As we moved from the era of outbound marketing to inbound marketing, what people think about your business became increasingly important.
Instead of solely relying on ads seen on TV, read in Newspapers, or listened to on Radio Shows, people now do extensive searches about the products and services they intend purchasing.
Because of this, the marketplace has became increasingly competitive.
Businesses still use traditional means of advertising, supplemented by online marketing, but now they have to take care of their brand reputation more than ever.
The Power of an Online Review
Reviews are one of the most powerful tools available for customers. Be it reviews left on the website of the business, on their Facebook page, or, most importantly, on Google review, companies have to be extremely diligent with the feedback.
Fearing bad online reviews, some businesses prefer to not supply that option to their customers on their webpages and social media platforms.
However, you cannot run away from Google reviews.
You can turn off your Facebook reviews but this option is not available with Google.
People increasingly rely on the experience others have with a business they are intending to use. Too many bad reviews and they will run a mile.
Instead of trying to avoid the responsibility of dealing with the feedback, businesses should engage with their users and strive for better customer service.
If you see that businesses reply to the good and bad reviews in a mature and positive way, you are more inclined to spend your hard earned with them.
If this is done, not only will better reviews follow, but Google will give your brand visibility a sufficient boost. The search engine prefers local businesses that have high reviews and is much more likely to bump you up in search results.
What Your Review Should Focus On
Writing a Google review is extremely easy.
Search for the business by typing in the Business name + Suburb. This will usually bring them up on the right hand side of the Google Search. This is called the “knowledge panel” for that business and is also that businesses Google My Business listing
There is much information available here, gathered by Google from a variety of sources.
- the exact address of the business
- the working hours
- pictures of the place
Google uses a bit old fashioned, but still reliable, 5-star reviews system. The same ones that had once been employed by YouTube.
Click on Google Reviews and then press “Write a Review” option.
Now you can tell the business what you think of them.
Keep in mind – your reviews will be seen by everyone who searches for this business.
Please don’t take this responsibility lightly. Be as truthful and objective as possible. If this is a local, start-up or even family business, your review could actually make them or break them. The best reviews are those that give honest feedback to the company.
Why do people give four instead of five star ratings, when they have no complaints?
Some people have an aversion to providing 5-star reviews. It might be because of principle, or because they think that there is always a room to improve. There is a point to that. However, it can be harmful to business.
Probably one of the most confusing reviews for business is to receive is 4-star review where the reviewer has said that everything was perfect, no complaints etc
Restaurants, motor mechanics, hotels, cafes, etc live and die on the reviews they receive.
To leave a four star review and say that everything is great is puzzling to the business.
If you have to leave a 4 star review, at least tell the business why they didn’t get 5 stars.
Let me ask the die hard 4 star review givers whether a 4.5 rating would influence them to choose that business over one with a 3.9 rating? Of course it would!
Now go on and do the right thing! If you have absolutely nothing to complain about then leave a 5 star. You might just be helping that business to survive another day!
Writing a Review Without a Gmail Account
Most people think that you need a Gmail account to write a Google review.
It is understandable where this idea comes from, but it is not the case. There is a way to circumvent this, if you don’t want to sign up for Gmail or YouTube, for some reason or other.
All you need is to download Google Maps on your device. You can download Google Maps without signing up for Gmail account.
Once you download this app, all you need to do is search for the business and write the review. It is as simple as that.