OK, here’s some hot new Google Places news that should make life interesting for folks that read this blog who like to stretch the boundaries of all things possible with Google Places. 😉 Yes, I’m talking to YOU!

I hope only white hat Google Places consultants read this blog, because what I’m about to show you could easily be misused, HOWEVER I have an idea for using it honestly and ethically to make my clients stand out. Not sure I’m going to share it publicly though. (I know, I’m just a big tease!)

Anyway, the exciting new feature I’d like to share today is Google Places “FEATURED REVIEWS”. 1st, since a pic is worth a 1,000 words, let me show you an example, then we’ll get into the back story, how to do it and I’ll give you some ideas about how you could leverage this to get more reviews.

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

Google Places Reviews

The review and the stars are HUGE, but as importantly, notice that this “Featured” review is higher up on the page than the regular Google reviews. It’s ABOVE the fold. Check out where the review is on the company’s regular Place page. WAYYYY down low, below the images, added details & web reviews.

Additionally the reviewers name is nice and big. (What consumer does NOT like seeing their name featured?)

PLUS look at the difference in the call to action. The regular Google review section that’s down below the web reviews just says “Been here? Rate and review”. The BIG Featured review call to action says: Local recommendations powered by you and your friends. Start rating Sounds more fun doesn’t it? Sorta speaks to my subconscious and says “follow the crowd, join the rating fun!” (Know how many consumers like to follow the crowd?) 😉

If you spend lots of time thinking about consumer behavior, buying psychology and conversion rates like I do, this should have you pretty excited on a couple levels. 1st of all, if a company is focused on getting more reviews, this presentation is more psychologically compelling in terms of getting the customer to actually follow through and leave a review. 2nd of all for prospects and leads, a nice big review, above the fold (as long as it’s positive) can only help conversions.

So how do you get one of these big Featured Reviews to show up?
Where do they come from?  How come you’ve never seen them before???
(No, I promise I did not Photoshop that Featured review in.) 😛

There is a whole back story about how I discovered this little trick and I have someone to thank for leading me to this story, PLUS need to tell you how it’s done AND share some ideas for how to actually use this feature to your advantage.

I took the entire morning to research everything and get this far. So I’m afraid I need to break to go get some research done for one of my new consulting clients. Plus my carpal needs I break. SO I’m going to have to make this a 2 parter. Will try to work on Part 2 tonight and post tomorrow. I’ve been wanting to try doing a screencast, so maybe if I have time I’ll do that, otherwise I’ll just have to do some more screenshots to illustrate how this all works. Stay tuned…