By now, everyone knows how important it is to get their customers to leave positive, positive, thoughtful, and detailed reviews on Google.
But the rules for soliciting reviews remain foggy. At best.
Part of the problem is that different review sites have different rules, and many people conflate them accidentally.
Today we’re going to clear the air. We’re going to explain, as precisely as possible, Google’s rules around asking for reviews.
So, let’s be clear. Should you ask your customers for Google reviews?
Yes, You Should Ask Your Customers to Leave Google Reviews
In fact, if you look up Google’s own policy on soliciting reviews, you’ll find this:
“Remind your customers to leave reviews. Let them know that it’s quick and easy to leave business reviews on mobile devices or desktop computers.”
—Google My Business Help
Pretty clear, I’d say! Google uses reviews to find out whether businesses are trustworthy or not. It uses that information to rank businesses on Google Maps searches and to rank webpages on their regular organic search. That’s also why they value reviews that are detailed, include keywords, and identify excellent services in direct and concrete ways. It all shows that you are running a business that they can be comfortable pushing on their platform.
Google Reviews Can Attract Clicks from New Customers
Positive reviews are important for gaining more traffic.
It’s not just about search algorithms, either. There’s a very human component too. Consumers almost always read reviews before trying any new service or product. They depend on those reviews to help them make an informed decision, and the content in those reviews is often the deciding factor.
In general, consumers want to see reviews with:
- High ratings
- Positive words in review text
- Many positive, detailed reviews
People are naturally drawn to businesses with those 3 factors going for them.
Search for businesses in your industry and see which Google My Business (GMB) profiles you are most attracted to, and which ones you think you would call. You’ll notice that profiles with more reviews and a higher rating are much more appealing than those without.
How to Ask Clients for Google Reviews
Now that you know how important it is to ask clients to review you, let’s look at how you should ask them.
Ask Every Customer for a Review
It’s important to ask every customer for a review. Behind Google My Business profiles, reviews are the 2nd most important ranking factor Google looks at for their local finder results. This means that the amount and quality of reviews you receive has a significant impact on the ranking of your business on Google.
If you are just getting started on asking customers for reviews, it can take some time before it has any impact on your ranking.
Be persistent and you’ll start reaping the rewards of your hard work before you know it.
4 Proven Techniques for Asking for Google Reviews
It’s time to start drafting and asking clients to leave you a review! Here are 4 of our top practices to keep in mind.
1. Ask for Google Reviews by Email
The easiest way to get reviews is to ask for reviews by email. Whenever you do work for somebody, send them an email thanking them for choosing your company. This shows your clients that you care about their experiences. And just when they feel appreciated, gently ask them to leave their feedback on your Google My Business page.
Say something like:
“If you enjoyed working with us, please take a moment to leave us your thoughts on Google. 60 seconds of your time will help us continue delivering top-quality service to others just like you! Follow this link to our Google page.”
If they’ve had a great experience with you and feel appreciated, they’ll be happy to leave a review that will help you out.
2. Ask for Google Reviews in Person
Although it can feel a little bit weird to ask for a review in person, it’s the surest way to get those reviews on your GMB listing. Don’t think of it like you’re bothering them or being sleazy. We live in a time when reviews can make or break a business. If you don’t ask for reviews from clients that know you and respect your work, you’re not taking the necessary precautions to protect and manage your online reputation.
Don’t be shy! It’s just business in 2021.
3. Ask for Google Reviews on Your Website
This one takes a little bit of tact. You don’t want to make it appear like you’re offering an incentive for people to leave reviews. You want to remind people that leaving a review will help you continue to provide top-quality service and improve your business.
One way that works well is to include testimonials from Google on your website. This will remind and encourage your clients to leave their own review. A simple phrase like “Liked our service? Let us know on Google!” is all you need to increase the number of daily, weekly, and monthly reviews.
4. Do Not Incentivize Reviews
Offering high-quality service should be incentive enough! But offering compensation for reviews will get you into a lot of trouble with Google.
A Louisville, Kentucky law firm offered their clients a chance to win a contest for a review. When they got caught, Google removed 100 online reviews. No mercy!
As we repeat over and over, Google’s whole business model depends on being a trustworthy source of information. Artificial or fake reviews damage Google’s reputation. That hurts their bottom line. And they don’t like that too much.
Google Review “Snippets”
Snippets are a feature Google has implemented to make searching easier for the user.
Review snippets appear on a business’s Google My Business page, just below their contact details. These snippets provide a snapshot of one customer review highlighting a keyword in the user’s search query:
Your clients leave important keywords while reviewing your business. So, the more reviews you have under your belt, the more opportunity Google has to select from your reviews to match people’s searches. This will inevitably draw people to your business because it will make you stand out from the competition—yet another excellent reason to ask every customer for a review on your Google My Business profile.
Google Reviews are an Easy Way to Grow Your Business Online!
Consistently asking your clients to review your services will help your business grow. As Google emphasizes its reviews feature in different ways, business owners like yourself should take advantage of it.
Using these simple methods will improve your reputation and grow your business. Let us know how they help in the comments below!