Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that online reviews, particularly Google reviews, can be game-changers for businesses. That’s why learning how to link to Google reviews, and share those links effectively, is so important for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Google business review links can be effective tools for boosting Google reviews and ultimately landing more sales.
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Today’s consumer isn’t so different from consumers of the past after all: They still consider personal recommendations and testimonials more trustworthy and authentic than paid ads or endorsements. The only difference is that today, instead of getting those personal recommendations from close friends and family, they can go to your Google Business Profile to see what their peers have to say.
Table of Contents
- What are Google reviews?
- How do Google reviews work?
- Why should businesses care about Google reviews?
- How to create links to Google reviews: A step-by-step guide
- How to share a Google review link
- Google reviews best practices
- Benefits of Google Business review links
- Frequently asked questions
What are Google reviews?
Google reviews are user-generated star ratings and comments about a business that appear on its Google Business Profile (GBP). GBP is Google’s business listing, which appears in the top right of search results for branded terms. Google reviews are a way for customers to share their experiences and opinions about a business with others.
How do Google reviews work?
Anyone with a Google account can leave a review, but having a Google business review link makes the process more seamless. These reviews are visible to anyone who searches for the business on Google search or Google Maps. This means they have a very wide reach compared to other business listings which may have more limited audiences.
Why should businesses care about Google reviews?
SMBs are competing against big businesses with huge digital marketing budgets, as well as against fellow SMBs. Google reviews are a powerful secret weapon for success in a competitive online marketplace for several reasons:
- Improved sales: Reviews provide prospective customers with information that can influence their buying decisions.
- SEO: Google uses reviews as a ranking factor, so having a high number of positive reviews can boost a business's performance in local search.
- Reputation: They give businesses a way to publicly build trust and credibility with their audience by responding to reviews and answering questions.
By generating more Google reviews, SMBs can encourage more conversions, improve their local SEO performance, and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction in a public forum. Not bad for a free tool!
How to create links to Google reviews: A step-by-step guide
Google business review links are links that businesses can share with their customers, giving them an easy shortcut to leave a Google review. There’s more than one way to create Google review links, and we’ll go over them all here.
There are a couple of different ways review links can be displayed as:
- A hyperlink or URL that takes customers directly to the review form, or as
- Clickable badges showcasing the current star rating and link to a business’s Google Business Profile.
It’s also worth noting that SMBs should have their Google Business Profile claimed before they start collecting reviews. That way, they can regularly update their profiles and respond to reviews. If a client doesn’t have a Google Business Profile yet, follow Google’s step-by-step documentation to get started.
How to get a Google review link through Google Business Profile
The first method for creating a Google review link is pretty straightforward. Once you have a Google Business Profile, follow these instructions:
- Log into the Google Business Profile Manager
- In the left-hand sidebar menu, click on the “Home” tag
- Next, click on the button that says “Share review form”, found under the “Get more reviews” heading
- Copy the link
That’s it! You can share the Google review link wherever you’d like to give customers an easy, convenient way to leave a review on a business’s GBP.
How to get a Google review link using Place ID
Since it takes several days to claim a profile, maybe you’ve started the process and want to jump right into sharing a Google review link without waiting. If so, this method is for you.
For this second method, you don’t actually have to be logged into an existing Google Business Profile Manager. It should still be claimed so that you can update it and respond to questions and reviews.
- Head over to this Google Maps developer page
- Type the name of your business or your client’s business into the search bar that appears at the top of the map
- You’ll see a window appear on the map at the business location—here’s how it looks for the Sydney Opera House. Copy the string of numbers and letters that appears after “Place ID”.
- Paste this unique place ID into this URL: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=<place_id>, replacing <place_id> with the ID.
From there, you can now easily share this Google review link to get more reviews.
How to get a Google review link using Google Search
This is a super straightforward method that will work in a pinch. While the resulting link is very long and not particularly attractive or ideal, it’ll still get the job done.
- Google the name of the business
- In the Google Business Profile, click on “write a review” as if you were about to leave a review yourself
- Copy the resulting URL
To clean up this long Google business review link, consider using a service like Bitly to shorten it or even turn it into a QR code, depending on how you plan to share it.
How to get a Google review badge
A great way to show off a business’s Google review star rating and encourage customers to read the reviews, and maybe even leave one themselves, is with a Google review badge. Here’s what they look like:
You can embed these anywhere on a website to encourage more reviews. Here’s how it’s done:
- Copy the HTML code snippet provided by Google on this page
- Replace “MERCHANT_ID” with the business merchant ID, which can be found in Google Merchant Center
- Replace “POSITION” with “BOTTOM_LEFT”, “BOTTOM_RIGHT”, or “INLINE”, depending on where you want the badge to appear
- Replace “LANGUAGE” with the code for your language of choice. English is “en”, and if you leave it blank, it will inherit the language of the browser
Now, you can paste this snippet wherever you would like the badge to appear on a website.
How to share a Google review link
The goal is to create a Google review link, expose as many customers as possible to it, and maximize the number of positive reviews on the Google Business Profile.
Here are our favorite ways to share Google review links.
Email remains a powerful digital marketing tool, with excellent ROI compared to other marketing methods. People who have subscribed to a business’s emails have already expressed their interest in the brand, so they are the perfect audience with which to share a Google business review link.
Tips for sharing
Review links should be included in automated post-purchase emails that are sent at a time interval that makes sense for the business. For example, a clothing company might want to share its Google review link after two weeks, when the customer is likely to have recently received their package and had a chance to try on the clothing.
Software like Customer Voice, Vendasta’s white-label customer feedback tool, makes it easy for businesses to put review generation on autopilot with personalized messages sent at the perfect moment to maximize open rates and click-through rates.
Sharing Google review links through SMS is a no-brainer, thanks to its exceptional open rates, and short, casual, format.
By using a tool like Vendasta Inbox, which is part of the Business App, it’s easy to get Google review links in front of customers by sending messages to their text inbox. Plus, if they have questions or concerns, they can respond via text message and businesses can conveniently carry on the conversation from Vendasta Inbox.
Encourage employee participation
Once a business has created their link to Google reviews, it’s a good idea to share it with staff, particularly customer-facing staff, so they can share the Google review link when they interact with customers. For example, customer service staff can share the link when they conclude a customer service interaction.
Go old school with QR codes
Businesses can share Google review links in the form of QR codes by using any tool that converts URLs into QR codes. While email and SMS links are more convenient, brick-and-mortar businesses might consider printing their QR code onto postcards and including these with purchases.
The use of QR codes has expanded significantly in the post-COVID era, so customers are comfortable using them. Using print media in marketing may be a little old school, but it can still greatly complement a digital strategy.
Google reviews best practices
Generating Google reviews is the first part of a great reviews strategy, but it’s not enough on its own. It’s just as important for businesses to have a review management strategy in place to handle those reviews and present their brand in the best possible light.
Keep these best practices in mind when it comes to Google review management.
Respond to all reviews
It’s essential for businesses to respond to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative. This shows that they value their customers' feedback and are actively working to improve their business. It’s rarely possible to dispute a Google review, but handling the negative ones professionally can minimize their impact.
Have a strategy for negative reviews
Negative reviews are inevitable, and you should always have a strategy in place to handle them. SMBs should respond professionally and empathetically, and take the necessary steps to address the issue and prevent it from happening again.
It’s also helpful to have internal guidelines for responding to negative reviews. Agencies can also sell white-label review management, ensuring a team of pros is always available to handle negative reviews properly.
Encourage customers to leave reviews
Businesses can make it easy for customers to leave reviews by sharing Google review links on their website, in emails, in SMS messages, on receipts, and in other customer communications.
Maintain an accurate listing
Listing management is important for both reputation management and for local SEO results. Business information on Google should be up-to-date and accurate, including hours of operation, contact information, and website info.
Address recurring issues
Reviews can be a good way to identify recurring problems or complaints. SMBs should aim to take steps to address them and improve their product or service whenever possible. This can be done by analyzing data, such as the AI-powered insights provided by Vendasta’s review management software.
Don’t buy fake reviews
Purchasing fake reviews is not only dishonest, but it is also against Google's terms of service, It can result in serious penalties including being removed from Google. Instead, SMBs should focus on delivering an excellent customer experience and sharing their Google review link whenever possible.
Benefits of Google Business review links
- Google business review links remove friction for the customer, making it easier to leave a review
- Google is a third party, so reviews there seem even more authentic than on-site reviews
- Reviews can make an SMB more visible by boosting their local search performance
- Google reviews are major contributors to a business’s online reputation
- Compared to other marketing techniques, sharing a Google review link is cost-effective and can have a sizable ROI
The next time an SMB client asks “do I really need a Google review link for my business?”, let them know that those Google reviews can pay off in a big way.
Frequently asked questions
What is a link to Google Reviews?
A link to Google reviews is a clickable link that customers can use to access the Google reviews form, making it easy to leave a review quickly.
Can I link to specific Google Reviews for my business?
Yes, you can link to specific Google reviews for your business. Click the three buttons at the top right of the review to see its custom URL, which you can copy and share.