Running a successful modern brand is about looking at what it takes to make the business as successful as possible. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to achieving this, and you have to make sure you look at how to make the company stand out. You always need to be trying to market and promote your business as much as you can, and this is something you need to bear in mind.
Local business listings have taken on perhaps more importance in the digital world than ever before. Back in the day, there was no internet, and entrepreneurs needed to list their companies in magazines and newspapers, but things have changed. The internet has made it a whole lot easier to list businesses, but it has also become more important to do this well. Stats suggest that 75% of customers will research your business online before they visit, so strong digital presence is important.
With this in mind, you need to make sure you look at what you can do to make the best of the business listings available online. There are so many things that play a part in making the company better, and being able to list yourself is a great place to begin. Check out these sites that offer free local business listings that you can make the most of, and we’ll look at a couple that cost money at the end.
The great thing about Bing is that it is one of the best-known and most highly-respected sites online, and there are plenty of great listings that you can make. When people visit Bing, they know they are getting recommendations that can be trusted. If you can get yourself on Bing, you will help to validate your company that little bit more. You can add photos and contact details too to give your business more of an identity.
Yelp is another one that is very well regarded, and it’s the perfect free business site to list your business on right now. You can add pertinent information about your business that customers might like to know, such as opening times and contact information. But, you will also be able to add your menu so customers know what you sell before they visit the business.
Okay, so Facebook is not officially a business listing site, but you’d be a fool not to make the most of it right now. There are so many things that you need to make sure you get right, and having a strong social media presence is one of the biggest. It is imperative that you are making full use of Facebook as a business resource, and this is certainly something to keep in mind. Statistics suggest that 66% of monthly Facebook users will use the site daily, and that offers a lot of exposure for your brand!
LinkedIn is great because it’s pretty much the social networking site entrepreneurs were crying out for. It’s a site that allows you to improve the way your business comes across. You will be able to list the company and information about the brand in a little more detail. You can also showcase important things such as affiliate businesses, awards you may have won, and invite people to link up with the company. This is one of the best ways of improving the business, and there are a lot of benefits to this in the future.
Google My Business
It’s pretty clear how important Google is to your business moving forward, and this is something that plays a big part in taking the company further. SEO and keywords are crucial, and this is why citation sites matter so much for the business. Google recently unleashed a new program called Google My Business, whereby you can connect directly with customers through Google’s search, maps, and Google+ functions.
Back in the days before the internet, the Yellow Pages book was the thing businesses used to market and promote their brands. Listings could be made along with contact details, and this provided a basic but important form of business promotion. Well, now the company has evolved to become an important online listing service in its own right. This is a simple-to-use free directory, but you can also buy a variety of additional services to supplement your listing should you choose to.
Merchant Circle is one of the perfect choices for those with small businesses who are looking to connect with customers and other small businesses in the area. You can advertise and promote your listings on here, and it even allows for companies to post blog posts in a bid to generate more interest in the business. The more active you are, the more exposure you will be able to enjoy moving forward, and this is important.
Yahoo! Business Directory
Yahoo is now a paid service and one of the most impressive ones on the market right now. The landing page is easy to use and aesthetically pleasing, and the recent partnership with Yext has proven to be a game changer. This is the perfect platform for those who are looking to improve engagement with customers, as well as taking things to the next level.
Another of the best and most impressive paid listing sites on the internet, and ideal if you are looking to grow your brand effectively. Sevanow is something you need to make sure you get right as much as possible, and you should be able to simply sign up and list your company fairly easily. Bridging the gap between businesses and customers, Sevanow is definitely a site you need to check out today.
These are some of the best listings that you are going to need to know about in order to give your business the exposure it deserves. This is a really important part of the process of running a modern brand, and you have to do what you can to make the most of it. Keep these site in mind when you are looking for the perfect ways of listing your business moving forward.
Reviews have become fundamental to the world of online business, with customers using resources like this to heavily influence their buying decisions. With Google’s Local Business service rapidly taking control of this market, customers trust this platform, and this makes it a great place to start when you’re working on this for your own business. When you’re relying on something like reviews to draw people to your business, it makes sense to put them in as many places as possible, enabling your customers to see them.
One of the best locations for your reviews is your website. While a lot of people struggle with web design and won’t be able to build a site from scratch, adding a service like Google Reviews to a website is surprisingly comfortable. To give you the help you need, this post will be exploring some of the steps which you will have to take to get this working, across several of the most popular website platforms in the world.
The first stage in this process involves getting yourself hooked up with some credentials which will provide you with access to the Google Review API. You will already have a Google Local Business account, and this means that you need only follow this guide to get yourself on the right track with an OAuth 2.0 certificate.
Embed Reviews Yourself
This approach takes a lot of learning and is far too deep for this post to cover entirely, but Google has made their handy guide which can show you how to use review data. You should only go down this route if your website isn’t built using one of the platforms below.
Add Google Reviews To WordPress Site
WordPress is by far the most popular website building platform on the market, and this means that there are loads of plugins available to make your life more comfortable with it. The guide below assumes that you are logged in on WordPress and can see the backend Admin area.
Step One – Download Plugin: While its name may not be very imaginative, Google Reviews Widget is a popular free plugin which can handle the tasks at hand. You can download it using the link and should be left with a .zip file afterward.
Step Two – Install The Plugin: Navigate to your Admin backend, and go to the Plugins section on the left-hand side of the page. Once here, you should see a button at the top which says “Add New” or “Add Plugin,” and this should be clicked, replacing the button with an “Upload” option which would also be clicked. You can now upload and activate the plugin.
You can also simply search for the plugin in WordPress and install it from there. Just go to Add New – then type in the search ‘Google Review Widget’ and you’ll see the plugin below. Click install, then activate.
Step Three – Setting It Up: The setup process for WordPress plugins is nice and straightforward. Upon installing it, you should be taken to its menu system, giving you the chance to get started. The most crucial part of this is your address, and you need to make sure that you’ve added it correctly if the plugin is going to function as intended.
Step Four – Get It Displayed: There are two options when you’re looking to display a WordPress plugin on your site; shortcode or widgets. Widgets have to be added in pre-allocated areas and can be found in the “Customize” section of WordPress. Shortcode can be added anywhere, though you will have to pay to get access to this feature.
Add Google Reviews To Wix Site
Wix has been in the game of DIY website builders for longer than just about any other company. This gives them a significant edge in certain areas, and the plugins on offer are certainly one of them.
Step One – Add The Plugin: The MyReviews plugin is one of the most popular available for Wix. You can go to its page, click the “Add to Site” button, and get started with the process of installing it without having to go through any real trouble.
Step Two – Getting Setup: Setting up this plugin is very similar to the process for WordPress, and you will need your API credentials at this stage. Unlike the other options in this post, this plugin can cover Facebook and Yelp reviews, too, making it extremely powerful for those going down more than one route.
Step Three – Adding It To The Site: Wix uses a strict grid-based system as its structure, often making it a challenge for users to choose exactly where they’d like their content to go. Once you do decide, though, it will be a simple matter of clicking the right space and filling it with your MyReviews plugin.
Add Google Reviews To Shopify Site
Shopify doesn’t have quite the same following as WordPress but is an excellent alternative for those who want to be able to sell things through their website. Plugins can be used to help with this, though it tends to be a little more expensive with this platform, as there are fewer options available to spark competition.
Step One – Add The App: Google Reviews by Omega has been around for a reasonable amount of time, and has long been one of the more popular options for this sort of job. It comes with a trial which will start as soon as you click the “Add App” button.
Step Two – Get It Configured: In the Shopify backend, you can effortlessly search for options which relate to your apps, making the task of finding your plugin options friendly and quick. You will need your Google Local Business account details at this point and will have to be careful to input everything perfectly.
Step Three – Display It: This plugin is great because it allows you to add your configured reviews to the site using shortcode. The reviews can go anywhere, and installing them properly will be easy, giving you the chance to start reaping the benefits.
As reviews become increasingly important to small businesses, the number of companies which are working to be compatible with them is only growing. While they may not allow you to embed Google Reviews to your website, you can still have access to an extensive range of tools to help you out with this.
Want to get more Google reviews? Check out our 2 Step Reviews solution to get more customers raving about you online.
How to Write a Google Review With and Without a Gmail Account
Writing a Google review is a fairly simple process, and you can participate in their review system whether you use Gmail or not. We’ll show you how it’s done and then give some basic tips on how to write good reviews.
Your Google Account
You don’t need to use Gmail but you do need a Google account. Thankfully there are a lot of places where you may have already opened one. You already have a Google account if you’ve:
added one to your Android smartphone
registered with the Google Play Store
registered with Google Pay
opened a YouTube account
added an account to Google Maps
signed up to use any of the Google products like Docs, Sheets, and more
opened an account through Chrome
added an account to a Chromecast or other Google smart home devices
And there are more. You can check to see if you have a Google account by searching your email address here. If you have one already then you’re all set! Otherwise you’ll be given the opportunity to open an account when you write your first review, so either way, you’ll have no problem getting started.
You can add a Google Review using your computer or on a mobile device, and in both cases, you can write your review inside of Google Maps or directly from Google search results. We’ll talk about all of these scenarios.
Writing a Google Review on Your Computer
You can write a Google review on your computer using your internet browser.
Writing Your Review Inside Google Maps
Point your browser to maps.google.com.
Once in Google Maps search for the business you want to review.
When Maps finds the business you’re looking for it will highlight it on the map with a pin and open up a window on the right side of the screen with information specific to that business.
Scroll down to the bottom of the window until you see, “Write a review”.
Click on the link. If you’re already logged in to your Google account you’ll move right to the next step. If not you’ll be prompted to sign in with your email and password. Put in the email associated with your Google account.
A new window will pop up where you can click the number of stars you want to give the business, write your review, and upload any pictures you want to accompany it.
Click “Post” and you’re finished!
Writing Your Review Through Google Search Results
Either go to google.com and search for the business you want to rate or simply type the name and location of the business into your browser’s search bar (in this case make sure your browser defaults to Google for search instead of Bing or some other search engine).
When your search results appear you’ll see information about the business you searched for on the right-hand side of the screen. Scroll down until you see reviews and click the “Write a review” button.
As before, you’ll be prompted to log in to your Google account if you aren’t already logged in.
A window will appear where you can choose your star rating, write your review and add any photos you’d like.
Click “Post” and you’re done!
Writing a Google Review on Your Mobile Device
The process for writing a review on your smartphone or tablet is very similar to adding one on your computer.
Writing Your Review Inside the Google Maps App
Launch the Google Maps app. If you’re on an Android device Google Maps comes preinstalled. If you’re on an iPhone you may need to install the app first.
Inside of Google Maps search for the business you’re interested in reviewing.
The business will show up on the map and a small info box will appear at the bottom of the screen. Either click on the map pin or the info box to bring information about the business full screen.
You’ll see some tabs across the top of the info screen. Click on “Reviews”.
You’ll be taken to the review area where you’ll see the business’s current overall rating and right below that, “Rate and review” with five blank stars where you can add your own star rating.
Click on your desired star rating and a window will pop up where you can add your review and upload photos. If you aren’t already logged in to your Google account you’ll be prompted to.
Click “Post” and your review is complete!
Writing Your Review Through Google Search Results
Load your device’s internet browser and go to google.com.
Search for the business you want to review.
When your search listing loads you’ll see a few tabs across the screen. Click on “Reviews”.
Scroll down the page a bit until you see, “Rate and review on Google” and five blank stars.
Clicking on the star rating you’d like to give the business will bring up a window where you can write your review and upload any pictures you’d like. If you aren’t already logged in to your Google account you’ll be prompted to.
Click “Post” and you’re finished!
Writing a Good Review
As you can see, leaving a Google review is easy, and accessible multiple ways. You’ll never need to let fear of the process hold you back from posting reviews again.
And now that you know how to write a review we thought it would be helpful to give a few tips on how you can make your review as useful as possible to other people.
Be authentic: Try to describe your full experience of the business, both positive and negative. Even if you had a great experience there are still likely places you feel the business could improve. Feel free to point these out.
Be insightful and specific: Be sure to mention the elements of your visit that you felt were unique. If you thought the business was great, be specific about why. If you had a bad experience, tell readers exactly what went wrong. No business needs 30 reviews that all say, “I loved it!” Try and add something new.
Be respectful: If you’re leaving negative feedback, try and keep it constructive. A good review should be helpful to both potential customers and the business itself. Constructive criticism gives the business room to improve.
Your First Review
You’re now armed with all the knowledge you need to start writing useful, balanced and helpful reviews for the businesses you interact with. Try writing one today!
If you’re a business interested in getting more positive reviews from your customers all you need to do is ask. Most customers will leave a review when the request is made, and our app can help. Get started now at www.2stepreviews.com and schedule a free demo today!
If you register your company on Google My Business, then it allows you to create a Business Profile where you can connect with your customers. It also lets them leave reviews, which everyone else will see when they search for your company through Google.
Naturally, as Google is the largest search engine out there, these reviews become extremely important. While ensuring you gain as many positive reviews as possible is vital, it’s just as important to ensure you respond to the reviews in the right manner. Bearing that in mind, this article will talk you through some of the best ways to respond to Google Reviews, and why it’s absolutely crucial that you do so.
So how do you respond to a Google Review?
First of all, we’ll briefly explain how you actually go about responding to any reviews. On your Google My Business profile, you just have to click on the Reviews section, then click Respond.
Step 1: Go To You Google My Business Page and Click “Reviews”
Step 2: Click “Reply” Under The Review You Want To Reply To
Step 3: Type Out Your Review Response And Post It
That’s all there is to it, but the way in which you respond is what makes a load of difference.
So, here are some of the biggest do’s and do not’s:
Take your time and plan out the response
The worst thing you can do is write a quick reaction without giving it any thought. This usually leads to grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, which cost against your business. What’s more, you’re likely to respond more emotionally and say things you regret if you just fire off whatever is on your mind.
Instead, take time to plan out your review and write it carefully. Ensure that it makes sense, all the spelling is accurate, and you haven’t made glaring grammatical mistakes. It’s worth getting someone else to proofread it as well, just to be safe. Now, you’ll publish a professional response that makes you look a lot better.
Respond within a few days
If possible, you should respond to any review within a few days of it being published. This shows that you’re on the ball and care about customer feedback. People will be impressed that you respond so quickly, which reflects well on your business. If you leave it too long, then your response won’t have much of an impact as the reviewer has probably forgotten all about it.
Of course, if you’re really busy, you may be unable to respond within a day or two. If that’s the case, then around two weeks is still going to be effective.
Always be polite
It goes without saying that you need to be polite when addressing any reviews. It doesn’t matter how rude the person has been, you have to maintain politeness at all times. It looks terrible when you see a business respond to rudeness with more rudeness. It’s totally unprofessional, and this alone could put off a lot of current and potential customers.
When you’re polite, it counts in your favor – especially when people are rude to you. It shows you have class and integrity, and people will respect that.
Address the content of the review
Some reviews will contain a lot of information and feedback for businesses to use. If you come across one that explains any problems someone had or includes questions, then make sure your response actually addresses the content in the review. This does two things; it shows you’ve read the review and paid attention to it, and it shows you’re keen to help out and solve any issues.
If someone leaves a review and asks a question, then you just respond “Thanks for the review, we’ve taken your feedback onboard” then it just looks like a generic response. There’s no indication you’ve actually taken the feedback on-board, it’s almost like you’ve responded just for the sake of responding!
Respond to both positive and negative reviews
A common mistake is only responding to one type of review. Some businesses ignore negative reviews and focus on the positives, while others do the opposite. Don’t do this; make sure you respond to both positive and negative reviews!
Positive reviews deserve a response as it shows your customers you’re so thankful for their feedback. Negative reviews can’t be ignored as you need to show people you’re addressing any issues and taking their feedback on-board. People will notice when you only respond to one type of review, and it looks quite bad. We go over responding to negative reviews in depth here.
Why is it important to respond to Google reviews?
There are a few reasons you really need to start responding to your reviews on Google. The first of which is that it impacts your reputation. Responses will show people that you’re a professional company who takes things seriously and values all customers.
Secondly, it can influence future customer behavior as well. If someone sees a negative review, then reads a positive response from you, it might make them want to try your business. Similarly, the person leaving that review may change their opinion and return. Likewise, responding to positive reviews encourages customers to remain loyal and keep coming back for more.
Thirdly, from a marketing perspective, responding to Google reviews can encourage more people to leave reviews as they know they have an impact. As a result, the more reviews you generate, the better your SEO will be. It’s proven that Google reviews do impact your search ranking so you can gain more exposure. Customers are more likely to leave a review if they know the business will respond!
Hopefully, there’s some advice here that will help you respond to Google reviews. Don’t underestimate the value of your responses; it can have a profound effect on the success of your business.
If you want to get more Google reviews, 2 Step Reviews is a solution that makes it easy for customers to do it. Contact us today for more information.
Google is a very powerful tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. One of the best things you can do for your company is to create a Google business page. This opens up an opportunity to connect with your local customers, get a listing on Google Maps, and improve your brand exposure.
Today, you will learn exactly how to create one of these pages and how you verify it. Also, there’s every chance someone has created a page for your business already, which you don’t have ownership of. So, you’ll also learn how to claim ownership of this page.
How to create Google business page
You’ll be pleased to know that the process of creating one of these pages is incredibly straightforward and can be done in no time at all. In the following section, we’ll provide all the steps you need to follow to achieve this.
Step 1: Go to Google My Business and click on the green MANAGE NOW button. (It’s worth noting you need a Google Account to access Google My Business)
Step 2: What’s the name of your business? You will be faced with a screen that asks what the name of your business is. Here, you just have to type in the full name of your business. Make sure that it’s consistent with what you call your company on all other platforms. Click on the blue button that says Next.
Step 3: Where are you located? On this page, you have to provide full details of your business address. It’s vital that you get everything correct and accurate, as this will essentially determine where you appear on Google Maps. So, double and triple check that the address is right! Also, if you deliver goods and services to your customers, you need to check the box with a small van symbol next to it. From here, click the blue Next button again.
Step 4: Choose the category that fits your business best. This section is optional, and you can add to it later on. Essentially, you select different categories that your business fits into. This is how Google classifies your company, and it states that it helps customers find you when they’re searching for a business like yours. They’re basically the keywords associated with your company, and you can always add more later on. Click Next to continue.
Step 5: What contact details do you want to show to customers? Here, you can include as many contact details as you like. Set the phone number if you want people to see it, and you can put the URL to your website there as well. Again, make sure these details are accurate as people will use them to get in touch with you. If you don’t have a website, you can select ‘I don’t need a website’ or ‘Get a free website based on your info.’ Press the blue Next button when you’re ready.
Step 6: Stay in the know. This screen just asks if you want to receive any communication tips from Google, select either Yes or No.
Step 7: Finish and verify this business. After this, you have almost created your Google business page. This page just tells you to press the blue Finish button and get started verifying your business.
How to verify Google business page
Once you’ve created your Google business page, you will proceed onto the verification process. This is Google’s way of ensuring someone can verify your company, which will allow it to be viewed on Google Search & Maps. It also lets you promote your business with photos and posts, track analytics, and respond to customer reviews on Google.
There are multiple ways you can verify your business, with the most common one being via mail. Google will send out a postcard with a verification code to your address. All you have to do is click Verify Now when you see your page on Google My Business. It may take a few weeks for the postcard to reach you, but you can then click on Verify Location and enter your 5-digit code, then select Submit.
For some businesses, you may see an option to verify your business by phone or email. This is much faster, so you should do this is given the chance. When you initially click Verify Now, you will see options for Verify by phone or Verify by email. Click whichever one you want, then follow the instructions, and the code will be sent to you.
How to claim Google business page
Lastly, you need to know how to claim an existing Google business page that you don’t own. If you’ve been around for a while, you may already have a page made by Google or someone else. Thankfully, it’s not too tough to claim your page.
Simply head to Google My Business, and start the same process you begin when creating a listing. Here, if your business is already there, it will appear when you type in the name. Click on the business, and you’ll see a screen that tells you someone has already claimed and verified this listing. From here, follow these steps:
Step 1: Click Request Access and fill in the simple form.
Step 2: Select Submit and your request will be sent to the current listing owner.
Step 3: Wait for a response. The listing owner has 7 days to respond, where they will either approve or deny the request. If approved, you can now log into Google My Business and manage the listing. If denied, you can appeal the denied request to try and claim back your rightful ownership. If there’s no response, then you may automatically be allowed to Claim or Verify the listing through your Google My Business dashboard.
There you have it; this is how you create a Google Business page, how you verify it, and how you claim ownership of an existing one you don’t have access to. There are so many benefits that come from having a business page on Google as it can drive more traffic to your site/premises, be a way to get Google reviews and establish yourself as a professional and authentic entity. Get started today if you haven’t already; it only takes a few minutes to create your page!
When a potential customer discovers your business online, it’s likely to be via Google. The dominance of the search engine is beyond doubt, and that’s one of the reasons why you need to take Google Reviews seriously. People read those reviews and form an opinion of your business, and that applies even if there aren’t any or many reviews of your business. A lack of reviews can be as damning as below average reviews.
It’s important that your business gets up to date with Google reviews, how they can be used and managed going forward and what makes them so important to your business going forward. That’s what we’re going to explore in more depth now, so read on and start learning.
What Are Google Reviews?
When someone uses your business’s services, they might head to your business’s Google profile and leave a review of the company. These reviews will then show up in the form of an average star rating and short written reviews when the next person Googles your business with the thought of potentially using your services.
Google reviews are seen by consumers that you want to turn into customers of your business. On top of that, things like SEO can be impacted by Google Reviews, so there are multiple reasons why you should think more about how this could all impact your business.
What Makes a Good Review?
High star rating reviews are obviously important, and these are arguably more important than what’s written about your business. Most people will glance at the star rating attached to your brand and make a decision on whether they want to proceed. It’s about achieving more conversions via that star rating.
Your business will immediately appear more credible and trustworthy if you have a high star rating. This should be more than 4 out of 5, ideally. But if your business has a low rating, they might immediately dismiss the business or assume that it’s not worth taking the risk.
Another thing that matters is the quantity of the reviews. If you have lots of Google Review, people will immediately see that your brand is an established one that people are actually buying from or using the services of. That’s a big deal in itself.
Why Are Google Reviews So Important for Small Businesses?
It all comes down to trust and credibility. If people get the feeling that they can trust your business before they’ve ever even used its services, that’s got to be a good thing for you. As a small business owner, you have to take advantage of every opportunity you can to win customers over, and you can’t deny the dominance and influence of Google. Lots of reviews will also help your business do better from an SEO standpoint as well.
How Can You Get More Positive Google Reviews?
If you want to achieve more positive reviews from customers, there are some things that you need to know about. After all, this is the aim for your business. Knowing why Google Reviews are important is not much use if you don’t have any understanding of how to get more of them. Here are some tips and methods that’ll help with that.
This might sound very simple and obvious, but it really is the best way to achieve more Google Reviews. You just need to know howto ask for reviews. That doesn’t necessarily mean people will say yes to that request or even listen to it, but they’ll be more likely to leave you a review if they know you want them to. You can make it as easy as possible for them to do this by emailing them a follow-up and providing them with the link they need to leave a review. That’s often all it takes for you to get more Google reviews.
Pre-Screen Customer Reactions
Of course, before asking people to leave reviews, you should probably find out how people perceived your services and their experience of being a customer of your business. If they didn’t like the experience or something went wrong with them, you should find this out before asking for reviews because that’ll just result in your business getting the wrong kind of reviews. You can pre-screen reactions and find out how people felt about the process before going any further. This should ensure you get mostly positive reviews.
Don’t be Tempted by Fake Reviews!
Buying fake reviews can seem tempting, but it’s not the silver bullet answer you might be looking for. People can tell when there’s something fishy going on and it doesn’t look good for your business if basically everyone knows that you’ve been buying fake reviews to make your business look better. It’s also a major violation of Google policies, and therefore it can massively damage your business going forward if you’re not careful. There might even be legal consequences of using fake reviews.
Sometimes, you have to be persistent and keep working on this, even when it sees really difficult to do so. There are lots of ways in which you might struggle to get Google Reviews or to get positive ones. But you’ll only improve things and gain better reviews over the long-term by plugging away at it and doing whatever you can do prove to people that your business can be trusted. Good customers service and a strong product also matter in all this. People will be more likely to take the time to leave a review if these receive those things.
What you’ve learned here will help your business succeed in the online landscape going forward; there’s no doubt about that. Any business that wants to succeed these days has to reckon with Google Reviews and the impact they have on customer decisions, so don’t underestimate their impact. Keep in mind all the details and ideas discussed here and use them to your advantage.
Head to 2stepreviews.com if you want to learn more about acquiring Google Reviews and boosting your chances of success going forward.