Client reviews and testimonials are important elements in digital marketing success. Not only do they provide social proof and credibility – helping improve click-through-rates and engagement, but also play an important role in Local SEO – helping you to rank in the all important Google Maps section of the search engine results page (SERP).
Most clients won’t leave a review on their own, and those that do, are probably more likely to leave it on Zillow or Facebook – both of which are helpful in their own way, but not for your Google rankings. You will want to be proactive and develop a system for requesting Google Reviews if search rankings are important to you.
3 Steps to Getting More Google Reviews:
1. Make it Easier for your Clients:
Create a link that you can share that will take them directly to your businesses Google account.
- Go to Google Places API
- Enter your business information: Note, if you share an office with other agents, you will have to include information other than just your address – include whatever you’ve named your business on your Google My Business listing (if you haven’t set up your GMB yet, you will need set it up and verify it first). Test your link afterwards to make sure it works properly.
- Your Google Places ID will appear on the Map below your business address
- Add your Places ID to the following URL to create your link
… so my Link would read: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJu36CuRHOyIAR5jpKFqvEbDc … and should open this page …
2. Ask for Reviews:
I know this is obvious, but it can feel awkward so it is often skipped.
Set up a time within your “system” where you ask for the review. I’ve been told that the best time to ask is right after the contract has been accepted – everyone is happy and they haven’t been frustrated by the closing bumps yet, although I’ve found that after closing is usually a good time as well. If I attend closing, I will let them know that I’ll be sending out a request for a review, then follow-up with an email request.
We’re currently in the process of asking previous clients that we missed (oops!). We send them a card on the anniversary of their sale/purchase – then follow-up with an email a couple of days later asking for a review.
3. Continue Asking, and asking, and . . . :
Set up a method for follow-up within your system so that if you haven’t received a review you were expecting, you can send a reminder email. We’re all busy – they may have intended to leave a review but forgot – give them more than one opportunity.
In addition, include your Google Places ID link on your website, your email signature, your social media, and anywhere else someone that likes you might see it.
Finally, don’t forget to ask other’s you do business with for a review. While Zillow and Realtor only allow clients that have completed a transaction to leave a review, Google is more open – you can ask venders, renters, or clients that changed their mind and decided not to sell/buy but were still happy with your service.
As a reminder (as I hear this question often) it is against Google’s guidelines to incentivize client reviews or to set up stations where reviews can be completed in your place of work.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions or comments, or find something that works well for you in collecting reviews.
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