Reviews on Google (Google+) are worth their weight in gold, no platinum, in terms of your local marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Google – not surprisingly – favors its own reviews over those of competitors like Yelp, TripAdvisor, YP.com, etc. So, as a small business owner or marketer, it is very important to ask “happy customers” to write a review for you. I am not recommending that you fake reviews; however, you generally need to ask a happy client, to “do you a favor” and go online and write a review.
- Top of Google Search. Reviews help propel your company to the top of Google local searches such as searches for massage therapists, sushi restaurants, divorce attorneys, CPA’s, or any of the myriad “local small businesses” that people use Google to locate.
- Communicate you are a Smart Choice. Which would you choose? The Sushi restaurant that has twenty five star reviews, or the one with just two? The family law attorney with seven five-star reviews, or the one with none? People use reviews as “trust indicators” and not only click on but engage with companies that have more reviews. Reviews communicate you are a “smart choice.”
For example, try these searches and ask yourself, which company will you choose to engage with:
- San Francisco SEO Experts
- Austin TX Wedding Photographers
- NYC Wedding Florists
- Los Angeles DUI Attorneys
Reviews Matter. Get Happy Customers To Review Your Business!
It’s pretty clear, therefore, that reviews matter a lot to local search and local marketing! Companies with more reviews a) show up higher on the Google search results page, and b) those with at least five reviews, get stars and those with stars show to the customers as a “smart choice.”
Get reviews! Get reviews! Get reviews! You’ll thank me when you do: they are AMAZING in your SEO.
That said, Google has done a pretty terrible, horrible, rotten, no good job with Google+, and it is not self-obvious how to write a review on Google. So, in the spirit of making Google easy to use, here is my post on “how to write a review on Google” about a local business.
Step No. 1: Sign into or Create a Google Account
First and foremost, you MUST have a Google account in order to be able to write a review via Google+. It’s a bit insane: 1) you MUST have a Google account, in order for 2) to CREATE a Google+ account, and 3) you MUST have a Google+ account in order to write a review on Google.
- Go to https://www.google.com/
- In the far top right of the screen, either a) see your name / email (which means you ALREADY have a Google account) or see the BLUE “Sign In” button.
- Assuming you do NOT have an account, click on the BLUE SIGN in.
- If you HAVE a Google account, sign in.
- If not, click on the blue “create account” at the bottom.
- You will need to fill out the form; note you do NOT have to use a GMAIL. You can use ANY email you want; just click on the blue “I prefer to use my current email address”
- Follow the instructions.
- Usually, you will need to phone-verify – either a text message to your cell, or a robot phone call to any phone.
- Follow the instructions, and verify / set up your Google account.
Step No. 2: Sign into or Create a Google+ Account
Next, you need to sign into or create your Google+ account. After you have created (or signed into) your Google account, click on the little nine button widget at the top right of the screen. (It looks sort of like a telephone pad… Lord only knows what Google thought this was supposed to signify). Here are the steps:
- Sign into your Google account at https://www.google.com/ until your name / email / picture appears in the top right of the screen.
- Click on the 9 button widget.
- Click on the Google+ icon.
- Follow the instructions to CREATE a Google+ account, if you do not have one.
- Usually you will need to phone-verify – either a text message to your cell, or a robot phone call to any phone.
- Follow the instructions and set up your Google+ account. (Note: just do what it says, follow some stuff, etc., bla, bla, bla).
Step No. 3: Find the company you want to review
Now that you have a) a Google account, and b) a Google+ account, you can actually write reviews on the Google / Google+ system. Remember – I did not promise that Google would make this easy! I know, it’s insanely complicated. But, if it were easy everyone would be doing it; so by encouraging your clients to jump through these hoops, you’ll gain a tremendous business advantage.
- Go to https://www.google.com/ and simply type in the name of the company you want to review.
- On the right-hand side of the screen, click on the “reviews” underneath their name.
- If they do NOT appear, go to the website of the company and find their Google+ page. OR, get this URL directly from the company.
- Once you find the company, click on About > Write a review.
- Write your review, and click “publish”