Is it possible to achieve business success and acquire many customers by ignoring online visibility and opinions about your business in the Google Maps application? Yes, but only if you are a dominant player or a massive corporation with a substantial marketing and advertising budget. Otherwise, what users post on your company’s profile can influence potential customers and serve as a guide for them.
Let’s be clear: you can’t afford to lose their interest.
In this article, we’ll explain why Google reviews are so critical, describe how reviews about your company influence consumer behavior, show you how to improve your brand’s reputation on Google Maps and explain what steps you can take to remove harmful and unfair reviews about your company on the Internet.
Ready to learn how to improve google reviews? So let’s hit the road!
Why Google Map Reviews Are So Important?
Imagine traveling through an unfamiliar city and searching for a restaurant that offers delicious local cuisine. Or perhaps you need to find a hairdresser in your neighborhood, but you are unsure which of the four local options is the best. At other times, you may be on the hunt for a cafe that serves vegan desserts. In such situations, you can turn to Google Maps feedback for assistance if you lack reliable recommendations.
And guess what? There’s nothing unusual about it.
More Positive Reviews = More New Customers
- 59% of Internet users read online reviews on Google before purchasing (Aov Up)
- Over 90% of potential customers check whether a company is worth trusting based on reviews (Localiq)
- Only 9 out of 100 users will trust a company that is rated 1-2 stars (Rankomedia)
- 88% customers trust positive reviews at Google business profile as much as personal recommendations (Podium)
Every company that hopes to be noticed by potential customers in the digital space must not only have an SEO-optimized website (e.g., a blog full of interesting content related to your business will increase the visibility of your website in search results), and an updated company profile on Google Maps, but that’s not all.
Apart from visibility itself, what users read about the company is essential.
Advantages of Having a Business Profile on Google Maps
Having a presence on Google Maps can be a game-changer for any business.
By having a complete and accurate company profile, companies can positively influence consumer decisions and improve their ranking in local SEO. It can lead to increased visibility and greater chances of attracting potential customers. By monitoring and managing feedback effectively, businesses can succeed online and build a strong reputation.
Here’s how it can help grow your business:
Brand Trust and Company Verification
It’s common for customers to check reviews before making a purchase. Positive reviews and many satisfied customers can make a company more trustworthy and credible. On the other hand, if a product or service has a lot of negative reviews, it could be a warning sign that something is wrong with the brand’s offer or customer service.
Impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Various factors determine Google’s search results. When ranking a local business, the algorithms used by the tech giant consider the number and quality of reviews for a particular business.
Positive reviews play a crucial role in determining the ranking and can help improve the visibility of a company, increasing its chances of appearing in local search results. The more positive Google reviews a business has in the app, the higher the chances of appearing above its competitors.
Greater User Engagement
Enabling customers to leave reviews is a great way to connect directly with the brand.
Responding to these reviews, whether they are positive or negative, within the Google dashboard demonstrates the company’s commitment to addressing customer concerns and valuing their feedback. This interaction can enhance the overall user experience and help build strong brand relationships with existing and potential customers.
Making Better Business Decisions
Honest reviews influence not only the purchasing decisions of subsequent customers. The information they contain is equally essential for the company itself.
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your business allows you to implement appropriate corrections and make better business decisions. For example, if a group of users draw attention to the inability to pay by card at the supplier (if we operate in the catering industry), it is worth implementing such a solution.
Don’t ask yourself again why my business isn’t on Google Maps. Take care of your Google account. Add your company (if necessary), and if you already have a business card (review page), read positive and negative reviews. Lots of poor grades? Later in the text, I will show you how to change it.
But before we move on to ways to obtain positive feedback, I have one more important piece of information for you.
Why Google Business Profile is Not Enough
Per Search Engine Land, websites created using Google Business Profiles will be turned off by March 2024. Businesses that wish to maintain their online presence must rebuild their websites using another platform. From June 10 onwards, visitors trying to access these disabled websites will receive an error message stating “page not found.” Before that, customers will be directed to the Business’s Google Business Profile.
What does this mean in practice?
You will no longer be able to have only a business card page generated by Google My Business. Anyone who wants a website linked to their profile, also in Google Maps, must prepare a comprehensive website. It is important information because many companies automatically generate business card websites.
Enough theory, time to get more Google reviews.
Use Surveys to Build More User Reviews
Imagine you run a restaurant. After the visit, you ask customers to complete a satisfaction survey to find out what they think about the quality of the dishes served, the attitude of the service, the waiting time for the meal, or the cleanliness of the premises.
You can make such a survey available using a QR code on the bill, or – in the case of another type of business (e.g., online store) – send review link by e-mail or display it on your computer screen after the transaction (pop-up surveys).
Customer Loyalty is Great for Your Business
Remember to keep the survey short. Its goal is to obtain as much valuable information as possible with minimal effort from the respondent. A questionnaire that is too long has a discouraging effect, which translates into a lower response rate and, therefore, the poor quality of the entire study.
In addition to the areas mentioned above, it is worth asking about future business recommendations because this is ultimately the basis of opinions posted on Google Maps.
We will go for a romantic dinner or Sunday lunch at a specific restaurant if we read from the reviews that customers who have visited it before recommend it to others, right?
The same applies to the area’s hotels, service points, cafes, and flower shops.
How to Measure the Willingness to Recommend?
A good indicator of the willingness to recommend is the NPS survey. This short question allows us to determine directly whether the respondent would recommend a given place to family or friends and determines the readiness level to recommend it on a scale from 0 to 10.
NPS Survey Template
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a world-renowned methodology and one of the best business tools for researching customer loyalty. You will draw remarkably valuable conclusions with such simple to collect and valuable feedback.
An online survey tool, like Startquestion, provides the option to set up a survey in a way that prompts people who give a high rating to leave a review on the Google My Business profile and then redirect them to it. It’s also essential to consider the feedback from customers who gave lower ratings. This helps identify and rectify any errors and ensures a better experience for future customers.
How to Get More Reviews with Survey Software
1. Prepare a satisfaction survey (see ready-made CX survey templates)
2. Take care of distributing the questionnaire (email, QR code, text message, link, etc.)
3. Redirect survey respondents to the Google review link
4. Set a notification when a new rating appears
Isn’t it simple?
If you want to test this solution and learn how to increase Google reviews with Startquestion, our guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to carry out this process: Use customer recommendations to build your brand profile [article]
Other Ways to Ask For a Review
Redirecting good vibes and positive opinions from satisfied respondents is one of the most effective methods of improving your company’s image on Google business reviews, but it is not the only one. Depending on the business profile, it is worth testing several other practices to verify which works best in a specific case.
Discount or Small Gift
There’s nothing wrong with rewarding a satisfied customer for their time. At the checkout (the physical one in the store and the virtual one), prepare a QR code leading to your Google account with a request to leave a review. As a reward for writing a few words, you can provide a discount on subsequent purchases or, for example, if you are a publisher, access to content hidden behind a paywall.
However, don’t even think about buying Google Maps reviews. It is a terrible practice that leads to nothing good. Ethical issues aside, the brand’s crisis may be complex if the truth comes to light. You don’t need this kind of trouble.
E-Mail/Text Message Reminder
It is a common practice but requires sensitivity. Sending an intrusive e-mail every few days reminding the buyer that they have “the last chance to evaluate the purchased goods” will probably discourage more people from making further transactions than encourage them to leave a favorable opinion. Use it wisely, e.g., by combining ONE request for a review with a small gift.
For a global clothing brand with transactions in the thousands, such a solution will not be practical or even possible. However, in the case of a company with a group of a dozen/several dozen large clients, asking during a telephone conversation to leave a review on Google Maps may turn out to be a bull’s-eye. It all depends on the relationship with the client.
Take Care of Your Google Account
It is crucial to take care of the company’s business card for SEO and to build a positive first impression when a potential customer contacts the brand. Your Google reviews page should always have accurate contact information, business hours, directions, and high-quality photos.
Update your information regularly, including any changes to business operations or offerings. When other customers see the activity of other users and the concern of the business card owner, they may be more willing to leave opinions.
Respond to Existing Reviews
It’s important for companies to not only pay attention to positive reviews but also negative ones, as they can greatly affect the brand’s reputation.
Proactive and professional responses to negative voices demonstrate concern for customer satisfaction. Monitor reviews regularly and respond quickly to any negative feedback. Apologize for problems, offer solutions or compensation, and show your willingness to solve the issues. A proactive approach to customer pain points can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
All right. We already know how to obtain new opinions. What about the ones we have that spoil our image?
Is It Possible to Remove a Negative Review?
Is it easy? Nope. But there are exceptions. Let me show you which ones.
Let’s start with distinguishing between a negative customer feedback and a malicious opinion or fake review. The first one is a review from a dissatisfied customer. Instead of figuring out how to delete such a voice, we recommend looking at the reported problem, contacting the entry’s author, and explaining the topic or seeking compensation.
Criticizing a company’s operations is one thing, but writing false information, slandering employees by name, or just plain spam is another.
Google Support will consider well-documented applications (it is worth adding screenshots/emails to the application in addition to explanations), and the bots will automatically (at least in theory) deal with mass opinions added in a short period, e.g., when the competition decides to lower your ranking unfairly.
Limit Bad Reviews with Professional Behavior
Please note, however, that reporting or disputing a review does not guarantee removal. Google evaluates each case individually, and if the review is in line with its policies, it may remain on your business profile. It is more effective to focus on proactive activities that encourage satisfied users and loyal customers to leave only positive reviews.
This strategy will also work in the case of negative votes.
It will help solve the problems of disappointed consumers (some of whom may even become brand ambassadors if the brand takes care of them), and substantive responses to false entries will show Internet users that the company not only cares about its image but also has evidence and arguments refuting false accusations.
Take Care of Your Reputation on Google Maps with Startquestion
Honest treatment of customer expectations and problems and a proactive policy of obtaining and using positive opinions about your business can significantly improve your business. We would be delighted if you used our tool for this purpose.
Do you want to strengthen your Google Maps rating with online surveys?