Reviews on Google Maps might be the supercharged boost your business needs to take sales and growth to the next level. Because Google hosts the most visible reviews on the internet, the reviews it shows make a difference to your bottom line. Google Maps makes it easier for customers to find your business. Plus, it draws attention to your business to bring in new leads too. You just need to know how to harness its power.
Updates To Google Maps Reviews You Need to Know About
Last year, Google upgraded Maps to include a variety of new features, including a tab to give users recommendations and a trending list. Even if you’re an expert at using Google Maps, you might have missed out on some key features introduced by this update like direct messaging and star ratings that appear directly on the map. Now, customers can see your reviews at a glance, message your business to ask questions or make comments, and you can reply instantly through the app. Google now also offers the option to include hashtags in reviews—making it easier for users to find businesses based on their interests.
While updates add more opportunity for businesses like yours to be found, you need to abide by a new set of rules. As a business owner, you must be careful with how you solicit reviews. Google prohibits business owners from selectively promoting positive reviews, discouraging negative reviews, offering money for reviews, and/or trying to garner reviews in bulk. Google may even remove your reviews if it finds you violate these terms. That’s why business owners should pay careful attention to how you get your reviews. Here’s everything you need to know about getting reviews on Google Maps the right way.
5 Steps to Getting Reviews on Google Maps
1. Accurately list your location
To become visible on Google Maps, you need to accurately list your business through your Google My Business profile. Since users search for businesses near them, if you list your business’ location incorrectly, nearby customers won’t know where to find you. Check on your location details occasionally to ensure accuracy, and to make sure users haven’t tried to rename your business like Hornsea Language College in the UK. According to local news, the school was briefly renamed “Hell on Earth” in a prank by students.
Fortunately, for the administrators, they had claimed their Google listing, meaning the change couldn’t be finalized without their approval.
2. Ask for reviews
This seems like a no-brainer. To get reviews of your business to appear on Google Maps, take the following steps:
Promote Your Google My Business Listing
Your Google My Business Listing correlates with what appears on Google Maps. To get reviews on Google Maps, you need reviews for your Google My Business Listing first. Promote your Google My Business Listing to encourage people to leave reviews. Whether you link to your listing on your website, list it on marketing materials, or promote your listing on social media, growing your Google My Business Listing profile can encourage customers to leave more reviews—and improve your exposure on Google Maps too.
Provide a Direct Link to Allow Customers to Write Reviews
If your customers have to do a lot of legwork to leave a review, they won’t do it. Make this process as easy as possible. Include a review link for customers to write reviews to save them time. They’re much more likely to leave a review if it takes only a few seconds than if they have to hunt down your business to provide the review.
Ask Customers for Reviews
There’s no shame in the hustle! Ask customers directly for reviews to grow your online profile. You can ask as you complete a transaction, mention reviews on receipts, or tie reviews to an incentive-based program for in-store discounts.
3. Ensure your reviews comply with Google rules
As noted above, Google has some pretty strict rules about how you get your reviews. Google may delete reviews that violate its policies. Don’t offer money for reviews. Don’t try to discourage negative reviews. Don’t solicit reviews in bulk. Try to keep everything on the up-and-up so you can keep all your hard-earned reviews and avoid penalty.
4. Flag fraudulent reviews for removal
When users look at Google Maps reviews, they’re often in a hurry. Make life a little easier for them by eliminating fraudulent reviews from the mix. Unfortunately, some people post fake reviews of a business or troll a company. Luckily, Google has a system for this. You can flag any fraudulent reviews of your business for Google to investigate and hopefully remove. Make this a habit. Check every week or few days to keep your profile clean, accurate, and user-friendly.
5. Respond to reviews through Google My Business
Respond to reviews through Google My Business to show customers your business is attentive to customers, cares about feedback, and uses this platform to engage—thereby encouraging more people to leave reviews and leverage this communication channel to speak with your business directly. This visible communication stream builds trust with customers because they can see if you resolve outstanding issues—which could encourage them to check out your business in the first place.
Why Reviews Matter
The majority of web traffic is mobile
Mobile web traffic has continued to skyrocket, now accounting for 57 percent of total web traffic. Your company absolutely needs to have reviews for customers to read via mobile. Otherwise, some customers might not find your business at all.
Google gets reviews faster than Yelp and TripAdvisor
Google My Business reels in over 158 million visitors per month. That’s more than Yelp and TripAdvisor combined. Even if you don’t have reviews on Google, your competitors might, so get in the game and compile reviews to compete.
A lot of consumers form opinions based on reviews
An estimated 88 percent of customers trust reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation. Since customers use reviews to make purchasing decisions, leverage reviews of your business to increase credibility, trust, and sales.
How Podium Helps Solve Reputation Problems
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Podium integrates with your Google Reviews and online reputation management seamlessly. Here are the benefits if offers businesses like yours.
Message customers quickly and easily
Podium’s Messaging Platform makes it easy to interact with customers via multiple platforms (text, Facebook Messenger, Google Click-to-Message, and Podium’s Webchat) all through one convenient inbox. This allows you to address problems and engage with customers without the hassle of switching between platforms.
Send review invitations
Podium allows you to text customers with a link to leave reviews for your business. Not only does this give your invitation a personal touch, but it also makes it quick and easy for the customer to give you feedback. It’s a win-win.
Podium will notify you when you get reviews, so you don’t have to keep hitting reload on your Google My Business Listing to hunt for new reviews. Plus, you can manage reviews in Podium and respond to reviews on multiple sites through one inbox.
Compare your reviews to your competitors’
Podium allows you to compare your reviews to your five major competitors—giving you quick insight into how you rank. It’s always important to size up the competition, and as a busy business owner, it’s nice to be able to do this at a glance.
See which employees garner reviews
With Podium, you can see which employees request reviews for your business and also see what customers say about your employees. Podium offers so much more than that too. You can use Podium to create competitions between employees, gamifying their performance and encouraging more people to leave valuable reviews on your profile.
Getting reviews on Google Maps is an undeniably powerful way to get your business noticed. Make Google Maps reviews a priority so it works its best for your business.