According to a local consumer review survey, about 77% of consumers read online reviews when looking for a local business.
89% of consumers prefer a business that checks and responds to each online review they receive, while 57% are very wary of businesses that do not respond at all.
Furthermore, the survey reports that about 81% of consumers used Google in 2021 to evaluate a local business before engaging it to fulfill their needs.
This is backed up by an online reviews study by Review Trackers that places Google as most customers’ No. 1 site for leaving reviews. Google tops at 73% as the No. 1 source of all online reviews, beating Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor by a huge margin.
In light of the above, you’ll want to do your best as a business owner to ensure you receive favourable Google reviews from your happy customers.
A negative review left in good faith isn’t a bad thing, and you’ll want a few you can respond to so that your business reflects a human touch rather than puritanical perfection.
Assuming you have already set up your business to receive Google reviews, you may be wondering how you can find reviews your clients have already left for you and any potential customer looking for goods or services similar to what your business provides.
If you have these three fully set up, it means you have a Google My Business account, complete with verification to appear on Google Search, Google Maps, and other Google entities that apply. It means you also have a Google review link and a Place ID via Google Maps App developer page.
If you have all these set up, it also means that you have most likely been actively asking each client you serve to leave you a legitimate review on Google.
But how do you dig these reviews up for internal analysis, making responses, or reaching out to Google Small Business Support to delete Google reviews that were left in bad faith?
Step 1: Access Your Google My Business Profile
You can find your Google reviews by signing into your Google My Business account through the Google My Business page. Note that Google My Business is now called Google Business Profile.
If you don’t have a Google Business Profile set up, you can do it as an add-on to the Google account you use for your business.
This is easy to do by visiting https://www.google.com/business/, where you can list your business name, location/address, social media pages, website, contact information, hours of operation, and the products or services you offer.
The purpose of this account is to help you receive and respond to Google My Business reviews left by your customers.
To access the reviews on desktop, go to the Google My Business dashboard to the sidebar column and click on “Last Reviews.” Depending on the Google user and their experience with your business, it may be a good review or a bad one.
Sometimes a customer review will be negative because they didn’t have the best experience working with you.
While you can always report a bad review for consideration and deleting, you can’t always want only positive reviews because they paint your business as infallible, which is rarely the case.
You can always provide each customer with your Google Reviews link and request them to leave you a considerate online review when it comes to getting reviews. The link can be shared in an email, text message, or even a recent post on your blog.
However, your business should refrain from paying people to leave you a fake review. This is not only a bad business practice, but it also goes against Google’s standards for online reviews.
Step 2: Find Your Reviews Through Google Maps, Google, or Business Profile
You don’t have to have the Business Profile account add-on to access online reviews for your small business. Finding the reviews can be as simple as checking Google search results or Google Maps.
When you look up your business on Google Maps and search results on the desktop, it shows on the browser’s side. You’ll find options here for reading every new review or browsing back through the older reviews.
You can also use your phone browser to find the reviews by visiting the Google My Business page and checking the “Reviews Section.”
You can access the “Reviews” tab in your My Business Profile dashboard when you want to do internal analytics of your received reviews and comments.
You can see a breakdown of your business’s review data, add official business photos, or create Google ads for gaining more leads in the dashboard.
Why Are Google Reviews Important to a Local Business?
According to a Google Reviews Study that looked at how many reviews local businesses need, 74% of such businesses have at least one Google review, while the average number is 39 reviews.
The same study found that businesses that appear in the top three local search positions on Google have 47 reviews on average.
Also, local businesses have an average Google Reviews rating of 4.42 stars, a sweet spot that indicates the human touch customers look for in a business.
To enhance your business’ client satisfaction, you can incorporate the analyzed review data into your programs by ensuring your customer service personnel are aware of such data and what it means for your small business.
Additionally, since Google reviews are tied to Google Search, you should invest in local SEO (search engine optimization) by checking what keywords your business and competitor businesses are ranking for.
Since Google is the largest search engine, you’ll want to ensure that you can get as many reviews as possible on the engine from Google users that your business interacts with.
If most of your new clients find you through a Google search, your local SEO strategy will help ensure even more potential customers find your business.