How high-ranking local businesses get more Google 5-star reviews

Aug 13, 2019 | Enhanced Visibility

Why do you need more Google 5-star reviews?

Colorado Springs business owners call us every week because they want to get more Google 5-star reviews.

And they are smart to do so.  An impressive list of Google 5-star reviews can be one of the best Colorado Springs SEO tactics for local businesses.

Here are a few reasons positive reviews are so important:

  • A healthy list of Google 5-star reviews instills trust and confidence in your business.  There are many recent surveys that indicate that 80-90% of respondents claim positive – and negative – reviews affect their decision to contact and purchase from a local company.
  • Reviews help local search engine visibility.  Customer reviews are a ranking factor and businesses with more reviews tend to rank higher.
  • Google 5-star reviews stand out in search and everyone see them. Google displays the average star rating of customer reviews prominently in the results display.
  • You get more clicks.  Our user testing of local Colorado Springs searchers clearly indicates that searchers give more consideration to businesses that have positive reviews.  Searchers frequently scroll by businesses with no reviews.

You don’t want your business to stand out because it has no reviews or a lot of negative reviews.  If this is the case keep reading to learn how to get more Google reviews.

Getting Google 5-star reviews does not happen by itself

Getting reviews is hard for many business categories.  Unless you own a restaurant, hotel or tourist destination, people do not leave reviews.

Consumers just do not naturally leave a review on Google for their roofer, attorney, exterminator, plumber, etc. – unless of course, they want to complain.

We work with many local businesses that provide outstanding service and have excellent local reputations, but have no Google 5-star reviews or worse yet more negative reviews than positive.

However, just because people don’t naturally leave reviews does not mean you can’t get reviews.  You can get reviews, it just takes a little effort to create a customer review request system that produces a steady stream of 5-star reviews for your business.

Creating a customer Review Request System

The secret to getting more Google 5-star reviews is to create a review request system, and then actually implement it.

Below are the steps we use to prepare a customer review request system for our clients. This system is proven to get more positive Google reviews for Colorado Springs businesses.

You can use this system for your business or you can contact us to create one for you.

Prepare your GMB page to receive reviews

Google gives all businesses a free profile page called the Google My Business (GMB) page.  This is where your customers go to leave you a review on Google.

Before you start asking customers to go to the GMB for your business you want to make sure your GMB looks great.  Your GMB profile must be claimed and updated with photos and accurate information about your business.

Go to the official Google GMB page to find and claim your GMB and find guidance on optimizing your GMB profile page.

Setup a shortcut to your GMB profile review box.

Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews by creating a shortcut link that brings up the Google review box.

Even Google recommends doing this, click to view their instructions (opens in new window).

Keep this address handy to cut and paste so you can send it to customers via email, texting, social media and even verbally over the phone. This tactic is essential if you want to get more Google reviews.

Emphasize the importance of reviews to your customers.

Remember, people are not naturally inclined to leave reviews for local businesses, so be prepared to do a little selling of the importance of reviews.

Create a sentence or two that motivates the customer to leave a Google 5-star review.  Here are some examples:

  • “Google 5-star reviews help us grow which allows us to provide you better service.”
  • “Competition is very strong in our industry.  For us to survive we need online Google reviews from customers like you.”
  • “Online reviews help support and give visibility to our business which helps us remain competitive.”

Your best customers want you to succeed, you just need to give them some guidance to get more Google reviews.

When to ask for reviews?

The timing of when and how to ask for reviews depends on your business.

For some businesses, it takes some time for the services you provide to set in so the customer can realize the full benefit of the service or product.

For other businesses, you may want to ask for the review immediately before a positive first impression has time to wear off.

In general, sooner is better than later when asking for reviews.

How to ask for reviews?

Here are the most common ways to ask for customer reviews.

  • Face-to-face.  Generally, asking in-person has a higher probability of actually getting the review.  You can text the GMB shortcut while face-to-face with the customer to convey the importance of reviews to your business.
  • Phone. Calling soon after the service is effective for actually getting the review.  You can begin the call as a follow-up call to check customer satisfaction. If the client is happy then give them the review request pitch line and the link to your Google review box.
  • Email. This method is easier than meeting face-to-face or calling but has a lower success rate.  The key to using email to request reviews is to create a catchy subject line. Then keep the email brief with emphasis on the importance of reviews to your business.  We find we need to send a second and even third reminder request when using email.
  • Texting.  Texting has a very high open rate and can be effective for getting reviews with customers that use texting.  However, we recommend using this technique carefully as many people do not want business-related texts.
  • Hand-outs. This method has a lower success rate however, it can work with customers that physically visit an office such as a dentist, property manager or salon.  With this method, you create a handout (a card, a sheet of paper) that asks for a review and provides instructions for leaving the review.

Who to ask for reviews?

Another secret for you to get more Google 5-star reviews is to seek out customers that are good candidates to actually leave a review.

To leave a review on Google you must be signed in to a Google account.

This means customers that use Google for email (i.e. are great candidates for a Google review because they are usually logged into Google.

Customers that don’t have Google accounts must go through the extra steps of creating a Google account.  While this is not technically difficult, it does require several steps which can be a major obstacle to actually getting the Google review.

We always ask our customers with a email address to leave a Google review. If a customer doesn’t have a Google account we will often ask them for a Facebook review instead.

One last thing, request reviews from your happiest customers while they are still happy.  Strike while the iron is hot!

Offering an incentive to leave a review.

The common wisdom is to not offer an incentive to leave a review.

This is because it is against the rules of the big review websites like Google and Yelp to trade payment for reviews.

If you hate asking for reviews keep this in mind – engaging with customers directly about their experience with your business is actually good customer service and will often prompt a (hopefully) positive review.

Get more Google 5-star reviews by starting now!

The real bottom line for you to get more Google reviews is to get started asking your customers specifically for a review on Google.

The sooner you implement a customer review request system, the sooner you’ll start getting a steady stream of new reviews.

I know you hate asking for reviews.  Just keep this in mind:  it is good customer service to engage with your customers directly about their experience with your business. Following up after the service will often prompt a Google 5-star review.

Now get review collecting!

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Allan Todd

Allan Todd is CEO of Pagecafe Digital Marketing. In 2022, Allan teamed up with Infront Webworks to provide digital marketing, website design, content marketing, SEO and strategy and solutions to local businesses. Allan lives in Colorado Springs. More articles by Allan Todd