how to get customer reviews

Google Reviews Guide: how to leave, collect and embed them

Author: Victoria Csiga

Google reviews are free marketing – if you make the most of them. Find out how to display them on your website and just how important they are in this guide.

What is a Google Review? Why is it important?

A Google review is one of the simplest yet most effective forms of free marketing available to every business.

All you need to gather Google reviews is a Google My Business (GMB) account and some customers willing to review your services. The review takes the form of written text accompanied by a star rating on a scale of one to five. Google reviews are one of the most important types of reviews on the internet due to the popularity of the search engine, and they are often the first reviews you’ll see when you search for a business.

Since Google has lots of integrated software such as Maps and its search engine, reviews play a significant role in boosting a company’s online reputation and local visibility. If you neglect to focus on the free form of marketing that Google reviews provide, you could potentially lose out on a lot of business as customers may opt for companies with a better reputation.

How to leave a Google Review?

Leaving a Google review is easy to do, yet it can have a significant impact on a business’sreputation.

Even if you already know how to leave a review yourself, it might be a good idea to walk your customers through the process so they can see just how simple it is.

Here’s how to do it, in just a few simple steps:

On a Computer

  1. Go to Google Maps, and type in the name of the business you wish to leave a review about. 
  1. Then, click on the marker over the business, and scroll down until you see an option to ‘write a review.’

You can leave a review this way regardless of whether or not you are signed in to a Google account.

With a Mobile Device

If you’re on your phone or a tablet, the process for leaving a review will be more or less the same. Simply navigate to Google Maps, find the business, and then scroll down until you see the five grayed-out stars.

Why are Google Reviews good for a business?

Google reviews are good news for businesses looking to grow and build a loyal base of customers. If you want to get the word out about your services and excellent customer support, then you’ll want to get as much customer feedback as possible.

With customer feedback, you can pinpoint your weaknesses and use this information to address them so that you can continue to improve going forward. Without criticism, it’s challenging to become more successful as you likely won’t know what to focus on for growth.

Google reviews also allow you to establish your company as a trustworthy and reliable name. If consumers see that your business has glowing reviews and recommendations from many other customers, they’re more likely to use your services. For many people, Google is the first port of call for finding out whether a business is reliable or not, based on its star rating and the Google reviews left by other users.

Every business should make the most of free marketing when possible since it can boost sales without cutting into existing profits. Google reviews can be an excellent way to increase your online exposure and boost your local SEO ranking so that your business is one of the first to show up in searches. Since Google is a hugely popular search engine, and many people’s first choice, exposure through Google reviews can draw in a lot of new customers.

How to start collecting Google Reviews?

Collecting Google reviews doesn’t have to be a time sink. If you invest the time initially to put systems in place, you will reap the rewards over time without wasting more company resources on the issue.

Yet, even though gathering Google reviews is relatively straightforward, many businesses don’t prioritize it and lose out on the potential benefits of accumulating customer reviews. In fact, most customers are more than happy to write out reviews for businesses that provide excellent service, so in theory, it should be simple to collect the reviews. But still, Google reviews remain an untapped resource for too many companies.

The simplest way to get more Google reviews as a business is to ask for them.

That’s right, all you need to do to is capitalize on the customer’s willingness to say nice things about your business by soliciting a review after the interaction. There are several ways to do so; some are active and require company time, while others are passive and allow you to focus your energy on the management of the business.

Send Review Requests

This first method is incredibly straightforward and should free up a lot of your time and resources while also getting your business the extra reviews it needs to grow.

You can send review requests by email or by text. 

All you need to do in this request is thank the customers for their purchase and provide them with a Google short link that takes them to your GMB page so that they can leave a review.

If you can automate this process so that the review request is triggered immediately upon purchase, you can streamline the review gathering process.

Reach out to Existing Customers

If you’ve been in business for a while now but don’t have a lot of reviews, it might be worth taking the time to manually reach out to your existing customers.

You’d be surprised how many people are willing to write a review about a business even after time has passed since they made the purchase.

With that in mind, create a message that compels the customer to write a review about your business. One way to do so is to ask them if their experience working with you was positive or negative, and then you can invite them to elaborate by leaving a review on your GMB page.

Again, to simplify this process, you’ll want to insert a Google short link to make it easy for the customer to get straight to your GMB page, as the more effort they have to put in, the less likely they are to leave a review.

How can you see your Google Reviews?

If you want to see the Google reviews that you have left yourself, you can download the Google Maps and open up the ‘Contribute’ page, where you’ll be able to see all of the reviews you have left on Google.

If you need to see Google reviews that have been left for your business, here’s what to do:

  1. Navigate to Google Search or Google Maps
  2. Enter the name of your business
  3. If you’re using Google Search, you should see a sidebar on the right with Google reviews, like so:

And if you search on Google Maps, you will have to click on the marker for the business, and then you should see review information pop up on the left-hand side, as seen here:

How can you display Google Reviews on your site?

Hands-down, one of the best ways to display Google reviews on your site is to use a plugin.

With a Google review plugin, you’ll be able to show off positive feedback from previous customers and highlight the best comments to draw in more business and improve your online image.

So how do you get hold of one of these plugins for your website?

Simply head to WordPress and search for ‘Trustindex’ the first result that shows up should be a plugin for Google reviews. You can go ahead and download it for free to see how it would look on your website, but the free version has limited options and basic functionality.

If you want more customization options and functionality, you can register and subscribe to Trustindex, choosing from one of three price plans.

To display Google reviews on your site, here’s what you have to do:

1. Head to WordPress, and find a Google review widget. Trustindex has both a free and premium version, so if you type ‘Trustindex’ into the search box, you should be able to find it.

2. Click the ‘Download’ button to get the free version.

3. Now, login to WordPress and go to the ‘plugin’ tab. From here you should be able to see the Google review widget, and you want to click on the button which says ‘install now’ next to it. Once installed, you can configure the plugin how you want and upgrade for premium features.

How can you manage Google Reviews?

Managing Google reviews is easy and straightforward.

All you have to do is log into your company’s GMB account, and from there you’ll be able to manage your Google reviews. The most important things to do will be to sort the Google reviews according to the most relevant filters, or simply respond to them.

How to Reply

  • Mobile Device
  1. Open up the Google My Business app if you’re on a mobile device and tap ‘customers,’ then ‘reviews.’
  2. Now, to reply to a review, you simply have to select the review and type your response.
  • Desktop
  1. On a computer,  either log in to your account on Google Maps or search for your business using the search engine.
  2. Now you can reply by finding a review, selecting it, and typing out your response.

How to Sort

  1. To sort or filter your Google reviews, simply go into the widget and from there you’ll be able to choose how to filter them.

How to get more Google Reviews? 

There are many ways to boost your online reputation and secure more Google reviews.

Simplify the Process

The first and most obvious way to get more Google reviews is to make sure that it’s an easy and intuitive process for the customer to leave a review. If it’s at all unclear or complicated, the customer won’t want to make the extra effort just to leave a review. To make it simple, you can explain to the customer exactly how they can leave a review for your business by providing a description and a screenshot of your Google Maps business page on your website homepage. 

Another way to incentivize customers to leave a review is to create a link that takes them directly to the page they can leave the Google review on. That way, it will only take them a matter of seconds to leave a review in the appropriate location. The link should follow this format, in which you enter your Google Maps Place ID at the end of this link: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=[Your Place ID]. However, this can be quite visually unattractive due to its length, so using a link shortening website is a good idea.

Use a Widget

Widgets are applications that you can embed on any website in order to provide the user with extra functionality. In this case, to get more Google reviews for your business, you can find and download a dedicated Google Review widget. This will allow you to display reviews prominently on your websites according to a variety of filters. It will also provide you with an opportunity to add a Call to Action (CTA), which encourages visitors to leave a review of their own. This visual approach works wonders as existing customers will want to see their review displayed on front page of your website.

Set up a Review Page

Another online method of bringing in more Google reviews from your customers is to set up a review page on your website. To make it more straightforward to leave a review, you can hire someone to create a visually appealing review page on your website. Once it’s created, have a copywriter craft some compelling copy with a CTA that converts, and you should be well on your way to generating more reviews. Also, consider adding some of the review widgets you created or quotes from customers as testimonials to encourage others to leave a review, if they haven’t already.

Create Review Cards

While we’ve explored many different ways to get Google reviews digitally, not all purchases will be made online.If your company has brick-and-mortar stores, then you’ll need to adopt a different strategy for collecting reviews. One effective approach is to create simple review cards that you can give to the customer after they’ve made a purchase. You can thank the customer on these cards and then provide all the necessary information they need to go and leave a review on your GMB page once they get home.

How can you measure the impact of Google Reviews on your business?

If you want to stay on top of your online presence, you’ll need to keep tabs on your Google reviews and assess the effect they have on your business, whether positive or negative. This isn’t always an easy process, as it’s hard to know exactly how many extra customers you secure through your Google reviews, but there are a few things you can do to monitor the impact.

Know the Criteria

The first thing you can do to estimate the impact of Google reviews on your business is to understand what Google prioritizes in terms of a company’s SEO rating. For example, did you know that one of the highest-ranking factors for a review is the number of reviews that contain a keyword relevant to your business?

The overall number of Google reviews is significant, too, as well as the average weekly, monthly, and yearly reviews your business receives.

But what can you do with this information?

Well, knowing that the amount of Google reviews is important for SEO purposes, you can track the number of reviews you receive over time. That way, you can set goals in terms of how many extra Google reviews you want to gather in a week, or in a month.

Use Tracking Tools

There are a few tracking tools you can use to measure the impact Google reviews might have on your business.

  • Google Alerts

Fortunately, being the all-encompassing service that it is, Google provides businesses with ways  to measure the impact of reviews and more. 

Google Alerts is an example of a tool that you can use to search blog posts, articles, and more to see if your company name appears in them.

You can also search by keyword, and this will give you a general idea as to whether Google reviews are getting your company’s name out there.

  • Trackur

Trackur is one of several websites that trawls the internet and can find out how often your business has been mentioned in social media posts, forums, and videos.

This should tell you how effective your marketing has been, and whether or not the extra Google reviews are helping to spread the word of your services.

Wrap up on Google Reviews: why do you need them so badly?

Google reviews are a free and effective marketing tool that you can leverage to accelerate your business’ growth and establish a stellar online reputation.

They can boost your local SEO ranking on Google, which increases your visibility as a business, grow your reputation as a trustworthy company, and provide key insights on how to improve through customer feedback.

Any of these benefits alone would be worth the amount of time it takes to collect more Google reviews, but when you look at all of them together it seems like a no-brainer.

With Google reviews, your current customer base effectively becomes the main driving force for your marketing, and helps you reach even more customers going forward. If you have the know-how you can display the best Google reviews customers have left about your company with widgets on your website or present them as compelling testimonials.

As much as you try to convince a prospective customer that you’re a trustworthy company that can offer them an excellent service, your word alone will never be enough. What matters more than your word is having an army of loyal customers who will be willing to reinforce your claims and testify that you do indeed offer an outstanding service.

FAQ

Why are Reviews important for a business?

Online reviews are critical to the success of every business.

Without them, you will struggle to gain traction and build upon your existing customer base.

This is true even if the reviews aren’t all positive. Having a lot of reviews can catapult your business’ local SEO ranking.

How to start collecting them?

To start gathering reviews, you must get in the habit of requesting them from your customers.

It’s your responsibility to reach out to customers and ask them to leave a review, and you can do so easily through SMS, email, or face-to-face if it’s an in-store interaction.

Can you embed Reviews on your website?

Yes, you can use review widgets to display Google reviews on your website.

Once you have downloaded the widget (you can find this on the Trustindex website) you simply have to connect your GMB account and you will be able to display reviews and filter them in various ways.

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