Google is now the biggest review site on the web. It makes sense, as where will customers go first if they want to find out about you? As this is the case, you need to know how to manage those reviews and increase your standing online. Here’s everything that you need to know.
THE BASICS OF GOOGLE REVIEWS
Google Reviews has fast outpaced other review sites online, thanks to it’s ubiquity as a search engine. It’s the most likely to be used by consumers, with 64% saying they’ll check reviews on Google before they go anywhere else.
It’s become popular for leaving reviews as its so easy to use. Users are more than likely going to have accounts already, so it’s simple to leave a review of any business. The review system ties in seamlessly with other systems, such as Google Maps.
HOW TO TRACK YOUR REVIEWS
If you want to start using and tracking your Google Reviews, you’ll need a Google Business Profile account. Once that’s set up, you can click the ‘reviews’ tab on your Google Business Profile home page to see all the reviews that have been left for your business. Once you’re on the page, you can filter by ‘replied’ or ‘haven’t replied’.
These reviews will show up in multiple places online, such as Google search results, Google carousel search results, and Google Maps.
If you want to keep track of your reviews, you can set up alerts. This will tell you whenever anyone leaves a new review. You’ll get a notification, which shows you the star rating, reviewer name, some of the review text, and a link to the review on Google.
Google Reviews And Search Results
Will you get reviews showing up in search results for your business as soon as someone leaves them? Not right away. You’ll need around 4 or 5 reviews before they start appearing in search results. This is also when you’ll start getting an aggregated star rating, so the more accurate reviews you can get, the better.
Missing Google Reviews
Have you found that your Google reviews have gone missing? This isn’t a major problem, and doesn’t mean that they’ve all been deleted. It just means that the GBP listing needs to be updated to bring them back.
To do this, log into your account and click on the menu tab. Click ‘info’, and look for the field that allows you to update your location. Once you click it, it’ll bring up a map with a marker. All you need to do is move the marker around a little, then click ‘save’. With that, it should refresh the listing for you and bring the reviews back.
If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to clear your cache. These two methods should solve this problem most of the time.
HOW GOOGLE REVIEW RATINGS ARE CALCULATED
Once you’ve got a few reviews under your belt, you’ll get an aggregate score that will be displayed when your business comes up. Many business owners are confused when all their reviews are 5 stars, yet they get an aggregate score of 4.7 or similar.
This happens because that score isn’t an average rating as you would expect. Instead, Google is most likely using the Bayesian method to create that score. This happens to accounts that don’t have a huge amount of reviews.
This is to keep rankings as accurate as possible. If your business has 7 5 star reviews, and another has 98 5 star reviews and a few 3 star reviews, that doesn’t mean your business is necessarily better than theirs. Using this method, Google extrapolates what your rating may be, if you had more reviews. You can find out more about how Google works out your rating score from the reviews you have received.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RESPONDING TO REVIEWS
If you get a review, it’s important to respond to it. This is true whether you get positive or negative reviews. Why? Because the more you engage with your customers, the better your rankings will be. When you get a positive review, it’s a good idea to respond to say something like ‘thank you!’. This shows you’re paying attention to what they’re saying.
When you respond to a review, remember that the reply is visible to anyone who sees the review itself. Your answer also needs to adhere to the Google community guidelines.
CAN YOU DELETE GOOGLE REVIEWS?
If you get a negative review, can you delete it? There’s no such function on the GBP dashboard, which makes sense. If you were able to delete reviews, you wouldn’t be showing an accurate picture of how you work as a business.
If you do get a negative review, the best thing to do is engage with the customer to see if you can fix their issue. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll be able to help them out and set everything right. Once you’ve done that, you can ask the customer to edit their review to reflect their experience.
HOW TO GET MORE GOOGLE REVIEWS
Now you’ve seen just how important it is to get reviews on Google. How do you generate them? There are several ways to ask customers to leave reviews. If you collect email addresses at the point of sale, you can send them an email asking them to review their experience. You can also do this via SMS, if you collect phone numbers. You can also use the Marketing Kit by Google to create marketing materials, asking customers to review you.
Ensure that you avoid review gating, though. This is where a business discourages poor reviews from customers. If Google suspects you’re doing this, this will affect your rankings.
FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE REVIEWS
Are you already using Facebook for your business, and getting reviews on there? Then you’ll want to know if you can link the two. Google should do this automatically, but to ensure it does, make sure the business info on both Facebook and GBP matches exactly.
This has been everything you need to know about Google Reviews. You can now set them up and manage them, to help improve your search rankings. Do it today and see how much they help with your customer engagement.