search engines, and the more likely people will find and buy from you. To help you get more Google reviews, here are over a dozen tips so you can improve your rankings and drive more business your way.
Keep in mind that before you can get any Google reviews, you’ll need to first set up a Google Business Profile.
1. Get More Google Reviews by Asking Your Customers
This might be obvious, but the best people to ask for reviews are your customers. You can also ask your friends and family to leave Google reviews for your business, products, or services. However, honesty is the best policy, so be sure you only ask for reviews from those who have made a purchase from you.
Formalize the process of asking customers to leave reviews about your business on Google with services from Podium. In as little as 60 days, you could double your number of Google reviews, giving you a better chance to rank higher on Google and grow your business. Fit Small Business readers can take advantage of a free trial and save 15% over the cost of annual plans.
2. Get a Free Marketing Kit to Increase Google Business Reviews
If you have a Google Business Profile and verified account, you can get a free Google Marketing Kit. It includes digital and printable Google-branded collateral for promoting your business online and off, including tools to help you get more Google reviews.
Your free Google Marketing Kit will come with various tools and resources like printable posters, flyers, and cards with a quick response (QR) code that leads back to your reviews. You can add this QR code to email newsletters, your website, social media profiles, and marketing materials to send happy customers straight to your Google page to leave a review. For more details on QR codes, read the section below.
3. Use QR Codes to Get More Reviews on Google
A QR code is similar to a barcode on a product. When your customer scans the code with the camera on their smartphone, the web address linked to the QR code automatically opens in a browser window. QR codes that link to your Google reviews page can be added to your website, customer emails, digital receipts, and social media profiles. They can also be added to offline marketing materials like postcard mailers, brochures, business cards, posters, and more.
You can generate and download a QR code that links to your Google reviews page for free on VistaPrint. Simply go to vistaprint.com/qr/ and click on “Create QR code.” Next, indicate what you want to happen when the QR code is scanned (e.g., “leave a review”) and enter the URL for your Google reviews page.
Then click on “Create QR Code,” and VistaPrint will generate a QR code image that you can download or continue customizing. Once you’re happy with the image, click the Download button to get a ZIP file with your code’s image.
VistaPrint, our top pick for best direct mail service and best place to print business cards, makes it super-easy to add a QR code to your marketing materials (and super-affordable to print). Add them to your business cards, invoice forms, or thank-you postcards to get more Google reviews from satisfied customers after each transaction.
4. Send Thank-you Notes Inviting Reviews on Google
Taking the time to send a thank-you card is a proven way to build customer loyalty and improve your chances of getting word-of-mouth recommendations, including Google reviews. You can make it easy for your customer to follow through and leave a review for your business by including a QR code or a shortened link, which you can create for free on sites like bitly.com.
5. Ask for a Review on Receipts
Each time one of your customers buys from your business, you can ask them to leave a review on Google. Do this by including a request for a review on receipts and invoices, whether printed or digital. This reminds customers to leave a review. Be sure to use a short URL generated via bitly.com or add a QR code to make it easy for your customer to take action.
6. Automate Transactional Emails to Get More Google Reviews
One of the best times to prompt a customer for a review is shortly after they’ve made a purchase, and you can do this with transactional emails. Transactional emails are emails sent following a transaction, such as a sale, site visit, abandoned cart, and so on.
Schedule an email marketing campaign to automatically send customers an email requesting a review on Google at a set time period after a purchase. For example, you could set it up to go out three days after an in-store purchase or delivery of an online order or one to two hours after a purchase in the case of businesses like restaurants or salons.
If you’re just getting started with email marketing, we recommend Mailchimp. It tops our list of the best email marketing software platforms for small businesses because it’s intuitive and easy to use, and you can use it for free until your contact list hits 2,000 or more. Plus, with built-in customer relationship management (CRM) tools, you can easily automate post-sale transaction emails.
Aside from sending an email campaign, another simple tactic is to include a link to your Google reviews page as part of your professional email signature. This way, whenever you send an email, your customers will see the link and be reminded to leave a review for your business on Google.
Need help crafting marketing and sales emails to request reviews? Download and customize one or more of our referral email templates by replacing the request for referral with a request to leave a Google review instead.
7. Link to Google Reviews on Social Media
Posting your review link on social media is an excellent way to encourage new and long-time customers to provide feedback on their experience with your company or product(s). Additionally, social media can help amplify the reach of the reviews you receive. For example, you can take a screenshot of a positive customer review and post it on your social media, providing reasons for prospects to trust your brand and want to do business with you.
8. Respond to Google Reviews as Quickly as Possible
A BrightLocal survey revealed that 87% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Good, bad, or otherwise, online reviews help drive buying decisions. You’re not likely to get glowing reviews from every customer, but that’s OK, since you can still shape the narrative by responding to reviews.
It’s important to respond to positive and negative reviews alike as soon as possible. At the very least, doing so shows there’s a real person behind the business and logo, which can help build trust.
You can even make it up to a customer who’s upset with their experience and turn the negative feedback into a positive review. Plus, in the ReviewTrackers survey, 45% of customers said it makes a difference when businesses respond to negative reviews.
How to Respond to Fake or Inappropriate Reviews
In addition to responding when someone leaves a positive or negative review for your business on Google, you can also request that negative, fake, spammy, and inappropriate reviews be removed. This will help to ensure your overall rating is not negatively affected by reviews that shouldn’t count.
Specifically, Google prohibits the following in reviews:
- Inappropriate civil discourse: This includes harassment, hate speech, offensive content, and revealing personal information (aka “doxxing”).
- Deceptive content: Content that falls into this category includes fake engagement, impersonation, misinformation, and misrepresentation, such as someone purporting to be a customer who is not.
- Mature content: This applies not only to sexually explicit or adult-themed content, but also to violence and gore, obscenity, and profanity.
- Regulated content: You can ask for reviews to be removed if the content is restricted (e.g., restricted substances or products like alcohol or weapons, or proprietary content like menu images and pricing information). This also includes content deemed to be dangerous, illegal, and endangering to children, as well as terrorist content.
- Low-quality content: This includes off-topic content, advertising, solicitation, spam, gibberish, and repetitive content.
For more details, go to support.google.com. If you spot a review that falls into one of these categories, you can reach out directly to the reviewer, asking them to remove the post. If that doesn’t work, you can tweet to the handle @googlesmallbiz on Twitter with the request to remove it or formally report content for legal reasons.
9. Use Website Pop-ups to Ask for Feedback
Using pop-ups to ask for feedback after a customer makes a purchase from your online store can be an effective way to get more Google reviews. If a customer was inspired to purchase an item or service from you, they might already have an opinion on their experience, and it’s a great time to say thanks and ask them to share their experience.
10. Embed Google Reviews on Your Website
Embedding Google reviews on your website allows customers to see what others have experienced with your company. This can help convince potential customers to choose your business because positive customer feedback inspires trust. Google doesn’t have a widget for this, but you can easily embed Google reviews onto your website with a tool like Elfsight’s Google Reviews Widget.
Set up the widget with your preferred template and customize it with your brand colors, fonts, and display preferences. When you’re ready, you can embed it into just about any website, including Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, OpenCart, and many other web content management systems (CMS).
Adding Google reviews to your website can even benefit your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. For example, when someone finds the reviews on your website, they are likely to read them. This increases how long they spend on the page, which also improves your site’s ability to rank higher on Google.
11. Ask for More Reviews on Google in Lieu of Gratuities
Some businesses in industries where employees generally rely on tips as part of their wage (e.g., restaurants, salons, and so forth) opt to pay higher hourly wages and salaries in lieu of allowing customers to leave gratuities or tips. If this applies to your business, use in-store signage to spread the word that staff members can’t accept tips, but would love it if customers would leave more Google reviews instead.
12. Create a Google Review Instruction Video
You may have customers willing to write reviews for your business but aren’t sure of the best way to do it. Promotional videos are a great way to market your business, and you can even create instructional videos on how to write a Google review.
Videos like these can help prospects and customers learn more about your business as well as how to leave feedback that benefits your company. Once your instructional video is ready to share, you can embed it on your site, post it on social media, or send it via email.
If you have no experience creating videos, Fiverr is the best place to find professionals who will do the job for you. For as little as $25 to $50, you can get a whiteboard or animated video from a freelance pro. In addition, if you need help writing your script, you can hire an affordable copywriter for this on Fiverr, starting as low as $5 to $25.
13. Don’t Try to Get Google Reviews the Wrong Way
As tempting as it is to offer a discount for reviews or to purchase reviews as a shortcut—don’t. Those methods go against Google’s policy, and your profile could be suspended or removed. It’s also against Google’s policies to have employees leave reviews for your business.
14. Use Reputation Management Services & Tools
Using professional reputation management services and tools could be the most cost-effective strategy to get more Google reviews. This can be especially true when you factor in the time and resources you’ll need to execute the strategies above.
Here are some of the best reputation management tools for getting more reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and more:
- Hibu: Short-cut the process of building reviews, responding to them, and more with professional reputation management services from a top digital marketing agency like Hibu.
- Podium: Increase your reviews on Google exponentially faster and respond to them within seconds using Podium’s platform.
- SproutSocial: Use SproutSocial’s social listening tools to see what social media users are saying about your brand and engage with them online.
- BrightLocal: Audit your Google Business Profile and listings in thousands of online business directories and monitor up to three review sites in one place with BrightLocal for $29 a month.
- Mailchimp: Send transactional emails post-sale and use email marketing newsletters to ask for customer feedback on Google, Facebook, and other review sites.
- LiveChat: Add live chat functionality to your website to engage with customers in real time, including asking for reviews following successful issue resolutions or help desk interactions.
- Fiverr: Tap into the freelance marketplace of Fiverr for help with reputation management, generating and managing reviews, and optimizing your Google profile to get the most benefit for your brand and website.
Getting Google reviews is just one aspect of search engine marketing, or SEM. See what else you can do to improve your rankings on Google, drive more traffic to your website, and grow your business. Also, leverage both online and offline website marketing strategies to grow your brand’s presence.
Google Reviews Statistics: Why Getting Reviews Matters
Positive online reviews can significantly impact your business’ bottom line. According to a study by BrightLocal, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. What’s more, review sites are the third-most trusted source of information for consumers when making purchasing decisions.
Here are some statistics about Google reviews to keep in mind:
- 98% of customers read Google reviews before making a purchase.
- 81% of consumers have used Google to research a local business in the past year.
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Over 85% of consumers think local reviews older than three months are irrelevant.
- 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked.
These statistics underscore the importance of online reviews and show why you should increase your Google reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely customers are to trust your business, choose your business, and refer your services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can I do about fake Google reviews?
The Google Review Policy states that fake reviews are not allowed, and you can report them to request they be removed. To do so, follow Google’s step-by-step guide on removing reviews. Also, keep in mind that you can use a review monitoring tool like Podium to help you keep track of your reviews and report any spammy ones.
How many Google reviews do I need?
It’s not clear exactly how many you need, but recent reviews make it more likely that your business will appear in Google Maps and on search results. To continually reap the benefits, you’ll need to have a strategy in place for continually generating new reviews. Make sure you’re routinely reaching out to customers when they interact with your business while their experience is still fresh and they’re more likely to leave reviews.
What factors impact how your business ranks in local search results?
One of the most important factors in local rankings on Google is claiming your Google Business Profile. You can also search for keywords that reference your locale and use them to optimize your website’s content to help with local SEO. In addition to optimizing your site for local search, getting Google reviews directly impacts your ranking, as does getting backlinks from high authority sites.
Getting Google reviews not only inspires repeat and new business, they also improve your website’s SEO. As a result, increasing your reviews on Google, can, in time, drive your business to the top of rankings. If you need help, check out Podium. Many Podium users see double the number of reviews in just a couple of months, and Fit Small Business readers can get a free 14-day trial to test the platform and save 15% on an annual plan.
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