How to request google my business reviewsNow more than ever, is the time to ensure that the internet tells your story accurately.  With lots of customers at home, browsing the internet, killing the ample time at their mercy, it is the perfect opportunity for you to build up the reputation of your business ready for when customer spending power is back on track.  One of the best ways to do this, is by building up a wealth of unbiased, honest opinions from your most reliable resources (your customers) and displaying them online. The power of online reviews is well evidenced, so use this unprecedented time as an opportunity to make your business stronger.

This blog aims to explain:

  • The importance of inviting customers to review your business online
  • How to create a Google My Business (GMB) Page (if you don’t already have one)
  • How to request online reviews with our review request template

WHY ARE ONLINE REVIEWS IMPORTANT?

Online reviews are incredibly powerful in building you a strong reputation, but don’t just take our word for it.  One survey showed as much as 7% of a website’s ranking factor can be attributed to online reviews.  Google will trust your site more, and so will people:

72%

of local consumers read reviews before taking an online action.

(How Reviews Affect Purchasing Decisions and SEO – mytestimonialengine.com, 2018)

73%

of consumers trust a local business more if it has positive reviews.

(Local Consumer Review Survey – brightlocal.com, 2017)

85%

of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

(Local Consumer Review Survey – brightlocal.com, 2017)

93%

of local consumers use reviews to make decisions about a business.

(Local Consumer Review Survey – brightlocal.com, 2017)

It is important that reviews are the right type, seen in the right places, and that there is enough of them to ensure people have the right information they need to make an informed decision about your business.  It’s not as simple as manually adding a couple of reviews to your website as and when they come in from your customers.   First-party reviews (reviews published on a company’s website, by that company) may be seen as biased, as the business could choose to omit negative reviews, or even make them up.  However, third-party reviews (reviews controlled by an external organisation, often published on third-party platforms like Yell, TripAdvisor, Checkatrade or Google) are generally deemed more trustworthy because they are collected without bias.

 

Reluctant to ask your customers for reviews?

Don’t be.  Many businesses tell us that they feel awkward asking for reviews because they don’t want to nag a busy business owner but, it does pay to prompt customers a little.  Research shows that 68% of people left reviews for local business when asked – it isn’t the asking that prevents people from leaving review, it’s merely that people leave busy lives, they forget.  That’s why, our current situation is a good opportunity to invite customers to review you – time is something we will all have plenty of at the moment.  Don’t let the risk of a bad review put you off either.  There are lots of positive opportunities to be had from a bad review and it is often possible to turn a negative review into a positive, and even benefit your business.

 

HOW TO CREATE A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS (GMB) PAGE

GMB is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. That includes adding your business name, location, adding photos, and learning where and how people are searching for you.  It is also a popular, third-party platform for collecting, monitoring and replying to customer reviews.  If you don’t already have a Google My Business Page set up, you can create one easily by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to Google My Business and you will see the following screen. Click on ‘Sign up now’:

  1. If you need to check your business hasn’t already been claimed use the search facility and follow the instructions. If you are sure your business has not already been claimed click on ‘add your business to Google’.

  1. Follow the instructions on the screen to add your business.

 

HOW TO REQUEST ONLINE REVIEWS WITH OUR REVIEW REQUEST TEMPLATE

It is important to explain the importance of a review to the customer to help them understand the impact it can have for you.  Below, is the email template that we use at Make Me Local for our review requests on GMB.  We get a 50% conversion rate using this template, so we know it works, we hope you can get the same results…

Template for online review requests:

Dear [INSERT NAME]

Thank you for choosing us, we are extremely grateful.

We rely on reviews to ensure that potential customers can find a true representation of our company online – I would be extremely grateful if you could leave a review for us on our Google My Business Page

You can access our page here and, when logged in to a Google account, you can leave a review by selecting the WRITE A REVIEW button

Please click HERE to leave a review on Google.

Thank you again, I really appreciate your time

It’s as simple as that!  If you need help creating the link to your GMB page, please see our guide to creating a link to your Google My Business Page.

If you have under 40 transactions a month, this should be a manageable exercise for your business to run itself.  However, if you feel that you won’t be able to handle the volume of requests you would need to send a month then you may want to look at our reputation management service.

It is important for local businesses to keep their GMB page updated, particularly during this time.  Please follow Google’s recent advice on what businesses should do with their GMB listings if they are affected by Covid-19.

We hope that you have found this blog helpful for creating a Google My Business Page for your company, requesting online reviews and the importance of updating the information on your GMB page.  If you need any clarification (or help) we are always at the end of the phone to help and support, simply drop us a line on .