Rock Solid & Simple Google Review Strategy

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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<img src="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/google-hotpot.jpg" alt="google-hotpot" width="25%" />​
I like simple... Simple is good.

And when it comes to getting Google reviews, or any type of customer reviews, simple is often better.

Here is a brilliant strategy by one of our members Greg Gifford, posted at Search Engine Land.

<a href="http://searchengineland.com/forget-review-handout-use-pp-get-reviews-196525">A Review Handout Alternative: Try P&P To Get More Local Reviews</a>

We create branded 4?6 postcards for each dealer with one simple instruction: go to domain.com/reviews to leave a review.

No questions, no flowchart — a simple card that matches the dealership’s website and branding with just one instruction (and sometimes the dealership’s Facebook URL). Then, on the /reviews page, there’s minimal text, so it’s less confusing.

The copy simply asks the customer for a review, and includes a link directly to the business’ Google My Business page (aka Places). Below the link, there’s a note that a Google account is needed, and a simple list of 5 steps walks customers through setting up a Google account if they don’t have one.

We ask the dealers to hand out the cards at the final handshake, when the customer is about to get in the car and drive home. The card is the last thing the customer receives, and since it’s graphic and stands out from the paperwork, it doesn’t get lost as easily.
I love the postcard idea and linking to a page on your site instead of trying to explain it all right in a handout. That way you can safely print in large batches. If Google changes something or if you want to change up your review links or add different directions, that's all done on your review page and does not impact the post card.

What do you think???
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Scott Rawlins

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Nov 14, 2012
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Great idea! Especially the url extension that takes them directly to the review page. Thanks for sharing Linda and thank you Greg.
 

Jo Shaer

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Jul 27, 2012
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On the subject of reviews, am I being blonde or did you used to be able to get your Google My Business stars incorporated with your Adwords ads using an extension?

I notice that there is a Reviews extension but it is for you to choose bits of third party reviews and link to them. Could you still use your Google My Business reviews in this?

Someone was today trying to sell me space on a third party platform where I could pay a monthly fee to host a place where I could get reviews added and these would be linked to both my Ads and my website in organic search as structured markup.
 

JoyHawkins

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On the subject of reviews, am I being blonde or did you used to be able to get your Google My Business stars incorporated with your Adwords ads using an extension?
This was never an extension. The only way to get the review stars (from Google Places reviews) was via AdWords Express. There are also merchant ratings, but they don't apply to local businesses for the most part.
 

Jo Shaer

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Jul 27, 2012
Messages
260
Thanks Joy.

Is it the same for you guys in the States that you have to buy somewhere to get reviews hosted to get those stars to show in Adwords ads then?
 

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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We've been using this method with great success for awhile. Just need to find a rate friendly printer :)
 

Jo Shaer

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Thanks Joy, I started to write you a reply a couple of days ago and got distracted by a client and lost it all :(

I think what I was asking was whether you can use your Google Places links in those PPC review extensions?

I was also offered the chance to get some code for my website if I paid for the review listing. Apparently, if you have 30 reviews, it helps the stars to appear in organic search as well. The guy in the first article talks about using the free service Bizrate? Has anyone else had success with this?
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
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I love this tip. (And of course I practice it--heavily.)

I think marketers and business owners really underestimate the power of print for this kind of funnel application, too often in favor of email and the company's illustrious customer "list."

Seriously, want customers to ignore something completely? Send them an email. But if you want them to remember something, make it memorable. Hand them the message in print and *tell* them what it is: "Here, we'd really appreciate your feedback if you can spare a minute when you get home."

This is one of the few advantages left for those who transact business face-to-face with their customers. Use it!

I think there are even more pros to Greg's approach than he lets on:
- the print piece and short URL provide an assist, making the ask seem less solicitous and onerous to the customer
- asking is therefore easy even for untrained staff--your message is crafted and less likely to get botched
- you can even scale your print campaign to large, multi-location businesses with the single creative if you do a bit of funneling, e.g. http://grade.us/sweye

I could go on! And on.
 

JoyHawkins

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I think what I was asking was whether you can use your Google Places links in those PPC review extensions?
No. The only way you can use Google Places reviews in an AdWords ad is via AdWords Express. You can't utilize them at all via an extension.
 

Alpha Local

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May 6, 2014
Messages
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Hi Joy, I'm Shane

Do you know if how to get Google Reviews showing in Adwords for a Local Client? It used to just be a matter of connecting the adwords to the Local Business owners Google Plus page and the Google reviews would show up. I've seen it written that unless you have 100 G+ followers on your Google Listing (G+, Places, Google My business or otherwise), that the reviews won't show.

Can you shed any light on that?

It does seem hardly anyone knows how to do it as there a less ads now with Google reivews displayed...
 

JoyHawkins

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Shane,

See my last comment right above. The only​ way to get Google Places reviews to show on an AdWords ad is if you use AdWords Express.
 

Alpha Local

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May 6, 2014
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Thanks Joy, yeah I knew that and I did read your notes on it ... I'll rephrase my question ... I am using Adwords Express to try to get my clients reviews to show in their adwords, it used to be easy but not I can't figure out how to do it anymore, does anyone know how to get Google reviews showing the Adwords by using the Awords Express interface, I mean that actual step by step procedure, not just fact that, that is where it needs to be done ... I need help with actually how to do it once in there. If anyone knows anyone that knows :) ..... that would be brilliant
 

Alpha Local

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May 6, 2014
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Roger that Phil, thanks for replying, as above to Joy, I already knew that, my question is more about how to actually do it, as I used to be able to easily.

I don't buy the theory that it can't be done anymore or that it is random. There are still some adwords showing with Google reviews in them, so some people know how to do it, as I once did.

Some say that it is your number of G+ followers that allows your Google reviews to show in adwords, I've debuinked that, seen ads where click G+ page and not many followers. Some says its number of reivews, I've seen ads recently with as little as 12 reviews, so "you need 30 Google reviews on your Google Local listing before they will show in adwords is not right either.

I think people can;t figure it out, so they just come up with these theories and some of them take hold. Nothing new in that in the land of Google I spose haha!
Appreciate any guidance towards someone who may know how.

Thanks heaps from NZ
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Jul 26, 2012
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I don't buy the theory that it can't be done anymore or that it is random. There are still some adwords showing with Google reviews in them, so some people know how to do it, as I once did.
Thanks heaps from NZ
Nobody said it was "random." Rather, all I said was that having your Google+ reviews featured in your PPC ads in a non-AdWords Express campaign doesn't appear to be something you can control. Yes, you need to link your Google My Business and your AdWords accounts, but that doesn't ensure your reviews will show up.

Refer to this thread:

https://www.en.adwords-community.com/t5/Performance-Optimization/Google-Page-Review-stars-in-ad-extension-NOT-product-reviews/td-p/160384

I've wrestled with the issue for hours, and drew the same conclusion as the TC in the AdWords forum.

My conclusion: Google decides whether your reviews show.
 

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