When it comes to local businesses, online reviews (and specifically Google My Business profile reviews) are King and Queen. In fact, 9 out of 10 people look for online reviews about a local business before making a purchase, and with 63,000 searches happening on Google per second you better believe people are searching for your local business and looking for reviews!
If you’re curious about how to get more Google My Business reviews check out some of our best practices, but for now let’s focus on what you should do with the reviews already being posted to your Google My Business profile.
Online reviews can sometimes cause big, emotional reactions to you as the local business owner. Some reviews will make you feel over-the-top excited, while others will leave you on the verge of tears. But the truth of the matter is don’t let one review affect you too much either way. Every business gets positive reviews and negative ones, it’s just the nature of our digital world.
The important thing to focus on is how to handle your incoming reviews so that it benefits your business and accurately informs your customers and future prospects above all else. Let’s take a look at some ideas for leveraging both positive and negative Google My business reviews for your business.
It’s always nice when people say nice things about your local business. Whether it’s a compliment to your staff, your food, your product, your service, or anything else, it produces ripples of positivity. The first thing to do is thank anyone who leaves a positive review, as they took the time out of their day to offer their thanks to you and tell others how great your business is and why they recommend you.
Beyond generally responding and saying thank you to your positive review, here are a couple of ideas for you to maximize the value of positive reviews:
First things first, you need to respond to negative reviews. There’s nothing worse than a negative review going unresponded to, and other searchers take notice. If the review is wildly false, report it and respond, but always take the high road. People will appreciate you responding as it proves you care.
In addition, most folks can see through BS reviews, especially if it’s one or two people that had a bad experience, we’re misinformed about something, or just like to complain about everything. Most people are more than willing to overlook, forgive and forget if they see you responding to negativity or mistakes in a genuine way. Here are a couple of ideas for you to leverage negative Google My Business reviews:
You started your business because you saw an opportunity and seized it, take the same approach with online reviews. Always think about how you can make the most out of a positive review and use the negative ones to your advantage. There’s always an opportunity if you look hard enough.
Most people are leaving reviews because they care and they were moved by their experience. If you can harness that passion, it can end up being some of the best marketing you’ll ever do. People are searching for your local business on Google or for what your business offers locally (searches like “plumber Cambridge MA”), and the trend is only going to continue to grow in popularity. So take a look at the state of your reviews, and run your Google My Business profile through our free Grader tool to find more opportunities to improve your rank.