Google have now changed their terms of leaving local reviews for businesses and you now do not require a Google+ account to leave a review.
This is great news for businesses because anyone with a Google account can now post reviews, without having to sign up for Google+ which will now allow and encourage more people to write reviews and then that will ultimately contribute towards your search engine rankings and your reputation.
When you go to write a review on a Local Business listing you will get this window (see below) which will prompt you to sign in to your Google account. This is where you can write your review and give your rating out of 5 for the business you are reviewing.
However before you start worrying about the thought of lots of people having access to writing reviews, let’s go through the reasons why your business needs reviews.
Showcasing Good Reviews
Obviously if you have good reviews for your business, then it allows new visitors to gain trust in your business, resulting in them becoming a paying customer. A great range of good reviews is also brilliant for businesses, say you have an online shop and a customer had an issue with a product and rung your helpline, they could then write a positive review about how great your customer service is. All these aspects allow new users to trust your site, which closes the gap of doubt that every person has when buying anything online.
Turning Negative Feedback Into a Positive
Believe it or not, bad reviews can really benefit your company because it allows you the opportunity to reply the review in a professional way. If there was a bad review against you, you can reply for example, with an apology and explain that this customer has received a full refund and explaining the problem that took place. This is a real thumbs up among customers and potential customers because they can see that if there were a problem, your business will look after that customer with a full refund etc, or a genuine apology and a promise to improve in future. We’ve worked with quite a few companies to help them write replies to bad reviews in the past, turning negative feedback into a positive thing by showing them in a great light and really showcasing their customer services and willingness to apologise and improve.
Improving Google Rankings
Google will use your reviews as a measure of how well your business is liked by internet users. It makes sense therefore that if your business has several great reviews that you will rank higher above a similar business that has no reviews or a few bad reviews. Good reviews significantly improve your Local Business rankings in Google, displaying you near the top more often, so we actively encourage our clients to get their customers to review them.
To manage your Google reviews, you need to claim your Google Local Business Listing within your Google account. You can then respond to your reviews and manage some of the elements that are shown in your Google Local Business Listing, so that you can optimize your business to the way you want.
Furthermore if you do receive a bad review and you don’t have a Google My Business account, you are unable to respond to that review and then visitors will be seeing a bad review without company feedback and will ultimately lose trust in your site.
If you need help accessing your Google Local Business Listing just give us a call.