Google+ has somewhat come and gone from a business perspective. Google My Business pages still do appear on Google+ but they are no longer as directly connected to important functions like maps and even reviews. In this article I explained how to put a Google+ review button on your website which could be clicked on by site visitors to launch Google+ and open the review box.
The method I outlined does still work if the person clicking on the link is still using old Google+ but not new Google+. In order to work now with both the new Google+ (and old) you have to get a number from your G00fle My Business page and then build the URL with that number. Here is what a finished Google Review URL looks like:
To create a link like this for your website you need two elements (in red above). First copy the url above to a text editor then enter your business name as a search. To do that just take your business name and insert a plus sign between the words in your business name to get the search term. If you have a one word business name you do not need a plus sign. Put this into the URL above in place of the red highlighted Specialized Digital business name.
In order to find the number that is the next item in red you will need to log into your Google My Business page. Then click on the Google Maps icon to view your site on Google Maps. The URL that appears in your browser’s address bar will be the cid number you need.
Then quickly copy the cid number of your page and insert it into the URL above in place of the number highlighted in red. Once you do this you are done and ready to use your new URL! Just create an image to link it to or use it to link text. I created a “how to” video for this process too. It has the same information but if you like video better you can see it here: https://youtu.be/lJ5QcmtgjHY
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Google Plus is one of the most important platforms on the web for businesses. Notice that I did not say social network, that is because Google+ has evolved into something much more than just another social network as I have pointed out before in other articles. I won’t re-hash all of the reasons for that in this article, instead I want to do a “how to” article on one way to take advantage of the important functions of Google Plus for your business; adding a Google Plus review button to your site..
As the search engines evolve they become more aware of what constitutes quality content. A few years ago unscrupulous website owners could easily manipulate how their poor quality or spammy content was perceived by search engines through creating artificial links to their sites and other methods. This is much harder now and doing these old school types of link building will result in your site not appearing as high in search results or even disappearing altogether.
In my last article I took a look at a somewhat new feature in how search engines determine quality content; social signals. There are many types of social signals that search engines can look at on different platforms. These types of signals may include, number of followers, likes, shares, mentions and reviews. Reviews may be one of the most important social signals for search engines to be aware of. Additionally, customer reviews may be one of the hardest types of social signals for the ever present unscrupulous business owner to artificially manipulate.
There are various places on the web that customers can leave reviews for businesses. Yelp, Facebook and Google+ are some of the most well known examples. Major brands are trying to leverage the power of reviews too. The other day I ordered a pizza online from my local Dominos Pizza and couldn’t help but notice that they have installed Yelp and Google Plus review buttons on their checkout pages.
In this article I will show you how to add a Google + review button to your website. Rather than just the common type of Google Plus button that, when clicked on, opens a new page for the user with your Google My Business page in it I thought I would add a bit of extra functionality. With the button I am going to show you how to make not only will the person who clicks on the button be taken to your Google My Business page but the review box on that page will automatically open (see image above) so that they can more easily fill it out and submit it.
Google Plus Review Button: Step 1
First off you need to have a Google My Business page for your business. If you do not already have one you can go to this page and set one up. For those of you who already have a Google My business page the first step is to get the right link from that page so that, when visitors click on your review button, the review box opens automatically for them.
Go to your Google My Business page and copy the page url for the landing page. Example:
remove the /posts or /about from the end of the string so all you have is the basic URL for the page;
for those who already have a custom vanity URL on Google+ you can use that too;
Both URLs above link to the Google My Business page of my website. Either can be used for the purposes of this project. On my own page I used the vanity URL from Google to create the URL that automatically opens the customer review box on my Google Plus page.
Next add the following bit to the end of the URL from your Google My Business page: ?hl=en&review=1
The result will look like this in both the basic URL and vanity URL versions of the link;
Whichever version of the URL you have decided to use you can now check them to make sure it works. Just copy your url from the last part of step 1 and paste it into your browser . The result should be a sort of two stage process. First your Google My business page will open and then, once it fully loads, the google Plus Review box will open. You can watch the process described by clicking on the link above. While you are there please feel free to leave me a review if you want.
Google Plus Review Button: Step 2
The next step is to create a button for people to click on. You can of course just use the raw link you created in step 1 to hyperlink some text to your Google Plus review. That is the simplest use and can be used on any post or page on your site. Example; “Hey guys, if you loved our product or service we would really appreciate it if you would leave us a review on Google+“.
To create a button for your site you can do a Google image search on “Google+ review button” and find a lot of examples that you can pattern your own button on. You can create the button in any image editor like Microsoft Paint. I prefer using either Gimp or Paint.net which are both free to download and use.
Remember to size your button to the use you have for it. In the case of this site I sized it to fit within a WordPress sidebar widget. You could use it on any web page by inserting it directly into the page. To link it on a web page simply install it like you would any image and hyperlink the image to your Google+ review link. Example:
To put it in a sidebar widget the process is pretty much the same as putting it on a web page or in a post. The difference is that, in a widget you might want to add some extra code to get the image to center properly within the widget. finished example is in the sidebar to the right of this article. Code example as it might appear in a widget is below-right.
Remember that Google has published a list of best practices for both leaving reviews and soliciting reviews as a business. You can read up on those best practices at this link. For convenience here is a list of the subjects covered on that page:
- Phone numbers or URLs
- Off-topic reviews
- Keep it clean
- Conflict of interest
- Illegal content
- Copyrighted content
- Sexually Explicit Material
- Personal and confidential information
- Hate Speech
Google Plus reviews can be an important asset for your business on the web. Being able to make people aware of your Google My business page and at the same time easily leave reviews for your business can be another useful tool to optimize your presence on the web.
If you find this post useful please like comment and/or share it. If you would like to have a Google+ review button for your page and do not feel confident in installing it yourself I will be happy to assist you at a reasonable rate. Just call or email me and set up a time.