The Complete Guide to Google Business Reviews

April 20, 2021

Almost 70% of businesses are struggling to gather website traffic and high-quality leads. Meanwhile, 96% of people who visit your website aren't ready to make a purchase. Generating Google business reviews could give you the break you need.

Learning how to set up Google My Business listings can help you acquire more reviews. Then, you can experience the benefits of Google My Business reviews firsthand.

For example, you can boost traffic to your website, strengthen your credibility, and boost sales.

That's just the start! Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Google reviews. With this guide, you can make a smarter decision for your business.

Set your business up for growth and long-term success! Get started with these tips today.

What is Google My Business?

Before you learn how to set up Google My Business (GMB) listings, it helps to know a little more about what they are, first.

Your Google My Business profile will appear on the top right corner of a Google search. Since your profile takes up prominent space, consumers are bound to see it. Your profile will appear when someone searches for your product, service, or brand.

Your Google My Business profile provides consumers with relevant information about your business. For example, your profile can display your:

  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Directions
  • Business hours
  • Star rating
  • Customer reviews
  • Website
  • Photos and videos
  • Posts

It's important to keep your business profile up-to-date. Otherwise, you might confuse customers. They could call or visit your store, only to realize the information is incorrect. 

Updating your Google My Business profile will provide consumers with ease and convenience. They'll find the information they need after completing a quick search.

Then, they can call, visit your store, or visit your website. Updating your GMB listing can help you generate foot traffic, leads, and sales.

Google My Business Reviews

What are Google Business reviews, you ask?

Google reviews are unpaid, voluntarily posted reviews. Consumers can leave reviews on your Google My Business listing. They can voice their concerns, ask questions, or praise your amazing customer service.

Google reviews are connected with your Google My Business listing, search results, and Google Maps. They can impact your search engine ranking as a result. 

Google makes it easy for consumers to leave their feedback about the stores they visit. Consumers can even post pictures after visiting your store.

They're able to share their experience with other consumers, which could impact your brand's reputation. 

Why Do You Need Reviews?

Why do you need Google business reviews, exactly?

A few benefits of Google My Business reviews include:

  • Improving your search engine rankings
  • Reaching more customers
  • Improving your brand's reputation
  • Making a strong first impression
  • Boosting brand trust and loyalty
  • Retaining long-time customers
  • Generating more website traffic
  • Increasing leads and sales
  • Improving your ROI

You can draw in more customers, generate more sales, and improve your bottom line. Here are a few more benefits of Google My Business reviews to keep in mind.

1. Improve Your SEO Ranking

Almost 70% of online experiences begin with a search engine like Google or Bing. With search engine optimization (SEO), you can improve your online ranking. The higher you rank, the more often consumers will see your business.

A higher search engine ranking can also:

  • Position you ahead of competitors
  • Generate more traffic to your website
  • Improve your credibility
  • Boost brand awareness and recognition
  • Boost brand trust and loyalty
  • Generate more leads, conversions, and sales
  • Position you as a thought leader in the industry

Without SEO, however, people might not realize you exist. In fact, 0.78% of Google searchers never look beyond the first page. You need to improve your ranking to gain online visibility.

In time, brand awareness and recognition will grow. The next time someone needs your product or service, they'll remember you immediately.

Google uses multiple ranking factors to determine your position among competitors. One of those ranking factors includes social signals like reviews. If you're not generating reviews, your ranking could drop. 

You might struggle to improve your online credibility or generate website traffic as a result.

Instead, learn how to set up Google My Business for your business. Then, you can learn how to get Google reviews to boost your ranking.

2. Gather Trust Signals

Gathering Google business reviews can help you make a strong first impression with customers. Consumers often check for reviews before deciding to trust a business. If they don't find any reviews, they might decide not to trust you at all.

Instead, you can use positive reviews to show consumers they can trust you. They can recognize the value you have to offer and choose you over anyone else.

It's important to note that many customers don't trust outdated reviews. 

In fact, about 85% of consumers say reviews that are older than three months are irrelevant. It's not enough to gather reviews once. You need constant, fresh reviews to improve your brand's reputation.

As you start generating reviews, your online reputation will begin to grow. You can generate more confidence in your customers. Once people see the quality you can offer, they'll come back for more.

You can then turn one-time buyers into repeat customers. As your customer retention rate improves, your ROI will as well. 

In fact, about 40% of consumers say reading reviews could increase the likelihood they'll buy a product.

Without reviews, however, you could struggle to establish your credibility in the industry. Consumers will choose your competitors instead.

Don't let that happen! Instead, learn how to get Google reviews. You can position yourself as a credible resource in the industry. People will grow more confident in your brand, positioning your business for long-term growth.

3. Boost Leads and Conversions

About 82% of adults say sometimes they read online reviews before purchasing items for the first time. Another 40% say they always read reviews first.

Over 50% read customer reviews to get an accurate picture of a product's quality before shopping.

Remember, consumers might not trust your brand if they know nothing about you. Reviews can give them the confidence they need to start shopping. By generating reviews, you can increase leads, conversions, and sales.

Then, you can improve your ROI and set your business up for success. 

4. Customers are Looking

About 91% of people regularly read online reviews. In fact, about 70% form an opinion after reading one to six different reviews.

People are already looking for reviews. If you're not generating fresh reviews, however, they might turn away from your business.

Fresh reviews can keep customers up-to-date about your business as well. They can determine if your customer service has improved or declined over the years. You can use your reviews to show customers you're still a go-to resource in the industry.

If your Google My Business profile doesn't have reviews, however, consumers might choose another business instead.

5. Remain Competitive

Remember, reviews can improve your search engine ranking. A higher ranking will position you ahead of competitors. At the same time, you'll position yourself as a credible resource in the industry.

Google business reviews can help you remain competitive. Even if you're a small business with a limited budget, you won't have to worry. You can stand against huge corporations if you have reviews and a higher ranking.

Otherwise, consumers will only see your competitors when they search online. They won't even realize your business is an option.

They might never recognize the unique value you can offer as a result. 

6. Gather Feedback

It's difficult to make improvements to your business if you don't know what's wrong. Generating regular reviews can help you gather feedback. You can discover the problems people are facing when interacting with your brand. 

Then, you can start making changes to your business.

These changes will show consumers you care about their customer experience. They could come back in the future as a result.

If you don't gather feedback and continue making changes, however, you could start losing customers. 

How to Set Up Your Google My Business Listing

Before you can start gathering Google business reviews, you'll need your GMB listing. You can share a link to your listing with your customers. That way, they have an easy, convenient way to reach your business.

You can then share that link via text messages, emails, and even on your website.

The more accessible you make your review link, the more likely you'll generate fresh reviews.

Here's how to set up Google My Business listings with ease.

Make the Account

First, you'll need to create a dedicated Google account for your business. Avoid using your personal account. You can use this email for other business-related tasks in the future.

As you start creating the account, make sure to read the instructions. You should see an option to create the account "to manage my business." Select that option before you continue.

Once you've created your business account, you'll need your business profile.

You'll need to connect your business profile and Google My Business listing. However, you can have a business profile without creating a GMB account first. Check Google Maps to see if you already have a profile set up.

From Google Maps, search for your business by name. It should populate in the drop-down menu, along with your address. If you see your business listed, you already have a GMB profile.

If you don't see your business, that's okay! Select "Add a missing place" instead. Google will then prompt you to create your profile.

Create Your Profile

To use your Google My Business account and generate reviews, you'll need to claim your profile.

Visit google.com/business and select "manage now." Then, start filling out your profile.

Make sure your profile information matches the information you list on your website. Remember, you don't want to confuse customers. If your information doesn't match, they might think you're an entirely different business.

Once you create your GMB account, you can connect it with your business profile. The process won't work automatically. Instead, you'll need to inform Google that you want to connect the two accounts.

First, you'll need to verify you own the business you're claiming.

Find your business profile on Google Maps again. Then, select the option to claim your business. You should see a button that reads "Own this business?" if you haven't claimed it already.

Google will send you to another screen. There, you'll see an option to "Manage now."

Once you claim your business, you'll need to verify you own it. Google offers a few different options for this process.

If you're already logged into your GMB account, there's a chance Google will validate the account immediately. Otherwise, you'll need to use a verification code through:

  • Snail mail
  • Email
  • Text

You'll entire this code into your profile to claim your business.

Optimize Your Profile

It's not enough to claim your GMB listing. Instead, take the time to optimize your profile, too. Optimizing your profile can benefit your SEO strategy.

It can also help more customers find you online. Customers might feel more obliged to leave a review if it's easy to find your listing. 

If people see a bland, empty profile, however, they might not trust your business.

Remember, your profile will appear when someone searches for your product, service, or business name. The listing will appear based on prominence, or how well-known your business is. Generating fresh reviews can boost your prominence.

Then, more people will find you online.

Start optimizing your GMB profile by adding professional, high-quality images and videos. Add a relevant business description. Try to use keywords people would use to find you during a Google search.

Confirm your attributes, too.

Then, start creating posts. Posts can provide people with relevant information about your business. 

Once you optimize your profile, you can start generating fresh Google business reviews!

How to Send Review Requests

Now that you understand the benefits of Google My Business reviews, let's start generating fresh ones! Here's how to get Google reviews for your GMB profile.

Cover Your Bases

As you develop your review marketing strategy, it's important to cover all your bases. The more ways you ask for reviews, the more likely you'll generate many reviews.

First, check out your website. Do you have a dedicated testimonials page? If not, add one!

Then, create a button on the page that links straight to your GMB listing. Remember, quick, easy links can make life easier for your customers.

Use a strong call-to-action encouraging people to share their own reviews.

You can also request reviews using SMS. After someone visits your store, send them a text message. You can create a survey or link them straight to your GMB profile.

Don't forget to shorten your links! With SMS, it's important to keep everything short and sweet.

Did the customer subscribe to your emails? Awesome! You can create a drip campaign thanking customers for their purchases.

Then, ask if they wouldn't mind leaving a review on your GMB listing.

You're not limited to asking for Google reviews, either. Consider asking for reviews on:

  • Nextdoor
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Industry-specific directories

People might see your reviews on a different listing, then decide to leave a Google review in the future. Either way, you're boosting brand visibility and your online reputation. 

You can also ask for reviews in person after someone completes a purchase. Consider asking over the phone, too.

Do you visit locations to offer your services? Consider creating a leave-behind item. Then, add a QR code that links to your GMB listing. 

As you use these methods, pay attention to which ones generate results. Then, spend more time and effort on those marketing methods!

Create a Template

Asking for reviews can feel a little nerve-wracking at times. Preparing a template beforehand can help you feel more confident. It can also help you manage your time.

First, remember to thank your customers. For example, you can write:

"Hey (Customer's Name). Thanks so much for shopping with us at (Business Name).

We hope you enjoy using your new (Product Name). Let us know what you think! Please let us know about your experience by leaving a review on Google.

Thanks so much!"

Try letting consumers know how much you appreciate their feedback, too. Consumers will recognize you value their opinion. They'll want to leave a review as a result.

Try to personalize your messages as much as possible. Personalization will make it easier for you to connect with your customers.

Otherwise, your requests could sound generic and cookie-cutter.

Time It Right

As you learn how to get Google reviews, it's important to consider your timing.

For example, let's say you're helping a customer check out. Ask about their experience.

If they're singing your praises, great! That's the perfect time to ask them for a review.

Ask for a Favor

You can also frame your requests as a favor. Customers won't feel obligated, which could encourage them to leave a review even more.

Give Them a Reason to Write Reviews

Before you start asking for Google business reviews, think about the customer experience. Are you giving consumers a reason to leave a review behind? 

Try improving your customer service. Consumers will rave about how helpful you are. Your brand's online reputation could improve as a result.

Thank Them

Don't forget gratitude. Let your customers know how grateful you are that they're taking the time to leave a review. They'll recognize your gratitude and get to it!

Use the Right Tools

Asking for reviews manually can take a lot of time out of your day. Consider using review management software. Using software can help you request reviews immediately.

You can remain top-of-mind and streamline the process.

Ask More Than Once

It also helps to ask for reviews more than once. For example, you can use your review management software to automate a second request.

If the timing wasn't right the first time, you could get a second chance.

How to Respond to Reviews

Once you start generating customer reviews, you'll need to respond to them. Here are a few tips that can help.

Follow Up Immediately

First, it's important to respond to reviews as soon as you get them. Otherwise, people might think you don't care about their concerns. 

Remain authentic. Try to avoid using canned responses. Remember, you don't want to sound robotic or impersonal. 

You can alter responses like:

  • We love hearing your feedback. Thanks!
  • Thanks for taking the time to leave this review, (Customer's Name).
  • Thanks for visiting our store today.
  • We appreciate your kind comments, (Customer's Name).

Adding the customer's name will help the response sound more authentic. 

Consider signing your own name, too!

Negative Reviews

Over 85% of people hesitate to buy from a business that has negative reviews.

About a third of consumers will delete their negative reviews if you reply. Many will replace their original comment with a positive one, too.

Don't delete your negative reviews. Instead, respond right away. Here are a few best practices that can help:

  • Use empathy
  • Respond kindly and professionally
  • Don't get personal or defensive
  • Apologize if necessary
  • Find a way to make things right

Keep your response brief and to the point. If you need to, ask if you can move the conversation to a private channel.

Responding to negative reviews is a form of damage control. Consumers will see you're willing to make a change as well.

Best Practices

As you start generating and responding to reviews, it's important to follow the necessary best practices.

First, don't purchase reviews. Purchased reviews can make you look unauthentic.

Don't delete negative reviews, either. Consumers might think you're trying to hide something. Google might penalize your business, too.

You can delete fake Google reviews if necessary, though.

You should also:

  • Encourage customers to provide honest and specific feedback
  • Ask customers to leave reviews after providing them with value
  • Determine the right timing
  • Make submitting reviews easy for the customer
  • Personalize your messages as much as possible
  • Explain to customers how reviews can improve your business

These tips can improve your Google business reviews strategy.

Five Stars: Boosting Your Business With Google Business Reviews

With fresh, positive Google business reviews, you can improve your online reputation. Then, you can attract more people to your business. With these tips, you can boost brand awareness, sales, and your ROI for years to come.

Remember, you don't have to generate reviews alone. Instead, consider using the right tools for the job.

Schedule a demo today to get started!


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