Posted on 2/3/2015 in Digital Marketing

By Dean Dorazio

Reviews are important for local business, and Google local reviews are one of the most important of all. Not only are reviews on Google Maps influential to web users, but Google actually displays search results that favor local establishments with higher reviews. According to Moz’s Local SEO Ranking Factors, Google My Business & third party directory review sites like Yelp account for nearly 10% of Google’s local search algorithm.

You Can Never Have Too Many Positive Google Local Reviews

It can be a tricky process that has to start with an influence on the business end to steer your clients to write a positive review. A suggestion or reminder to have client’s review is encouraged. Asking a long term client that you know is happy with your service is also a sure-fire way to get good reviews. Keep in mind, clients want make you earn the review, so do not pay them off or discount them directly to influence them to give a good review.

Prepare to Handle Negative Google Local Reviews

It’s much easier to get a negative review than a positive one. The old customer service adage of “ For every nine customers that will remember your company for bad service, there is one customer that will remember you for the excellent service” applies. It’s easier for to be reviewed negatively, whereas a positive review has to be earned. So my advice is, prepare for it like it’s going to happen.

First step is acknowledgement. You need to make sure that you have seen and understand through and through what the issue is.

Second is based on the problem itself. Is it legitimate? Reference Google’s local review policies to start. If there is a violation, you are encouraged to flag the review.

Google Local Review Example

Key offenses that are often borderline are “off-topic reviews”, “impersonation” and “conflicts of interest”, which may require some probing.

After filtering out the second step, the third is a response. You need to respond in an accommodating, positive way. The sooner your response is posted, the better it will go over. Addressing a client’s issues online will diminish chances of a client to seek other business. It also shows other potential prospects that you care. Keep in mind, the client is (most of the time) always right. Even if they aren’t right, apologizing and reassuring the client that customer service is a top priority can be the best damage control for a given situation.

To summarize, the more good reviews you can get, the better. It’s recommended to take the initiative of obtaining good reviews to ensure that they can combat any poor reviews.

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