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Google Reviews: Why They’re Important and What to Do About Them

Why GMB Reviews Are So Important

What we’ll cover in this post:

  • The importance of Google reviews to your online reputation
  • How to respond to both positive and negative reviews
  • A step-by-step how-to on the process

In order to get the most out of your Google My Business listing, it is important to keep up with reviews on a consistent basis.

Responding to Google reviews is just as influential as the reviews themselves. It provides prospective customers with a feel for what you’re like, encourages more customers to leave reviews, and can sometimes result in people amending their initial negative reviews and ratings to positive ones.

gmb review example Responding to reviews will also help you to stay on top of your online reputation, make improvements where necessary, and identify strengths to focus on.

It is important to take special consideration when replying to negative reviews. Be professional and calm when responding to these while also providing either an explanation for the negative experience the reviewer had or a resolution.

If there is no explanation, or if you feel the reviewer is being dishonest or misrepresenting their experience, it is never a good idea to express this in your response.

In the case that a disgruntled person or business competitor is deliberately committing libel or slander there are further actions that can be taken, but that is a bridge to be crossed when the time comes, and going about this is to be resolved circumstantially.

How to Respond to Google Reviews

Here is a step by step guide on how to respond to your Google reviews:

Step 1: Sign in to Google My Business

Access the Google My Business dashboard by navigating to business.google.com.

 

 

If you own or manage your business listing but are directed to a page with a search bar in the center that prompts you to “Find and manage your business,” no need to fret. Simply click on the Google My Business logo in the top-left corner of the page.

 

 

Step 2
Click the three horizontal bars in the top left-hand corner and click on your listing from the “Locations” menu.

 

 

Step 3

To the left, you will see a panel containing multiple options (“Home”, “Posts”, “Info”, “Insights”, and below “Insights”, “Reviews”). Click on Reviews.

gmb diagram
It will then, at the top, show you all of your reviews which you can sort by All, Replied, and Haven’t Replied. To the right of these options, there will be three horizontal lines. Click on this to see further ways in which to sort your reviews if you wish to, such as ranking them from highest to lowest or vice versa.

At the bottom of each review, you will see an option to Reply. Simply click on this, type your reply, and click Post Reply. If you have already replied to a review, instead of presenting you with the Reply button you will see the option to either Edit or Delete your reply.

 

Responding to these reviews, good and bad, is essential for local SEO. We hope that this has helped you understand Google Reviews the process so that you can climb your way to the top 3.

 

“Google My Business A to Z” – The Complete Course Pre-Release Announcement

Learn Google My Business from the Experts

If you follow us here at Horizon Web Marketing you know that our passion is for training business people to untangle the world of digital marketing. We conduct workshops and webinars, we even have our own training channel, the Horizon Web Marketing Academy.

So we’re excited to be putting the final touches on one of our most ambitious projects ever: the Google My Business Complete Course. It’s a deep dive into Google’s primary tool for local business people. But even though it’s a “deep dive,” we never go over your head with our training. Lead SEO trainer Ross Barefoot puts everything into plain business English.

The course is broken down into easily-digested modules and you get a full PDF ebook with the course contents so you can refer back whenever you need. Not only that, we give you lifetime access to the course.

Now we haven’t set a price yet, but we will soon. If you want to be notified as soon as we price and release this complete course, please fill out the form to the right and we will make sure you get all the details promptly.

The full information on the course, including the course contents, is listed below, so read on to see why we’re so excited!

Class Release Notification GMB

    I have read and understood Horizon’s Privacy Policy.

Are you in business? Then “Google My Business” is important to your success.

As a business person, you already know that Google is important. For all of the press coverage Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and other platforms receive, a Google search is still the most likely way a new customer will find you online.

 

 

image of knowledge panel with indicator for Google My Business

 

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

But most businesses still don’t know how to effectively engage with “Google My Business,” the free management tool that Google has developed to allow businesses to communicate their critical business information to Google. If you’re not familiar with Google My Business (let’s just call it GMB for short), it is a special database that feeds business information into the results that searchers will see about you on Google Maps and in the Google “Knowledge Panel” (see next image).

Drawing of complicated knots to illustrate the complexity of Google My BusinessUnraveling Google My Business is Hard

Although many business owners have explored their GMB account (and more probably have not), very few are not intimidated by it.

First, GMB changes almost weekly, with new features, removed features, changed features. It’s Google’s usual pattern: constant change.

Second, GMB changes from one business to another, so it’s very hard to know how it will appear to any given business, at least when it comes to details of their account.

Finally, it’s not always intuitive. We understand Google does the best they can to make it intuitive and to inform their users, but as with any incredibly powerful software tool, it’s very hard to know what the platform is capable of, and how to access subtle but critical features.

All of this is not to mention the fact that Google has rules and policies surrounding what data you enter and even how you enter it.

Our newly redesigned GMB course is meant to address and remove all of those obstacles for you, the mystified business owner.

We Walk You Through All the Google My Business Features

Our course covers the complete list of GMB features and does it in plain business English with plenty of illustrations and explanations. Just look at the list of modules:

  • Business visibility and Google: what it looks like
  • Factors for good visibility: what will help your listing show
  • A tour of GMB: what’s in the box
  • Typical business action items, overview: here’s your beginning to-do list
  • How to find your business listing: sometimes it’s a treasure hunt
  • Claiming your listing: hey Google, that business belongs to me!
  • Setting up a new business: just getting started? Here’s how!
  • Verifying your listing: prove it’s yours, and not someone else’s
  • Optimizing your business name: keywords, stuffing, and (almost) unwritten rules
  • Determining your business categories: one list to rule them all
  • The importance of how you enter your location: what’s in a (street) name
  • Hours, more hours, and even more hours: And you thought you worked enough hours already!
  • The subtle importance of how you represent your phone number: after all, it’s your lifeline
  • Location links: lots of ways to bring your customers back home
  • Attributes: Google giveth, and Google taketh away
  • Your Business Description: Time to really use those keywords
  • Posts: Microblogging is back in again (take that, Twitter!)
  • Q&A: create your own powerful FAQs, just for GMB
  • Insights and Analytics: who, what, when, how many…understand your audience
  • Reviews: the two edge sword and how to keep it from cutting you
  • Using the GMB Mobile App: sometimes nothing else will get the job done
  • Photos and Videos: leveraging visual assets for a visual age
  • Business-Specific Offerings: Services, Products, Bookings, Menu
  • Tips Multi-Location Businesses
  • GMB Websites: A great tool, but hardly a “website”
  • Users and Access: It takes a team to make GMB succeed; here’s how to manage it
  • Duplicate Listings: Sometimes more is actually less
  • Getting Support from Google: the secrets of the temple
  • Dealing With Spam: the mosquitos of the GMB world

 

C-Suite SEO Tip #1: Target the Right Metrics

Measuring the success of SEO is a challenge, but it can’t be done if you’re looking at “vanity metrics” instead of numbers that matter to your business success. Read this to understand the difference between Key Performance Indicators and Vanity Performance Indicators and get ideas that will improve your marketing.

Sale Stoppers: Why Some Websites Never Generate Any Business

man unhappy with website sales stares at screen, line drawing

“Why have I invested all this money in a website? It never generates any leads or sales for my business!?! What a waste!”

Have you ever found yourself screaming in frustration at your website because it’s not giving you any return on investment?

Guess what, you’re part of a vast army of disappointed website owners.

Determining the cause of website non-performance isn’t always easy, but we have to start somewhere, and usually in our consulting business at Horizon Web Marketing we start, not with paid search or “organic” SEO, but by looking at the website and asking ourselves: “How can this website do a better job earning money for its owners RIGHT NOW?”

We call this process “conversion rate optimization” (CRO), and it’s all about doing more with the traffic you already have BEFORE you go out and try to attract a bunch of new visitors.

We know from our own experience that this process can bear rich fruit for small business, and so we decided to host a free webinar to give you some actionable tips for identifying and correcting simple, common mistakes that might be standing in the way of your website’s ability to convert visitors to customers.

Join us for free, and ask your questions at the end of the webinar.  I’d love to have you attend, and I’m sure you’ll find it a profitable hour.

This webinar is limited to 100 attendees at the live session.  It will be recorded and freely available for only 30 days after the broadcast date, so make sure you sign up today: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1928031404525741825?source=hwmwebsite

How to Choose the Right SEO Firm or Consultant, According to Google

picture of Maile Ohye of Google discussing ways to make sure you hire a good seoGreat Advice on Vetting and Hiring an SEO Firm

If you hang around SEO, as we do, you’ve seen a recent video from Google Tech Lead Maile Ohye getting a lot of sharing love lately, especially from legitimate SEO companies, like, well…Horizon Web Marketing.

We like it so much we’re embedding it below.  But in case you don’t have 11 minutes handy to watch it, here’s the bullet pointed highlights (and if you know us you’ll know it’s what we’ve been preaching for years now):

  • Hiring a bad SEO isn’t just a waste of money, it can actually hurt your rankings
  • SEO is NOT black magic or some bag of “tricks”
  • Any SEO can only succeed if you invest in a good website and will make suggestions about your whole website experience for your visitors, and not just where you rank in search; they want to help your business, not just your rankings
  • SEO starts with making your site “search friendly” (we call it “search engine friendly” or SEF)
  • A legitimate Search Engine Optimization program will take 4-12 months to start bearing fruit
  • If an SEO recommends something, they need to be able to back it up and show you how their practices are based on Google documentation, they should be willing to educate you about what they do
  • The starting point in a relationship with an SEO firm will usually be an search engine optimization audit, and yes, it usually does cost money to perform one
  • Competitive analysis is important (what are your competitors doing that affects search and their website)
  • Technical issues are important (so any firm you hire has to be technically competent)
  • If you’re not ready to commit to improving your website and following the recommendations of your SEO professional, don’t bother

Here’s the thing that strikes me repeatedly in the points that Maile makes: an SEO has to be able to communicate well with you about your business.  Having a 2-way dialogue is critical.

These are just a few of the high points.  Make sure you watch the whole video.  We’re glad that what Google thinks is important is exactly how we would represent our business value to you.

https://youtu.be/dT038wiWHPY