Google review management is one of the most crucial aspects of online reputation management (ORM). Today, more customers utilize Google and other online review platforms to voice their brand opinions and influence other people’s decisions. Without a doubt, Google reviews have unprecedented power to shape your company’s online reputation.
What efforts are you making to manage Google reviews and leverage them to your advantage?
Building a positive online reputation is a long and complicated process. It can be challenging to manage Google reviews and navigate the online realm demands at the same time, especially if you don’t have the knowledge and experience.
In this post, we answered these common questions regarding Google review management:
• Why must I learn how to manage Google reviews?
• What factors influence people’s Google reviews engagement?
• How do I manage my Google reviews?
• How to respond appropriately to both positive and negative customer reviews?
Our Rize Reviews experts can walk you through the different facets of Google review management and Google review response publishing. Read on and discover how you can improve the quality and quantity of your Google reviews today.
Why is it Important to Manage Google Reviews?
Google reviews are the most popular and most visible platform on the web,” said Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ senior reputation manager. “They highly affect local search engine optimization (SEO) results, especially on mobile searches — the most common type of search.”
Every day, approximately 3.5 billion searches are conducted across the world, and 75 percent of these start on Google. This means the majority of your prospects rely heavily on this search engine giant to gather information about your local businesses and assess your brand’s value.
To get your business in front of the right customers and rank high in search results, you must manage Google reviews effectively. Statistics show that 72 percent of customers who conduct a local search take immediate action based on the information they find online. Effective Google review management strategies help:
• Improve your local exposure
• Promote transparency
• Boost your click-through rates (CTRs)
• Convert prospects into loyal customers
• Establish your thought leadership brand
Google reviews get the most respect and have the most users of any review site,” Clarke added. “They are a key indicator of the trustworthiness and credibility of a company.”
A well-balanced combination of review signals can help catapult your business to the top of search results and move customers to the bottom of the sales funnel. As such, you must learn how to manage Google reviews to make a positive first impression on your prospects.
What Factors Influence People’s Google Reviews Engagement?
• There are several motivations behind online customer reviews. These are:
• To assist other people in their decision making
• To express gratitude or satisfaction of a business’ services or products
• To help companies improve their products and services
• To be heard or noticed
• To participate in a group activity
• To express their dissatisfaction
Using reputation management software, you can acquire useful customer data and launch drip campaigns to ask customers for Google reviews and testimonials. However, you can’t expect everyone to respond to your review requests willingly. Here’s why:
• 90 percent of online users are lurkers — they read online reviews but do not contribute
• Some businesses and industries don’t stand out
• There is a weak social link between your company and target customers
• Your customers are busy
• Your business doesn’t have many reviews; it doesn’t encourage customers to provide feedback
• Not everyone is willing to share their opinion on a platform public
• Different audience segments participate differently in Google reviews
Transparency is a highly valued aspect of SEO and brand reputation management. It serves as the foundation of business success and customer loyalty. With authentic Google reviews, you can showcase your brand transparency at all levels.
Google review management, however, may sound easy on the surface, but it demands careful planning and execution. You may be asking, “So how do I manage Google reviews?” Begin by optimizing your online profile.
How Do I Manage My Google Reviews?
Google continuously redefines its review management protocols to provide online users with the best possible experience and guide their online journey. These updates can impact your review generation and monitoring practices.
Recently, the global shutdown caused by the pandemic affected many businesses worldwide, including Google. This resulted in indefinite suspensions of Google features and services, including Google My Business (GMB) reviews and the Questions and Answers (Q&A) section on GMB listings. As a result, new reviews, review responses and new Q&A were unavailable for quite some time.
Early April, Google has started rolling out review functionalities on a region-b- region basis. As Google slowly returns to business as usual, there is a heightened need to prioritize Google review management.
How do I manage Google reviews? Read on and learn more about optimizing your Google reviews:
1. Ensure Your GMB Listing is Verified
Google review management starts with your GMB listing. “To improve Google review management processes,” Clarke said, “they [businesses] should make sure their GMB accounts are accurate and detailed.”
Before establishing a review generation and monitoring strategy, you must ensure your business is Google verified. Simply head over to GMB, register your business and wait for Google to process your unique PIN within two weeks. Once your business is verified, you can set up your review notification emails and begin your Google review acquisition.
2. Promote Your GMB Listing
Simply having a GMB profile is not enough to enhance your presence in Google Search and Google Maps. After creating your profile, the next step is to optimize your GMB listing and ensure it matches relevant searches.
Here are some tips on how to promote your GMB listing:
• Write a comprehensive and engaging GMB description
• Optimize your business images
• Keep your GMB posts up-to-date and interesting
• Monitor your GMB Q&A section
• Ramp up your review generation practices
• Provide Google review responses
• Follow Google guidelines
• Keep your GMB profile up-to-date
3. Monitor All Your Customer Touchpoints
Every customer touchpoint is vital in online reputation management. Understanding your various points of contact will enable you to gain actionable insights and provide better quality customer service.
Your customer touchpoint can happen at any time in the customers’ online journey. From your paid ads and online store to your social media pages and GMB profile, these touchpoints are opportunities to promote customer satisfaction. Research shows that 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a positive brand experience. Meanwhile, a negative customer experience can cause you to get bad customer reviews, lose potential customers or both.
Technology and consumer needs are constantly evolving, so you need to monitor your customer touchpoints continually and ensure they are aligned with your brand objectives.
4. Understand Consumer Sentiment
As a marketer, you can’t simply assume you understand your customers’ brand experience and expect them to leave positive online feedback. Utilize Google reviews to analyze consumer sentiment and improve your brand offerings and customer service. By identifying patterns and analyzing customer behaviors, you get a clear picture of how consumers perceive your brand. Doing so also allows you to turn negative customer reviews into marketing wins.
5. Encourage Your Best Customers to Provide Positive Online Reviews
Build online confidence and improve your customer response rate. Having positive Google reviews is one of the fastest ways to acquire new customers and increase your profitability. A study by BrightLocal shows that 73 percent of customers trust businesses with positive brand reviews. What’s more, even a one-star rating has a 107 percent better conversion rate than products with no reviews.
Consider these Google review management tips to encourage your customers to write online reviews:
• Ask for reviews via email or SMS campaigns
• Create a review acquisition process
• Target satisfied customers
• Personalize your review requests
• Explain to your customers the importance of leaving online reviews
• Make writing a review as simple as possible
• Send review requests at the right time
• Follow up on your review requests
• Respond to customer reviews
6. Streamline Your Review Response Publishing Strategy
Responding to online reviews shows that you value your customers’ opinions and brand experience. It increases the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your website and take your desired action, such as purchase a product or make a phone call.
“Respond to 60 to 100 percent of total reviews,” Clarke said. “They [businesses] should respond to 100 percent of all negative reviews and more than half of positives within one to two business days.”
This is crucial because when you don’t respond to customer concerns promptly, issues can quickly escalate and stain your brand’s reputation. Of course, you don’t want that to happen. Likewise, responding to positive reviews offers a pleasant surprise to your customers and makes them feel appreciated.
7. Utilize Online Reputation Management Software
Monitor your brand mentions across Google and other online channels and grow your positive customer reviews exponentially. Reputation management software is designed to streamline your review generation and review monitoring processes.
Using this tool, you can:
• Build your customer database
• Create localized campaigns
• Get access to more than 100 major review sites
• Keep a pulse on your niche market
• Launch personalized email campaigns
8. Steer Clear of Black Hat SEO Practices
Google has strict guidelines relating to its reviews. Violating any of these protocols could seriously harm your online rankings and even get you penalized. Keep in mind the following tips to avoid getting penalized by Google:
• Ensure all your Google reviews, photos, videos and content are accurately positioned on the map
• Do not manipulate Google reviews and ratings
• Do not review your own business or employer
• Never offer money, products or services to customers to write Google reviews
• Do not post reviews on behalf of other people
• Do not post content about a competitor to manipulate their ratings
Google processes online reviews and detects inappropriate content automatically, such as fake reviews and spam. More importantly, it reserves the right to pursue legal action, remove content or suspend accounts of businesses that violate its guidelines.
9. Repair Your Online Reputation
Don’t let negative reviews and bad initial customer impressions taint your brand’s digital interactions. By taking a proactive approach to online reputation repair, you can quickly and effectively rebuild your online confidence.
Follow these tips:
• Build out your profile
• Claim your GMB listing
• Refocus your SEO strategies
• Generate more positive reviews
• Respond to customer reviews politely and professionally
• Flag fake reviews
• Boost your social media brand management strategy
10. Maintain a Healthy Brand Reputation Across Digital Channels
Brand reputation management is crucial in acquiring more positive Google reviews. Focus on your customer experience, personalize your customer interactions and deliver goal-oriented customer support. These practices allow you to create and maintain a positive brand reputation.
“Businesses can also work with companies like Rize Reviews to proactively do review campaigns, with Google reviews as the priority in their funnels,” Clarke said.
Rize Reviews’ online reputation management experts can help you respond to dozens of Google reviews every month and do the full life cycle of Google reviews from generating and monitoring reviews to handling negative and positive reviews and providing review responses. We can also assist you in marketing the good Google reviews on your site using custom widget designs.
Amplify Your Online Reputation with Goal-Driven Google Review Management Tactics
Vague brand statements are a thing of the past. People want real, honest brand opinions and the key to brand transparency starts with Google reviews.
How do I manage Google reviews? It’s simple. Follow the abovementioned Google review management practices and keep your online marketing strategies on the right path. Don’t have the time and capacity to learn how to manage Google reviews? Rize Reviews is here to help you!
From Google review generation and review monitoring to Google review response publishing and online reputation repair, we’ve got you covered. Contact our reputation management experts today and let us help you uncover the many opportunities that positive Google reviews can bring your company.