Are you looking for ways to get more 5 star Google reviews for your business?
Out of all of the things you can do in your business, focusing on boosting your number of Google reviews is one of the highest leverage activities you can spend time on.
According to Forbes, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. In the world we live in, the first thing people do when they learn about you is to check you out on Google.
In addition, Google continues to outpace other review platforms and is highly visible online, so I’d recommend you and your team go ‘all-in’ on getting more 5 star reviews to improve your reputation within their ecosystem.
Equally important is that reviews are a major component of Google’s ranking algorithm – here are some of the major SEO benefits:
- Google Reviews Can Help You Rank Higher in Local Searches
Google uses customer reviews as one of the main factors when determining which businesses to rank higher in local search results. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely you are to show up at the top of the results page.
- Google Reviews Can Help You Attract More Inbound Links
Inbound links are another important factor that Google uses to determine your website’s ranking. And one of the best ways to attract inbound links is by getting your customers to leave reviews on popular review sites like Yelp, Google+, and TripAdvisor.
When you have a lot of positive reviews on these popular sites, it builds your online reputation and shows Google that your business is reputable and trustworthy. As a result, they’re more likely to rank your website higher in search results.
- Google Reviews Can Help You Increase Your Click-Through Rate
Your click-through rate (CTR) is another important ranking factor that Google takes into account. CTR measures the percentage of people who click on your listing when it appears in search results.
So, if you have a lot of positive reviews, it’s likely that more people will click on your listing when it appears in search results. And the higher your CTR, the higher your website will rank in Google.
To sum it up, more reviews = more traffic and more clients and customers.
For this post, I’ll be sharing 16 strategies (with scripts) to help you increase your number of positive Google reviews. In the spirit of simplicity, I’ve intentionally focused on low-tech options that are quick and easy to implement.
Although these strategies can be very effective, you certainly don’t need all of them – my goal is to provide you with a range of options and help kick off the brainstorming process for you.
For a bit of context, a client of mine recently used just two of these strategies and with that alone was able to triple the number of their positive reviews in less than three months.
Before we get into the strategies, I want to emphasize that we need to make it as easy as possible for your customers and clients to leave a review.
Here are 16 strategies to get more customer reviews for your business:
1. Insert Link in all Email Signatures
One easy way to make the request is to insert some text into the email signatures that you and you and your team members already routinely use for communicating with customers. The beauty about this is that it’s “set it and forget it.”
We appreciate our loyal customers, and we strive to give you a spectacular experience every time.
As a small business, we rely heavily on customer testimonials to let others know about our service.
We’d be eternally grateful if you’d take 1 minute to share your experience as an INSERT BUSINESS customer on Google. INSERT LINK
2. Include Client Review Request in Store
If you have a physical storefront, it opens up a wide range of opportunities (more examples later on). I’d recommend putting up some signage in your store to request reviews. There are a variety of different ways to do this (i.e. banners, flyers, and window clings).
For example, in a restaurant, this is as simple as putting a sentence at the bottom of each printed menu.
EXAMPLE 1: Love INSERT BUSINESS? Please help us spread the word by leaving us a positive review on Google: INSERT LINK
EXAMPLE 2: Thank you for choosing INSERT BUSINESS! Let us know how we’re doing by dropping us a quick Google review! INSERT LINK
3. Request Client Reviews on Your Website
I’d recommend including verbiage on your website with a similar review request, which acts as another friendly request to your existing customer base.
Once you get a solid number of reviews, I’d ensure these are prominently displayed on your site for added social proof and credibility. You could consider creating a dedicated testimonials page to showcase these reviews, so your potential customers can easily gain trust in your company and lean towards deciding to purchase from you.
These days it’s very simple to embed the actual reviews from the Google platform into your site, which is a nice added touch.
4. Share Google Review Links via Social Media
You can create separate posts asking for reviews, but even easier is adding a bit of text to the end of what you’re currently posting (e.g. “please help us spread the word, we’d really appreciate if you left us a quick review at LINK”).
Another approach is to take screenshots of positive reviews and post these on your social media feeds.
5. Text Messages to Loyal Customers
This is a creative method that might be worth a try. On average, text messages are opened at a 98% rate (according to Gartner research), so there’s a strong likelihood this will work pretty well.
Just be mindful of the frequency – the last thing we want to do is bombard our customers with a barrage of requests.
You can either send these manually (and make them hyper-personalized) or through an automated service such as Skipio.
FIRST NAME, just wanted to say thanks for being a loyal customer!
As a valued customer, we’d really appreciate your feedback. If you have a moment, leave us a review on Google. INSERT LINK. Thanks!
6. Follow-up with New Customer
Right after a customer purchases for the first time, you could consider following up with an automated email sequence 1 week later to ask for a review.
This is as simple as sending a friendly follow-up after a week to ask them to write an honest review about their experience
We are so appreciative of you as a new customer! If you have a minute, would you mind helping us spread the word by leaving a review for us on Google? We’d be very grateful.
– YOUR NAME & TEAM
7. Immediately Follow-up with Happy Customer
This one should be a no-brainer, but providing excellent customer service is the number one way to get 5 star Google reviews. If you take care of your customers and give them exceptional customer service, they’ll be happy to leave you a positive review.
The best time is to solicit reviews from happy customers after they give you positive feedback, ideally, you ask while it’s still fresh in the customer’s mind.
During every positive customer interaction, have your team ask customers for their feedback.
EXAMPLE: “It would mean a lot to us if you could go Google and leave us a positive review. You can go to LINK”
8. Create “Leave us a Review” Cards
If you have a physical storefront, you can create physical cards (similar to business cards) with a shortened version of your Google review link.
Review Us on Google!
Your Google review helps others who need INSERT BUSINESS find us. Take a minute to rate and review us at LINK. Thank you!
9. Physical iPad at Front Desk
More businesses have started to implement this lately and I think it’s brilliant. It removes all friction and allows folks to enter reviews live on the spot in just a couple of minutes.
10. Email Requests
Keep in mind this will likely not be as effective as personalized requests, but the trade-off is it allows you to reach a broader audience. Similar to the text message technique, be careful to not do this too often.
SUBJECT LINE EXAMPLES:
“How did we do?”
“We’d love to hear your feedback!”
“Got a minute to share your experience with INSERT BUSINESS?”
“We want your feedback.”
PRO TIP #1:
To make this more personal, tape yourself on your smartphone and insert a quick video into the email.
Hey, it’s YOUR NAME here from INSERT BUSINESS checking in. If you are unhappy for any reason, please contact us and we’ll be sure to make it right.
If you’re happy, we want to know about it! We’d love it if you could take a minute to leave us a Google review by clicking THIS LINK.
It would mean a lot to me and I thank you in advance for your time! It helps other customers like you find us and we’ll be eternally grateful for it.
PRO TIP #2:
Additional Email Template for Customer Reviews
You can use this strategy by following up manually with folks that have already left Google reviews. Getting online reviews outside of Google can be more detailed and of much higher value.
Even better is if you can speak to them over the phone (or Zoom) so you can get a recording and use in future marketing materials.
SUBJECT: Could I have your feedback?
Hi _, could you possibly fill in the info below and then HIT REPLY to give me your feedback on INSERT BUSINESS? It would really mean the world to me:
1) What was the single most important problem you were hoping to get help with when you signed up for INSERT BUSINESS? (Feel free to take as much space as you like)
2) Did we help you with that problem? Did I go above and beyond to help you with anything else in your business? (Again, please take as much room as you like and the more specific you can be, the better!)
3) How can we improve?
4) Can we quote you? (If so, may I also use your full name and city so people will know you’re a real person? That would be really helpful)
I can’t wait to hear back,… remember, just HIT REPLY and fill out the survey above.
Thanks for your help!
11. QR Codes
Within the same theme of keeping things very simple for customers to leave Google reviews – you can insert a QR code with your review request in all sorts of different places (printed menus, mailings, emails, signs in your store, etc.).
12. Vendors and Partners
Vendors and partners may not be customers of yours, but they can attest to what it’s like to work with you regularly. They’d likely be willing to do this if you ask and make it very simple for them. I’m also willing to bet they’d happily leave a Google review if you write one for their business first.
13. After Resolving a Customer Service Issue
Once you successfully finish resolving a customer’s problem via phone or email, it’s a perfect time to ask them to leave a positive review. Resolving customer problems can often flip negative reviews into positive reviews.
EXAMPLE: “It would mean a lot to me if you could go Google and leave us a positive review. You can go to LINK”
If you have a team member with enough capacity, I’d suggest having them devote some time to personally respond to each review (both positive and negative).
A good process to follow for negative reviews:
- Tell the upset customer how to contact you
- Explain how you’ll make it right
- If you get everything solved and everyone is happy, ask the customer to write a new review. If you’ve handled everything professionally and compassionately it’s entirely possible that you’ve gained a lifelong customer from a formerly bad review.
14. Post-Purchase Opportunities
There are a couple ways to do this from a tactical standpoint:
- Once a customer submits an order, you can include a review request on the order confirmation page.
- Include a review request at the bottom of the order receipt
EXAMPLE: “As a small business, we rely on our customers to help spread the word. It would mean a lot to us if you could leave us a positive Google review. LINK
15. Personal Phone Calls
This takes more manual effort, but there’s always the option of using an old-fashioned approach to call up customers and ask them live (you can use similar scripts to what I’ve included above).
While there are ringless voicemail solutions that can automate this, I think this is a great opportunity to have a touchpoint and cultivate your connection with top customers. Keep in mind that your competition is likely too lazy to do this…it’s a nice way to differentiate and create raving fans.
16. Testimonial Contest
This is a little bit more work, but it has much greater upside than many of the other options I’ve laid out. It’s also a great way to get a lot of Google reviews quickly.
For this to be successful, you’ll want to build a lot of buzz with your customers in advance (mention it on your website, on social media, interactions with customers, etc.).
Here’s the concept in a nutshell:
- Ask customers to write honest feedback about your service, starting with the statement: “Why I love INSERT BUSINESS….” Put time parameters around the entries (perhaps you allow entries during a 30 day period)
- Make it clear that the top 3 will get a valuable prize
- Out of all the entries, the best ones are handpicked and given prizes.
You’ll end up with a collection of excellent testimonials you can use in different mediums.
Once someone has written about why they like your service, they’ll continue to think about why they like it and will tell others. As a byproduct, they are now mentally invested in your success.
If you’re interested in digging into this strategy, Boast.io has a great article on how to execute a testimonial contest.
I hope you found this article helpful and are now inspired to take action to ramp up your Google reviews.
Pick one or two of these tactics and get to work on making it easy for customers and clients to review your products or services. As you start to get traction, I’m confident you’ll see the benefits in increased traffic, credibility, and social proof.
What strategies have you tried so far? More importantly, which will you focus on next?