If you’re like most local business owners, you’re realizing that you have to get Google reviews to compete in your industry. I’ve found three free tools (plus an added bonus) to help you get new reviews on Google in minutes.
1. Google Link Generators
As you may have noticed, it’s not obvious how to get a direct link to your Google My Business page’s reviews. Google has changed it now so you’re going to have to jump through a couple more hoops. Thankfully, we’ve found two tools that will get these direct links for you, so you can send them to your customers.
This is one of my favorite tools in the list simply because it gives you so many options for which page you want your link to point to.
Note: Before you begin, make sure you’re not logged into Google, or use incognito mode on Google Chrome browser. You need to be logged out while creating your review link so your account doesn’t become part of the URL that you send out to customers.
- Start by typing your company name and the Autosuggest feature will find your Google My Business page.
- Select Your Company from the list or paste in your link to your Google maps listing and click the button “Generate the awesome link”.
- Choose the link you want from 3 options:In Google Search (Reviews Pop Up)
In Google Search (Write Review Pop up)
Just the Knowledge Graph
In each option, you’ll see three URLs…
- Long URL – this is the exact link people would get if they searched for your business in Google
- Short URL – using the Google URL shortener, this short URL is perfect for email and for tracking clicks
- Short URL Stats – By using the short URL, you have access to click tracking. This is very helpful if you are testing different emails to customers, or testing an email campaign vs a website link.
The Whitespark tool does almost the same thing, except it only gives you one type of link, and it only allows you to use the Google short URL.
Now that you have your Google link, we can move on to the next step in getting Google reviews…
asking for the review.
2. Review Email Templates
One way to ask your customers for a review is through email. You may already be collecting your customers’ email addresses, or you can start at any time. The sooner you start your email list, the easier it is to follow-up with them. Not only is this a good practice for asking for a review, but it also provides customer service, allows you to make sure they had a good experience, and can increase the likelihood your customers will give you repeat business.
But, what do you say in the email?
Here are a few email templates to ask for a review.
Feedback Request from GetFiveStars.com
GetFiveStars.com offers a fantastic service to help you get more reviews. Their example below leads the customer to giving feedback through their service. You may want to change the button text to “Review Us on Google” and link straight to your Google review.
Leave Us a Review Template from Snap Retail
While their main focus is small business retailers, Snap Retail offers several email templates asking for a review. This one below can be customized for any local business.
Plain Text Sometimes Works Better Than Buttons and Fancy Emails
You may also want to try using plain text sent straight from your email to your customer, especially if you have a more informal relationship with them. Here are a couple examples of simple plain text emails.
It was a pleasure working on your project!
Would you mind taking a moment to leave us a short and honest review on our Google listing?
Leave your review here – https://goo.gl/QrzXtc
We appreciate the trust you place in us for your <Service> and we value you as a <customer/patient>, so we want to know how your appointment went.
The greatest compliment you could offer us is a review on our Google business page. Each review is both read and appreciated by our whole team. Just click the Google link below to get started.
We look forward to seeing you and your family at your next appointment.
Tips on Asking for a Review in Email
- Make it Personal
Send the email from the person the customer worked with. Avoid impersonal email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org. Instead use John@domain.com. And, the email signature at the bottom should include that team member’s name. Customers are far more likely to respond to a personal request from someone they know and worked with, than an impersonal company form letter.
- Keep it Short & Simple
You don’t need to write a long email request. Keep it short, polite, and easy to follow. Give them only one thing to do – click the link or button. If there are too many options or buttons to click, you may turn people off. If customers think its a request that only takes a minute of their time, they are more likely to complete it.
- Test, Test, Test
Test different subject lines, button text, plain link vs button, add a company logo vs plain text email, and anything else you can think of. Try using the customer’s first name in the subject line.But, I have only one note of caution – only test one thing at a time. Think back to the experiments you did in 7th grade science class – isolate the variables. If you have too many variables in your test, you won’t know what variable made the difference. Test just the subject line to start. Then once you found a winner, test a plain link against a button, and so on.
3. Review Handout Generator
We often get so focused on online and email communication that we forget about offline, in-person communication. If you, or your team interact with your customers face-to-face each and every day, why not create a paper review request with complete instructions?
We found a simple handout generator, and it’s free!
You will need to sign up for a free account first and be logged in. You simply fill in all the information in the form, and make sure to upload a logo.
Choose the desktop platform first, click Generate button, and save the PDF for printing. Here’s a sample of the desktop handout:
Then simply select the Google Maps App, click Generate button, and save the second PDF for printing. Here’s what that will look like:
Keep a stack of both options available in the office and with your team members if your company makes service calls to customer homes or offices. Anyone who comes in contact with a happy customer should have these two handouts available.
Bonus: Ask For the Review on Your Website
You can make easy to find and click review buttons on your website going to any number of review sites. Choose from any of the most popular review sites like:
- Yellow Pages
And, you can even add your own industry specific or local sites like:
- Service Magic
- Trust Pilot
Watch this quick video to see how it works.
Bright Local has seven handy tools for local businesses that come in one account with a free trial. I have been using Bright Local for years for my clients, and I couldn’t live without it. Give it a try for free.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get Google reviews for your business. These four tools make getting reviews from Google and other review sites quick, easy, and free!