Ultimate Guide to Google Reviews

Author: Victoria Csiga

Google reviews can be hugely influential for a company’s reputation, so it’s essential that you are familiar with them and what exactly they can do for you. 

Reviews can help prospective customers choose you over the competition, and they can give your business credibility in the eyes of the consumer. 

If you’re curious to know how you can get more Google reviews and make the most of them, you’ve come to the right place.

Ways to Get More Google Reviews

The reviews left on your business’ page can be crucial for securing further business and upholding a good reputation as far as the consumer is concerned.

This is because consumers rely heavily on Google reviews to make purchase decisions, as they are often the most reliable information they have to go on.

In this guide, we’re going to discuss an array of essential topics related to Google reviews, including the following:

  •  The importance of Google Reviews
  •  The Impact of Reviews on Rankings
  •  The Advantages of Google Reviews
  •  How to Get Google Reviews
  •  Essential Google Tools
  •  Posting and Removing Google Reviews

The Importance of Google Reviews

Google reviews are hugely important for any business, big or small.

Here are the top three reasons you should pay attention to them and learn how to use them to your advantage:

Boost Local Search Ranking

One of the most compelling reasons to make the most of Google reviews is what they can do for your company’s local search ranking.

If you want your business to soar higher than the competition when it comes to local search rankings, you must get as many reviews as possible. 

The better you can rank on a local level, the more likely it is that customers in your area will find your business during their searches.

What’s more, a better ranking often equals better revenue.

As you can imagine, the companies with many five-star ratings on Google Maps are more likely to receive a consumer’s business than those that don’t have as high a rating.

Positively Impact Sales

The great thing about positive reviews is that they are not only useful in the short term, but they can also influence future consumer purchase decisions. 

That consumer who is on the fence can be pushed in the right direction if they notice your business has glowing reviews from previous customers. These positive reviews can serve as confirmation to the doubtful consumer that they’re getting themselves a great deal by doing business with you.

On the other hand, if your business has too many negative reviews, the effect is the opposite, and consumers can be deterred from choosing you over the competition.

If your overall rating is less than 3.5, you need to work on your Google review strategy and try to turn things around to secure more business going forward.

Build Trust with the Consumer

While we’re sure you are aware of the impact online reviews have on purchase decisions, did you know that around 91% of 18-34-year-olds say that they are more important than recommendations from loved ones?

This presupposes that the reviews in question are genuine and that there are many of them which confirms the same information about the company.

This knowledge, combined with the fact that Google is the top-rated search engine and online review website, should tell you everything you need to know about the importance of Google reviews on consumer behavior.

The Impact of Reviews on Rankings

Google reviews can have a considerable impact on rankings, as they can enhance a business’s credibility and increase the visitors a business website receives.

Here are some of the ways in which reviews impact rankings:

  •  Building Brand Loyalty
  •  Optimizing Local SEO 
  •  Increasing click-through rates
  •  Converting Customer Attention to Action
  •  Boosting Online Presence

The main takeaway here is that making the most of Google reviews can be a very effective marketing strategy and one that won’t cost your business a fortune.

The Benefits of Google Reviews

These are the benefits of Google reviews that are most likely to have a positive impact on your business both in the short-term and the long-term.

Building Trust 

If you want to establish a name for your brand with a reputation to back it up, then you’d best focus on Google reviews.

The more Google reviews you have, the greater the likelihood that potential customers will believe that you have a service or product worth choosing over the competition.

Even if many reviews are negative, the customer will still have a keen idea of what your business is all about, making them more likely to trust your company.

Establishing Online Presence

Google uses an algorithm that rewards good marketing and those businesses that have the most reviews.

This is a fantastic opportunity to increase your local SEO ranking, which in turn can boost your sales locally.

Increasing Click-through Rates

If you have more reviews, there’s a good chance that customers will be more tempted to use the links you have created.

Click-through rates are essential for a business because they tell you that customers are willing to take the extra step and see what your business is all about. 

Converting Customers

There’s a strong possibility that a customer will want to invest in what you have to offer provided that other people have good things to say about you.

Providing Vital Feedback

Reviews aren’t just good because they boost your online ranking and sales, though, but also because they can provide you with vital feedback.

You can act upon the feedback provided by reviewers to improve your services and grow as a business.

 How to Get More Google Reviews

By now, it should be clear enough why you should look to get more Google reviews for your business.

With that in mind, let’s get into the most effective methods for getting more reviews.

First, let’s take a look at how you can set up a Google My Business (GMB) page and how you can optimize it.

Claim Your Listing

First things first, you must claim your Google business listing.

Once you have it, you can compile the appropriate information about your business and develop it to stand out to consumers.

Optimize the Listing

It’s one thing to own a listing for your business, but it’s another thing altogether to optimize the page to appeal to consumers.

If you want consumers to click on your listing over that of your competitors, it’s a good idea to take the following steps:

  •  Fill Out The Necessary Information

It’s important to remember to include as much information as possible when you complete your business description.

This includes any information you feel would be useful to the consumer.

Try not to succumb to ‘keyword stuffing’ here, though, since Google’s algorithm can pick up on this and penalize you as a result.

  •  Provide Hours of Operation

If you’ve ever looked up a business before, hoping to see when they were open, only to find that there were no hours of operation listed, you’ll know just how frustrating this can be.

As a result, it’s imperative that you include hours of operation on your business listing, accounting for special holiday hours and weekend hours too.

  •  Use High-Quality Images

If you use high-quality images, then you have a greater chance of attracting potential consumers to read on and discover more about your business.

It’s often said that Google listings with high-resolution photos are much more likely to receive click-throughs than those that don’t.

Find Online Review Management Software

Since managing online reviews can be a timesink, and you’ll likely want to focus your efforts on other areas of the business, investing in some online review management software can be a wise move.

Through using review management software, you can streamline the process of leaving a review for a consumer. This makes it much easier for them to provide feedback, which could be vital to your business’ success.

Requesting for reviews can be a tedious, time-consuming process if you do it manually, but if you outsource the task using software or review management platforms, then you won’t need to worry about it.

With the help of Trustindex, you can easily create campaigns that will help you send out review requests to your customers so you can maximize the power of reviews and boost your sales. Find out more!>>

Get More Reviews

Investing in an online review management platform can yield excellent results, but here are some key points to consider to get more reviews:

  •  Time it Right

Timing is critical when it comes to soliciting reviews from customers, so make sure you get it right.

The best time to request a review is usually soon after the transaction has taken place when the experience is still fresh in the consumer’s mind.

  •  Make it Easy 

Time is valuable to everyone, so if you can save the consumer some time by simplifying the process, you will enjoy much more success.

One way to do this is to find an online review management platform, as this takes care of it for you.

  •  Outline Your Expectations

This is your chance to let the customer know exactly what you need from them, so there is no uncertainty in their mind.

 Essential Google Tools 

Google has a whole host of useful tools and resources you can use to get an edge when it comes to reviews, so take the time to familiarise yourself with them and see which ones could benefit your business most.

Google My Business 

GMB is a business directory tool that is essential for any company.

If you want to show up in related consumer searches, then you need to sign up for the free platform – it’s as simple as that.

If you don’t already have a GMB account, here’s how you can get one in five simple steps:

  1.  Log in to your company’s Google account.
  2.  Go to Google My Business and click on ‘Manage Now.’
  3.  Enter the name, address, contact information, and service area of your business.
  4.  Choose the category of your business.
  5.  Finally, verify your business.

Google My Business is a big deal because it can provide you with the following benefits:

  •  Key information about your business for consumers.
  •  An easy way to manage the appearance of your business to potential customers.
  •  The ability to show up on Google Maps and Google Search.
  •  Management of customer questions and reviews.
  •  Crucial insights into how people interact with your business.
  •  Manage customer appointments.

Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center, or GMC, allows you to upload key business information to Google Shopping.

This allows your products to be seen more easily when consumers carry out a related Google Search.

It also works with other Google services such as GMB, Adwords, and Analytics.

By using GMC, you give yourself a greater chance of landing all-important customer reviews, as well as the opportunity to identify key data and use high-resolution photos to show off your products.

Google Local Services Ads

Google Local Services Ads is a pay-per-lead ad scheme intended for licensed service providers, such as general contractors.

If you can pass the background checks and have a large number of favorable reviews, Google will bump your company up in the search rankings.

You are charged for these ads only when a customer reaches out to you through the ad.

Google Click-to-Message

With Google Click-to-Message, you can provide customers with an easy way to contact your business directly.

If you decide to use this service, make sure you are highly responsive and get back to the customer promptly.

It’s also crucial that you never solicit private information in these messages, such as bank information or credit card numbers.

It’s straightforward to set up a Google Click-to-Message account, as you just have to log in and verify your phone number.

Google Adwords

Google Adwords should sound familiar, as companies commonly use it to get greater exposure and draw more business.

To make the most of the Adwords program, you should strive to get as many reviews as possible since this will boost your chances of being discovered and chosen by more consumers.

Google Knowledge Panel

Google Knowledge Panel will give you the opportunity to be found by consumers based on related information on the internet.

To use it, you must first claim your business listing, establish an online presence, and make your listings as good as they can be.

Google Maps

Google Maps is a great source of convenience for consumers, as it can tell them precisely what businesses near them can offer what they need at any given moment.

Again, if you want to do well with Google Maps, you must endeavor to get as many reviews as possible for your business to stand out from the competition.

To get the most out of Google Maps, you should make sure you have your business operation hours on your Google business page; otherwise, customers might assume you are closed.

You should also try to use high-quality photos with all the necessary metadata, as well as appropriate keywords wherever possible.

 How to Post a Google Review

Posting a Google review is simple, but it’s still good to know exactly how to do it since you might find that customers are unsure how to go about it.

To leave a Google review, all you have to do is find the business and then scroll down until you find the button which says ‘Write a Review.’ Click this, and then give your star-rating and write a description of your experience with the company.

Then simply click ‘Post,’ and your review is ready to go.

How to Delete Google Reviews

There are times when customers leave negative reviews, or even fake ones, which you don’t want to tarnish your business’s reputation.

In some cases, there’s nothing you can do to have the review taken down, in which case the best course of action is to reply to the review and do your best to address the issues raised, however unreasonable they may seem.

However, in other cases, you might have a genuine grievance that you can take up with Google.

If you suspect that a review is fake, you can flag it to Google, according to various criteria.

Or, if it’s a negative review that you feel is unfair, you can report it to Google Small Business Support.

Although, generally speaking, you’ll find that negative reviews aren’t the end of the world for your business, and they can even be leveraged as learning lessons and as opportunities to show other consumers how well you deal with criticism.

For a detailed guide on your options when it comes to removing reviews from Google, click here!>>

Final Thoughts

If you aren’t currently using Google reviews as part of your digital marketing, you’re missing out.

Consumers rely on reviews, and the more you have, the more information they will have to go on.

Of course, positive reviews are best for business, but negative reviews can also prove useful too.

Whatever the case, you should try your best to get as many reviews as possible if you want your business to be more successful.

Now that you know about the ins and outs of Google reviews, you can do this very easily using Trustindex. Handle, manage, filter and answer all your reviews  – and not just from Google– today!>>

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