We’ll go step by step on how to get Google reviews in this guide. In no time you’ll be getting lots of positive Google reviews and avoiding the negative ones.
By now you know that positive reviews are imperative to growing your business and Google is the top review site on the web. Driving happy customers to your Google review page will help the SEO of your website and increase your sales.
This article goes step by step on how to get Google reviews for your company by using either the Rising Star Reviews Google review management tool or the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. We’ll give you detailed instructions along with screenshots that will make this process easy so that you can start getting those reviews today!
Here’s how we’ll go step by step on how to get Google reviews in this article:
- How do I get google reviews?
- How to get Google reviews the fastest, easiest, most effective way using the Rising Star Reviews app
- Step #1) Sign up
- Step #2) Customize as you like
- Step #3) Send requests!
- How to get Google reviews manually (It’s slower, harder and less effective, but free!)
- Step #1) Get your Google reviews link
- Step #2) Craft your email templates
- Step #3) Send pre-screening emails manually
- Step #4) Reply to customers who respond
- Step #5) Follow up with customers who don’t respond
- Step #6) Handle opt-out requests
How do I get Google reviews?
Here’s a quick overview of the step by step on how to get Google reviews:
- Get your link from the free Google review link generator
- Pre-screen customers
- Send the link to customers who pre-screened positively
- Ask for feedback from customers who pre-screened negatively
- Use automation to increase how many customers you pre-screen without spending too much time and energy
For a more in-depth guide on everything to do with Google reviews, also be sure to check out our ultimate guide on how to get Google reviews.
How to get Google reviews the fastest, easiest, most effective way using the Rising Star Reviews app
The Rising Star Reviews app is the easiest and most effective way of getting 5-star Google reviews quickly. See below detailed instructions on how to sign up for the free trial. Then sit back and enjoy as the Google reviews start flowing into your Google account.
Step #1) Sign up
1. Click here to sign up for the 14-day free trial.
2. Fill in the blanks on the form and then click the green “Sign Up” button.
3. You will be brought to a screen that asks you to verify your email address. You need to go to your email to find the email from Rising Star Reviews. This email will ask you to click on the link and add the code provided. Make sure the code is entered and click “Verify.”
4. You will then be brought to “Add New Review Page.” It is possible to add all of your review sites here but for this demonstration we are going to focus on Google. Click on the link for “Google.”
5. Enter your business name and the city and state of your business location. Then hit the green “Search” button.
6. You should see your business name appear at the bottom of the page with a blue “This is My Business” button. Click that button. (If you don’t see your business listed here, that’s probably because Google doesn’t recognize the exact name or location you entered. You can try to find out exactly how Google lists your business by searching for it using the map here.)
7. You will then be brought to the “Subscribe” page. Click “Subscribe” and enter your payment information. Don’t worry. You won’t be charged until the 14-day free trial is over. And you can cancel any time before then just by clicking a button in the product to cancel instantly.
Step #2) Customize as you like
You have completed the setup process and are now ready to customize your message. Remember that this is the first message that your customers will see from you after they visit your place of business. So make sure you make this message as engaging as possible.
Send test messages
We have set up custom templates for you. So before you actually customize them, we suggest you send yourself a test email. That way, you can see the customer experience for yourself before your customers see it. Here are step by step instructions to send yourself a test message:
1. Go to your Dashboard and click “Get reviews.”
2. Enter your information in the boxes and press “Send.” The web app will immediately send an email to the email address you entered, requesting you to leave a review as if you are one of your customers.
3. Check your email. Once you have the email opened, then click on the 5th star.
4. A window should pop up that says “Thanks! We appreciate your feedback.
Please leave a review.” If you either click to write a review or wait a few seconds, you’ll be directed to Google to write a review. (If you wish, you can customize this message or the length of time before the page forwards customers to Google. To do this, just go to Dashboard > Customize review request.)
5. DO NOT ACTUALLY LEAVE A REVIEW since it’s against Google’s policies for business owners to leave reviews for their own businesses. The above steps are designed for you to understand the customer experience so you can customize it to your liking. So from here, simply click on “Cancel.”
6. Now go back to the email that you received from Rising Star Reviews. Instead of clicking on the 5th star, click on the 3rd star. You will then be sent to a web page with a feedback form for you to fill out.
7. Enter any feedback you like and click to send the feedback, the same way a customer would.
8. The feedback you entered as a mock customer will be emailed to you at your business email address.
Customize the customer experience
Now that you have seen how the process works and seen for yourself our customized templates, you can decide if you need to edit them. If you do wish to make edits, then here are the instructions on how to do this:
1. You will begin at your Dashboard. Look below the “Settings” title and click on “Customize emails.”
2. You will be brought to our default page that shows three emails and when they will be sent out. Click on the “Edit” button next for the first email in the list of emails. This email is marked as “Immediate,” indicating that the email gets sent immediately when you enter a customer’s contact information. The other emails in the list get sent to customers some number of days after the first email, but only if the customer hasn’t rated your business yet.
3. The template will auto-populate for you. And as you change content in the boxes, you will see the changes appear to your right under the “Preview” section. The blanks have been filled out for you, but you are able to edit the content that you want the customers to see. Make any changes you want and then click the green “Save” button under the “Preview” section.
4. Complete the above steps for the next email that says “Your Feedback.” This email is a follow up that will go out on day 5 after the customer leaves your business if they did not respond to the first “Immediate” email.
5. Do the same steps for the email that says “Checking in.” This is another follow-up email that will go out on day 14 if the customer has yet to reply to previous emails.
6. Under “Final Emails” click the “Edit” button under the “Review Thank You” email. This email gets sent to customers as soon as they rate your business with a high enough rating that they are asked for a review and sent to Google to write a review. Customize this email as you wish.
7. Then go to the “Feedback Thank You” email. This is the email that will go out to customers that reply with lower than 4 stars on the Immediate, 5 day, or 14 day initial email. Keep the message positive and simple as the goal is to get honest feedback so that any issue they had can be resolved prior to them leaving a bad review.
8. If you signed up for the SMS package then go back to the dashboard and click on “Customize SMS texts.”
9. Do the same as you did for the emails by going through and editing the content that the customer will receive in the texts.
It would not hurt to send yourself another set of test emails/texts to make sure that everything is appearing as it should since you changed the content.
Explore more customization settings
In addition to customizing the messages you send to customers, there are other ways you can customize the customer experience. Here are some examples, and where to find the settings:
- Which review pages you get email alerts for whenever there are changes to the reviews on those pages (Dashboard > Manage alerts)
- Which review pages you send your happy customers to (Dashboard > Manage review pages)
- How many stars determines whether a customer gets asked for a review or asked for private feedback (Dashboard > Manage review pages)
- The text on the page that asks customers for feedback instead of a review (Dashboard > Customize feedback)
- The text on the page that asks happy customers for a review, and how long the page delays before automatically redirecting customers to your Google review page (Dashboard > Customize review request)
Step #3) Send requests!
In this section we will give you step by step instructions on how to send out customer review requests manually, how to upload your customer contact list in a CSV format, and how to get review requests in bulk through the Rising Star Reviews app.
Sending customer review requests manually
Here is the step by step on how to get Google reviews by entering each customer’s contact information manually:
1. Start on your Dashboard. Under the review section simply click on “Get Reviews.”
2. A “Customer Rating Request” form will appear in a new tab in your browser.
3. Fill in the customer’s contact information (cell phone and email if you have the version of our app that supports SMS.) Please note that our app will send to whatever information you enter. So if you only enter an email address, then that customer will not receive a text. And if you only enter a phone number, they will not receive an email. But if you enter both, they’ll receive both a text and an email.
4. Press the green “Send” button.
Sending customer review requests in a bulk upload
Here is the step by step on how to get Google reviews in bulk by uploading many customers’ contact information in a single CSV file:
1. Start at your Dashboard.
2. Click “Upload review requests.”
3. The “Bulk Customer Rating Requests” page will open in a new tab in your browser.
4. Scroll down this page to find step by step instructions included there. Click the link in “Step 1: Get the Template” to download the template CSV file. This will give you a template necessary to fill in all your customer info that you will later upload into the web app for bulk review requests.
5. Open the CSV file in any popular spreadsheet application, such as Microsoft Excel. Enter the information for each customer you want to send a rating request. Please make sure you do not change the columns in the template CSV file. Just add rows that include the information on the template. Here are a couple tips to keep in mind as you enter customer information into the CSV file:
- Each row contains the information for a single customer to contact. And the file must be saved back to CSV format, not Excel’s .xlsx or any other file format.
- If your business uses a CRM, POS software or a system such as quickbooks, then you can download customer contact info into a CSV file and then copy/paste from that file into the standard template.
6. From the “Bulk Customer Rating Requests” page, click on the “Choose File” button and select your CSV file.
7. Click on the green “Upload & Send” button. This will automatically send the pre-screening email to the contacts that were in the CSV File exactly as if you had just entered the same customer contact information manually. However, if any of the data in the CSV file had errors, the web app will not send any of the emails, even those without errors. Instead, it will give you a complete list of the errors so you can fix them in the CSV file and re-upload it again. Once the entire file has no errors at all, then all emails/texts will be sent.
How to get Google reviews manually (It’s slower, harder and less effective, but free!)
The key to getting free Google reviews is timing. You need to make sure you reach out to every customer after they leave your place of business. This takes time and effort away from running your business, but ensures more of your customers will actually leave a review.
It is possible to get reviews on your own without the Rising Star Reviews web app, but in addition to taking more time and effort, you will also get lower conversion rates. That’s because a manual process requires you to send out an extra email/text after the pre-screening email or text.
Step #1) Get your Google reviews link
To being your process of getting Google reviews for your business, you need to start by using our free Google review link generator. This is a free tool that we provide in order to help you get a link that will maximize your chances of getting reviews and avoid causing technical difficulties for some of your customers.
1. Go to the Google review link generator.
2. Enter your place of business and location. Then click the “Search” button.
3. Your business name should appear with a blue box that says “This is My Business” to the left. (If your business doesn’t show up, that means Google doesn’t know your business as the same name and/or location that you entered. Go here to find out exactly what name and location Google uses to identify your business.)
4. Click on the “This is my Business” blue button.
5. Your Google review link should appear on the screen.
6. You can copy this link to your clipboard or copy and paste it somewhere where it is readily available. (You’ll need this link URL later on.)
Step #2) Craft your email templates
In order to be successful at getting 5-Star Google reviews you will need to create your email templates that are simple and at the same time engaging.
1. You will need to begin by setting up a pre-screening email that you can send out to all of your customers. This email needs to be simple and ask the question of how the customer would rank you based on 1 to 5 stars. Do not put too much information or any links to Google reviews in this email template. Otherwise, you’ll get negative reviews in addition to positive reviews.
2. The next template you will create is the one necessary to reply to customers who rank you with a 4 or 5 star rating. This email template should include a link to your Google review page (the one you generated from our free Google review link generator) with the request that they leave a review on Google.
3. The final email you will need to create is one that you will send that asks for feedback from customers who replied to the pre-screening email with a 3 star or lower rating. This email should only ask the customer how you could have earned a 5 star review from them.
Step #3) Send pre-screening emails manually
Sending pre-screening emails manually will take time and effort, but it is possible. After you create a template that you will use for every email, then you can begin to send these out to your customers.
Ideally, send pre-screening emails and reply to customer emails on a daily basis, since the more time it takes to communicate with customers after they visit your business, the lower your conversions for Google reviews will be.
It is important not to overwhelm yourself with too many customer responses at one time. We suggest that you save bulk emailing until you have the time to devote to replying to customers.
You can use web tools like Constant Contact or Mailchimp to send out these emails for you. But again, you will need to be readily available to reply with the Google review link or feedback replies quickly.
WARNING: Although you want Google reviews as quickly as possible, it is important that you do not send too many bulk emails all at once. Otherwise you run the risk of your email account getting flagged as a spammer. This will obviously negate all your hard work, as the customers will not receive your emails.
Step #4) Reply to customers who respond
Replying to your customers is extremely important to the overall success or your Google review process. If your customers do not hear back from you quickly after their initial Pre-Screening email then your conversion rate will take a big hit.
If you receive a 4 or 5 star response to your pre-screening email, then the chances are good that you can get that customer to leave you a great Google review. At this step, it’s very important to remember to use our free Google review link generator to create a link to send to these customers. For more information on why this link format is so important, check out our article on Google review links.
Giving happy customers a direct link to your Google review page will help you get positive reviews quickly. Simply send them an email that thanks them for their high star rating and ask them to share their experience with others by writing a review.
Now some customers are going to reply with 3 stars or lower to the pre-screening email. It’s just the nature of the beast when you own your own business. It is best to find out before the customer goes and leaves a negative review that they are not happy.
You don’t want to send these customers a direct link to the Google review page. But you do want to know about their issues so you can find out how to make improvements that will earn you more 5-star reviews in the future.
The best way to do this without being abrasive is to send out an email asking for feedback about their recent experience. It doesn’t have to be too in depth, just simply ask how you could have earned the customer’s 5-star review.
Step #5) Follow up with customers who don’t respond
Follow-up is the most overlooked process in the Google review game. It’s really important to make sure you follow up with customers who either didn’t respond to the pre-screen email or didn’t leave a review after ranking you with 4 or 5 stars.
You should create a follow-up template that you can send out on day 5 and another to send out on day 14 of not hearing back from customers. By sending follow-ups, you may very well double your Google review conversion rate.
Make sure you wait about a week between follow-up emails, as you don’t want them to get irritated and opt out of receiving emails from you in the future.
Here are examples of content that you can put in your day 5 email and then again on your day 14 email.
Step #6) Handle opt-out requests
As with any form of marketing it’s important to make sure that you abide by all legal standards to prevent issues in the future.
In 2003, the US Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act. This law was enacted in part to stop the spread of unsolicited emails. It’s very important to make sure you stay in compliance with this law when sending out email correspondence to your customers.
The law simply says that you must comply with certain rules in regards to sending out emails.
1. Never disguise who you are – The email you use to send and receive emails must be your own. All of the information that a customer receives in an email must be from you or your business.
2. Be honest in your subject line – This is a pretty simple request. Do not falsify something in the subject line to entice the customer to open the email for them only to find out the content is something different from the subject.
3. Have a physical location – This is most likely not an issue for your business, but we’re listing it here just in case it is.
4. Opt out customers who choose to opt out or to unsubscribe – You must always provide your customers with the option of opting out of future emails. Simply put a link in the email that gives them the option to opt out. If you receive an opt out request from customers, you have 10 days to remove them from any lists that you will use in the future. It’s very important to keep track of customers who opt out. We suggest an Excel file that is easily accessible and is checked prior to any future bulk emails being sent out.
It’s also important to maintain a good email sender reputation, especially since your goal is to gain positive online reviews to promote your business. If you stay within the above guidelines then this should be a simple task. You can find out more about your sender score here.
If you don’t want to spend the time and effort to pre-screen customers, send follow-ups, and manage opt-outs, you may want to consider using our web app instead. Check out the instructions above for a step by step on how to get Google reviews using our web app. Then try out the free trial of the app to see for yourself how easy it can be to automate getting Google reviews.