Best tactics for asking for reviews on Google

Online reviews from happy customers are a great way to turn your business name into a household name — even for small businesses.

That’s because Google reviews that appear in Google Search engine results and on Google Maps, along with customer reviews submitted on Yelp, social media and other review sites, offer powerful social proof. So powerful, it influences up to 93 percent of purchase decisions.

Since your company’s star ratings can wield such an impact, it’s essential to ask for customer reviews. More importantly, you need to know how to effectively ask for Google reviews using these best practices.

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How do I ask for Google reviews without being pushy?

If you’re wondering how to get Google reviews in a way that won’t turn off customers, the best place to start is by using some common sense and these effective tactics.

While there’s no magic formula for getting happy customers to write positive reviews, simply asking politely can go a long way in generating new reviews for your small business.

  1. Ask once — do not spam your email list, SMS subscriber list or social media followers with tons of requests.

Let your fans know how to leave a review for your small business on Google and include a link to your Google Business Profile. Explain how online reviews help potential customers understand what they can expect from your business and how they can help small business owners get more customer referrals.

  1. Ask without asking

Include your Google review link in your website’s footer, in your email signature, your business cards and at the bottom of invoices. That way, loyal customers know where to easily find your Google Business Profile and can write positive reviews that influence your search rankings without being asked directly.

  1. Know when to ask

  • Don’t send your review request to email subscribers who haven’t opened any of your company’s emails in months.
  • Don’t ask customers in person who are visibly in a hurry, upset or distracted.
  • Don’t ask new email or SMS subscribers who haven’t yet completed a transaction with your company.

How to ask for a Google review

Use these six clever strategies for asking for Google reviews and increase your chances of review request conversions.

1. Start with the basics

  • Personalize your outreach by including your customer’s first name in the request.
  • Provide a clear call to action (CTA) for customers by asking them to provide their customer reviews on your Google business page.
  • Include the review link to your Google Business Profile listing for your Google account, formerly known as Google My Business (GMB).
  • Show you value your customers by thanking them for their time.

2. Don’t ask for a five-star rating

Instead of pressuring customers for a positive review, request feedback about their customer experience. Ask what they liked and how you can improve. They’ll appreciate that their honest feedback and opinions are valued. Ensure they know you use customer feedback to improve your products and services.

3. Spell out the benefits of customer feedback for small businesses

Let customers know that online reviews are social proof and help your small business stand out against other local businesses. Explain how their comments offer guidance to their fellow consumers and attract new potential customers to your small business.

4. Use these review request email templates to ask for reviews

These email templates and scripts can be used to request reviews for your business listing on Google, Yelp and social media channels. They can be customized to include your:

  • Customer’s name
  • Business name or company name
  • Contact information (such as your phone number, email and social media handles)

5. Automate the process

Online reputation and review management software automatically requests reviews after customer interactions with just one click. This way, you don’t have to manually follow up to ask for reviews after every customer interaction.

6. Add a customer review page to your website

Include your Google review link and links to your business listings for review sites like Yelp and social media platforms. You can even highlight some of your favorite five-star testimonials about your local business on your home page.

Examples of how to ask for reviews

Use these review request email templates and review request SMS templates to get quick Google reviews from your loyal customers.

1. Example for asking for Google reviews via text message

Hi [customer’s name],

Thanks for your business! Would you write a review [link to Google Business Profile] to help other customers learn more about us? Thanks!

2. Example for asking for Google reviews via email

Hi [customer’s name],

Thank you for doing business with us! We want to hear more about your customer experience so we can keep serving you better. Would you kindly take a minute to write a quick Google review [link to Google Business Profile]? This will help other customers learn more about us. 

Small businesses like ours rely on referrals from online review platforms from customers like you!


How to get more reviews

Want to see your customer review volume really take off? Be sure to leverage a cross-channel approach.

1. Ask for Google reviews over email

Get more online reviews by following up with customers via email after critical transactions, such as purchasing, booking or visiting.

2. Ask for Google reviews via SMS

SMS review requests are incredibly powerful because SMS is such a highly engaging channel. In fact, 98 percent of text messages that are sent get opened. Compare that to the average open rate of email marketing campaigns, which is 20 percent. When you send your SMS review requests, be sure to:

  • Ask customers to rate their experiences.
  • Include a Google review link that takes customers directly to your business listing.
  • Keep your messages short, ideally around 160 characters or less.

3. Ask for Google reviews via live chat and web customer support

If you have live chat for sales or a customer service chat tool on your website, you can set up a workflow to ask for Google reviews at the end of every live chat session.

4. Ask for Google reviews right when customers walk into your storefront

Get a “Review us on Google” sticker that you can place on your door or by the cash register to encourage visitors to rate their experience after visiting your place of business in person.

Why are Google reviews important?

Both positive Google reviews and negative Google reviews are essential for various reasons.

  • Positive reviews help businesses attract potential customers when customers take the time to share relevant information, which shows up in local search engine results and on Google Maps.
  • Negative reviews shed light on ways business owners can improve the customer experience as customers share what they like and don’t like about service providers and local businesses.
  • High-quality business reviews can improve business visibility and increase your chances of attracting customers to learn more about your business, according to Google’s guidelines on how to improve your local SEO ranking on Google Search and Google Maps.

Is it illegal to buy Google reviews?

Yes, purchasing Google reviews is illegal, so don’t buy reviews on Google or any other review platform. You should never buy reviews because doing so could result in legal action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Google can spot fake reviews and has spam detection filters to automatically flag and remove false reviews.

Besides that, Google considers any content with a conflict of interest off-limits.

What should you do when you get a bad review?

It happens to everyone, even the best local business owners. Occasional negative reviews are simply inevitable. As much as you can try to prevent critical reviews by offering a top-notch customer experience, it’s also important to know what to do when you receive less than positive feedback.

The best ways to respond to negative reviews

While no one likes being on the receiving end of bad feedback, it’s important to remember that behind every negative review is an actual customer who had an unhappy customer experience for one reason or another.

To turn things around and help strengthen your online reputation, remember to follow these best practices when responding to reviews from customers who’ve posted about a negative experience:

  • Follow up with a timely response to every negative review
  • Thank the customer for taking the time to share their experiences
  • Acknowledge the customer’s feedback, feelings and point of view
  • Spell out the next steps you plan to take because of this customer feedback
  • Solve any issues that you can
  • Make things right by offering a refund or discount
  • Apologize
  • Be sincere
  • Share your contact information, such as your phone number or email, so that the individual can reach out for further assistance

Can you buy Google reviews?

While there may be companies out there trying to sell fake Google reviews, buying Google reviews is not an effective marketing strategy. As explained above, buying reviews is against Google’s guidelines.

Google considers this kind of “fake engagement” as “prohibited and restricted content.” Fake engagement includes “Paying, incentivizing or encouraging the posting of content that does not represent a genuine experience” and “Content that is not based on a real experience and does not accurately represent the location or product in question.”

Let Broadly handle your business reputation management

Broadly helps business owners and local businesses get more online reviews, attract new customers and cultivate brand advocates. The powerful online review and reputation management tools support successful word-of-mouth marketing in today’s digital world.

See what Broadly can do for your business in just 30 days