Setting up a Google Business account is a great tactic to boost your search engine optimization and build brand recognition and loyalty. Google makes it easy for people to leave reviews, and these reviews will show up with your Google Business listing. To build a strong reputation online, you need to know how to ask for a Google review. Take a look at these 11 strategies to painlessly ask for a Google review.
How to Ask for a Google Review: 11 Proven Techniques to Use
First Thing’s First: Google’s Review Policies
Google’s review policies outline acceptable and unacceptable tactics about how to ask for Google reviews. Failing to follow these policies can get your reviews removed, or can even get your business removed from Google services all together. In our strategies on how to get Google reviews, we’ve taken care to follow the rules, so you can feel confident in the reviews you gather. Here are a few policies to keep in mind as you consider how to get Google reviews.
- Do not incentivize reviews with discounts, prizes, or cash. Google has removed reviews from businesses who have taken part in these activities.
- Do not ask for reviews “in bulk,” indiscriminately. Instead, ask for reviews from the right customers at the right time. Or, make an indirect invitation, where any person could see it, instead of bulk solicitations.
- Solicit reviews from customers equally. Avoid “review gating,” or cherry-picking reviews from happy customers only.
A simple way to reach customers is through their inbox. When you ask for a Google review through email, you can easily lay out the steps and provide simple links for the customer to leave a review. Use the Google Review Link Generator to send your customers straight to your page to leave a review, so they don’t have to hunt.
You might find it difficult to get your customers’ attention and cut through the email inbox clutter. People receive hundreds of emails a day, so make sure you use email marketing best practices to improve open rate and click-through rate. Also, don’t ask for a Google review from everyone, indiscriminately. This not only violates Google’s “in bulk” request policy (see above), but it also causes customers to skim over your email. Instead, send a Google review request email when something special happens, like when a customer has been with you for a year, or after they make their first visit or purchase. We’ll cover these strategies in more detail later.
2. Ask After a Milestone
If you’ve hit a particular milestone with your customer, this can be a good time to get a Google review. If your customer has made a repeat purchase, they’ve returned to your location twice, they use a discount, they’ve used your services for a month, or completed another action, they’ve already shown that they’re a fan of your business. This customer is more likely to submit a review when asked.
To get a Google review at this stage, be sure to make the review process as easy as possible for your customer. Use your Google review link to send the customer straight to your listing, so they can submit a review without hunting for your business on Google. You might add a Google review request to a follow-up email, or print the link on a card or a receipt after a milestone purchase.
3. Ask After Adding New Features / New Location
After you release new features or open a new location, you probably want to know how your customers are enjoying it. Asking for Google reviews at this stage is a good way to get customer feedback and solve any problems that may have come up, and it’s also a good way to build clout for your business.
Before you ask for Google reviews, which are public, it’s a good idea to ask a smaller group of customers what they think first. You can use Boast to gather customer feedback first, so you can control what you post publicly and what you don’t. If the initial feedback is positive overall, ask your customers for a Google review. If the feedback is negative, work to fix customers’ problems, and then try again. This way, you are asking customers equally for Google reviews and avoiding “review-gating,” but still maintaining a positive overall response.
4. Check-In With Customers
At certain intervals, it’s a good idea to check in with customers and see how you’re doing. This is especially true if ongoing relationships are important to your business. You might do this with an NPS survey or a quick questionnaire. At the end of the message or the end of the questionnaire, ask a customer to leave a Google review.
5. Ask In Person
If you meet personally with clients on a regular basis, you may be able to get Google reviews by asking in person. While it makes more sense to make an appeal while a customer is already online—then they can make a review with just a few clicks—it can be more impactful to ask in person. During this conversation, it’s helpful to have a card with a Google Review link as a reminder, so your customer can make a review at another time. Or, you might use your own smartphone or a company tablet so they can submit a review right away.
6. Post Google Review Link In Store
Though you might regularly meet customers in your store, it might not be suitable to have a long conversation. In this case, use your Google review link and a quick request anywhere that draws customers’ attention. You might put your link on a bulletin board or chalkboard, menu, poster, or even on coffee cups or other items used everyday.
7. Ask For Review With Product Delivery
If you sell products online in addition to your store, include a request for a Google review when you ship your products. It’s helpful to also include a review request in a follow-up email after delivery. This double reminder increases the likelihood to get reviews. You might also include your Google review link at the bottom of customers’ receipts or invoices so they can provide feedback about their experience when they come in or pay for your services.
8. Make a Request In a Newsletter
If you have a large number of active newsletter readers, try to get more Google reviews using your newsletter. This might be paper, online, or both. You might dedicate a small, but obvious section of the newsletter to request Google reviews from your audience, and give some possible prompts, such as “tell us about your most recent experience,” or “tell us your favorite thing about our business.”
9. Ask on Social Media
Businesses with an engaged social media audience might find success with a sincere review request on their preferred platform. Use your Google review link and, again, provide prompts so customers know what to say. Don’t be afraid to post your request more than once, but be careful not to overdo it.
Calls-to-action jump out at people on websites, in advertisements and on landing pages. With the right wording and design, these can be extremely effective. Include a CTA at different touch points throughout your website, such as your homepage, blog, a page containing your menu or products, or other popular pages. This is a great way to ask for a Google review indirectly, since you’re not contacting the customer one-on-one.
Finally, make use of tools available to you. Boast stores all testimonials in one easy-to-access location, and allows you to filter testimonials based on different factors. We’ve written several blog posts outlining different ways to identify people ready to write a review and how to collect more reviews. By using Boast’s automated processes, you can ask the right customers for Google reviews automatically and save time.
Google is an important part of every business in the Information Age, and you can use this essential tool to your advantage. Simply ask customers for Google reviews, and you might be surprised at how many are willing to vouch for you. With your good reputation on display, you can use Google and your customer’s loyalty to bring in more business.
Posted in: Online Reviews