Automating Google Review Requests

We all know that positive Google reviews can impact our business. More positive reviews means you can charge higher prices and you are more likely to get new customers, because everybody checks you out online before doing business with you, even if someone has recommended you. But how do you get more 5 star reviews without begging?

I tried finding a WordPress plugin that would do this, but the only ones I found were for displaying Google reviews on your website, not for collecting them. I watched this webinar yesterday by a colleague, Jack Jostes, that got me thinking about this. He basically said to make it easy for someone to leave you a review by allowing them to cut and paste their feedback into Google. I also listen to a podcast by my friend Alex Mandosian called “All Selling Aside.” At the end of each episode, Alex asks you to write down your biggest “Aha moment” and share it on iTunes for that single episode, not the podcast in general. In other words, he wants you to leave him a review. I also have customers who use third-party services like Wombly or MyTestimonialEngine to collect reviews, but these costs around $150 per month and still don’t generate that many reviews. Combining all of these thoughts, I put together a technique that I think can be really useful to anyone who has a blog, podcast, or ecommerce store. Let me explain…

The technique I’m going to describe is based on a WordPress website using the formidable Forms plugin, but the concept can be used regardless of the technology you are using. The first thing I did was to create a form where I ask for a star rating review and a comment. You can see this form at the bottom of this post.The idea is to simply ask someone how well they liked the content of that post and if they got something out of it. you could do this for a podcast episode or an ecommerce product as well.

Next I added some “rules” to this form that depend upon how many stars they rated it. If it is 3 stars or less, they get a different message and a different email followup than if they rated it 4 or 5 stars. Often people just want to vent, so if you can capture those negative reviews before they end up on a site like Google, Facebook, or Yelp, then you can interact with them and work out their issues without a negative review showing up online. This is called “review gating,” where you are basically intercepting a bad review before it gets published.

Now if they leave a positive review, then they get both an email and an immediate message displayed on the site thanking them for their feedback and asking them to please copy that review and post it on Google, with a direct link to do so.

By automating the whole review process, you could get lots more reviews, and by asking them to just rate the current post/episode/product they can get very specific.Obviously, depending upon your needs, you could change the link to send them to Facebook, Yelp, or some other site. If you want a copy of the formidable Form to import into your site, click here.

Go ahead – try it yourself:

 


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