You’re probably already collecting positive customer testimonials and reviews from your customers to display on your website and use in your marketing materials right? Please tell me you answered yes! If not we need to talk my friend. We need to have a serious talk. 🙂
Let’s assume you are. Great. The next question is: What about getting clients to leave positive customer testimonials on places outside of your website where they can have a massive impact? One of the best places to actively encourage customer testimonials is on your Google My Business profile.
Why? For the simple reason that Google is still the number one place for finding local services. Also most people like to do a bit of research on your business before they choose to purchase. If your business has positive reviews it will stand out from the competition and is far far likelier to get a click than those without reviews.
Before we go any further…
Do you have a Google My Business listing? This is free service which is super important for improving your local search results and it also ensures you show up correctly on Google Maps. If you don’t have one then you need to first set one up and get your account verified and then return to this blog post when you’re ready to start collecting client testimonials.
This is what it looks like when people search for a company on Google that has a Google My Business account correctly set up. The boxed content on the right hand side with image, map, reviews etc. is the listing you get when you have Google My Business correctly set up.
OK so assuming your Google My Business listing is up and running. Now its time to start getting some positive reviews. You can either do as most businesses do and leave this to chance – in which case your likelihood of getting unsolicited positive reviews is about as high as someone smiling at you on the London Underground.
Or you can follow the simple steps below to start getting those testimonials now.
Step 1: Create a custom link to share with your customers
The reason why you’re going to do this is because you’re asking your client a favour – so you want to make the process as easy as possible for them. Asking them to go to Google – find your Google My Business listing and then enter in a review is not going to cut it. Instead sending them a 1 click link that straight away gives them the option to give a testimonial – that will cut it.
To create your custom link – first go here: https://developers.google.com/places/place-id
Enter in your business name and make sure you find your Google My Business listing. If your business does not show up then you will need to go back to the beginning and ensure that you have a listing correctly set up. It may take a few days to get verified and show up. It will eventually.
If you do see your business you’re good to go. Click on it. You will see a link appear with your unique “Place ID” code. Copy the relevant bit by highlighting the text and clicking Ctrl C / Cmd C or right-clicking and selecting copy.
Now all you need to do is add your unique Place ID to this link:
To do this – copy the link above and paste it into something like Notepad or a blank email. Then grab your Place ID that you found in Step 1 and add it to the end of this link. Mine looked like this:
1.) go to this link to get your Place ID: https://developers.google.com/places/place-id
2.) add your place ID code to the end of this link: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=
Here is an example of me using this process to get my Place ID code for the Growth London listing and then adding it to the write review link:
Step 2: Shortening the customer testimonials link
Now that you have your long custom link you can shorten this by going to Google Link Shortener. (https://goo.gl)
Copy and paste the long link you created in Step 1 into the Google Link Shortener and then save this new shortlink.
You now have something neat that you can send to customers. When they click the link it will automatically open a page where they can directly give your business a 5 star rating and enter in their testimonial.
Step 3: Reaching out to your clients
There are multiple options here to reaching out to your clients and asking them to give a review. You can make it a standardised part of your process where you set it up once and forget about it. For example by adding your custom Google Testimonials shortlink to your email signature or include it every email when you send an invoice.
Or you can do personalised outreach focusing on those which you feel will be more likely to give a positive review, which is what I recommend to start. By this I mean think of your best customers. Perhaps they’re people who have already given you a great testimonial. Or they’re someone you’ve just completed a job for and they seem very happy with your service. Now send them a personalised email. Here is an example of a script you could use:
Subject: Request for big favour – please leave me a positive review on Google My Business
Hope all is very well. I wanted to ask a big favour! I’ve got a new Google My Business listing up as a means to boost my business profile online. I wondered if you could take a quick minute to give me a rating on [the work / service you provided]?
It will only take a moment and I’d be extremely grateful.
All you need to do is click this link: [enter your shortlink here]
Give a star rating (5*’s would be nice!) 😉 and then enter in any testimonial or review you care to share.
Many thanks in advance!
Note – if the customer has already gone to the effort of providing you with a testimonial before – perhaps by email then it would be nice gesture if you copied and pasted this into the outreach email. So for example you could include a line like:
If helpful here is the testimonial you provided me before. It could save you a bit of time if you simply copied and pasted this into the Google review you’re about to provide: [testimonial]
Proactively encouraging and making it easy for your happy clients to leave you positive customer testimonials on Google My Business is a smart move. Yes there is a bit of leg work involved but by following this process you will greatly increase the likelihood of success. It is well worth doing as social proof is one of the most important determining factors behind winning new business online.
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PPS. Feel free to leave any comments below if you’ve had any success following the above advice.