If you're a local business not currently getting many (or any) Google reviews, you may be wondering "If there's one more thing I need to do in my busy day, is soliciting reviews from customers the best choice?"
Yes, it might well be, for a number of reasons:
- Unlike some other review platforms - e.g., Yelp - Google wants you to ask customers for, and get, lots of reviews.
- Nearly 90% of consumers say they have read reviews to help them evaluate the quality of local businesses.
- Reviews inspire trust: more than 80% of consumers say they trust online reviews the same as they would recommendations from friends.
- Review signals contribute around 10% to the Google local search ranking algorithm.
- Good reviews make your website more likely to show up in Google features like the Local Pack above organic returns.
- On average reviews produce an 18% lift in sales for local businesses.
- Reviews give you actionable feedback (positive and negative) from customers.
And it's easy with a simple link to the review area of your Google My Business listing which you can put on your website and in e-mails.
One caution up front: Google will expect people leaving reviews to have a Google account, Gmail account, YouTube account or some other kind of Google account. There is a workaround that enables those without any Google account to access the review dialog, but it's a tedious process that I won't bother describing because it would be easier and quicker for them to open a Google account or get a Gmail address. So some people who want to leave a review may find it to be too much trouble.
But in 2020, Gmail had a 43% share of e-mail service globally with 130.9 million US users - so you should still be able to get plenty of Google reviews.
Moving on: of course, you will first need to have a verified, active Google My Business listing which can be gotten via the process described here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6300717?hl=en
Then, go to Google My Business here https://business.google.com and log in to your GMB account.
You should then be in a screen that looks like this:
If you don't see that view, click on HOME in the left navbar and that should send you there.
Then click on the Share review form link, and that should produce a popup like the one below, containing your review link:
Just click on that link to copy it, paste into Notepad or any other text or HTML editor, and save for future use.
To add that link to a web page or HTML e-mail, just copy and paste it in as a hyperlink.
To add the link to every e-mail you send, just add it to your HTML signature file.
For web pages, if you want a graphical button instead of the text link, here's some example code you can edit to suit:
<div style="width: 200px; background-color: #5e8ed8; text-align: center; padding: 5px; border: 2px solid #000066; border-radius: 15px;">
<a style="font-family: verdana,arial,sans-serif; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none;" href="https://g.page/XXXX/review?xx"><b>Leave a Google Review</b></a>
Users clicking on either the text link or the button should be sent to your GMB listing, overlaid with an input form like the one below, where they can enter text and photos:
Now all you need to do is to keep customers happy (important!), and sit back and wait for the favorable reviews.