Local SEO Guide: How To Get Google Places Reviews From Customers

Posted by Tara

You may feel like getting a review on your Google places listing is like getting blood from a stone. Well, with these helpful tips, hopefully you should be well on your way to being the most reviewed business in town. More reviews after all mean more people are likely to come to your business and use your services, and more customers equals more revenue and success!

Header graphic

Why Google Places Reviews?

Now you may be thinking, why do I need to get reviews on my Google places listing when I need all my reviews on my site for Rich Snippets and Seller Ratings? Well, if you are a local business trying to target customers, the one place they are likely to find you is on Google maps, on a mobile device. There aren’t many people that will now go into a directory to find you like they did when the old yellow pages directories were sent through your door. That great big yellow book has now turned into a mobile device that can find you instantly.

It’s easy enough to search on your mobile when out and about for a gift shop or restaurant, so getting your Google Places business listing looking top notch with some great reviews will help you put your mark on the map and will get you on your way to becoming a successful local business.

Why Reviews?

  • CTR (Click Through Rate) - Great reviews can help to improve the amount of people clicking through to your website
  • Referral Traffic - Listings have been known to be a top referrer to your website
  • Stand Out - Listings with reviews make you stand out from your competitors
  • Rankings – Reviews have been known to rank your Google places listing higher in local searches if you have good 5* reviews
  • Authority – Google can pick up reviews anywhere that is related to your brand, so it can also help with SEO
  • Customers want to know what they are in for - In most circumstances people just don’t like surprises, they want to know exactly what your other customers think of your business. Consumers love reviews and are likely to make a decision about becoming a new customer in seconds, so make sure you get some good ones to make you look awesome!

So Where Am I Going Wrong?

The one main reason as to why you perhaps do not have any Google Reviews is because you simply just didn’t ask for them. There are many people willing to give feedback if you ask them nicely and, if you provided them with a good service, then why wouldn’t they want to review you?

Top Tips To Get Reviews From Customers

Getting The Ball Rolling:

  1. First you should ask your loyal returning customers to write a review on your listing. For them to keep coming back, you must be doing something right, eh?
  2. Ask your customers about their experiences with you. If you are a shop or a restaurant, you could easily get your employees to ask for a review on the listing right there on the spot if their experience was a good one.

    “We are currently reviewing our services and would love your feedback. Please can you visit our Google Places Listing online and let us know your thoughts.”

  3. Email a link to your customers and ask them for a review. If you have email addresses of your customers, you should look at writing them an email to review your products and services.
  4. Have a small card with a QR code. A QR code can help take your customers directly to your Google Places page to review you straight away. Easy peasy, and as this is a new technology, everyone wants to give it a go with their mobile! Supporting screen shot
  5. Text them. Hell if you have their phone number text them to ask them to review you. Alert – Customers don’t mind a small reminder every now and then, but do not spam them, or they may not give you returning business.
  6. Put it in your email signature. If you send out lots of emails in a day, why not put it within your email signature for someone to review you on Google Places. The odd person might pick it up and review you after good service has been given.
  7. Tweet and Facebook at your customers to review you. In theory loyal followers are loyal customers!
  8. Loyalty Cards. Add the request onto the back of your loyalty cards. “Earn another stamp by reviewing us on our Google Places”Supporting screen shot
  9. Website. If you have a website, why not use it to ask people to review you on Google Places. ‘Read our reviews & review us online’ In most cases smaller businesses do not have the ability to review on their website, so using a third party site is much easier. The website links to the Google Places Listing and the listing links to your website, making it easy for customers to review you and navigate back to your website for a purchase.
  10. Give out offers and incentives to existing customers. You can provide them with an incentive to review you online, such as a free glass of wine, a 5% off gift voucher or a chance to win a great prize. Everyone is always trying to get something for free these days so why wouldn’t they want to spend 3 minutes of their time writing a couple of sentences to get a freebie.

My Two ‘DO NOT’ Tips

  1. Do not get your friends and family to review your places listing. There is no harm in getting them to Google+ your places listing and share it with people in their circles, but reviews that aren’t written like actual customers look spammy to Google and you could get the listing removed by Google.
  2. Do not pay people to write a review. Fake reviews can be spotted a mile off! Genuine reviews give a much better picture of your business as they tend to point out good and bad parts about customer’s experiences.

More Tips

A last thing to note. Don’t be too disappointed if people haven’t given you a review. You are likely to only receive one a week or about 1 in every 15 customers you ask. My tip: NEVER give up!

Don’t forget to thank all your customers who write you a good review and respond to as many as you can. Remember, everyone has their own opinion and someone’s experience might not be a true representation of your thoughts about your own company, but take all their recommendations and complaints on board anyway. Setting up a listing is one thing, but maintaining it to ensure you have the most prominent listing of all your competitors is another. If this is the case for your listing, give it some love. Share it on Google+, ask people to review you and add some photos. Pimp it out. A good listing full of information can attract attention all on its own!

Good Luck!

Subscribe to the ThoughtShift Blog today for more information on digital marketing trends. For more of my contributions to the blog, or to find out more information on video SEO, local SEO and digital marketing trends, follow me now.