[Update August 2020: Article under review – some of this information may not be accurate. Google has made changes recently, as they do.]
People who search for businesses and places close to where they’re located are shown local results on Google Search and Maps.
Creating and optimising your Google My Business listing plays a key role in improving your local rankings. Google has a useful page of general information about this area.
For the purposes of this quick guide to getting more Google reviews, the first question is – is this important? The answer is yes! They contribute to your trustworthiness and authority in the marketplace. Google says:
Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.
When prospects search for your business, they are attracted to what others have said about you – both positive and negative. You definitely should get into the habit of responding to all reviews. When you react to a customer complaint in a review with a prompt, sensible reply, this can go down with your audience as well as an all-star review.
Ideally, you want customers who’ve had a good experience with you to leave a review on Google. There are ways you can make this easier for them by supplying them with a link that takes them directly to your reviews without fuss and bother, so they can make their own contribution. So, let’s get down to it.
Recommended way to provide a link to leave a Google review
- Log in to the Google account that you use to manage your business.
- Search for your business name on Google.
- In the “knowledge panel” that appears on the right-hand side of the results page (on desktop), click on the button that reads Get more reviews *.
- Copy the link in the pop-up box.
- Send this link to your favourite customers. Test it for yourself – they should get a pop-up for logging in to Google and leaving a review, and uploading an image showing their experience if they choose to.
* An alert individual noticed this at the end of December 2019:
It looks like Google is adding a “Get more reviews” button in the Knowledge Panel for businesses you manage. I’m seeing this for businesses that I manage either in Google My Business or Search Console. This is a big improvement over the “write a review” button that used to appear and wrongly prompt business owners to review themselves.
[Update August 2020: It appears that Google may have removed the “Get more reviews” button from knowledge panels. Google giveth, and Google taketh away.]
A slightly different approach to attracting Google reviews
- Without needing to log in, search for your business on Google.
- In the knowledge panel, click on the number of reviews – it’s a link.
- Copy the url from the top browser address bar. It’ll be very long.
- Paste this link into a free url shortening tool like Bit.ly. As an example, the Sentence Case one is: https://bit.ly/2Yr3EIG
- Send this link to your favourite customers etc as above.
[Update August 2020: this method works on desktop only.]
What’s the difference between this approach and the one above?
This version allows people sent the link to read the reviews before they add one of their own by clicking on the blue Write a review button. I actually prefer this way myself.
If you’re feeling ambitious and want to use the place-ID method instead, here’s how.
[Update August 2020: this method works on both desktop and mobile.]
Other things you can do in Google My Business to help your local rankings:
- Create Google posts
- Make use of the Insights, especially search queries reports.
- Questions and Answers containing keywords relating to your local business are good for rankings.