Google is a well-oiled search machine. If you play your SEO and Google Reviews cards right, you reap the benefits of highly-targeted search results.
Google Reviews also help you with local search, making it easier for people near your business to find you. This is critical, considering 97% of people read reviews for local businesses.
Not only do Google reviews help direct targeted traffic to your website, but reviews play an integral part in the purchaser’s decision-making process. According to the research:
- 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.
- 91% of people 18 to 34 years old trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.
- Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
This article will cover how Google Reviews operates differently from Facebook and other review sites, how to login to Google My Business, and how to respond to positive and negative Google Reviews.
How Google Reviews operates differently from Facebook and other review sites
Before talking about how to sign in to Google My Business and how to respond to reviews, here’s a rundown of how Google Reviews operates differently from other review sites.
In short, since Google is such a powerful search engine, it can aggregate reviews from other third-party sites and feature them on the Google Reviews page. For example, consumers will often see a Facebook Review or a Yelp review for a business on Google, but you will only see a Yelp review on Yelp.
Additionally, Google focuses its search results on local results and reviews. When an internet user types in local search terms, Google will first return local places with high reviews. The more reviews (and more positive) a site has, the higher the business appears in the search results.
This is how I found my dentist. I typed in “dentist in Salt Lake City” and opted for the dentist with the best reviews. The decision took me 30 seconds, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
To sum it up, Google uses reviews as one way to guide search and local listings, and Google offers much more search real estate than a general directory listing.
How to sign in to Google My Business
Now that you know why Google Reviews are important and how much more of a role reviews play in Google search than on other sites with reviews, let’s talk about how to sign in to Google my Business.
To sign in to Google My Business, follow these steps:
- Navigate to business.google.com.
- Click the three horizontal bars in the top left-hand corner to choose your listing.
- Click “Manage reviews.”
- Click “View and reply” to type out a response.
Easy enough! Once you’re in your Google My Business account, you can start responding to positive and negative reviews.
How to respond to positive reviews
Responding to positive Google Reviews is a killer way to boost your ratings and engage customers.
A Harvard Business Review study even found that when businesses responded to customer reviews, ratings subsequently increased. Also, it’s important to remember that 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.
Here are the steps for responding to a positive Google review:
- Respond quickly. Quickly responding shows customers that you care and that your customer service team is always at the ready.
- Thank the reviewer. Saying “thank you” goes a long way in fostering customer loyalty. Always say thank you.
- Provide additional value. A positive review means you already have a brand advocate. Reward your reviewer with another offer, piece of news, or event notification.
- Ask them to spread the word. Positive reviews are an excellent marketing tool. Ask your customers to spread the good word.
How to respond to negative reviews
Responding to negative reviews is an essential business practice. Responding to negative reviews shows your customers you care about their experiences, and it increases the likelihood of customers visiting your business.
Survey data shows that responding to negative reviews makes it more likely for 44.6 percent of consumers to visit that business.
Here are the steps for responding to a negative Google review:
- Acknowledge. The first step is to show you understand the customer’s problem by reiterating what they say.
- Empathize. Let your customers know you are sorry they encountered a problem.
- Respond publicly. Since their grievance occurred on a public forum, make sure you respond publicly. This lets everyone know you care.
- Be transparent. If the mistake was yours, say so.
- Offer solutions. Take the time to fix the problem.
- Request an updated review. If you’ve done a great job and the customer is now happy, ask them to update the review so it’s positive instead of negative.
Start responding to Google Reviews
Google Reviews are an awesome way to engage customers and boost your website in the search results.