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Do This One Thing to Rank Better on Google

5 gold stars with text that says "This can feel awkward"














Google reviews. They’re total street cred and way easier than you think.


Does asking your customers to leave you reviews fill your guts with dread? Or have you been wanting to ask, but you’re not even sure how? If you’re already on a roll, keep it going! Whether you sell a service or a product, read on for practical ways to ask for reviews.


There are many factors involved in Google’s algorithms (automated systems), but this is one of them that YOU can influence. We shared last time that Google prioritizes relevant, credible and helpful information when providing results in Search. Reviews are one of the ways to help demonstrate this. Plus, it gives your potential customers a chance to see how other real people liked and benefited from the service or product you sell. It’s called “social proof” and creates trust.


To be eligible to collect reviews, you at least need a Google-verified Business Profile for your business information to show up on Maps and in Search. The reviews will be visible next to your Business Profile in both.


Screenshot of La Mejor Website's Google Business Profile











Okay, so how do I ask for them?


When You Sell Services


We’ll use La Mejor Website as an example. We provide a service and an electronic product. We actually tell our clients, “We want you to be completely happy with our service” – before the service is completed. We’re letting our clients know in advance that we want them to be happy and genuinely care about the experience, and it prepares them to be asked for feedback later.


Our last conversation with the client – on the phone or in person - goes something like this:

“Barbara, I’m grateful for your business and it was a pleasure to work with you! Can I send you a link to write a Google review? If you feel my service was anything less than 5 stars, please let me know what I can do to get it there first.”

After the service is completed, we send a convenient, one-step hyperlink directly to our review page.


If your company provides a service, you can consider using an approach like this, too. Immediately send the review link in a text message or email. Write a quick message that includes their name, something you enjoyed about working together, and express gratitude for their business. Something more thoughtful and personal than the usual, “Take 30 seconds to write a review about our company.”

If you don’t hear back within a few days or a week, send a follow up. Anything after that can start to feel spammy, so consider letting it go. You won’t get it every time.

 

When You Sell Products


When your business structure doesn’t give you a chance to actually speak to each customer, you can find other ways to communicate with them in a personal, engaging manner.


An example of this is including a printed card in your product delivery box that says “thank you” to your customer for you. Invite the customer to rate your product by accessing a custom QR code that links to your review page. Here’s an example of one I recently received from Thumbs Cookies:


Image of a card from Thumb Cookies as example of using QR card to ask for Google reviews












Note: I’m not affiliated with them in any way other than as a happy recent customer and felt it was a great example.


The QR code is unique to you and can go on anything! Think menus, tabletop signs, business cards, posters, brochures, window displays – endless possibilities. More than ever since the pandemic, use of QR codes has exponentially grown, and people are used to using them for a variety of purposes.


When You Use an e-Commerce Platform Like Etsy, Amazon or eBay


It may seem unnecessary to invest time in asking for Google reviews when you sell on these mega platforms and customers are using the product reviews there to make a purchasing decision. If your sales are already strong there, in theory, you could be just fine and continue on without issue; however, it’s like putting all of your eggs in one basket.


We’ve seen this happen to some of our clients where something shifted on Etsy, for example, and the exposure went down, then sales. We highly recommend keeping at least a simple, well-done website with SEO and link it to the e-Commerce platforms to get the benefit of both. Get the Google reviews to boost the company website and rank better on Google, and the product reviews on the e-Commerce site. Google will also then be working on your behalf for max exposure!


As an example: Let’s say I want to purchase a custom t-shirt. I may think to search directly on Etsy and just choose a product on that site. Or I may use Google Search and get broader results that show local companies in my area, Etsy, and Amazon. Google gives so much more exposure without excluding the e-Commerce sites.


And, to kick it up a huge notch, if you’re selling retail products and haven’t investigated Google’s Merchant Center, check out the details here. You can sync your e-Commerce shop with Merchant Center and get the power of Google’s ecosystem.


Make it Easy for Customers to Find Your Google Business Profile


You can take advantage of adding a review hyperlink in many other places, too. At minimum, your website is a practical place (i.e., ours is on the Home page and in the footer).


Screenshot on La Mejor Website's Home page showing link to 152 Google Reviews






Screenshot on La Mejor Website's footer showing link to Google Reviews






At the bottom of your invoices, at the end of chat conversations, in thank you emails, and on printed marketing materials, as mentioned before, give a lot of exposure and opportunity to find them; for your prospective customers or existing ones.

 

The Good, Bad & Nothing to Do with You


It should be infrequent, but getting negative feedback happens! If you’re in business, you’re dealing with humans, and humans have feelings and expectations. Actually, having an imperfect score helps with credibility!


Interact with all of the comments. Thank people for their positive reviews, and respond constructively to the bad ones. That gives future customers reading the reviews a chance to see how you conduct yourself, and that alone could inspire them to work with you. It’s happened to us! We’ve had new clients call and say they read how we handled certain reviews, and that’s how they knew our high ratings were actually real. It doesn’t feel good when they happen, but embrace the hard comments as a chance to show your professionalism and integrity.


Reviewers have to be logged into their own Google account to post a review. That means a name usually appears for every review, and it gives you a chance to confirm that the customer is real. If someone posts a review (especially a negative one) about your business, and you can honestly verify in your records they were never a customer, respond to the comment. Say something like, “This is an unverified customer we have not worked with.” 


Unfortunately, customers can sometimes select the incorrect business listing, and their comments have nothing to do with your company. Sometimes “Black Hat” practices are at play, and unethical digital marketing agencies or competitors are trying to throw some mud in your face. There have been some instances of this with our clients, and as a Certified Google Partner, we were able to help. (By the way, if you suspect this is happening to you, contact us to see if there are any steps that can be taken.)


How to Find Your Review Link in Your Google Business Profile


There are a couple of different ways, but here’s one method to get you started:


1.       Sign into the Google account associated with your Business Listing at www.google.com/business.

2.       Click on the “Reviews” section.

3.       Click on the “Share Review Form” box.

4.       Locate your Review Link.


TIP: This link doesn’t change, so save it in your electronic notes for easier access next time!


Screenshot of what the Review Link looks like on Google Business Profile









5.       Copy the link and paste it into your message and send. It creates a hyperlink that takes the user to the “leave a review” submission page on your business’s Google profile.


Once you start building up your collection of reviews, you can include that same Review Link to invite potential customers to check out your social proof, similar to a portfolio or photo gallery of work.


Just like this - Check out La Mejor Website’s portfolio and reviews.


And then make it highly visible and easy to access using some of the suggestions included above that are relevant to your industry and business type.


You Got This!


Building your online reputation is worth the effort and will have a positive impact to your sales and website ranking in Google Search results.


And if it’s time for a new website, redesign, e-Commerce site or SEO, we’ve got you. Contact us.

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