How to get more 5 star Google Business reviews
Google reviews have been gaining momentum recently, and if you don’t get on board soon, you may be left behind in your competitors wake, and nobody wants that!
Google Business reviews are a powerful tool that is still massively under utilised by businesses, which is crazy, because it’s free and easy to start collecting them, and it could have a profound effect on your business!
Although nobody knows exactly what the Google overlords are up to, I would tip that business reviews will influence organic results more in the future than they do today.
However, whether or not they impact organic SEO results is kind of irrelevant. What would you prefer to click on? A business with a couple of random reviews from a year ago, or a business with a large amount of 5 star ratings?
No need to answer…
Of course, if you run a great business, over the years may organically collect some reviews from the more tech-savvy of your customers/clients, but this article is to help you speed up the process of what might usually take years, to a matter of days.
A word of warning before proceeding. It is against Google’s Terms to pay people for reviews, offer freebies in exchange, or basically attempt to force your customers into leaving a review, so please don’t do any of that! Simply asking them to leave you a review as a gesture of their goodwill is above board, and something loyal customers should be happy to do. So remember to play by the rules on your mission to start collecting reviews.
Below are a few simple steps we’ve put together to help you start collecting more Google reviews right away, and get ahead of the pack.
Step 1 – Register for Google My Business
If you haven’t already (Surely you have by now! tut tut), register for Google My Business here.
Click on the green START NOW button top right.
If you’re an existing business, there’s a good chance you’ll simply be able to search for your business, find it, and claim it, otherwise if you’re a startup you’ll probably have to enter in your business details.
After this you’ll need to verify that you operate out of that location, so you’ll need to do this via Phone, Mail or Email. If you verify via mail, a Google postcard will arrive within 1-2 weeks. Once it arrives, simply head back to your My Business account and enter your verification code from the letter.
Once confirmed, you’ll have a nice shiny new Business listing show up beside the organic results, with further options to add open hours, interior photos, exterior photos, 360 degree tours and more, but all of that is another story, for the moment, you have a platform to start collecting reviews!
Step 2 – Setup your 5 star review link
Here’s where the magic happens. Currently Google doesn’t make it overly easy for businesses to collect reviews. It’s kind of fiddly to ask your customer “Ok so, go to Google, search for our business name, find the review tab, etc etc”. As you can imagine, it quickly gets moved to their “too hard” basket.
So what we want to do is make it as easy as possible for them to leave you a great review, because of course that’s what they want to do, you’re just helping to facilitate that!
This isn’t gaming the system or forcing great reviews out of them, they still have full control to override the default and deliver you a 1 star blasting if they wish to, but as you’re running a great business, they’ll most likely be wanting to leave a positive one, so we’re only saving them additional clicks!
Grab an iPhone with Google Chrome installed.
Search for your exact business name as it appears on Google My Business, and you should see something like the below (Only your business, not ours).
Scroll down and click on the ‘Reviews’ tab.
Click on the Reviews tab under your Business name, next to the ‘OVERVIEW’ tab, and you should see the screen below.
Tap on the 5th star
Once you’ve tapped on the 5th star and you’ll be taken to a screen asking you to log in to your account. Don’t login, but you’ll need to copy the URL of that page.
Copy the URL of the login page
Tap on the URL in the address bar and click ‘Copy’. You have your link!
Shorten your link
Bonus points for this step, although it’s not mandatory. The original URL you’ve copied will be huge, and certainly too big to be pasting in emails or on your website, so we want to shorten it to make it less scary. Go to the Google URL Shortener page, and paste in your huge link.
Your shortened link should look something like “https://goo.gl/XxxXx”. Copy it, and keep it on file. Ideally in your Google Keep notes. Once clicked on desktop, it should instantly take the user to a page like the below, with 5 stars preselected!
Step 3 – Promote to your users & customers!
Now you have your nice short link to help your customers leave a review, it’s up to you to promote it! Some good places to start would include…
- Your email footer (Company-wide ideally)
- Your website
- If you’re in retail, create small printed cards with the short link on them and leave them on your front desk/reception.
- Your email newsletters
- Reach out to your existing customer database.
- A sign in your lobby
- Printed collateral
- Notification emails from your online store (ie, a follow up email one week after delivery)
Over to you
We hope this helps your business start gaining great customer reviews, and helps you stay ahead of the pack. Let us know in the comments if this was helpful for you, and if there’s anything else you’d like us to run through.