Google Reviews: what they are, usefulness and how to manage them

If you have a business and are interested in knowing what Google reviews are and how they work, I invite you to read this article.

When you’re running a business, big or small, it’s important to know what people think about your products and services to figure out what works and what you should improve in your business.

The ratings that users leave on Google and that appear next to your business in search results provide an immediate sign of the credibility of your company encouraging new potential customers to click through to your site.

Asking your customers to leave a review and knowing how to respond promptly to negative reviews is an operation that, if well managed, will allow you to have a better positioning SEO in Google search results and therefore more earning potential.

Below is the article you will therefore find out:

  • what do we mean when we talk about Google reviews;
  • what is their use;
  • how and where you can be reviewed by your customers;
  • how to best manage the evaluations received.

What are Google reviews and what are they for?

Google reviews are ratings that a user leaves on Google to judge the activity of a company after he has somehow experienced it.

It probably happened to you too after going to a restaurant, a shop, or after buying online that you wanted to let your opinion be known, positive or negative, to other consumers but also to the business owners themselves.

The usefulness of reviews on Google is in fact twofold:

  • For consumers they are a guide as they help to break down any doubts that can hold them back when they experience a brand or company they don’t know.
  • For your enterprise, I am one evaluation tool of your work but also an incentive to improve products, services, and relationships with your customers.

User comments highlight your strengths, which need to be consolidated or maintained, and your weaknesses, which need to be improved. All this will allow you to grow your business by increasing sales and conversions, acquiring new leads, and strengthening your online reputation.

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How and where to get Google reviews?

For your company to be reviewed, it is not enough just for it to appear in the search results. Indeed, it is necessary, first of all, to have a Google account and register a profile in which to enter the main information, i.e. personal data, domicile, and contact details.

Secondly, your activity must be recognized as verified by Google in order for you to become the owner of the profile and to be able to modify the information contained therein.

Once the appropriate checks have been received, the first step to getting a review is simply to ask your customers to leave one.

read google reviews

However, it is inadvisable to ask each of your customers, it is better to focus on those who you know have had a positive experience.

How to locate these customers?

If you have had direct experience with them, based on verbal feedback at the end of their purchasing process.

Not directly, by monitoring their reactions on social networks: if they speak positively about you to friends and followers, they will certainly be more inclined than others to leave a good opinion.

How to ask users to leave a review

How should you invite a customer to leave a review on Google? In a more informal and direct way (and also perhaps more risky) ask for it when the customer is still in front of you right after they buy your product or service.

Another way, indirect, can be to create and share a link that refers to the reviews section in your Google profile and insert it in the post-purchase thank you email or in the payment receipt.

In both cases, it is essential don’t let too much time pass between buying and asking for reviews as the user is much more likely to leave a comment when the memory of the purchase is still fresh.

Even if the practice of buying review is not contemplated in Google guidelines, it happens that some companies in exchange for an evaluation, offer their customers incentives, such as discounts on upcoming purchases, small giveaways, and bonus points in loyalty programs.

These prizes are certainly appreciated by customers but it should be noted that they do not guarantee that the user will leave a comment.

Ensuring the consumer has a good shopping experience and carefully taking care of the after-sales service are the best tools for obtaining spontaneous and truthful Google reviews and therefore useful for expanding your clientele.

The user can leave a review via:

  • rating expressed on a scale of stars ranging from 1 to 5 where 1 = very bad, 2 = poor, 3 = fair, 4 = very good, 5 = excellent;
  • written comment;
  • both ways.

The comment can also be accompanied by photos, a detail that makes the review even more impactful for the reader.

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Reviews on Google My Business

The main place to get Google Reviews is My Business.

It is a tool offered by the search engine that allows companies that have a physical location, to position themselves on maps, be visible in the local pack of the SERP(search results) and have a small page dedicated to your business.

A fundamental requirement is to register a company profile, where you can indicate the name of the business, the category it belongs to, contact details, and possibly some nice images that entice users to click on the form.

Once this is done, it is then possible to create a direct link to the reviews section to allow anyone who wants to leave a comment. In practice, the steps to be taken are as follows:

1. Access your activity profile; 2. Google the business name; 3. Select “Customers” › Reviews › Get more reviews; 4. Share the link directly with your customers or use the sharing options.

Reviews on Google Maps

Your customers can review your company even after finding you through Google Maps.

The user opens Google Maps and types the name of your business to find directions on how to reach them; once you arrive and after having experienced the user may decide to leave an evaluation.

Sometimes it’s Google himself asks the user, by sending a notification, what he thinks of the place visited and e.g invite him to express an opinion; also, in this case, the judgment can be expressed as a star rating, a comment, or both.

The judgments obtained here are added to those received in the My Business tab as the Google profile is the same.

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Why it’s important to get positive reviews

It is fair to say that positive reviews on Google are to the online world as positive as word of mouth is to the offline one.

Getting as many good ratings as possible allows a business to enhance its brand identity and to earn a good reputation online.

This is possible by working well and establishing a relationship of trust with its customers which goes beyond the purchase phase and allows you to achieve long-lasting results.

user reviews and evaluations

On the contrary, the purchase of Google reviews is never the solution to undertake since the evaluations obtained dishonestly are easily masked and they could even irreversibly damage the image and the reputation built over the years.

The positive evaluations obtained on the main search engine have a huge resonance because:

  • they enjoy the visibility of the millions of users who search on Google every day;
  • Google uses user reviews as one of the main ranking factors in local SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

The more honest and positive comments you get, the more likely you are to come out in the top results of the SERP.

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Respond to negative reviews

Just as positive reviews help to increase the awareness of a brand and the volume of sales, negative ones are likely to undermine and, in extreme cases, cancel years of work. It is therefore important to constantly monitor the judgments received, especially the negative ones.

First of all, they must be analyzed and understood in their truthfulness; whether they actually prove to be reliable is crucial to respond as soon as possible in the most polite, calm, and conciliatory way possible, apologizing if necessary.

The other users who will read the answer will understand how important the opinion and satisfaction of your customers are for your business.

Delete fake reviews

It can happen that among the Google reviews received there are some false ones and tendentious, sometimes even offensive specifically designed to discredit the image of your company.

In this case, you can decide to respond to the user saying you want to understand the reasons behind that judgment, provide counter-evidence and unmask the deception by causing him to delete the review.

More often it happens that the user refuses to provide arguments, so the only solution you have left is to contact Google to report the comment as inappropriate.

The procedure is as follows:

1. Access your Google My Business account dashboard; 2. Go to the “Reviews” section and find the offending review; 3. Click on the three dots on the right; 4. Select “flag as inappropriate”.

Once this is done, you will have to wait for Google to take charge of the request, examine it, decide whether or not to consider it inappropriate, and then delete it.

Conclusions

After reading this article I think you will be convinced of the importance of Google reviews and how important it is to dedicate time to their growth and management; in fact, they are a real marketing lever capable of significantly influencing the success of your business.

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