Have you been wondering how to get Google Reviews for Google My Business? Do you know how Google My Business works? My name is Francisco and today, I am going to provide you with answers to these questions. I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a digital marketing company that specializes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Remarketing. I am, therefore, very familiar with today’s topic. In this post, I am going to:
- Show the difference between Google Reviews and Google Customer Reviews
- Explain why Google Reviews are important
- Explain how to get started with Google Reviews
- Show you how to get reviews from your customers
- Give you a summary of this article
Google Customer Reviews vs Google Reviews.
Most people confuse Google Reviews with Google Customer Reviews. The truth of the matter, however, is that the two are different. Google Customer Reviews is a way through which you can allow Google to collect reviews from your customers through your eCommerce website. These customer reviews are then used in Seller and Product ratings.
Google Reviews, on the other hand, is an important tool within Google Maps and Google My Business that allows people to leave feedback concerning their experience with particular company. As you can see in the above screenshot, Google Reviews use a 5 star rating system that is similar to what you will find in Seller Ratings and Product Ratings. At the time of taking that screenshot, Planet Marketing had 28 Google Reviews. The overall rating stood at 4.9 stars.
So, what’s different
One of the major differences between Google Reviews and Google Customer Reviews is that Google Customer Reviews is only for eCommerce businesses while Google Reviews is for everyone. Google Customer Reviews requires integration on your eCommerce site.
The same does not apply for Google Reviews. In fact, any business can sign up for Google Reviews. Indeed, ALL businesses need to get Google Reviews. You can learn more about how to get Google Customer Reviews by reading the provided article. All that I can say here is that the process is not easy. Indeed, you are probably going to need to hire the services of an experienced programmer or web developer to do the integration.
Why Bother with Google Reviews
I get a lot of clients who want to know why they should even bother getting Google Reviews. Well, all that I can say here is that any business that is not already using Google Reviews is probably missing out on a lot! In fact, if you are one of these businesses, it’s about time that you got off your bottom to start doing some real work! The following are some of the reasons why Google Reviews are so important;
- They help improve your local search ranking: Here is something that most people are not aware of; Google gives precedence to local results for local searches. That’s hardly surprising, considering that most of the searches that take place out there are localized. Most people want to know where the nearest pizza shop, electrician, wedding venue, etc is. Getting it right for local searches is, therefore, of paramount importance, particularly for brick and mortar businesses.Google look at websites holistically; not just what’s on-page and SEO. They look at reviews from Google Reviews, Yelp Reviews, your BBB reviews and all that stuff. Google Reviews are, therefore, a great way through which you can harness the power of organic traffic.
- They show credibility. For those who are not already aware, the majority of consumers (around 90%)out there will first look up a business online before doing business with it. What they are looking for in this instance is whether or not your business can be trusted. Every business, in essence, is only as good as its ability to deliver on its promises, and one measure of that ability is credibility. Having Google Reviews show when people look up your page tells people that other people have already done business with you, which means that you are a reputable company. The rating is, itself, a measure of your ability to deliver. And, to be frank, not many bogus businesses are going to be bothered with getting Google Reviews! So, the fact that you have done so should help you get more customers.
A Business that I Helped Get Google Reviews at Multiple Locations
So, how do you get Google Reviews? I am going to show you with the example of a company that I helped get Google Reviews. They are called Monte de Piedad. They are a Pawn shop in San Diego with many locations. When I started working with them, they had no reviews. As you can see in the above screenshot (from Google Maps), they have plenty of locations. Yours is obviously not going to be as complicated as that, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what we did. If you click on one of their locations, you will see their Google Reviews. Check out the screenshot below to see what I am talking about.
In Google Maps, you also get to see the rating for each location, as well as the number of reviews by hovering your cursor over the location. After clicking on a location, you can read all the reviews that were left by clicking on the number of reviews in front of those five stars. See what I am talking about in the screenshot below.
Every location, as you can see in the above screenshots, has its own reviews. So, how did I get reviews for each specific location?
How to Get Started with Google Reviews
So, how did I get Google Reviews for Monte De Piedad? What does it take for a business to get Google Reviews. The answer, lies in Google My Business. All that you need to do to harness to power of Google Reviews is the following;
- Add (or claim) your business in Google My Business.
- Verify your Google My Business profile.
- Ask your (happy) customers to review your business.
How to Claim your Google My Business Profile
As mentioned at the top, in order to get Google Reviews from your customers, you first need to claim your Google My Business listing. But how do you go about doing it?
- Visit the Google My Business website.
- Click on Sign in. If you are already logged in, click on “Start Now.”
- Search for your business. If you can’t find it, click on “Add your business to Google.
- Use your business’s email domain when signing up.
- Choose whether or not your business has a physical location where customers can visit.
- Enter your business’s address.
- Choose whether or not you wish to have your business appear in Google Maps.
- Select the most appropriate from the available business categories.
- Enter your phone number and website URL.
- Choose the method through which you wish to verify your business.
Verifying your Business
You should be able to sign up for Google My Business by following the above steps. Businesses that have been around for a long time will find that their listings are already present on Google My Business. If that is the case, all that you need to do to start getting Google Reviews is claim you profile. Once that is done, you then need to verify your business. Verification is a great way through which you can increase your credibility in the eyes of your users. It also serves as a security measure, by stopping criminals from masquerading as representatives of your business. So, how do your verify your business on Google My Business?
- Using a code that is send via post from Google. The code is written on a postcard.
- Over the phone
- Through text
- Via email
- Through Google Search Console.
Most people use the postcard method to verify their businesses on Google My Business. Once you have received your code, you need to sign into Google My Business to begin the verification process. Follow all the instructions and you should be good to go!
Benefits of Claiming your Google My Business Profile
There are a number of benefits to claiming your Google My Business profile;
- Businesses that have Google My Business listings appear in Google Maps. This is of particular importance to local businesses. People across the world use Google Maps to find businesses such as restaurants, bars and other local businesses.
- Once your business has a Google My Business listing, it then starts getting Google reviews. This allows you to build on your credibility, as well as engage your customers in fruitful, relationship building discussions.
Keep your information up to date
Claiming your business’s profile is not the end of your foray on Google my Business. Once that is done, you then need to update all the information that will make you more discoverable to your customers. Not only that, but it also makes your profile trustworthy. This information includes the following;
- Your business’s contact details
- Uploading images. These need to be high resolution. Contrary to what you may have heard, people do judge books by their covers. What it means is that you need to have as professional looking a Google My Business profile as is possible. Otherwise people will shirk away from your business and you will achieve the opposite of your aims.
- Add accurate information about you opening and closing hours etc.
Get Reviews from your Customers
Okay, now that you have signed up for Google My Business and have verified your business, how do you go about notifying your customers to leave you a review? When it comes to getting reviews from your customers, there are, generally speaking, two options;
- Manually sending out the call for reviews
To be frank, not many of your customers are going to be bothered giving you a review unless you ask them. Indeed, this is something that Google itself encourages. Once you have signed up for and verified your Google My Business profile, all that you need to do to get feedback from your (happy) customers is the following;
- Look up your business on Google.
- Click on the reviews link.
- This brings out the page in the screenshot below.
- Click on the address bar and copy the Review URL.
So, whatever is up there in the address bar in your browser, you need to copy it and put it in an email. You then need to send it to all your HAPPY customers. Skip all the pissed off customers because they will do you no good!
You can also put your Google Reviews URL on your website. It’s probably best if you put it behind a button asking people to leave you a review. When your customers click on the button, they will be directed to Google, where your review form will pop up.
- Automating the process
Another option is for you to automate the process of getting Google reviews for Google My Business. To be frank, if you are a large business, it’s going to suck to try and manually send out the call for reviews to all you customers. It may work if you have ten, twenty or even 50 customers. However, if you are, as an example, a busy eCommerce business, then this is not going to work.
Fortunately, there is software out there that allows you to automate the process of getting Google reviews from your customers. There are softwares out there that will syndicate the reviews for you. They automate the process for you and they do a fairly good job. The following are a couple of them;
One of the companies that allow you to automate the process of getting Google Reviews for Google My Business is BirdEye. Once you have signed up, you customers get a review widget, which allows them to leave you feedback on various platforms. After clicking on the widget, your customers are routed to your business’s review page on Google. This simplifies the entire process. BirdEye covers Google and over a 100 other reviews sites.
Another company that allows you to automate the process of getting Google Reviews is Podium. They do a bunch of other things, but their main focus is on helping local businesses achieve “an unfair advantage,” over the competition by leveraging the power of online reviews.
Shopper Approved is another of the companies that you can use for Google Reviews automation. It is also a company that I have written about extensively on this blog, so feel free to check out all those other articles.
Shopper Approved is pretty much a well rounded online reviews company. But what we are interested in is their Local Reviews feature. They promise to display your business’s local reviews “virtually everywhere,” on the internet. You can see my Shopper Approved dashboard for local reviews in the screenshot below. As you can see, Shopper Approved allows you to get on A LOT of local listings! I don’t even know what most of these are!
What’s best for you?
Don’t worry about which of the above is the best for you. I personally use Shopper Approved, but I want you to look at all of them. Find out what’s best for you because once you have made your decision, it’s not like you are going to be changing your mind in at least a year.
Disclaimer: Planet Marketing is a Shopper Approved Affiliate. You can get a huge discount by signing up using our link! We get paid should you choose to do that!
It’s all about timing
Sending out a call for a review to someone who you did business with a year ago is probably only going to turn them against you. In this regard, timing is everything when it comes to getting Google Reviews from your customers. An example would be a customer that walks into your restaurant for a meal. It would, in this case, be rather odd for you to wait several months before asking for a review. On the other side, you have a lot more time before soliciting for a review from a customer who has bought electronic goods from your store.
Should I ask my customers for Google Reviews?
This is a question that I get a lot from my readers. The worry is that there are platforms out there, such as Yelp, that frown upon the idea of soliciting for reviews. However, Google is not one of these companies. As already noted in this article, Google actively encourages businesses to ask for feedback from their customers. So you should make sure that every one of your happy customers gives you feedback. Let me reiterate here that your success in this regard is going to depend on your timing, which is where it becomes better to use the software that we mentioned above, rather than sending out emails manually.
Here is a not so short summary of what I have been talking about in the above. If you are looking to get Google Reviews for Google My Business, there are 2 ways of doing it. The first way is to do it manually. First, you need to sign up for Google My Business. Then you need to verify your business. After a few days or weeks, your information should then start to appear under your profile in Google. Get the Google Reviews URL the way that I described at the top and send it to all your happy customers.
Don’t bother with unsatisfied customers because they are simply going to mess up your rating and that is something that you wish to avoid by all means! Once your customers click on the URL, they will be taken to Google where they can leave a review for your business. This process tends to be cumbersome for large business. This is where automation comes into play. There are pieces of software out there that allow you to automate the process of getting Google Reviews from your customers. A few of them are Shopper Approved, BirdEye and Podium. However, these companies are not free. They are going to charge anywhere from $100 to $200 per month.
Get in Touch
If you have any questions or if you need help gathering reviews for your company, let me know. That’s what Planet Marketing does! We will help you with the review gathering process and remove the tedium away from it. It’s impossible to read all reviews, so if you don’t have anybody in your office doing it, and especially if you are high volume and you want reviews, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!