Google reviews are the reviews that appear with your Google My Business (GMB) profile. To see and respond to reviews left by Google users you need to claim your GMB profile and verify your business.
When people search for your business Google displays the Knowledge Box the right of search results which provides pictures, a map to your business, reviews, ratings, basic logistics information, and a link to your website.
If you want any chance of showing up in the Google Places box (that’s the map with highlighted listings right below the paid Google ads), you need a complete GMB profile along with strong reviews.
Google reviews displayed in local search results have scores that are rated on a scale from 1 to 5 stars with the following progression:
|5 stars||Loved it|
|4 stars||Liked it|
|3 stars||It was okay|
|2 stars||Disliked it|
|1 star||Hated it|
Google says that the overall score of your business is “calculated from user ratings and a variety of other signals to ensure that the overall score best reflects the quality of the establishment.”
Depending on the type of business that you have, your listings may show user reviews taken from third-party review sites like, Yelp!, Healthgrades, or Angie’s List. This compilation of reviews are automatically generated Google crawls the web and finds mentions of your business.
Benefits of Google Reviews
You don’t have to be an expert in all things Google to understand that online reputation management plays a vital role in the health of your business. After all, Google is the starting point for millions of online customers looking for you. Of course you want to have 5 stars on Google!
The benefits of Google reviews stem from the overall benefits of positive online reviews. These three benefits include:
- Enhance your brand’s image
- Influence the buying decision
- Improve search engine results
In the internet era, like it or not, what customers are saying about you online matters and having lots of positive reviews make you stand out above your competition. It’s also important to recognize that offline realities are not naturally reflect online, making proactive effort necessary to gain the most benefit from Google reviews. Despite the effort required to benefit from Google reviews, the rewards are well worth it.
What Do You Want People to See?
One of the benefits of Google reviews comes from the perception that’s built when customer see a highly rated brand. Positive ratings and review are a signal of quality, allowing potential customers to more easily trust the business. After all, what business would you contact first? The one with 100 5 star reviews, or the one with 10 2 star reviews?
Higher Rated Business Get More Clicks
Consider these statistics from a BrightLocal study that show the importance of positive Google reviews on the buying process:
Raising Your Rating by 2 Stars = 25% More Clicks
Going from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating gets a business 25% more clicks from Google Local Pack
5-Star Ratings = 39% More Clicks
Having a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks from Google Local than having a 1-star rating
Over 50% of Consumers Select a Business With Positive Reviews
56% of consumers select a business if it has positive ratings/reviews displayed in Google Local Pack
Additionally, BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey found that only 14% of those reading reviews would visit a business with fewer than 3 stars.
Reviews Also Impact Search Rankings
Google gives the number online reviews a business has on their Google My Business profile significant weighting when determining how highly to rank them for related searches. The more positive online reviews you have, the higher your listing will appear, especially for local searches that display the Google Map and Local 3 Pack.
When you understand the benefit of Google reviews, it’s easy to see how important it is to actively manage your reputation on Google. Investing into an online reputation management program will help you translate the great work you do offline into a positive reputation online.
How Do You Increase Google Reviews?
If there’s one thing that you already know, getting customers to review your business isn’t easy. Studies have shown that less than 5% of all customer will naturally leave a review for a business.
Except of course those times when, in good faith, you happen to make a mistake forever altering a customer’s existence who then are so filled with passion that their new mission in life is to publicly defame you. BAD reviews, it seems, are much easier to get.
Positive, honest reviews of your product or service take a little more prodding. It’s can be a manual, time-consuming process. Especially if you’re still using pen and paper. However there’s light at the end of the tunnel. A recent survey stated that when asked to leave a review, 90% of people did so.
So how do you increase your Google reviews? Like the old adage says, “Ask and you shall receive.”
There are 3 proven ways to increase your Google reviews:
- Ask In-Person: Strike while you have a captive audience – ask for a review when the customer is in your office or store. The experience will be at the top of their mind. Have them fill out a review on their phone or a tablet that you provide before they leave.
- Follow-Up: Older customers might be more comfortable receiving a review request in the mail that gives them instructions on how to leave a review on Google. Following-up with a letter requesting a review or testimonial with instructions can be another effective way to increase your Google reviews.
- Automated Review Solicitation Software: The best way is to automate the solicitation of reviews using review software such as RepCheckup. Online reputation management software solutions can solicit reviews from customers via email or text message after their visit (or after they receive an order in the mail) without having to manually ask or transcribe the review. This ensures that you or your staff do not forget to ask and every customer gets an opportunity to participate.
Out of all of these methods, automating Google review solicitations via text message or email is the most effect way to increase your reviews. These real-time requests are easier for customers act-on than your normal pen and paper. This results in a much higher increase in the overall number of Google reviews left on your profile.
How Do You Choose a Google Review Provider?
Choosing a Google Review Provider to work with isn’t easy. There are a lot of options when it comes to who can help you increase your Google reviews and management your reputation on Google. Making the decision on what company or software to use as your Google Review Provider comes down to that provider’s ease of use, success rates, case studies, and these 6 key features that you shouldn’t live without:
- In-Office Review Solicitation Program Professional collateral that informs customers how they can leave a review for your business online. A consultant that can guide front desk and business owners on best practices for review solicitation.
- Send Review Solicitations via Text Message Your Google Review Provider should send automated text messages to Increase the number of positive ratings and reviews on Google. This will also prevent the impact of negative reviews with a consistent stream of positive reviews.
- Consistent Monitoring for New Ratings and Reviews – Plus Monthly Reporting Keep a pulse on the most popular profiles and listings where customers leave feedback. Receive monthly reporting summarizing your scores across profiles.
- Email Alerts When Profiles are Updated Get alerted when new ratings and reviews are posted. Receive emails detailing new rating scores or review contents.
- Managed Moderation of Ratings and Reviews Act quickly to negative reviews or suspicious changes made to profiles and respond with pre-approved messages. It’s important to keep track of what your customers are saying about you. Combing the internet to find any mention of your name and reviewing multiple profiles can take hours – Time that you don’t have. That’s where reputation management software such as RepCheckup comes in handy. Monitoring your online reputation for you, saving you the time and hassle.
- Create approved responses to positive and negative reviews Monitoring reviews isn’t enough to ensure a prolific online reputation. It’s also important to recognize customers by responding to both positive and negative reviews. Instead of crafting an individual response to each and every review, create a boilerplate response for positive reviews and another for negative reviews. This makes responding easier, more efficient and also allows other staff members to post responses for you.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Google Reviews
When you go looking for Google Review Providers, you will likely run into companies that can promise you tens of new positive Google Reviews for very low prices. Run away! You want to work with a Google review provider who will get you authentic reviews. It’s not a good idea to engage with people who will try to sell you reviews.
If it ever comes to light that you paid for positive reviews, your valuable reputation will instantly be damaged. Plus, you know how smart Google is. Google already predicts what you’re typing in the search bar before you’re even finished; they’ll certainly catch-up to any fake reviews you’ve purchased.
Google knows that there are pay-to-play schemes for buying reviews. Google’s algorithm can track IP-addresses of known fake reviewers and spammers and detect review threads that are disingenuously trying to sway opinions.
The work that you do and the great service that you provide should speak for itself. Fake Google reviews will eventually catch up with you while positive experiences and reviews are a true foundation that you can build on.
How Are You Handling Google Reviews?
The lesson here is that authentic customer ratings and reviews are some of the most compelling marketing content available to businesses. They have great potential to influence whether new customers will schedule appointments with you, order your products, or decide to visit someone else with better reviews.
Ignoring online reviews and online rating sites isn’t an option. Many review sites – especially large ones like Google My Business – will have a page for your business, even if you don’t claim it. That means that people can leave reviews about you and your business without your participation in the review process.
So if you aren’t actively managing your online review reputation, you’ll be losing some control over what’s said about you. You also run the risk of losing business to competitors who are actively managing their reputation on Google. Remember, consumers are going online to do comparison shopping as if they were walking down the aisle of a supermarket.
Managing Google reviews for your business is a critical part of your online reputation management. Make sure to select the best Google Review Provider. You can get started with RepCheckup.