Learning how to get more Google reviews is a must for every small business! Positive reviews can help you stand out from local competitors and improve your business’ reputation. Even better, having fantastic online reviews is proven to attract more customers – the goal that every business wants to achieve. 

 

There are a few steps you’ll need to follow before you can start receiving Google reviews. If you already have that sorted, we’ll also share plenty of strategies to increase the number of positive reviews you’re getting. 

 

To get Google reviews for your business, you’ll need to set up and verify your Google Business Profile (GMB). This allows you to create clickable Google review links and respond to reviews. Be sure to encourage customers to leave reviews in person, via email or on social media – wherever you’re communicating with clients!

 

As much as we all want to receive five-star reviews, it’s inevitable you might get a few negative ones over time. But you shouldn’t let a few negative reviews get you down – you can easily manage them and minimise their impact on your business with some clever strategies. 

 

Read on to dive deeper into the subject of Google reviews and how to use them to improve your business reputation.

Why Are Google Reviews Important For Small Businesses?

These days, the best way for small businesses to thrive and scale up is to develop a strong online presence. In addition to having an established website and social media, legitimate Google reviews are an important tool for success – and even more critical for services and trades. 

 

A 2017 study by Podium shows that 93% of customers read online reviews before physically going to a store or business location. Brightlocal also found that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as in-person recommendations. 

 

However, getting a handful of five-star reviews doesn’t mean your business is set for life. 85% of customers don’t trust reviews over three months old, and 40% only pay attention to reviews left in the past two weeks. This means you’ll need regular positive reviews to make the best impression on potential clients. Many customers also want to read between 4 and 10 positive reviews before they trust a business. 

 

Google reviews are often the final push needed to convert leads into paying customers. Therefore, getting positive Google reviews should be a priority for all businesses. Google has even confirmed that reviews boost your local search rankings, helping clients find you before the competitors. Moz suggests that review scores make up 10% of Google’s local search ranking, which can really improve your local SEO. 

 

Positive reviews have proven to generate more leads and sales, which subsequently increases revenue. Even a one-star increase in your average Google rating can give your customer base a major boost! Google reviews can also solidify your brand reputation and ensure its longevity in the industry.

 

Of course, this principle applies across all sites where customers may leave a review – including Facebook, Yelp, and lead generation sites like Bizza. However, since Google is one of the biggest ways local customers will find your business, Google reviews have more visibility than other review types. 

Make Sure Your Business Is Verified on Google

 

Now that we’ve convinced you of the power of Google reviews, the next step is to learn how to enable Google reviews for your business. 

 

Before customer reviews come pouring in, a few things need to be done. To receive and respond to reviews, you need to:

 

  1. Create a standard Google account. This account allows you to access Google web-based applications like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. If you already have a personal Google account, create a new Google account dedicated to your business. 

 

  1. Set up a Google Business Profile. Someone may have already added your business profile on Google Maps. To find out if this is true, go to Google Maps and search for your business name. If it’s not there, it’s time to set up your own Google Business Profile

 

  1. Add your business location to Google Maps. If your business does not show on the Google Maps search box, click the option “Add a missing place”. You need to fill out the requested information so Google can add your business location to its maps. If your business is already on Google Maps, you can then claim the business to take control of the profile. 

 

  1. Verify your Google Business Profile. This will allow you to gain full control of your listing. You can do this by going to google.com/business and signing up for a Google My Business (GMB) account. Once your GMB account is verified, connect this with your Google Business Profile. 

 

Verifying your Google Business Profile is the most important step in maximising your Google review opportunities. Not only does your business need a profile to receive reviews, but only verified business profiles can manage and respond to Google reviews. 

 

Without the ability to respond to customer feedback, you lose the valuable opportunity to address bad reviews, show appreciation to happy customers, and generate leads from responses. 

Make It Easy To Leave A Google Review 

Once you are verified on Google, you can start to encourage your customers to leave a Google review for your business and services. Research shows that most customers are willing to leave a review if prompted – it is up to you to make this as easy as possible! 

 

To make it simple for your customers to review your business, consider these strategies: 

 
Have Links To Your Google Reviews On Your Social Media


Many people use social media to connect with businesses they are interested in. If you have an account on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, you can use this as a channel to ask customers to leave a review. 

The easiest way to direct customers to your review page is to set up a direct Google reviews link. You can create a review link from your Google My Business account. On the home tab, choose “Get your first review/s” card and click the “share review form”. This will generate a copy of the link, which you can paste on your social media page.

 

Have Links To Your Google Reviews On Your Website

Since your website serves as the face of your company on the internet, it’s a good idea to include a Google review link on your most visited web pages. Make sure this review link comes with a clear and easy call-to-action.

Using the steps above, you can paste a review link generated by your Google My Business account to your website, making it easy for customers to review with a few clicks. 

Another approach is setting up an entire page on your webpage dedicated to Google reviews and testimonials. The page should include a call-to-action, review link, and existing reviews from clients as text or screenshots. This encourages clients to leave their own review, knowing their contribution will be seen and valid. 

Alternatively, your web developer may be able to embed Google Reviews into the website itself. 

 

Shorten The Google Review URL

Short versions of Google review URLs are perfect for sharing offline – nobody wants to be typing in long web addresses! You can include shortened review links on brochures, flyers, and business cards. You can even use them on social media posts that have a limited word count. 

URL shortening applications like bitly.com can automatically make your links shorter. The only downside to this approach is that less tech-savvy clients may see the links as ‘suspect’, given that they can’t clearly see ‘Google’ in the URL. However, providing this link offline carries more trust than sending it via email or social media. 

Ask Satisfied Customers To Leave Google Reviews 

There’s one simple secret to getting more Google reviews – all you have to do is ask! Any time you receive positive feedback on a job well done, you should refer those customers to your Google reviews to make the most of their satisfaction.

 

To get more Google reviews from happy customers, fill them in on the following information:

 

  • Tell them that leaving reviews is a quick and easy process – and make it as straightforward for them as possible.

  • Let them know that their review is valued and helps other local customers know which tradies to trust. 
  • Be encouraging and focus on the two-way relationship – for example: “If we’ve helped you out today, a positive review would really help us in return.”

 

The best way to encourage customers to leave a review is to set up a process that is connected to your service delivery. For example, you can send a “leave a review” email or message a customer a few days after you complete the job. 

There are also plenty of other ways businesses have successfully asked customers to leave Google reviews. 

Asking For Google Reviews In Person 

You don’t have to wait for customers to go online to remind them about reviewing. You can train your staff to mention Google reviews to clients every time they complete a job. Many people value the in-person connection and will happily leave a review after a verbal request. This way, customers feel they’ve made a commitment to the friendly tradesman who really helped them out – and they’re more likely to follow up with an actual review. 

Asking For Google Reviews On Social Media

Happy customers may be following your business on their favourite social media platforms. Since customers are on these sites in their free time, this is the perfect place to remind them to review your business. 

An easy way to ask for reviews on social media is to send direct messages. Alternatively, you can post a screenshot of a recent positive review you received and ask clients to make their own by clicking a simple Google review link.  

Asking For Google Reviews on a Receipt, Invoice, or Flyer

Receipts, invoices, and flyers are great marketing tools because people hold on to them after the service is complete. When you ask your customers for their feedback on receipts and invoices, the memory of your service will still be fresh. This also gives them a tangible reminder to leave a review later down the track. 

Asking For Google Reviews on a Sign or Notice Board 

If you have an office or store you work from, you can set up a sign asking customers to leave a review. This works especially well if you have a waiting room or other area where customers are spending time – for instance, while waiting for their car to be serviced. 

Set Up a Review Request Email or Customer Satisfaction Survey

If you don’t already follow up with clients after the service, this is something you should definitely consider introducing to your regular processes. In addition to picking up on any problems, following up is a great time to get customer feedback or ask for a Google review. 

 

You can even automate your post-sales follow-up using many email marketing and CRM programs, making the process hands-off for you and your staff. You can even set up an automated review funnel, scheduling several emails ahead of time to remind customers to review.

 

A customer survey is another way of letting your clients know you value their opinion and satisfaction will always be your number one priority. If you are planning to send a survey, be sure to use this opportunity to include a Google review link as well. 

 

You can send through a feedback survey shortly after you have completed the service for a customer, so their experience is still fresh in their mind. Since they are already in the mood to evaluate your performance on paper, it’s likely they won’t mind leaving you a Google review at the same time.  

 

Either way, consider including a note asking customers to contact you directly about any negative experiences before they go ahead and leave a review. This strategy gives you a better chance of resolving customer complaints before they go public, creating a happy outcome for everybody. 

 

However, you need to approach this carefully. According to Google guidelines, you’re not allowed to selectively solicit positive reviews. Instead, you must ask customers for their genuine feedback. Just let them know they have the option to contact you first if they have complaints, so you have the chance to fix any issues for them ASAP. 

Respond To Negative Reviews (And Positive Ones Too) 

You should respond to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative. Responding to reviews shows you care about your customer’s satisfaction, not just the profit you’re making from the job. You’ll need to verify your Google Business Profile before you can reply to reviews. 

 

When a customer leaves a positive review, thank them for their time and effort. Responding to positive reviews strengthens customer relationships and shows you value their feedback. In addition, TripAdvisor research says business responses to reviews make a great impression on potential customers as well. 

 

If someone leaves a negative review, avoid reacting with anger – first, take some time to investigate the reasons behind their feedback in an objective way. There may be genuine reasons a customer’s expectations weren’t met, and understanding the full picture is the first step you should take. Google provides some guidelines for responding to negative reviews

 

You should always apologise for a customer’s unpleasant experience, even if it’s not your company’s fault. In your response, directly address the issue raised and explain your perspective, so that readers understand both sides of the story. In addition, try to connect with the reviewer privately and resolve the issue, so that everyone is happy.  

 

A Harvard Business Review study demonstrated that responding well to negative reviews actually led to increased bookings for the businesses – so handling criticism with grace is the best thing you can do in these circumstances. 

 

If you believe a negative review is fake or breaks Google’s rules, you can also follow up on it with Google. However, you can’t get reviews taken down just because they’re unflattering – the best way to reduce the damage is to respond in a way that leaves a positive impression of your business. 

 

Incentivise Google Reviews (Within Google’s Rules)

 

Google is very strict with incentivising Google reviews. In a nutshell, you can’t reward positive reviews by offering discounts, giveaways, or payments. However, there are other ways to show your appreciation to people who have taken the time to review your business. 

 

Examples include:

 

  • Sending a ‘thank you’ card or graphic
  • Replying to positive reviews or saying you will respond to all customer feedback can be a reward in itself 
  • Thanking clients in person if you see these clients regularly
  • Post a general ‘thank you to all reviewers’ on social media to encourage more followers to add their own reviews
  • While not directly linked to reviews, having a customer loyalty program helps reward your loyal customers in general – making them more likely to return the favour with positive reviews

Exchange Business Reviews With Local Partners

Customers are not the only ones who can review your business. You can also share the positive feedback of partners and vendors, especially those with a strong reputation. Having stellar reviews from trusted partners and vendors will prove your integrity and commitment to providing quality services. 

 

To encourage your partners and suppliers to give you a Google review, volunteer to write one for them first. This way, it is a win-win situation for both businesses. However, the reviews made by business partners must reflect their genuine experience of working with you, and they should disclose their business relationship with you. 

Related Questions

Which Businesses Need Google Reviews? 

 

The internet has such a big influence on the decisions we make as customers. These days, we rely on a Google search to find most services we need – meaning all businesses will benefit from Google reviews.

 

Google reviews improve your performance in local search and give customers the confidence to choose your business over competitors. For this reason, Google reviews are especially useful for small and local service businesses building a client base in their local community. 

 

Are Google Reviews Better Than Facebook Reviews? 

 

Google reviews are not necessarily better than Facebook reviews, but they are generally more visible. Even those without a Facebook account will still Google the services they need, and your Google star rating will show up whenever someone searches for your business. 

 

However, Facebook reviews are still great to acquire as well, especially if you do a lot of relationship-building with customers on social media. Ultimately, both of these review platforms will help build your business’ reputation and establish trust.