Local businesses can live and die by Google reviews. They’re that important.

I was on the hunt for a chiropractor recently and did what most people do – search Google. Guess which businesses caught my eye? The listings that actually cared about their reviews.

Not all of them did, but the ones that did had my attention and made my decision much easier.

I ended up picking one, scheduled my appointment and went. Right after my visit I got a text and an email from them asking for a Google review. Now that’s good timing! It’s also probably the reason they have so many great reviews.

Right after someone’s experienced your service or first received your product is the best time to ask for reviews, yet so many businesses miss this opportunity.

These reviews are not just feedback; they’re powerful tools that shape customer decisions and influence your business’s success. Whether they’re glowing endorsements or constructive critiques, each review is an opportunity to enhance your online presence and credibility as well as boost your local Google rankings.

Why reviews matter

Each year the company BrightLocal conducts a Local Consumer Review Survey to spot the trends and impact reviews have for local companies. Here are just a few eye opening stats from their 2024 survey:

  • 81% of consumers choose to look for business reviews on Google
  • 88% of consumers say they are fairly or highly likely to use a business that responds to all reviews as opposed to just 47% who don’t respond to reviews
  • 74% believe businesses should have at least 20 reviews to consider using them
  • 53% of consumers want to see reviews within the past month

All of that to say Google reviews are incredibly important for local businesses.

How to get more Google reviews

But how do you increase the number of reviews to turn them into a driving force for your business growth? Here are 12 strategies we’ve seen have success with our clients.

1. Claim your Google Business Profile

The first thing you need to make sure before worrying about collecting reviews is to claim your Google Business Profile. Without this you won’t be able to respond and manage your reviews.

If you haven’t claimed yours yet, here’s how to do it:

2. Create an easy to use review link

One simple thing you can do is create an easy to use link that forwards right to where users can leave a review. This way they won’t have to go on a treasure hunt to find out how leave you a review.

To do this, you’ll need to first look up your custom Google review link, and then setup a redirection link with your website. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Look up your business on Google by simplying typing in your company name
  2. Find your business profile
  3. Click on “Read Reviews
  4. Click the big blue button that says “Get more reviews
  5. Copy the review link
  6. Create a website redirect from your website to forward to your review link. For example we setup the url https://volume11.agency/review to forward to our Google review page.

If you’re not sure how to setup a redirect link, ask your web developer as it will depend on what specific website platform your site is using.

3. Create a QR code for reviews

Make it easy for people to leave you a review by creating a QR code that you can put on your business cards, vans and trucks, signs, postcards or other marketing materials.

If you’ve never create a QR code before, it’s super easy. Just take the link you created for your reviews and use one of these free services to create one:

Google Review QR Code Card

FREE!

Create your customized review card

We’ve created a tool to help you ask for reviews when the customer is ready. At the counter, on the lanyard, or in the envelope with the invoice are all great places to ask for a review, and the QR code on our cards make is effortless.

Create your Card

4. Ask your customers directly for reviews

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to increase your Google reviews is to directly ask your customers. This can be done in person, via email, or through social media.

For instance, after a successful transaction or a positive interaction, you could say, “We’re thrilled you had a great experience with us! If you could take a moment to leave us a Google review, we’d really appreciate it.” This direct approach shows customers that their feedback is valued and can significantly increase the likelihood of them leaving a review.

5. Ask on receipts

In addition to verbal requests, you can also incorporate review requests into your receipts. For example, your email signature could include a line like, “Loved our service? Leave us a review on Google!” with a direct link to your review page.

Making it easy and convenient for customers to leave a review right after their positive experience can lead to a higher response rate and more glowing reviews for your business.

6. Respond to all your reviews

Whether you get positive, negative, or mediocre reviews, don’t just let them sit. Respond to each and every one. Either thanking them for the review, or responding to their feedback and criticism.

Doing this shows potential prospects that you care enough to respond and to own up to any mistakes that would cause them to rate you less than a 5.

On top of that, it shows customers that you listen and increases the chances they’ll want to write a review. Nobody wants to leave a review if they feel it won’t be seen. Show that you care and make sure every review you get is responded to quickly.

7. Train your team to ask

If your business consists of more than just yourself, you’ll need to train your team to ask for reviews. Don’t assume that they’ll automatically ask or even care about getting more reviews.

First, you need to meet with every customer facing employee and talk to them about the importance reviews have on your business. Explain why it matters to them and the company, and then show them where to send people to leave a review.

Make reviews a part of your culture by reading new reviews in team meetings, incentivizing employees who get positive feedback left about them, and consistently encouraging your team to remember to ask for reviews.

8. Share your reviews on social

When you share your positive reviews on social channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or TikTok, it accomplishes a few goals. The first is that prospects will see you as a trustworthy. You’re showing them you have a solution that was solved for someone else like them.

The second goal it accomplishes is that your current customers will see them and want their voice to be heard as well. They will be more likely to add a review (and probably a more thoughtful one) if they see you sharing reviews on the social channels they’re on.

9. Add your reviews to your website

Don’t let your Google reviews live only on Google—bring them over to your website! Similar to sharing your reviews on social media, adding your reviews to your website serves similar purposes:

  • Boosts your credibility by showing off real feedback from satisfied customers.
  • Encourages website visitors to leave their own reviews after seeing positive experiences from others.
  • Increases trust and transparency, showing potential customers that you value customer feedback and are proud of your service.

You can use widgets or plugins to automatically display your latest Google reviews, or manually update them to highlight your best testimonials.

If you’re using WordPress for your website, check out this free plugin for displaying Google reviews.

10. Add a link in your email signature

For those that use email frequently with your customers it’s simple to add a link in your email signature that encourages people to leave a review. Use the link you created above and write a simple call-to-action such as: “Review us on Google“.

11. Send out review request postcards

Consider sending a thank you postcard to your customers after their purchase. Not only does this show your appreciation, but it’s also a great opportunity to ask for a Google review. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Personalize the postcard with the customer’s name and a note about their specific purchase or experience.
  • Include a short, friendly message asking them to share their feedback on Google. For example, “We hope you’re enjoying your new [product/service]! If you have a moment, we’d love to hear about your experience on Google Reviews.”
  • Provide clear instructions on how they can leave a review, along with a direct link or QR code to your Google Business Profile.
  • Keep the tone of your message warm and genuine. A heartfelt thank you can make a big difference in encouraging customers to take the time to leave a review.

12. Send out text messages

Texting your customers shortly after their purchase or service experience to ask for a Google review is another highly effective strategy we’ve had success with. Here’s how to make the most of this approach:

  • Write a concise, friendly message that expresses gratitude for their business and asks for a review. For example, “Thank you for choosing us! If you were happy with our service, we’d be grateful for a quick Google review. [Link to your Google Business Profile]”
  • Include a direct link or a short URL to your Google review page to make it as easy as possible for them to leave feedback.
  • Timing is crucial. Send the text when the experience is still fresh in their minds, but avoid sending messages too late in the evening or too early in the morning.

Get more Google reviews

Increasing your Google reviews takes effort, but it’s all about giving great service and making it easy for customers to share their experiences. Remember, be real, avoid buying reviews, and focus on getting honest feedback from your happy customers.