It all started when one of my more marketing-savvy customers offered to leave me a Google review.
First I was very pleasantly surprised – what a darling!
Then, I was unpleasantly surprised – to get to the place where he could actually type it in – took FOREVER!!
Common, my Personal Branding client super enjoyed the professional Headshot photo session we did together in my studio in Middletown NJ… and I can’t even offer him a quick way to share this experience with other potential customers?!
So, I got down into the crusade across google alleys and figured out a link directly to my Google Reviews account. That worked beautifully!
Until I was SUPER-UNPLEASANTLY surprised by a customer, who timidly refused to even try to leave me a review… because he simply has no Gmail account. And in no rush to get one either.
Common, that’s just unfair.
Is my crusade a Mission Impossible?
Or is there a way for a small business owner to come around this obstacle?
And if you are wondering how to make it happen for your own clients – time for a SUPER-PLEASANT surprise: you don’t need to launch the wild goose chase across the internet geeky swamps to figure out how to generate simple links to your google review site and how your clients can leave you a google review even if they don’t have a Gmail account.
- Why important to the customer
- Why it is helpful to the business
- How to get links pointing directly to reviews
- The EASIEST way to get a direct link to your Google reviews!
- How to share with your customers
- How they can leave a review if they have a google account
- How they can leave a review if they DON’T have a google account
- Bonus: How to generate QR code with it!
Ok, ok, I have to admit: I came rather late into the game of sharing information about my work and services over the internet! And as an owner of a family photography portrait studio in Middletown NJ, it is only now that I realized the full potential and the importance of Google reviews for small business owners. And, yes, their customers!
Why Google reviews are important to a customer
Do you ever read the client testimonials that the business owners post on their own sites? I have to admit – I take them with a grain of salt… Google reviews, on the other hand, have an aura of “real”…
Google reviews are super helpful both for the customer searching for the right service just as it is for the small business owners helping them to be found by the right people. Google review is one of those tools that can help your customers understand if they should choose you or not AND it gives you an opportunity to build trust with potential future clients!
Google reviews offer a glimpse into the opinions of real people, with real profiles, offering their real experience with this particular business. Common, you have to admit that you are guilty of skimming through quite a few of them as you were selecting a doctor, hairdresser, or any other service just recently!
Why Google reviews are helpful to a business
Research shows that, apparently, Google reviews are believed to be one of the most trusted sources for online product and service information for customers!
A whopping 92% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. And, believe in them too…
“Many people trust online reviews as much as they trust a referral from a friend!”
– market248com, 10 Reasons Why Google Reviews Are So Important To A Local Business
Honestly, it is not surprising: they provide social proof and help businesses to be found by potential new customers. Not just any new customers: it is super important that those reviews help our ideal clients to find us more easily, potentially weeding out those who are looking for a type of service your business is not ready to offer.
I am sure you are familiar with this dilemma: as you are working your butt off in your business to serve the clients who understand the value of what it is that you do, you really wish to reduce waisting time on the ridiculous number of phone calls from somebody looking for a quickie on a cheapo side.
This is a particularly sore topic for my own client interaction: offering a luxury experience of family portrait photography in Middletown NJ studio, having clients reach us from Marlboro, Holmdel, Colts Neck, and the surrounding areas both for their family and headshot photo-sessions, we get contacted by all kinds of people! Those who understand the luxury experience we pour our heart and soul into, the quality of the fine art wall galleries and custom albums we are devoted to customize to our clients’ homes… and, of course, there are calls from those who are just looking for shoot-and-burner whose service comes down to give-me-all-digitals-on-a-CD.
Google reviews offer the truest form of client testimonials, giving us a chance to showcase our products and service in a more detailed view, with insights into the actual client experiences.
5 reasons Google Reviews are important for your Business:
Absolutely loved this list from podium.com, in What’s the Importance of Google reviews?
- Google Business Reviews Increase Brand Trust
- Google Business Reviews Increase Online Exposure and Local SEO
- Feedback loop and customer intelligence of what you are doing right (or wrong!) is gathered through google business reviews
- It improves click-through rates to your website
- Google reviews convert more customers
How to get a link taking customer directly to the Google Reviews!
Ok, time to get down to business!
The easy way – just navigating your clients to your Google reviews through the search for your business on Google Maps…
Navigate Your customer how to find you on a map
- Ask your customer to open google maps on his phone
- Search for your business name (Elly Dream Photo – would be for my business)
- Click scroll to see the “Reviews” button…
- Select the number of stars and start typing!
Well, honestly, anyone who tried guiding the client through will tell you right off the bat that there is NOTHING easy in that process! They, typically, get lost at every step!!! And what if you are not even there to show them?!
Now, do you really want to make it easy and maximize your chances of ever getting a Google review for your local business? Give them a direct link to your Google Reviews site.
I found two (!) ways to do it, so pick whichever is easier for you:
Google My Business Dashboard link
- On your own computer, sign in into your Google My Business Profile Manager account.
- If you have multiple businesses, select the listing that you are trying to get people to review.
- Click the “Home” tab on your dashboard.
- Scroll down and click “Share Review Form”. Tip: if you have a hard time locating it (I did mine, haha!), click Ctrl/Command F to search for “Get more reviews”. Voila!
- Copy the link and share it with your customers!
Easiest: get Google review link from a business description
- Make sure you are signed in into Google through your Chrome browser and/or gmail.
- Type your business name in google search to locate your business
- Once you see your business information popup on the right with the basic information, scroll to the reviews and you’ll see a button “Get More Reviews”
- Could it be any easier? Copy and share the link with your customers!
Wait, but!! To be able to leave me a review, my customer needs a Gmail account, doesn’t he?
Excellent question! Read on, I got you covered!
Or jump to that section directly, How a customer can leave a Google Review without a Gmail account.
How to share a Google Review link with your customers?
Ok, you got the direct link to your Google Reviews, NOW WHAT?
Well, the easier it is for your customers to make a review, the more chances you’ll get one. I just started with mine; these are the tips I found:
3 great places to share your Google review links
- Share the link on your website!
- At the end of your service, ask for a review in a “thank you email” and/or in a one that you send following up with the service sometime later. I usually send the first one right after our photo session – both family and personal branding and headshot one. And remind about it once the albums are all delivered, the portraits are installed, nothing more left than just to enjoy it for years and to plan another fun experience like this in the future!
- If your client is there with your receptionist making the following appointment or paying for his service, it is a good idea to direct them to scan a QR code off the flyer, so that they can leave one while the memories are still fresh and they are still at your office! (See How do I get my own QR Code)
My hairdresser guides her clients to leave a review while they are still sitting in her chair! We all know, that once they leave… life gets the better of all the positive intentions. So if you can get your clients to leave one for you while they are still in your office – it is the best…
And if you have any ideas how I could do it with my own customer, I, honestly, would appreciate it immensely! My customers all finish our experience together super thrilled and excited! Yet… the busy lives tsunami right over… you know the drill…
How does a client leave a review on Google if the client DOES have Gmail
If your customer has a Gmail account, the steps for him to leave a review are pretty straightforward:
- Once they received the direct link to your Google reviews (see How to share a Google Review link with your customers if you need a refresher or How to link directly to the Google Reviews for your own business) the client could see the window with star-rating and a small window to write their comments.
- Google may ask your client to login with their Gmail account…
- Voila! That easy, there is nothing to it, except the actual writing!
How can you get a review on Google if the client has NO Gmail account
Not every client wants to open Gmail. Some clients really like their current service; some feel overwhelmed by the headache of keeping an eye on multiple email addresses…
I wish I knew this earlier and could share with all the happy wonderful clients who were ready to review the special experience we created… and just didn’t know how to overcome the obstacle of leaving a Google review without a Gmail account!
Well, it is not a matter of persistence or “if there is a will, there is a way”, haha.
As a matter of fact, it turned out to be very simple! Yes, Google requires you to create an account… but you don’t have to open Gmail.
It is much simpler.
- Allow the customer to click on the link to your Google Reviews (How to link directly to the Google Reviews for your own business)
- Once Google asks for a login, click on “Create an Account”
- Select “Use your existing email” link (Aha! That’s the door to the magic garden!!)
- Do go through the steps to create a google account… with your own email address!
- Google will send a verification code to your own email address – please put it into the form, fill in your phone number and birthday to verify your identity, skip the other options, accept the Terms and Conditions. Do it just once, and it will remember your map locations… and will allow you to leave reviews for Your favorite places!
- Google now allows adding pictures! It is super helpful when clients showcase their favorite images of using your product – and I, certainly appreciate when they feature the ones we created together in our photo sessions ;))
Yep, That simple!
And, just because I want you to feel completely covered in that department… enjoy our Bonus Tip below for Getting our own QR Code
Bonus Tip: How do I get my own QR Code
There are plenty of free QR code generators all over the vast lands of the internet!
This is the one I recently used: QRCodeMonkey.
- Type your direct link to Google Reviews
- You can even set your own colors and add logo if you wish…
- Click “Create QR Code”
- Have patience, wait a few moments for the image to be generated – the download window will appear and allow you to save your code for a future use!
- Now print it and once the customer turns on camera on his phone to read this code, “Open in browser” (or “Open in Chrome”) message will appear and allow him to get to the review link just that easily!
Write a conclusion about the above content.
Google reviews are super important both for business owners and customers.
I hope these tips can help you both get the right links and establish practices that will help you with social proof, SEO rankings, and customer trust from a get-go of your relationship… all through growing the number and quality of your google reviews
And, as you can see, leaving Google reviews without a Gmail account is not as difficult as it may seem! If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below and I will be more than happy to help out. And don’t forget to check out our bonus tip for getting your own QR code! Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day! 🙂