Wondering how to manage Google Reviews to boost your SEO and business reputation?
The majority of consumers use Google Reviews to make buying decisions. The good news is there are easy steps business owners can take to ensure these reviews make a positive impact.
In this article, you’ll learn 3 simple steps to successfully manage Google Reviews.
How to Find Google Reviews of Your Business
If you already have Google Reviews of your business you’ll find them by searching for your business name or niche, either in Google or in Google Maps.
Along with your star rating average and total number of reviews, you can also see a summary of reviews by clicking on your business in Google Maps or by viewing your Google Business Profile.
Create a Google Business Profile
If you haven’t already created a Google Business Profile, set one up now. It’s free. Follow our step-by-step instructions here.
A Google Business Profile displays contact and location information for a local business.
You can add photos, offers, and other details like ecommerce products, and links to book appointments or reservations.
A star rating average (based on Google Reviews) of your business will also display in your profile, along with review excerpts.
Google Business Profile was formerly called Google My Business (or GMB for short).
Is a Google Business Profile Important for Local SEO?
- Google recommends a Google Business Profile to improve your local business’s search engine ranking.
- These profiles are perceived as the single most important local SEO ranking factor, according to a recent survey of marketing professionals.
- Because of their prominent display, Google Business Profiles can capture the attention and persuade potential customers to patronize your store.
- Your Google Business Profile will show up in searches of Google Maps and in the Google Maps app. Notably, the Google Maps app was the most downloaded navigation app last year. This popular Android app is used not only for navigation but for finding places to eat, shop, and play.
How Do Google Reviews Impact SEO?
Google cites 3 review factors that influence your business’s ranking in local search results.
- Review score (star rating average)
- Presence of “High-quality positive reviews“
- Total number of reviews.
Impacting Consumer Decisions
Since Google star ratings display across local search results (including Google Maps), their prominence influences people’s buying decisions.
- 85% of searchers consider the star rating average of a business to be “important” of “very important.”
- When comparing businesses, 76% of searchers consider which one has the higher average.
- 73% of local shoppers are swayed by the presence of recent reviews of a business.
How to Manage Google Reviews
Using the SEO and consumer information above, you can adopt a review strategy that emphasizes:
- Regularly asking for new reviews.
- Increasing your star rating average.
First, Find the Google Review Link to Share
Anyone who searches for the name of your business will see an option to “Write a review.” This option is displayed at the top right corner of your Google Business Profile.
But Google also provides local business owners with a shareable link. This is useful since you can add it to email messages, on your website, or in live chat messaging with customers.
Here’s how to get that shareable link.
- Log in to the Gmail account you used to create your Google Business Profile.
- Then google your business’s name.
- At the top of search results you’ll see options for editing your profile.
- Click on Ask for reviews.
That will open a new window. Click Get more reviews at the top right.
Now you’ll see your shareable Review link. Copy it.
Keep that shareable link somewhere you can easily access it.
Now you’re ready to plan the next steps.
Ask for Reviews
Regularly asking customers to review you on Google will increase the total number of reviews you have. And it can help sway those searchers who are influenced by recency of reviews.
To get more customer reviews we recommend that you add requests to your routine business sales and support communications.
Here are some suggestions:
- Verbal requests: Physical stores or businesses that provide local services can have staff work a verbal request into their final face-to-face communication with a customer.
- Email requests: Businesses that routinely obtain the email addresses of their customers can schedule an automated email to go out after a purchase, requesting a review. (Schedule an automated resend of any email that hasn’t been opened in a set time frame.)
- In-app notifications: Software app businesses can add an in-app notification that requests a review.
- Physical store displays: Add window stickers or posters requesting reviews. Google offers a free downloadable marketing kit with designs for you to use.
We recommend that any staff involved in requesting reviews,
- Click the link for themselves so they’ll be familiar with what customers will see.
- Leave a review on a business they’ve patronized.
This way, they’ll be better able to assist customers who have questions.
You may also want to provide instructions on your website, so you can refer customers there.
Your customers won’t need a Gmail account to leave a Google Review. However, they will need a Google account. A Google account is a username and password used to log into Google products like Google Docs, YouTube, or Google Meet video conferencing.
Increase Your Review Score
We recommend that you set a goal to increase your review score. (This is your star rating average of all reviews.)
To create focus and get traction,
- Have support or sales staff report (in written and verbal form) the current rating average in your weekly staff meetings.
- Regularly track and report at least one other measure of customer satisfaction.
- If need be, improve your customer support process.
This is a tactic we follow in our own business and it works.
By responding promptly to reviews you communicate that you care about customer feedback. That can send a positive signal to searchers.
Do follow up on both positive and negative reviews.
- People can edit their reviews. After receiving stellar support, that customer may turn a bad review into a good one.
- “Customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy,” Google reports.
Have a difficult customer that no amount of support will placate? Follow these helpful tips and move on.
How to Get Inappropriate Google Reviews Removed
On occasion someone who’s not a customer of yours may leave a negative review of your business.
- They may have mistaken your business for another.
- Or they might be a troll.
Follow these instructions to get Google to remove the review.
Increase Sales by Featuring Top Reviews on Your Website
Rave reviews provide prospects with social proof they want before they buy. Embedding top reviews on a website is a proven way to boost sales.
We recommend that WordPress site owners use the Smash Balloon plugin to embed online reviews on their website.
- It takes only a few minutes to set up. (No technical knowledge required.)
- Top reviews will automatically be selected to be shown.
- You can include reviews from other sites like Yelp or Facebook if you like.
Smash Balloon stands out because it’s optimized for speed, and page speed is an SEO ranking factor. You can also use it to embed social media feeds without bogging down your site.
We’ve covered how Google Reviews impact your local SEO. To give yourself every advantage with Google’s algorithms, you’ll want to optimize your website too.
Make the Most of Your SEO: Optimize Your Site
Google makes it clear that your website ranking impacts how visible your business is in local searches and Google Maps.
So, in addition to setting up a Google Business Profile, and managing reviews, it’s wise to optimize your website.
This is where a plugin like All in One SEO (AIOSEO) comes in. It provides a beginner-friendly way to handle SEO tasks.
All in One SEO makes handling technical SEO tasks simple: you’ll click some buttons and fill out some forms.
In addition, AIOSEO provides simple recommendations for improvement of your content.
- Currently, All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is used on over 3 million sites. And it’s racked up thousands of 5-star ratings on WordPress.org.
- Opt for the Plus or Pro version of the plugin to get the Local SEO features.
Set Up Local SEO Basics
In the left-hand column of your WordPress admin go to AIOSEO » Local SEO.
Now you’ll see 3 tabs: one for business location(s), one for opening hours, and one for map.
Click on each tab and fill in the form.
This local SEO process adds code called schema markup to your website.
This helps Google understand your business and match it to relevant search queries.
Move Forward With On-Page SEO
The next step is to begin learning how to optimize individual pages, like blog posts, so they rank higher in search engine results.
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) will make recommendations for each page of your site. Click on the recommendations to get instructions on what to improve.
Here are some simple steps to begin your learning journey.
- Learn what a title tag is and how to optimize it.
- Learn what a meta description is and how to optimize it.
- Learn what alt tags are and how to add them to images.
- Learn what a target keyword (focus keyphrase) is and how to use it.
- Learn what keyword research is and how it can help your articles rank.
- Learn what rich snippets are and how to add them to pages.
Bonus SEO Tips
- Business directory listings impact your ranking. And they’re easy to get. Move forward on this today with our guide How to Get Local SEO Citations.
- Reviews can provide valuable customer feedback. Learn from the positive and negative Google Reviews.
- Google review policies: Google doesn’t allow misrepresentation or misinformation in reviews. Fake reviews and paid reviews are also policy violations. Find out more here.
- Customer experience: Every business owner wants interactions and sales to result in happy customers. Take time to think through what you want the customer experience to be like: from when they first hear of your brand to when you ask for a review.
- Plan for conversions: Make the most of your SEO efforts by planning calls-to-action (CTAs). WordPress users will like OptinMonster, a beginner-friendly, low-cost tool that’s effective in boosting conversions and sales. (We use it too.)
Summing it Up
Being proactive with Google Reviews is part of your online reputation management.
Good review management, plus business directory listings and website SEO, can elevate your visibility in google searches and influence consumer purchasing decisions.
We hope this post helped you learn why Google Reviews are important and how to manage them for positive impact.
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