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Monday, December 12th, 2011

Why you want Google Places Testimonials and Tips for Getting Them

 

Google LogoWhen people are searching for a business in their local area, more often than not they are going online rather than flipping through the traditional Yellow Pages.  Local businesses can use this to their advantage by creating a well optimized Google Places page.  Google Places gives your prospective customers the convenience of getting to know you in much less time than it would take to explore your website. It provides them basic information about your business including phone number, address, hours of operation, etc…

A Google Places listing is claimed and filled out by your business. However,  in order to fully optimize your profile, you need to acquire reviews from your past customers.

As business owners, requesting reviews from satisfied customers is one of the best ways you can establish trust with those interested in pursuing your business. Why is that?  Because it’s not just your business telling a potential customer how great you are and what wonderful things you can do for them.  External sources happy with your business create authority, believability, and a sense of security that you are in fact what you say you are.  Google Places reviews are authenticated because the person leaving it actually needs to be signed into their own Google account (giving it that much more clout with Google).  The following are a few tips when prompting clients to leave you reviews on Google Places.

 

Make it Easy

Often people do want to spread the word about how great your business is but don’t want to be hassled much to do so. If you lay out the steps of HOW to submit a testimonial in a clear and concise manner, it becomes obvious it won’t take much time and you’ve eliminated the possibility of them having to research how to go about doing it.

Here are the steps that you can pass along to your customers to enter a testimonial for your business:

  • Go to GoogleStepForth Google Places
  • Click on “Maps”
  • Type in the business name and location indicator (eg. StepForth Web Marketing, Victoria BC)
  • Click on the correct business
  • Click “Write a Review”
  • Log in using your Gmail account
  • Choose the amount of stars, fill in the testimonial and click “Publish.”

 

Make it Clear what you want Included in the Testimonial

Ask the testimonial provider to include specifics within the testimonial. A “they did a great job” isn’t very valuable to someone interested in your services. Get them to write about details such as: customer service experience, timeliness of work completed, above and beyond moments, etc… Making light suggestions of details to include will often be appreciated.

 

Make sure the Timing is Right

If you are working with someone over a long period of time, ask them during that first “we like this guy” moment in the beginning of the working relationship. If it’s a quick job, ask when it has just been completed.

 

Make sure you Thank the Testimonial Provider

Acquiring testimonials for your Google Places profile is a huge benefit to your business. Make sure those that are assisting you with this know their assistance is appreciated.


8 Responses to “Why you want Google Places Testimonials and Tips for Getting Them”

  1. Nyagoslav

    Good article, Ashley.

    I think the method of providing guidance for the customers to the Place page could be further optimized. You could directly share a link to your Place page, or provide a QR code on anything. You could even link to the “write a review” section itself! You have to simply add &dtab=2&action=openratings&ct=write-review to the end of the URL. Check the whole system up here: http://www.optilocal.org/google-places/small-business-google-places-reviews-how-to/

    Greetings,
    Nyagoslav

  2. AshleyMelsted

    Thanks for the comment Nyagoslav. Excellent point. Businesses should do whatever they can to make the processes as easy as possible and adding a direct link would do just that!

  3. chad

    Not only do reviews add trust to consumers, but they also add trust in Google’s eyes. In fact, businesses with multiple positive reviews are typically rewarded with a higher ranking for competitive local search terms.

  4. Michael Kern

    I have tried these methods and like your advise about getting them right when the job is over!
    The barrier I run into more often then not is, they don’t have a gmail account.
    When is Google gonna start letting people sign in with a Facebook or twitter account is what i want to know? @Inform_Local

  5. AshleyMelsted

    I’m not too sure when/ if Facebook and Twitter logins will be available but if you don’t have a gmail account, you can still leave a review.
    All you have to do is click “create account” when prompted to enter your gmail username/password and it allows you to enter your current email
    address. This video is a great tutorial on how to do this: http://youtu.be/8sD2WCgZnR4.

  6. alanc230

    I had not thought about customer reviews and testimonials in quite this way. Thanks for the new insights.

  7. Gelenna R

    It’s a great idea. When you think of it, I personally click on sites with reviews bad or good.

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