Gathering reviews from your consumers has always been a beneficial exercise for business, but its importance has grown exponentially in recent years. Gone are the days when a well placed magazine ad or tv spot are enough on their own to build enough trust for a purchase. In the post-pandemic, socially-minded world, customers heavily rely on social proof (aka peer approval) to determine whether or not they should buy from a business brand.
How to increase the number of reviews your business receives on Google
In order to consistently receive reviews, your business needs a system (or more than one system) in place to ask for the reviews. Depending on your business, your point of sale system, and the nature of your customer’s journey, there are several times and places when you can ask for an online review. We’re going to talk about a few and include a how-to tutorial of how to increase the likelihood of receiving one using your customer Google Review Link.
System One: Verbal
This is the easiest/fastest system to put into place, but it’s also the least reliable and most difficult to maintain. Verbally asking a customer for a Google review while you are face-to-face with them is one of the quickest ways to make the ask. However, it very heavily depends on the customer to take the action(s) needed to actually accomplish the conversion and give the review. Staff turnover can also result in inconsistency unless you have the proper training in place.
System Two: Emails
This will require some set-up and tech savvy-ness, but will be a time-saver once it’s up and going. In order to automate an email, you will need to collect emails at some point during the customer’s journey. You’ll also need a digital CRM or point of sale system with the capability. If the feature is not available, you can also set up a process for staff to follow to do this in a semi-automated fashion. The biggest downside to an automated email would be if there was inconsistency in customer journeys or lack of method for tracking a constant milestone to act as a catalyst for triggering the action.
System Three: Text Messages
Just like automated emails, utilizing features in your CRM or POS systems to trigger an automated text message is a great way to consistently ask for honest feedback from customers. Of course, collecting an SMS supported device/phone number is needed in order to complete this action.
System Four: QR Code on In-Store Signage
This is much more passive than automated text messages or emails and more consistent than relying on verbal prompts from staff. Including a QR code that links directly to the website you want customers to leave a review on is a great way to turn an in-person experience into a digital conversion. Signage near the point of purchase or in a location customers frequently visit after the sale is a nice, but passive way to ask for a review.
Why are Online Reviews so Important?
So how do online reviews contribute as social proof for your marketing plan? Online reviews do three things:
- Provide third party testimonials supporting the claims in your own marketing messaging
- Give you insight to the problems your business solves for customers
- Improve visibility of your brand online by increasing your rankings with search engines (aka SEO)
Although savvy business owners know the importance of collecting reviews, let’s face it, it’s not always on top of the to-do list. More times than not, busy business owners are focused on solving every-day operational challenges with the assumption that satisfied customers will leave a review on their own, which is rarely the case.
No matter how much your customer likes your product, they are not as motivated as they need to be to leave an online review without a system in place to ask them to do so. So snagging your custom review link from Google My Business and using it in a systematic way makes it 10x easier for your customers to take action.
How to Create a Custom Link for Google Reviews
(Hint: It may already exist!) What you’ll need:
- Your business listed on Google Maps OR
- Google My Business account with a verified place of business
Option 1: The Google PlaceID
Let’s start with the Google PlaceID. The Google PlaceID is a very simple Google review link generator that will provide you with the ID of your Google Maps location. Use this option if you do not yet have a Google My Business verified listing.
Hereis how to make a Google review link:
- In the ‘Enter a location‘ field write your company name
- Click on your company name that appears in the dropdown list
- Your Place ID will appear in the popover and you will just need to copy it
- And paste this ID number at the end of this link (after the = sign) https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=
That’s it. Cool, right?
Now you have your direct link to write a Google review that will look like this:
First, you’ve probably noticed that the link is longer and we suggest you use a tool to shorten it.
For example, bit.ly is a free short URL generator and can make this huge link into a reasonable size, which makes it simpler to share it anywhere.
Here is the difference:
Short, simple, and easy to share with your customers.
Option 2 (Preferred): Copy Your Google Review URL
If you’ve already set-up your verified Google My Business listing, then this second option is for you. This would be the preferred method.
Start by getting into your Google Business Profile dashboard. From here, you will click on the “home” tab on the left-hand navigation. Scroll to the section titled “Get more reviews” in the right column. Click the button that says, “Share review form” (see image below).
A pop-up window will display your custom link and give you the option to share on Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, or via email.
You can copy this URL and use it for promoting customers to leave reviews.
Where should I share my Google Review Link?
Now that you have your own custom Google review link, here are the most common places to share it:
1/ Your website
2/ Post-purchase Email
3/ Social media
4/ Brochures/flyers (turn the link into a QR code)
5/ Point of Sale signage (at the check-out or on a receipt)
How do I turn my Review Link into a QR Code?
Free services such as QR generator make it easy to turn your Google review link into a shareable, QR code in minutes! If you want to track the success of your QR code, however, you will have to pay for the premium version.
Did you know that Neat + Nimble offers QR code management services? We help you create, track, and strategically place your QR codes for optimal campaign results. Interested in learning more? Book a free, 30 min strategy call with us today.