How To Get More Reviews On Your Google My Business Listing

For this week we’re talking about reviews again. Specifically, we’re talking about how to get even more reviews on your Google Business Profile listing. Just being passive and asking a customer to leave a review, or contacting them a few days after the sales transaction is not enough. You need to hold their hand, coach them, and even slightly pressure them to leave a review right then and there. If you can accomplish this, you will outpace your competition, improve your Google rankings, and get more business fast! Check it out!

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  • You need a Google My Business Listing in order to get reviews on Google
  • Be up front and help walk a customer through how to immediately leave a review in person
  • Some customers may have “technology shame”, not knowing how to leave a review and so they will not leave one
  • Double the amount of reviews you are getting by being a little bit pushy and focused on getting reviews
  • Getting more Google reviews can improve your visibility and search rankings

Here is the transcription from Episode 41 Getting More Reviews On Your Google My Business Listing;

Jesse Dolan: This is Local SEO Tactics, where each week we bring you tips and tricks to help you get found online. Your host, Jesse Dolan here with Bob Brennan as usual. This week we’re going to be talking about getting reviews, well specifically getting reviews on Google. Getting reviews anywhere is great, but getting reviews on Google is like the A1 thing you need to be worried about as a business in the context of getting reviews. We’re going to touch on that here in just a second.

First, wanted to mention, everybody, if you haven’t used our instant SEO audit tool for your website, check it out. Last year, it was the first year we kicked off the show. This year we got a new domain, so if you’ve used this before in the past, go check it out on the new domain at least. It’s a little different now, Click on the yellow button, instant SEO audit. Plugin the page you’re looking to get audited. Plugin the keywords that you’re looking to rank for. It’s going to give you an awesome, totally free report. Use it as many times as you want. You can use it on your website, you can plug in competitors to kind of see how they score, whatever you want. Use it and abuse it. We’ve had over 300 customers. I shouldn’t say that. Over 300 companies use it over the last year.

Thousands of audits done. Get great feedback. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, go try it out,
So that aside, again, getting reviews. Let me set the stage for you real quick.

Bob Brennan: Sure.

Jesse Dolan: First things first, to get reviews on Google, you got to be listed with a Google My Business listing. Our first couple episodes around that. Last week’s episode was on that again, on your GMB.

So first thing’s first. Bob’s going to dive into some tactics here on the get more reviews, which are super-important for your business. But to do this on Google, you have to have that GMB set up first and foremost. So if you haven’t done that, put a pause right here. Go do that. It’s real quick, pretty easy to do. Then come back and learn how to get more reviews. So that being said, it’s kind of a no-brainer, but just to set the stage anyways nowadays, you kind of go off reviews for picking who you’re going to do business with?

Bob Brennan: Yeah. I use this analogy a lot. We’ve all unless you’re living in a cave, we all pretty much order from Amazon or various online entities. As we look at, let’s say a product on Amazon, we look at, at least I do, I look at the volume being sold. I look at price is a factor, but I also look at the volume being sold, and then I look at the reviews. Based on those factors, it’s kind of how I make my buying decision. For services, at least as it relates to local services for things I need, I kind of do the same thing.

Jesse Dolan: Absolutely.

Bob Brennan: For me, I look at the review rating, but then I also look at the volume of reviews. If there’s a 2X factor or even a 50% factor, if it’s 50% more than the next person, that’s the person I typically call first depending on the price point, and then I make two or three calls.

For small business, it’s critical. Jesse and I have owned a business now for over 25 years, or close to 25 years. It’ll be 25 years here in March. We pride ourselves on being around that long and who we are and word of mouth, and that’s excellent. But we live in a different world today, and that world really is about you getting the inside perception out. That’s what we’re going to talk about is that transition. It’s very, very difficult, and it’s very hard for most businesses, and specifically small businesses to do, and very hard to train your people. It’s not an easy thing.

The best analogy I use is, we all think our kids are the smartest kids in the world. My kids are no exception. They’ll come to me with algebra problems, and I think as parents that’s like one of the worst talks or looks at … You know there’s the sex talk, but then there’s the algebra. “Can you help me?”

Jesse Dolan: That’s worse than the sex talk.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. “Can you help me with my algebra?” And to be honest with you, most of the times I can’t. But what I’m willing to do with my kids is to sit down with them and look it up on the internet, go to Khan Academy or whatever the case is. It’s really the process of helping them troubleshoot and problem solve that we as parents, I think, need to be good at.

So to that end, I’m trying to bring that back to how do you get reviews as a small business? I’m just going to share some of the war stories that we are experiencing in some of our small businesses that we own. One of the classics is we’ve incentivized our people to ask for a review and actually get their name mentioned in the review. For that, they get compensated. Their approach is what we call the Mr. Rogers approach. So, “Hey, did you have good service?” “Yes.” “Could you help me out and leave a review and possibly mention my name? My boss will take me out to lunch,” or whatever those incentives are. People are willing to help each other out provided you’ve given good service. If you haven’t, well then you business.

Jesse Dolan: You’re not going to get a five-star review if you have crap service. That’s first things first. Yeah.

Bob Brennan: So what we found is a disconnect is a lot of people would say they would do it and again go home. And like anything else, we all get busy, we get distracted, and they never leave us a review. What we’ve done is, in many cases, we used to provide a kiosk or actually a computer in the store. That worked up to a certain point, but Google said, “No, no, no. We can recognize the IP. We’re not going to allow that to stick.” It may show up, but then it comes back down again. In turn, what we have to do is we have to get them to use their mobile device and actually leave the review on their device.

Now here’s where things go awry. This is really important. If you ask people are they willing to leave a review, and they say yes, the next question out of your mouth needs to be, “Would you mind if I show you how to leave a review?” That’s where people will say, “Yeah, that would be great.” Or they’re going to say, “No, no, I know how to do it.” And say, “Hey, if you could leave me a review right now, that’d be very helpful.” It’s kind of forcing the issue, I know. But we know the human nature and the human condition of things. Google frowns on buying reviews. I’m not saying you should do that, but you should try to do everything you can.

The point of this little talk is, it is not that people are not willing to leave you a review. It is that most people don’t want to admit … It’s technology, and we get technology shame, I call it, where, “I’m not sure how to do it.” They’re not going to come out and say that. You have to politely show them how to do it.
Now the caveat is, if they don’t have a Gmail account, you’re kind of stuck.

Jesse Dolan: A Google account, yeah.

Bob Brennan: Not everybody does. Therefore, that’s where it probably stops. You’re probably crossing the bridge to say, “Hey, let’s set up a Gmail account. I’ll show you how to do it and then leave a review.” That’s really pushing it, unless it’s your relative or something like that, that you’re going to go to that extent.

But the key takeaway to get in this deal is the whole technology shame that people are not … They don’t want to come out and say, “Hey, I don’t know how to do a review.” Again, it seems a little pushy. But it’s like, “And I can show you how to leave a review if you need help with that.” Then people will say, more than likely, they’ll say, “Yeah, can you help me with that?”

We try to get X amount of reviews a week with our stores, and you could almost see a 25% to 50% increase in that. Again, I can’t stress enough, the reviews are a huge converting factor. If you’re doing everything we’re telling you to, to get in that three-pack, you can almost measure the phone calls once you see your reviews or once you apply reviews. If you can get 2X over your customer, you definitely see an increase in calls-

Jesse Dolan: Over your competition. Yeah.

Bob Brennan: Yeah, I’m sorry, over your competition. You’re going to see huge increase in your calls. Even 50% would be a major play on that. I don’t know if there’s anything else you can think of, Jesse, in terms of a tactic. Can you speak to the service element, where you’re actually going out to the customer and how that’s handled?

Jesse Dolan: Yeah. I think the important part with this kind of the onsite with the service is still the same. The major importance there is getting the review right there eyeballs to eyeballs. Not waiting till later, not taking their word for it. We had a couple of our earlier episodes, I’m looking at the list, three and four. And then we had another one we touched on maybe 10 or so after that with some software to help to get reviews. So there’s more on this in the archives going back to our earlier episodes.

But the importance of getting that review right then and there, your percentage, closing percentage of getting reviews is going to be tenfold compared to just giving a piece of paper saying, “Give us a review later.” Or, “When you get home, you can leave us a review.” So first things first right there. Whether you’re face to face in the store or face to face, like you’re saying, in a field service situation, the a-one thing here is getting that review while you’re engaged with the customer right there to get it done. You could be looking at getting 20%, 30% of your customers leaving reviews, instead of 1%. That’s a pretty big delta right there. But if your team is committed to doing this and following some of these strategies, you’re going to get that. Like Bob is saying, that’s where you’re going to go from being the same amount or less reviews of your competitors to doubling them, and then that’s a no-brainer who people are going to choose.

Okay, so that being said, yeah, if somebody’s coming out, I think you and I both had this happen within the last year and change, the furnace goes out or a water heater goes out, in my case. Come on out, and they have an iPad hooked up to cell. Maybe they’re going to tap into your wifi, whatever, on the place. But they’re coming to your house doing the same thing. So where like Bob’s saying, in a store is we’re asking people to leave a review and we’re helping them do it on their device, these field service companies were just on top of their game and their technicians had iPads. Yeah, not just asking for the review, which is stellar, but also having the ability in their hands for us to leave a review.

Some people might not like it, because you have to log into that device. Right? Like maybe I’m not comfortable signing into my Google account on your iPad and then logging out afterwards. Okay, sure. If that were to happen, if a customer were-

Bob Brennan: Yeah. That’s a good point.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah. If a customer were engaging with me, and it’s like, “No, no, no, I don’t want to do that,” I’d say, “Well, do you want to jump onto your computer?” Like you said, I can still show you how. Not demanding that you do it or saying, “I’ll wait here while you do it.” But saying, “Well, can I show you how on your computer then?” Things like that. Because I think there’s a little nuance here. Say, leave a review. Like we get Facebook reviews too, right?

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: Or Yelp reviews or whatever, Trustpilot. But what we’re talking here specifically is getting Google reviews. You don’t want to be ambiguous on that at all.

Bob Brennan: Yeah, no Google reviews move the needle. Nothing wrong with those others, but you’ve got to incentivize your team to get those Google reviews.

Jesse Dolan: Right. Just back to the scenario of being in my basement. Two ways. One, they can be hooked up to your wifi, or they can be on cellular. So if you’re out there, if you’re a field service company or you visit your customers on-site for any reason, those are really your best two options is to get an iPad. You can pick up a used iPad for under $200. If it’s going to be wifi connected and you just jump on the wifi. If you need to get a cell service on that, I don’t know, plans are probably what? $20, $30, $40 a month, something like that, which is not cheap. It’s real money. If you just look at that, what the value you’re getting back for reviews on that, you’re getting that back many, many, many times over.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. I personally, as a business owner, I look at the value of a good review as between $5 and $10 a review easily.

Jesse Dolan: Oh yeah, all day long. That’s just for getting the review. Like the value of it, if you double your competition like you’re saying, it’s probably worth thousands of dollars because the amount of leads you’re getting at that point.

Bob Brennan: You guys probably think we’re nuts. Across all our businesses, we probably have 500 reviews. I would have no problem paying $3,000, $4,000 for all those reviews.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, if somebody just came in and waved a wand and said, “Boom, you’re going to double your competition.”.

Bob Brennan: Yeah, because I know I’m going to get return on that in no time.

Jesse Dolan: Now we should say a couple other things for Google here. They do obviously pay attention. Your rankings can be directly impacted by your reviews. Actually, that’s in two ways. One, is you can just jump by your number of reviews, because Google sees this happening and sees that you’re relevant. But then, two, if in Bob’s scenario, I think you were mentioning … If you didn’t mention it here, you mentioned it before. We talk about reviews all the time.

But let’s say you’re in the third spot in that three-pack, but you have the most reviews. Number one and number two above you don’t have many reviews or substantially less than you. In that third spot, you can still get the click, and they won’t. If that happens enough time, Google’s going to bump you up. So in that case, like my earlier I said, if you get more reviews, Google can straight up just bump your rank. If they don’t do that, but you’re still getting those click-throughs, then indirectly they’ll bump your rank, because they’ll see those other results as less relevant than you. Then you’ll jump up on them. The other thing to be aware of with the reviews is replying to reviews, the engagement on your end.

Bob Brennan: Yeah, good point.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, that’s something that Google explicitly sees, too. If you’re getting 500 reviews, but you haven’t replied to a single one of them, and your competitor has 500 reviews but is replying to every single one of them, Google’s going to see that. They’re going to see that the competitor in this case is engaging with those reviews, too. So don’t just get the review, but make sure you’re replying to it as well.

But back to your point though, Bob, about the field services. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what kind of product or service that you’re pitching. At that point of contact with the customer, and maybe if you’re a business who doesn’t actually deal with people face to face but it’s over the phone or a webinar, it’s still … We don’t have an example here unless you can come up with one quick. But find a way to do this on the spot there, too. Whether you send them an email or a text message with a link to get to the spot to pop a review, you can walk them through it. The main parts are, do it immediately, face to face, quote-unquote.

Then if people say no, be a little hardcore. Like don’t take that no. Don’t take that first no. Or even more tactfully, like you’re saying, is understand that maybe that they’re getting shamed by the technology, that they’re saying no, just because they don’t know, how. They’re willing to, but they’re just like, “Nah, I’m not going to do that. I don’t want to learn how to do that review.” So finding a way. And like Bob is saying, what we’ve found has worked good is saying, “Let me show you how to do this.” Or, “Would you mind if I showed you?” It’s just a little less intimidating than asking them if they know how or some phrases like that.

Bob Brennan: Right. I don’t know. It’s just a critical part of the business, you can’t stress enough. It’s funny watching and talking to mature business owners, and they kind of blow it off, and they’re like, “I don’t need that. I’ve been around for 50 years, and we have enough business.” It’s like, yeah, well someday the day’s going to come and you don’t have enough business. You need to sow those seeds now and get that review in. It actually creates a culture in your company where people realize they’ve got to do a great job, because everybody’s watching.

Jesse Dolan: You bring up, actually, a good point. We were talking about this, I think, earlier today about a scenario where a company, we want them to get more reviews because of a strong competitor that’s coming in that we know is going to stockpile reviews huge, just on their volume. So even if you look at your current landscape and you’re like, “Well, I’ve got 20 reviews and my nearest competitor has three or four, I’m fine.” Keep getting reviews, because next week, next month, next year you might have a big box store or some big competitor or a franchise that pops in serving 10 times the amount of customers, and they go from zero to a hundred reviews in three months, and you just can’t catch up at that point.

Bob Brennan: That’s the one thing with reviews, too, that the small business does have advantage over a corporate or a large organization, is a lot of times they don’t pay attention. Let’s say there’s a major electronics company that they have buy-in their name and-

Jesse Dolan: You just say Best Buy

Bob Brennan: You know my life. I’ll get sued or something. But at any rate, they’re not necessarily a bad company, but their reviews reflect differently. They don’t tend to that. They don’t husband it, and they got to take care of it. That’s part of that deal where a lot of corporations aren’t owning that review piece. They need to own it because the consumer’s making their decision, again, based on reviews, not the fact that they’re publicly traded and blah, blah, blah. That’s part of the.

Jesse Dolan: Online reputation. Yeah. Online reputation.

Bob Brennan: In a lot of ways, reviews are good for a small business, because it is a way for them to leverage against larger organizations.
Jesse Dolan: On that, just to kind of round out the episode here too, two other good things about getting the reviews. One, the texts from the review, Google will show that sometimes in that three-pack snippet. If somebody left a good review on a oil change at your garage, if somebody is searching for oil changes near me, if you have some reviews that mention oil changes, Google will actually insert that text into the three-pack. Shows relevancy, helps your SEO, and helps the customer convert.

Secondly, you can use those reviews as testimonials, embed them in your website, copy-paste them, use that text. Not only is it good to get somebody praising you online to get those stars on Google which we’re talking, but also how many times have we read brochures or gone onto a website where you read testimonials and reviews and things like that? That is great edification for your business. So if you can get dozens or hundreds of these reviews, not just from a ranking and visibility standpoint, but just to help you round out your portfolio, so to speak, excellent stuff.

Bob Brennan: So that’s a good point. If you’re going to ask for a review in your shop, you want more Volvo business, and you just helped somebody with their Volvo, say, “Could you say something nice about the fact that we work on Volvos?” Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. If you want to mention the year of your Volvo, whatever, that helps with the SEO element.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah. We get deeper into that, again, back episode what? Episode three, importance of reviews. Episode four, start getting more reviews. And again, I think it’s somewhere in the 12 or 13 episode, we got another one kind of for automating the process. In those, we definitely do a deeper dive into some of the technical SEO benefits of the reviews. But yeah, you’re spot on. Mention the city that you’re doing it in, for local relevance. Mention the product, service, branding, all that kind of stuff, makes a big impact.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. Again, a lot of small business owners, we have 12 employees in our retail locations. You need to have this talk with them, that this is beneficial, and if you can give them a spiff or some kind of compensation. But they also need to understand the bigger picture. If we want to get more Volvo work, we’re going to have to move in this direction, and this is how we’re going to do it. Coach them on how to get reviews. But then the next step is, okay, now we want these specific reviews. It’s a process to try to get them to do it all in one fell swoop. Any of us, we’re not going to be able to do it the first time.

It’s like trying to hit 200-yard drive the first time you go golfing. It’s just not going to happen. You got to build up to it. For my case, I have to wear a hockey helmet when I play. It’s a process. You’re going to have to get through that and be patient. But you are going to have to enlighten them and educate them on what the longterm process in this whole deal is.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, and I think Google changes stuff all the time. But this whole reviews on the GMB, and then like I said, the culture with Amazon, everything else, this isn’t going anywhere. You start getting reviews, they’re going to be with you. It’s a number that’s just going to keep going up and up. Start doing it now. Don’t be left behind. Don’t be trying to play catch up later. Take these tactics, implement them, and start increasing your visibility and the amount of leads you’re getting for your business.

That’s about it for this episode. Again, I’ll say if you’re looking for some SEO help on your website, go use our free tool at Yellow button. Free instant SEO audit. Plugin your domain. Actually, I shouldn’t say that. It’s the page on your domain you’re looking for, the exact page you’re looking to get graded for your SEO. Plug in the page. Plugin the keyword you’re looking for. It’s going to give you a stellar report. It’ll email it to you. Share it, execute the checklist, whatever. It’s super-powerful. You’re going to love it.

Going to read a review here. Got, what was it? 65 five-star reviews on iTunes. That’s just on iTunes, by the way. Eventually, we’re going to read reviews from Stitcher and other platforms. But we got a couple more dozen here on iTunes to get through. If you haven’t left us a review yet and you like the show and it brings good value, this is what we ask for. Just go out there, We got a link to leave a review on there, so you don’t have to fumble around through iTunes or figure it out. It’s pretty straightforward. But just leave us a review. Let us know how we’re doing, that you appreciate the show, and that it’s bringing a good value.

Bob Brennan: If we get a hundred reviews, I get out of doing laundry. I don’t have to do laundry anymore.

Jesse Dolan: Help him out, man. He’s got a lot of laundry to do. Let’s get this done for him. This one here is from Adult Struggles, username, which is probably one of the cooler user names.

Bob Brennan: Yeah pretty good when you think about it.

Jesse Dolan: Right in the field there for me. Adulting is hard. Says, “If you want people to shop local, you’ve got to market local,” which I think is pretty spot on there, by the way. Goes on to say, “I am so glad I found Local SEO Tactics!” Exclamation mark. “I’ve been helping my mother-in-law reignite her 30-year-old business.”

Bob Brennan: Cool.

Jesse Dolan: “Too often marketing/SEO strategies focus on big e-commerce businesses and leave out the small local businesses. I plan on going back to listen to all these great tips that are geared towards local SEO businesses and growth. Thank you.”

Again, the exact kind of feedback we’re hoping to elicit from people. We’re not breaking news, latest tips and trends on broad-ranging SEO. If you’ve got a local business, and you want local business for your business, this is what we’re trying to do in this show is give you the tips and tricks to help you get found online. So Adult Struggles, thanks for saying it better than we do, and I really appreciate the feedback. Everybody else, we’d love to hear from you, too. Leave us feedback. Leave us a review. If you’ve got an idea for a show topic, you got a question you want answered, or if you want to jump on here and talk about something too, we’re always looking to hear for you. Go to

That’s about it for this week. Take care, and we’ll be in touch. Bye now.

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