I Only Want Google Reviews
Google Or Bust
I’m going to show you five specific things you can do with the Five Star Review System to get ONLY Google reviews. Before I do, please allow me to list some of the reasons why I think this is not a good long term review strategy, but is a great potential short term strategy.
You'll Miss Out On An Important Ranking Factor
Google rewards businesses that have reviews on sites other than Google by ranking their business listings higher in the search results. If you don’t have reviews on other review sites, you won’t benefit from this ranking factor.
People Search A Lot Of Sites
Google isn’t the only site where customers go to find your business. Industry specific review sites are playing a bigger role in searches every day.
You're Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket
Google can change their review policy and remove all of your reviews at any time, leaving you with zero customer reviews or testimonials.
Not Everyone Has A Google Account
Many of your customers do not have and don’t want to create a Google account in order to leave a review for your business. When you don’t give them any other option you’re forcing them to do something they may not want to do.
It's Harder To Write On A Mobile Phone
It’s harder to write anything from a mobile phone. So make sure you send an email and not just a text.
If you’re going to do “Google or Bust” either encourage your customers to write their review from a desktop computer or know exactly how to write a review and set up a Google account from a mobile phone so that you can assist them. It’s critical not to leave them feeling frustrated.
1 Ask Your Customers To Review You On Google
The best place to start if you want more Google reviews is to ask for them. Consider asking your customers if they have or if they would be willing to create a Google account in order to leave you a review. Let them know how important Google reviews are to your business. That will get them moving in the right direction.
2 Change The Initial Review Request Email
Change the text in your initial review request email by providing more direction. Consider changing it to something that reads more like this:
Write Your Review on Google Here
Thank you for offering to write a review for us on Google. If you don’t already have a Google account, it will take about 60 seconds to create an account (which is required in order to leave a review). Google will provide easy-to-follow instructions as soon as you click on the Google review link. Thank you very much for making this extra effort.
Write Your Review on Google Here
There are few things I want you to notice in this revised text.
- The first thing your customer is going to see after the greeting is a link to your Google Review page. This makes it easy for those reading your text on a cell phone to quickly see your review link.
- The text is very specific about writing a review on Google. There is no question as to what you want them to do and what they can expect if they do not have a Google account.
You can change the text by going into System Settings > Review Request Settings to the bottom of the page and click Customize Emails
3 Remove Every Review Site Choice Except For Google
Next, turn off every review option except Google. If you’re really set on getting ONLY Google reviews, you’ll want to turn off the testimonial feature as well.
This will force customers to either create a Google account and write a Google review or will make them step away from the computer without leaving a review. This is why we call it the “Google or Bust!” strategy.
You can remove all of the other review sites by going to System Settings > Review Website Settings.
You can turn off the testimonial feature by going to System Settings > Review Request Settings.
4 Send Your Request Via Text and Email
If your customer shows an interest in writing a review for you immediately, send the request directly to their mobile phone using the SMS/text feature.
This is especially effective if they’re on an Android phone. You’re going to have customers who’ll be delighted to write reviews for you while they’re in your office and you may need to make yourself available to help those customers who need assistance navigating their smartphones to write a review. If you don’t know how to write a review from a mobile phone, how can you expect your customers to do it?
Note 1: Owning a smart phone does not make your customer smart. 🙂
Note 2: It is a million times easier to write a Google review from an Android phone than it is from an iPhone for this reason:
- You must have a Google account to leave a Google review. All Android users have a Google account. A lot of iPhone users don’t.
Better yet, send your customers a text message AND an email review request at the same time.
It will double the likelihood of your customers writing a review for you. You can learn more about the “Text And Email” review request technique by reading my blog post on Sending Your Review Request via SMS.
5 Reward Your Staff For Getting Google Reviews
It is against the Terms of Service for every review site in the world to compensate a customer for writing a review.
If you want to learn more about this read my post entitled “Consequences of Paying for Reviews.” foIt is however, perfectly OK to reward your staff for getting reviews from your customers and many businesses are doing just that and getting great results. I’ll leave the reward ideas up to you.
Before You Implement The Google Or Bust Review Strategy…
There ARE some negative consequences to using this strategy. You’ll get more Google reviews, but you’ll get them at the cost of fewer reviews on other sites and some customers will have to work harder to leave one.
Because of that ALWAYS contact your customers who made the extra effort and personally thank them for writing their review.
Make sure, if your customers are writing a review from your office, that they’re not logged in to your wireless Internet. Google looks down on reviews that come from the same IP address and has been known to remove them. If your customers are writing reviews from their mobile phones, this is typically not a problem.
Finally, writing a review on Google from a mobile phone is difficult at best. If Google is their only choice and they’re trying to write a review for you from their mobile phone it can be a very frustrating experience. And even though the Five Star Review System makes this as easy as possible, I strongly suggest that you either:
- Encourage your mobile customers (especially iPhone users) to review you from a desktop computer where it’s much easier to do.
- Or learn how to write a Google review on both an iPhone and an Android phone so that you can provide assistance to your customers.
Not doing so will to cause some customers a high level of grief and you’re not going to get many Google reviews from aggravated customers.