4 Ways to Direct Link Your Google Business Reviews Page for Customers

January 27 , 2016 by in How-To's
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Direct Link Your Google Business Reviews Page

“How do I generate a direct link to get customers to review my business on Google in 2016?”

RevenueJump’s site has been online for less than three weeks, but that’s a search query we received from a Bing searcher on Saturday. I personally understand why someone might use Bing for that search, as it seems like something Google might not want you to know.

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Over the past several months, Google has been playing a strange game of tug of war with Google+ business pages and Google Maps pages. If you don’t already have a few Google reviews, it’s hard to get reviews, since your customers can’t review you directly from the search engine results pages (SERPs).

If you don’t have any Google reviews, start with this post I wrote a couple of weeks ago. It will help you get set up and ready to earn reviews.

“That’s all fine and good, Brodie, but how do I get a link to my business for Google reviews?” you might ask. And it seems like a lot of people are.

If you dig around a little, you can find several ways to direct link your Google Business reviews page. I’ve personally found four methods, but I’m sure there are more. Let’s take a quick look.

There’s a tutorial for each method below, but if you want a quick fix, here are your four options:

  1. PlePer.com’s link generator
  2. Supple.com.au’s link generator
  3. Netrite’s Google review widget
  4. Manually build the URL

1. PlePer.com

As far as I know, Stan Kolev was the first person to develop a direct link tool for Google reviews. It’s a good one and it lives here at PlePer.com. I linked to it in that blog post about getting Google reviews, as well.

From the developer, over at Local Search Forum:

The tool finds the CID (unique identifier for your business across all Google products) and based thereon generates [a] variant of 4 links where your clients can write a review.”

Here are the variants:

  • Variant 1: Variant one sends your customer to Google search’s knowledge graph listing for your business.
  • Variant 2: This search result only works for users that are logged into Google, and might only work for Google+ activated accounts. If your customer isn’t logged in, this won’t work.
  • Variant 3: This variant sends your customer to the Google login box, and then redirects them to the review box.
  • Variant 4: This one is almost the same as variant 1, but doesn’t automatically generate the review box from Google Maps/the Knowledge Graph.

Each of these variants can generate three types of link URLS: a full URL, a shortened goo.gl URL, or a QR code.

To use this tool, you can either:

  • Use the “Link to maps” option and enter the URL to your Google Maps location or your CID (a unique number for your business Google used across all services). You MUST use this function if you run a service area business (skip to this section for that tutorial)
  • Start typing your business name, find the appropriate listing, and select it from the drop-down menu. This method should automatically find your Google maps URL, and is the easy way to generate your link.

Let’s take it for a spin, using Boise business, Modern Dental as an example.

I decided to use the “autocomplete field.” I simply started typing “Modern Dental” into the box:

Google review direct link generator

I confirmed the listing and clicked on it, resulting in this:

Google review direct link generator

Then, it was just a matter of scrolling down and clicking on the big blue button:

Google review direct link generator

I was then taken to this page:

Google review direct link generator

We can see the four variants here. Two of them aren’t working for some reason, but the other two are. I chose variant 4, because it seems like it will work for the largest amount of users.

I then clicked the “try me” link:

Google review direct link generator

I tried it while I was logged into Google, as well as in incognito mode. It works!

Google review direct link generator

In short, all your customer needs to do, at this point, is scroll down and click “write a review” on the Knowledge Graph on the right-hand side of the page.

That being said, I used Chrome on a desktop Mac. It might not work across all platforms (especially iOS and Android), so you’ll need to test it.

PlePer will also generate a unique link that works on all devices if you register for a free account.


Updated 1/28/16: We received an email from Stan, the tool’s developer, last night. He had a few updates for us. If you run a “service area business,” you’ll need to take a different approach to generate your direct link. Google defines a service area business as any business that isn’t based out of a traditional brick and mortar location.

The autocomplete feature on the PlePer tool won’t detect service area businesses.

“The technical reason for this is that Google deprecated SABs from the autocomplete API,” says Stan.

If you want to generate a review link for your service area business, you need to either do it manually (see section four of this article), or use the “link to maps” function in the PlePer tool.

The process:

Navigate to Google Maps. In the search bar, type in your business name, select it, and push enter.

Google review direct link generator

Copy that big, long, URL and paste it into PlePer’s tool, like this:

Google review direct link generator

Following the steps outlined above for brick and mortar businesses, generate your link. I clicked ‘try me,’ on variant 4, and it was successful.

This is a great tool, but it might not be the easiest one out there. It is, however, the only tool on the list that will generate a link to a service area business. If you run a service area business, this tool and generating a manual link are your only options.

Let’s move on to the next tool.

 

2. Supple.com.au

This next tool is very similar to PlePer’s tool, but it’s a bit simplified. As I noted previously, it probably can’t generate a link for service area businesses. You’ll need to use either option one or option four for that.

With this tool, we just type the business name into the search box, but there’s a catch. Since Supple is based in Australia, it looks for Australian businesses first.

I corrected this by simply entering “Modern Dental Boise” into the search field:

direct link to Google+ business review page

It found the listing within a microsecond.

Next, I clicked the business name and came up with this:

direct link to Google+ business review page

Success!

If I scroll down, I see two options. The first option gives me a full-length URL, a shortened URL, and a QR code. It takes visitors directly to the review box, regardless if they’re logged in or not, which is pretty neat.

direct link to Google+ business review page

direct link to Google+ business review page

I tested it while logged in and while in incognito mode, and it works perfectly.

Either way, I see this:

direct link to Google+ business review page

You’ll see the second link option if you scroll down. This option works much the same, but the link will only work for customers who are logged into their Google account. Choose wisely. In most cases, I’d play it safe with option 1.

3. Netrite’s Google Reviews Widget

Unlike the other link generators, Netrite’s solution involves a widget you embed somewhere on your website. It works really well, but it is a little less intuitive than the other options. It’s still pretty easy, and I’ve written a tutorial below.

Netrite is based in the UK and the instructions are a bit unclear, so I had the most luck pasting Modern Dental’s full address into the location field. I also filled out the captcha and clicked ‘check location’:

Google reviews widget

I then clicked on the address again, which was accompanied by a map marker icon:

Google reviews widget

Next, I typed in the business name and hit “enter”:

Google reviews widget

Then I clicked on the map marker, which popped up a little window with the business name:

Google reviews widget

Then, if I scroll down, it gives me a box containing the code I need to embed the widget somewhere on my website:

Google reviews widget

Note: I haven’t embedded the widget anywhere on RevenueJump, so I can’t 100% vouch for it. I do like that it adds a Google review field directly to your site, though. It seems like it could work really well for your verified customers.

You’d only need to set it up at its own URL on your site and direct your customers there, and I imagine you would be good to go.

I repeat, though, that I have not actually embedded it on my website. Netrite looks like a trustworthy agency to me, but embed it at your own risk.

Update: 1/29/16: We received an email from Netrite. Once embedded, the widget will not contain an ad. That’s something we got wrong previously. Richard Escott, Netrite’s creative director, sent over a screenshot, as well.

This is what the widget will look like on your site:

google reviews widget

4. Generate the URL Manually

Terry Simmonds also came up with a way to generate the review yourself. If you’re a more hands-on person, or if you just want to see how the sausage is made, I recommend you check out his post here. This method also works for service area businesses, whereas options two and three will not.

I’m not going to walk you through it because Terry does a great job of it himself.

 

Now if you need to get your Google maps review link (or however you want to phrase it, there are a thousand ways to pose this question), you have at least four different options. I’m sure there are even more out there.

If you don’t have many Google reviews, now is the time to start earning them. It’s never too late to catch up. “It’s too complicated!” isn’t an excuse any longer. Now you definitely know how to direct link your Google Business reviews page.

Question: Which of these four methods is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

 

Brodie Tyler

About Brodie Tyler

Brodie Tyler is an experienced speaker, published author, innovative entrepreneur, and digital marketing expert since 2000. When he's not working, he's probably hanging out with his wife and four kids.

30 responses to “4 Ways to Direct Link Your Google Business Reviews Page for Customers”

  1. Thanks Brodie! This post really helped me solve a problem for a client. I was stuck until I found this. Option #2: supple.com.au worked for me. Thanks again!

    • Hi Manar,

      That’s great to hear that you’re review oriented and looking for the correct links for your business! Give our office a call sometime between 8:00 am Mountain and 4:00 pm Mountain, and a member of our team will be able to help you pull the links you’re looking for.

      208-473-2500

      Thanks again, Manar! Let us know if there’s anything else we can assist with. 🙂

  2. Thanks a lot for writing this post and explaining everything! Very very helpful! If you use the link with PlePler to send to clients is there a limited lifetime (expiry) on that link I wonder?
    Thanks again!

    • Hi Eva, thank you for the comment and compliment! I’ll be sure to share this with our production team right away.

      And that’s a great question about the lifetime expiration of the link via PlePler! I’m not entirely sure about the specifics on that, as I couldn’t find anything noted on their website. If it makes sense, I do have their contact information, if you’d like to reach out: https://pleper.com/index.php?do=contact

      Thanks again, Eva! If there’s anything else my team or I can help with, just let us know.

  3. Awesome … I been asking my SEO companies to do this for sometime. As an independent home inspector, reviews make or break my business in today’s market. Thank you

    • Thank you, Jim!

      We’re glad to hear the article was helpful and insightful! And yes, as an independent home inspector, positive reviews are truly critical to long term success, especially in today’s competitive market. If you or your SEO company have any questions or need any insight, just let us know. We’re always more than happy to help out where we can. 🙂

      Thanks again, Jim!

  4. Great tutorial! Great article but I think you need to add a disclaimer noting that the customer you are asking for a review from needs to have a google account for the review to work.

    • Thank you for the feedback, willpastons! Was there any method in particular that you think would be more effective than others?

      I’ll also be sure to your thoughts with my team, as Google and many other 3rd party review sites (Yelp, Facebook, etc) require account logins prior to leaving a review. There’s a multitude of reasons for requiring logins, one being to try and fight fake or anonymous reviews.

  5. Thanks for adding my information 🙂

    A couple of things to note;

    1. Google themselves now provide a way of doing this – https://support.google.com/business/answer/7035772?hl=en-GB

    2. The methods that link through to the reviews no longer work if the business currently has no reviews.

    The way to get around this is to replace the ,1 at the end of the URL with a ,3 – This sends people direct to a box where they can write a review rather than to the main reviews box.

    Once the business has received a review the original method will then work.

    • Hi Terry,

      You’re very welcome for adding that info to the article! It’s been very helpful to readers to date, as this is one of our more popular blog posts on site.

      Also, thank you for the update! The link to Google’s tool is very useful, and readers should find it valuable. Also, the information about needing to have reviews will also come in handy to readers.

      Thanks again, Terry! We hope all is well. 🙂

  6. Thanks a million! I chose the supple website and followed your instructions. In just a matter of seconds, I had everything I needed. I even received an email containing all of my linking information!

    • That’s fantastic to hear, Tianya!!! I’m glad to hear Supple worked well for you!

      Keep us posted on how your review endeavors go with the new links, too. And if there’s ever anything we can help with, just let us know.

      Thanks again, Tianya! 🙂

  7. We’re able to get the logos but do you have any posts on what image to use for people to click on since G+ doesn’t go to the reviews anymore?

    • Hi Andrea,

      That’s a great question!

      Can you explain a bit more by what you mean by, “what image to use for people to click on“? Are you referring to what specific image to use on your website to link directly to your GMB page for customers to leave a review on Google for you?

      If that’s the case, we recommend using a Google logo (for brand recognition) and then link that image on your site directly to your GMB reviews section.

      If I misunderstood the question, please let me know. And thanks for reading, Andrea! I hope that helps out! 🙂

  8. Sorry I meant to say link instead of logo. Thanks for understanding my question.

    Yes, your answer is what I was looking for. I couldn’t find anything on Google (pun intended) or the Google support pages. Thanks for the quick reply.

    • No worries at all, Andrea! I’m glad I was able to help out. 🙂

      If you run into any difficulty linking the image to your review profile, let me know. We have some experience there, so can share some quick pointers, if needed.

      Thanks again for reading, too! If there’s ever anything else you have questions about, or would like to see covered in a future blog article, just let us know.

  9. Generated a short url review link to use and would receive an error when I tried it in FB or text. Used the generator from your post via PlePer and it worked! Thanks so much!!

    • Hey Chris, I’m glad to hear you finally found what you were looking for!

      And thank you for the feedback about the CID method, too. Did you give any of the other methods a try, by chance? If so, let us know how your experience with them was.

      Thanks again for stopping by, Chris!

    • That’s great to see you have the review link already generated for your client, Estar!

      In regards to the authorized Google icon, are you referring to a Google logo you can use on site that links to your clients GMB profile? If so, any Google logo file should be adequate.

      Thanks for reading, Estar, and best of luck to you and your client! 🙂

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