Google My Business: Reviews
What are Google reviews, how do they work? How do you get them? And what’s the impact they have on your rankings?
Reviews on Google come up with useful information and help your business stand out. Reviews appear up next to your Business Profile in Maps and Search.
Google Reviews Importance
Most of us know about Google reviews. We look at the importance of reviews from two different perspectives.
First, we read their reviews because we want to know the user experience. Second, we realize how important it is to have reviews for our search engine optimization, so we wanted to see how we rank on Google My Business.
As we search for Optometrists in Squamish, you will be able to see three companies showing up and that is what we call the Google 3-Pack. And you’re probably wondering, why does optimized show up above Garibaldi Eye Care. There are lots of different reasons for it, including how well everything’s optimized.
Garibaldi Eye Care is one of our clients. The only reason that they’re showing up as number two is that they only have 30 reviews and the other one is 280 reviews. This is a brand new clinic. They only opened up six months ago and getting more reviews is just going to take time. So I don’t expect them to show up in number one for a while. But they still have 35-star reviews. This is especially important because it impacts the user experience. In other words, even though they’re showing up in number two, they might still attract clicks to the website to read reviews.
Relevance of Number of Google Reviews
So when it comes to reviews, numbers are important, and Google has said that even a negative review still helps your rankings.
Another thing we do is we have a little plugin that displays the reviews on the client’s website so that once they land on the website, they can see the authority of the reviews. And this is dynamically pulling it in from Google reviews so that people can read the reviews as you scroll through a website.
You will ask yourself, at some point, how do I know if these people are really good since, you know, we all have been burned at some point and it’s not just when the Google reviews are at the very bottom. So it’s part of the journey on the website. Therefore, user experience is just as important as search engine optimization.
So how do you get more reviews?
On following policies of Google My Business in getting reviews, we need to consider this to Google My Business policy on how to get reviews.
You cannot gate reviews
Now one of the things to know is you cannot gate reviews, meaning they’re used to be tools, these actually still exist, but they just got hammered on.
The one thing you need to know is that you cannot gate reviews, which means there were tools available, but they’ve been hammered down by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. On January 27, 2022, the FTC in the United States hit some key players in the review generation business with a huge, fine. Review gating is when you leave us a review and let us know what you’re doing. You then say, well, you left a two-star and one-star review, so it didn’t get published. It is held back for the PR department to handle and is never posted to Google My or Google My Business. That’s review gating. It is not permitted. The easiest way to let them know that you leave reviews is simply to create and share the link.
You cannot bribe people.
Make sure you are aware of the legalities involved. Sometimes people ask me, okay, somebody left me a negative review, but it wasn’t a client because they bumped into me with their shopping cart, and we argued. And then now they have a feud, the only thing you can do is make a request for removal knowing that there’s no guarantee that Google will remove it.
What we always recommend to a client is, to leave a very professional response. Depending on what the review is and how you respond, you will do more to improve your public relations than having a negative review in the first place. Therefore, don’t take negative reviews too seriously if you have a service issue, you have to take any action to solve the problem. But if someone has a feud against you, there are ways to handle it professionally and it won’t have an impact on your click-through rate.
How to view Google reviews?
To view the reviews received, you can go and click the reviews to show them up. And you can go by newest. I don’t look at the relevant that’s not important to me. But I do look at the newest and read them through. But if it’s something that happened a week ago, and there seems to be a theme, especially when it comes to service that I have a problem with.
So that’s how you get your Google reviews, make sure that you actually have a system in place to request reviews. It has a review generation system built into it so that when someone actually is done with the clinic, it’ll send them an email asking them to leave a review. And many software has that nowadays because it is so important.
So make sure you have it set up and that you’re getting those reviews and that your Google My Business is optimized, and it’s not going to be called Google business profile.