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March 10, 2021

How to Get More Reviews: Insider Secrets

If you want to get more reviews for your local business this month, not “by Q4”, do these 5 things. Ask everyone, make it easy, leverage SMS, respond to all feedback, think long term. The big $$ secret: consistency, consistency, consistency.

Picture this: It's dinner time and you're in the mood for a pizza. But the place around the corner is played out. Time for something new. So you call up 400 of your closest friends to see which shop they recommend.

Wait, what? 400 personal recommendations for a pizza?

While this scenario sounds absurd, it reflects your customers' experiences when they read your business's Google reviews and compare you to the competition. In fact, 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.

Generating a high volume of Google business reviews is crucial to attract curious searchers and stand out from the competition online. But unlike generating word-of-mouth referrals, increasing Google reviews requires a scalable, consistent strategy to truly succeed.

Thankfully, after generating and managing 250,000+ reviews on behalf of our clients, we've discovered some tried-and-tested tips for how to get more Google reviews that every local business should know.

Here are Widewail's top five insider secrets for how to get more Google reviews:

1. Ask everyone

As NY Times best-selling author Nora Roberts once said, "If you don't ask, the answer is always no." Proactively asking customers for Google reviews is one of the fastest ways to increase your review volume. In fact, our customers have found that for every 100 customers you ask for a review, around 20 will follow through; depending on your customer volume, you could achieve that number in less than a week!

Bonus tip: add a line

Beyond direct solicitation, try passive measures such as putting review links in your email signatures or adding QR codes at the point of purchase.

Hey, Jake here - so you're asking everyone...but what do you say? You could probably come up with a few ideas, this isn't rocket science, but wouldn't it be easier just to grab a handful of templates and pick your favorites? I put together some ideas for you, hope this helps.


2. Make it easy

Your customers are busy. They have jobs, families, activities and a never-ending to-do list they're likely juggling at any given moment. So, when you ask customers to leave you a review, make it as easy as possible for them.

Send them a direct link to your Google My Business review page, and remind them who they worked with in this message. This removes friction and makes it easy for your customer to leave an accurate, detailed review.

An automated solution, such as our Invite platform, can pull this data and make the review generation process simple for you and your customers.

3. Leverage SMS

Not all review request channels are created equal. According to Marketing Tech,

  • Over 97% of text messages are read within four minutes of receipt
  • 19% of people will click a link in an SMS campaign compared to just 4.2% for emails

While using multiple review request channels (email, in-person, etc.) helps cover all of your bases, SMS is the most scalable and effective channel to truly generate results. Just like email, SMS communications can be easily automated to scale across your entire customer base, getting you results quickly.

4. Respond to everyone

Responding to Google reviews might not be top-of-mind when you're trying to generate more reviews. However, an analysis of TripAdvisor data found that hotels receive 12% more reviews on average when they start responding to reviews.

Responding to every review — positive or negative — increases your number of positive reviews. Research from Mark Collier found that, of customers who received a response from a company after leaving a negative review,

  • 33% changed their post to a positive review
  • 34% deleted the original negative review

For more tips on how to respond to positive and negative Google reviews, check out our free guide.

5. Think long term

Getting more Google reviews is a marathon, not a sprint; managing this process takes time and consistency. Incorporating scalable review management solutions is the easiest way to drive long-term growth in your Google review volume.

If you're struggling to manage reviews on your own, automated review generation platforms can help remove the stress and overhead of manually soliciting reviews. Alternately, a full-service review management partner can help you respond to reviews faster and more strategically than in-house or automated response solutions.

The big secret: consistency

If you're still wondering how to get more Google reviews, the main takeaway is to be consistent in your review management strategy. From asking every customer for a review to responding in 24 hours or less, the more consistent and proactive you are, the better your results will be.

Thanks for reading! Next, grab the templates and start generating more reviews.


Jake Hughes

I’m Marketing Manager here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. In Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0-100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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