When you’re thinking about how to ask for a review on Google, another question you might wonder is, why Google reviews specifically? Maybe you have set up reviews on your website or don’t see the need to worry about it.
In this article, we’ll answer this question and many others as we run through how to ask for Google reviews and why.
Why you should ask for a Google review for your business
Simple fact of the matter is, Google is huge. There might be other places to post reviews, but over 60% of potential customers will look at Google reviews to help them make a decision about the business they want to hire. This means they’re ready to hire someone, they just need help to make the final decision.
If you want your business to be noticed and get leads through Google Search results, learning how to ask for a review on Google can boost your business to the top.
First, we’ll cover what exactly Google reviews can contribute to your business growth before we tackle the ultimate question of how to ask for a Google review from your customers.
SEO & Google reviews
Search Engine Optimisation (bit of a mouthful,) is a marketing tool essential for your business, especially if you’re looking to grow.
Essentially, SEO is the way Google decides what pops up first when someone searches for anything. It’s a powerful but often confusing tool to get more eyes on your business, and because Google likes to keep changing the way it works, it can be hard to know what can bump you up or bring you down. The best thing you can do is keep it consistent and that’s where reviews come in.
What’s great about Google reviews is that your business will come up under the search results once you’ve verified your business with Google, and each review adds up. Let's say you’re a Geelong-based plumber. You want to be one of the top ones to pop up when someone searches ‘plumbers Geelong’ or ‘Geelong plumber’. It’s an easy way to get leads, but that kind of visibility takes time.
Google reviews are an important part of that. Knowing how to get Google reviews for your business is a good skill to learn to bump your name higher. The more reviews from your customers, the more Google will boost your business and if you want more tips about boosting your marketing, here are 7 great tips to get you going.
Then there’s the reviews themselves. When you take a glance on Google, you can see the summary of reviews in a star rating. Usually, potential customers will skim over these, and see if anything sticks out.
By having one place where potential customers can easily see feedback from past customers, potential leads will have more trust in your business. Having a presence online gives your business a social aspect where others are improving your reputation as genuine, reliable and trustworthy.
Potential customers will trust the overall ‘proof’ of your business being the right one to hire.
By asking for a review on Google, you’re telling your customers that you’re open to their thoughts about your work and field service. Sure, there is the hope that they’ll leave a good review, but by encouraging customers to leave reviews, you also show that you care about their experience and how they felt about the results and experience of hiring your business.
Some customers might feel uncomfortable directly discussing their experience and find the review process an indirect way of letting you know about it.
If your customers are aware that you’re open to communication and fair reviews, it will leave a better impression on them in the short and long term. If others are looking online to hire a business in your industry, they’ll likely read reviews on the details.
It’s not just the details themselves; your business will look far more credible and trustworthy with plenty of reviews.
Once you have your business set up and get leads, you want things to be consistent! Same thing with Google reviews. It’s good for your search ranking and customer leads to feature recent reviews on your business. The more recent, the better.
Most customers will look at reviews in the last month or so to get more accurate information about your business. While older reviews will help your rating, they’ll be less helpful in attracting customers.
Google reviews are an effective tool for your business growth, and by now, you might be wondering how to ask for a review on Google.
Let’s get into it.
How to ask for a review on Google
First things first: if you want Google reviews of your business, you’ll need to set your business up on Google. Taking control of your business profile and verifying that it’s yours is important, as your contact info, hours and website can be found and accessed through a listing. If you haven’t already, go to the My Business homepage and get started.
Using a Google Business Account is just one part of your marketing, and AroFlo has a great article about the stages of marketing strategy for customer interaction.
After you’ve set up and verified with Google that, yes, it’s your business and your details, you’re ready for reviews.
So, how to ask for a review on Google? Some customers will leave a review without prompting, but a lot of customers might not even be aware they can leave a review.
Timing and frequency
The timing matters when considering how to ask for a review on Google.
Reviews are best requested once the job is done and dusted, when the invoice has been paid, and the customer’s work has been completed. It’s best to ask within a week of completing the work and after the customer has had time to get back to you about any issues.
If you have asked in the past or want to ask a returning customer for a review, that’s fine too! Customer milestones are also a good time to ask. If you have repeat customers, they’re more likely to want to leave a good review as they’re clearly happy with your business.
If a customer has hired you for a new service your business offers, you can use that to ask for a Google review as well.
Seeing a customer in person can also be a good time to suggest that they leave a review.
It will depend on the job and how you communicate with the customer but give it time, and you’ll get the hang of it.
Writing a request
So, how to ask for a Google review? When you write your request, you want to let the customer know that you appreciate their time and support of your business. Be friendly and keep it to the point; short and sweet is best.
You can talk about the work you recently completed for them and let them know they can leave feedback online. If they’re happy with your work, you can encourage them to let others know and support your business by leaving a Google review.
The best practice option is to include a direct link to your Google My Business page in your request. This means the customer can access it easily to write their review.
Be sure to sign off with thanks, and that you hope to see their feedback soon.
Also, be careful not to push for a particular kind of review (say, five-stars,) as the more comfortable a customer feels about leaving their honest opinions, the more likely they will. As we covered, even negative feedback can help your business grow!
Need a bit of help drafting a written request? Don’t stress. We’ve included a template below!
Google review request template:
Hey [Customer Name],
Thank you for choosing [Business Name] for your recent [trade] work. As a small business, we appreciate each of our customers and want to give them the best service we can.
If you wouldn’t mind giving us a review at [Google Business Link], we’d be happy to hear your thoughts and feedback, and reviews really help our business as well.
If there’s anything else you need from us, you can reach us at [Business email] or [Business number] for any questions or issues you might have.
[Your Name] from [Business Name]
How to manage Google reviews
Now that we’ve covered how to ask for a review on Google, we can cover what to do once the reviews roll in. This is the start of your business’s online reputation; you want to make the most of it from the get-go.
Getting the reviews can be tricky, and not everyone will leave you a review, so it’s good to respond to the customers that do.
Why you should respond to reviews
As a business, you can get the most out of your reviews by responding to each one you get.
By responding to a review, you’re showing a customer that you appreciate their time leaving a review for your business.
It’s good to remember why customers might leave a review. If they’re informing others, it will boost your credibility if your business responds, leaving a positive impression on the client and others that see the review.
If a client leaves a review after being asked, responding shows them that their effort was noticed and that you truly do appreciate their feedback.
How to respond to Google reviews
Google My Business is a tool that has everything you need for your Google business profile and management.
It’s a dashboard where you can see your reviews, data and info about how your business is doing on Google and the way others have interacted with it, either through photos, answering questions or leaving reviews.
To respond to reviews, all you have to do is go to Google search, select your Account Circle and go to your business profile. Select reviews and select reply to whatever review you’d like to respond to!
So, let's talk about responses.
Top tips for responding to reviews
When replying to a review, it’s recommended that you have a professional and friendly tone. Opening with ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello!’ is fine. Reviews are usually posted under a person’s name, so using their name to respond is also a good idea.
Always thank a customer for leaving a review. Lines such as ‘Thank you for taking the time to leave a review’ or ‘We appreciate your feedback’ are simple and effective.
If a customer has given details about the rating they gave, make sure to respond to the details so they know you’ve taken the time to read what they’ve said.
Be sure to sign off with a name or thanks from the team at your business.
An example response to a Google review:
Hey [Customer Name], thanks for taking the time to review our business! We’re happy you’re satisfied with our [trade] work, and we strive to provide high-quality work. Thanks again from the team at [Business Name]!
It happens. Not everyone is going to be happy, even when you’ve worked to a high standard and finished the job on time. When thinking about how to ask customers for Google reviews, you have to be prepared for poor reviews as well.
Negative reviews can be for many reasons, and every established business will have a few low scores from customers.
Sometimes it’s people that are never satisfied. Other times things slip through the cracks. It happens to all of us from time to time. We’re all human, after all. We all make mistakes, but when your business makes a mistake, it can mean a negative review.
But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Not only are customers more likely to trust a company that has at least a few bad reviews (as it shows the reviews are likely from genuine customers giving feedback, which makes the positive ones look genuine as well,) but negative reviews are an opportunity for your small business to build a reputation and communicate with your previous customers.
Inevitably, your business will get a negative review or a lower score than average. At first, it can be upsetting, but it can become an opportunity.
It can be a way for you to respond to a customer’s concerns, reopen communication and let them and others know that your business cares for its customers. If something has gone wrong, it becomes a chance to fix the situation and any mistakes that might have happened.
A previously unhappy customer can become a loyal customer that your business retains.
Google review FAQ
- Can I ask customers to leave a Google review?
You sure can! Google encourages businesses to ask their customers for reviews. Google wants fair and accurate information on their search engine, after all. Ask away!
- Can I incentivise customers to leave a Google review?
When thinking about how to ask for reviews from customers, it could be tempting to offer rewards to customers that do.
You can’t incentivise customers to leave Google reviews by offering rewards or payment, especially if you’re directly asking for positive reviews. This can get your Google business account in hot water and you definitely don’t want that to happen.
As far as ‘incentivising’ goes, there’s no problem in letting customers know that their reviews will help your business. Many customers will want to leave a review to help a business they like to see it grow!
More than that, many can be incentivised by the knowledge that sharing their experiences about your business will help and inform others.
- How many Google reviews do I need?
If you’ve already verified your business on your page, you don’t technically ‘need’ reviews to be found on Google. However, if you want your business to come above others in the search results, you’ll need them. You’ll need to get the hang of how to ask for Google reviews if you want to be at the top!
Depending on your competition and location, you might need as few as 10 to be near the top of the rankings, but you also need recent reviews to stay up there. Raw numbers are good, but a steady flow of reviews is even better.
- Can I get a Google review removed?
Rarely, you might get spam reviews from people who haven’t hired your business for a job. Or it could be a review of a situation taken out of context, and it doesn’t apply to your business.
In these cases, Google has provided businesses with a way of reporting fake/spam reviews. They have a reviews policy in case you’re unsure if you can flag the review, but usually, it’ll be obvious if the review is fake. Google has more here, and details on how you can report individual reviews from Google Maps and Google Search, or manage reviews through your Google Business Profile.
Get more clicks on Google
Improving how to ask for Google reviews will only help get more eyes on your business and steadily push it to the top.
With a Google business page at the top of the results, you can get more customers and more leads visiting your website. To make the most of the traffic and turn clicks into customers, check out AroFlo’s 10 Quick Tips for Success using your trade business website.