Yesterday I posted and showed a HUGE new Google Places “Featured” review format that shows up ABOVE the fold, right under the Place page description. You really need to go read this 1st: Google Places Big New FEATURED Reviews – Make that Place Page Stand Out from the Pack.

Here is part 2. I promised to tell you how that VERY COOL “Featured” review was accomplished and I said I’d give you some ideas about how you could leverage this to get more Google Places reviews AND/OR use it to boost conversions. 1st see the screenshot and then read all the details below.

Be Sure to CLICK to View Full Size for Impact
Note: Not my client – I don’t do KW spam.

Again the review, the stars and the name of reviewer are HUGE and
the review is above the fold, much higher than regular reviews,
PLUS the call to action to leave a review is much stronger!

BACK STORY

There are some specific details you need to know to about how these big reviews are accomplished, but 1st I need to give credit where credit is due. This story lead and part of the discovery about this feature came from Nyagoslav Zhekov in this post. When I saw the post I could not initially reproduce his results. He asked me to check it out further so I jumped in a did some research.

As Nyagoslav mentioned in his post above the “Featured” review was generated via Twitter over Android. The Google HotPot and Mobile blogs mentioned the Tweet your reviews feature back in March, but I don’t think many people really noticed. Tweet your Hotpot ratings in Google Maps for Android

But when Nyagoslav contacted me he noted that some Tweeted reviews showed up as the big Featured reviews and some didn’t. Plus when I Googled the Place pages I checked, the Featured reviews disappeared. They were no longer there. So I dug in to do research because I had to figure out how this worked.

HOW TO

Here’s the key to having the Featured reviews show up. If someone just does a “Star Rating” it won’t show up as a big “Featured” review. It only shows up if the reviewer makes comments. So that’s one mystery solved.

2nd mystery to solve, why did the big Featured reviews all disappear when I nav’ed to the Place pages via search, the way a prospective client would likely find the business listing? Why were the big reviews missing sometimes?

They only show if you hit the Place page via the shortened review links via Twitter OR the full link the Twitter link resolves to.

OK so here’s the Tweeted review for Glass Doctor – Tampa Bay

Hit the Google shortened review link and it takes you to this version of the Place page which shows that nice big juicy review. Note the Twitter source info in the URL string.

Strip the link down to the base CID URL string, you get a plain old Place page.

IDEAS

So how could you use this info HONESTLY and ETHICALLY to your advantage?
Use your imagination! 😉

OK, OK, I’ll share one idea.

1st go back and read Part 1 about the psychological triggers in this BIG, above the fold review format, that could help encourage other customers to want to leave a review.

So let’s say a customer just left you a great “Featured” review via Twitter. It won’t show up BIG and at the top of your Place Page where other prospective customers will see it unless they use the Twitter link. So on your web site where you say “click here to see our great Google reviews” or in your follow-up emails to customers when you ask for a review, use that shortened Google review link from the Tweet. Then instead of customers having to navigate way down the page to the Google reviews, possibly see a negative review on the way down, or get distracted before they even leave the review – they see that nice big review right on top with the new improved call to action. I think this strategy could boost reviews by 10 – 20% possibly.

I often see web sites that have a link that says “Check out all our positive Reviews on Google.” Obviously showing prospective clients GREAT reviews from existing client boost conversions. But as we all know everyone gets less than stellar reviews at times. Sometimes that PERFECT review you wish was always on top, gets pushed off the front of the Place page or by the time someone clicks next week there could be a couple negative reviews. So if in your marketing materials you are trying to show a positive review as a testimonial, using the Twitter review link will PIN that select review on top of your Place page as a nice big fat “Featured” review. 🙂

I have some other ideas brewing. What do you think???