Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Jim Munro: I know it sounds odd but I think I stumbled across a recommendation for this practice on a Google site a while ago, Neil. I`ll try an find it again. I`ve got a feeling though that there might also be another Google site out there somewhere outlawing it.
Parma Sandhu: Get reviews submitted on your site and do schema mark up
Neil Cheesman: The website I stumbled across - has a big shiny red button on the home page - "Submit your review here" (or such text) :)
Jennifer Denney: I would say you`re are fine, https://support.google.com/business/answer/7035772?hl=en
Neil Cheesman: GOOGLE: "Keep in mind that it’s against the Google My Business review policy to solicit reviews from customers by offering incentives or setting up review stations at your place of business. Reviews that violate the policy may be removed."
"setting up review stations at your place of business" supposing your `place of business` is a website? - I guess this must mean a physical place of business
Ammon Johns: Hey Neil. Google`s guidelines on this are mainly to prevent vote manipulation effects - i.e. getting more favourable reviews either by incentive of reward, or by getting people to make reviews where you can see them doing so and they might feel pressured into saying nothing negative. The last is where that `place of business` rule comes in - your stated intention and implementation don`t cross those lines.
Encouraging feedback is generally good and smart practice. Just be really really careful that even a sensitive soul isn`t going to feel that you are manipulating them or pressuring them. Choose the wording carefully.
Personally, I think the most elegant way of doing it all is to make reviews an integral part of your sales process, making previous reviews visible and notable at various points of your sales process, so that after each sale, it isn`t at all out of place to suggest that if they found such reviews and feedback by others helpful to their own decision, you`d love if they `paid it forward` to other future customers by sharing an honest review of their own experience. Because of that context, the way you made reviews useful to them, they get it, and are so much more likely to leave a review of their own.
Neil Cheesman: Thanks Ammon Johns an insightful description - I will have a think as to how to implement/layout on my own site - maybe to add a testimonials/reviews page - which I don`t have on the site in mind (but do on my partner`s website)
John Albin: How about offering a Google review URL post sale via email? Then have a separate page on your site to pull in/feature these reviews. There are a number of plugins which can hook up to review platforms