Google reviews are a critical element of brand reputation management. Not only do reviews account for almost 15% of Google’s ranking algorithm, but consumers are increasingly turning to them to influence their purchasing decisions.
For example, 98% of people surveyed by Apartments.com said they read property reviews before they consider looking at a place to live. According to another survey, 95% of potential customers look at reviews of various businesses before making a purchase.
When someone searches for your business, you want them to find accurate social proof of your brand. Reviews appear on your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Here are six frequent questions you may have when managing Google reviews to protect your online reputation.
- How Can You Track Google Reviews?
When you claim your GMB account, you can track and respond to customer reviews as your business name.
Google users who sign in can leave reviews for your business and rate it. These reviews appear either on your GMB listing or on Google Maps.
When you log into your GMB account, you can click “reviews” on the left side of the dashboard. This will take you to a list of all your reviews.
You can select the “Customer reviews” box in the GMB settings page to receive an email notification any time a customer leaves a review for your business.
- Can You Delete Google Reviews? If so, how?
You may have several reasons to want to delete a Google review. The review may include inaccurate information or be inauthentic. A competitor may have planted a fake review or a disgruntled employee may look to blow off steam in a public way.
There is good news on that front. Last December, Google changed its policy to prevent former employees from leaving reviews on the business listing.
If the offending review is grossly inaccurate or obviously fake, you can “flag” the review in your GMB dashboard. Simply navigate to reviews from the left-hand side. Click the individual review, then click the three stacked dots on the top right. This allows you to report a policy violation associated with the review.
If the review is negative and does not violate policy, take the time to respond. Consumers look for negative reviews to see how and if you respond well. Negative reviews can actually build trust with potential customers by showing you are willing and ready to make things right. Click to read more about how to respond to negative reviews the right way.
- How Do You Utilize Google Review Widgets?
Many business managers do not consider embedding Google reviews on their website. Or, they think about copying and pasting their favorite reviews on their site for brand promotion.
However, customers are more likely to trust embedded Google reviews. You can embed these reviews to be static or update dynamically by using a Google review widget.
If your site runs on WordPress, you can install a plugin that will pull in Google reviews and display them on your website. You can search the WordPress plugin database for one that is compatible with your site.
- How Do You Manage GMB Users?
When you have multiple locations you manage under GMB, chances are you have multiple users who share responsibilities. Three types of users include owners, managers and site managers. To add or remove users, sign into your account, click the three dot menu on the location group or business you would like to manage.
Click the “x” of a person you’d like to remove or enter an email address of a user you would like to add. Once the user accepts the invitation, they will be able to edit and make changes within the accounts specified.
- How Can I Manage GMB Location Groups?
Location Groups were previously known as business accounts. These groups allow users to bulk management accounts with multiple locations. Once you create a group you can also consolidate locations that exist under separate accounts.
- How Can I Get Google Local Guide Reviews?
Local Guides earn points and incentives by contributing content to Google Maps. Google’s algorithm is likely to give a Local Guide’s review more authority and rank higher in the reviews listing.
However, there is no direct way to solicit a Local Guide positive online review, nor would you want to do that, as that can be a violation of policy.
But, you can optimize your business listing to make it easier to attract Local Guides to leave a review. Some ways to optimize your listing includes
- Adding search-specific keywords
- Add video to show your features and services
- Add an appointment scheduler URL so Local Guides can easily schedule an appointment
Any More Questions?
Google My Business help center has a robust resource for information on managing reviews here.
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