Like it or not, Google plays a major role in business success. If you have a local business, or support local business, and want to be found by potential new customers doing local searches, it’s a requirement to manage Google reviews on an ongoing basis — including your Google Business Profile.
This is where you can display key information on the search results page about your location, hours of operation, products and services, website, and more. Just as important, your profile also displays customer reviews of your business, which help people decide if they want to buy from or hire you.
Steps to Manage Google Reviews
Your Google Business Profile isn’t something you set up once and never have to worry about again. If you want it to work well for you, you need to actively manage and monitor it. This means making sure your business information is always up-to-date and building up a body of quality reviews—which takes a little effort and strategy. To effectively manage your google reviews you’ll need to:
- Ensure you have the proper link to share with customers that will allow them to leave a review on Google.
- Implement a review strategy focused on getting regular reviews.
- Continuously optimize your Google Business Profile.
- Reply to and manage your reviews on an ongoing basis.
All our resources on how to effectively manage your Google reviews:
- How to Find the Google Review Link URL for Your Business: First things first — how to find and share the Google review link URL for your business (if you haven’t already done so).
- How to Get Google Reviews: Learn how to implement a review strategy designed to get regular reviews on Google (consistency is key!).
- Guide to Google Reviews for New Businesses: If you’re just getting started or your business is only a few years old — start here to learn how to set up your Google Business Profile and build a successful review strategy from the get-go.
- Tips for Optimizing your Google Business Profile: Whether you’re an established company or brand new, you need to frequently optimize your Google Business Profile. Watch this on-demand webinar — it shares tons of tips and tricks for doing so.
- How to Reply to Reviews: Use this comprehensive guide to learn which reviews you should reply to, when, and how.
- When & How to Remove a Google Review: This post outlines the instances you can remove a review and walks through the steps to do so — as you start getting more Google reviews, you will want to know how to do this!
Why Google Reviews are Important
Every business owner wants to get positive reviews. But apart from their feel-good potential, reviews serve another important function that’s sometimes easy to overlook: they can actually help boost your business in search engine rankings. The idea is simple — the more positive reviews you can get over time, the higher you can rank in local organic search.
Even more significantly, Google rewards businesses with a large volume of positive reviews by placing them in the Map Pack (also called the Local Pack, shown below). The Map Pack is an area at the top of local organic search that features three top-ranking Google Business Profiles and lists them on Google Maps.
The advantage to this? The targeted local customers you want to see you first when doing a local search.
To achieve the number-one spot in the Local Pack, a business needs to have more positive reviews, on average, than businesses in the second and third positions. Number-one businesses also tend to have an average star rating of 4.1 (out of 5).
Benefits of Managing Google Reviews
Your Google Business Profile acts as a single source of truth so that anyone doing a local search can quickly and accurately learn about your business. In fact, Whitespark reports that reviews can influence your Google Local Pack and Local Finder rankings as well as local organic rankings. More specifically, the positive reviews connected with your profile contribute in a big way to those first impressions. That’s why managing Google reviews is a critical part of managing your overall online presence and giving your business a greater chance at success.
When you put the time and effort in and effectively manage Google reviews, you can:
- Show up higher in search results. When Google sees that you have a growing body of quality reviews, it assumes that your business and—by extension—your products and services are legitimate and valued by your customer base. And the higher you appear in local search, the more likely new customers will find you.
- Boost your business credibility. Since Google reviews are so ubiquitous and universally trusted when potential customers see a significant number of customer reviews associated with your business, they get the social proof they’re looking for that your business is real and credible.
- Increase conversions and sales. Positive reviews and high star ratings inspire potential customers to click through to your website or call you—all of which can lead to the next step of making a purchase and even becoming repeat customers.
With a broader understanding of Google reviews, you can optimize your review management practices to help you get found by the customers you want, grow your business, and enhance your online reputation. But don’t just take our word for it — see how GatherUp helped Zoes Kitchen grow their Google reviews by 278%.