How to Write a Google Review Part 1

by | Aug 24, 2018

The landscape of business has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Customer reviews and referrals have always been beneficial for business owners, but today, reviews are more critical than ever.

Customer reviews help businesses market their products or service, better understand how to serve consumers, and acquire testimonials from their existing customers. It’s true that online reviews have become the new “word-of-mouth” and are the best way to share your likes and dislikes about a business or product. As a consumer, the power of your review should not be discounted, and you can do your part by learning how to write Google Reviews.

While reviews on social media sites inform your immediate social circle about your experience with a business, Google Reviews will ensure that your reviews of your favorite eateries, shops, services, and online finds are showcased to a broader audience that can significantly impact those businesses.

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Run a free scan to see how your business appears on local review sites

Why Write a Google Review

Let’s face it—online shopping has become the norm. These days you can grocery shop from your phone while in the school pick-up line, or receive a package from Amazon in just 2 days. Everything from buying a car to replacing your laundry detergent can happen from your smartphone or computer.

While buying products online is convenient you cannot see the physical products, which makes purchasing decisions more difficult. Without customer feedback to provide us with a heads up on whether the business or products are a worthy investment we are forced to enter the marketplace blindly.

Google Reviews allow consumers to read through the experiences of those who purchased before them. Did the product hold up over time? Were the prices at a restaurant worth the food you received? How long did it take for the item to ship? Knowing what to expect from your purchase enables you to make informed decisions, and studies show that:

90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a close friend or family member
Customers read an average of 7 reviews before choosing a business

 

However, a public network of honest, online reviews and testimonials can only thrive when everyone is involved, which is why learning to write reviews is just as important as reading the reviews of others. If you love a business then you should let others know, and if you had a poor experience with a business then writing a review will provide an opportunity for the company to make things right and for consumers to see how a business handles these types of situations.

The Good the Bad & The Ugly

Studies show that with real-world purchases, you are almost twice as likely to tell friends and family about poor treatment and inferior products than you are to inform them about the positive experiences. Those sentiments extend to the online arena, and you are naturally more inclined to write a Google review that warns others of the problems that they may encounter by using the same poor service that you did.

While you should certainly have no guilt about leaving bad feedback, it’s equally crucial to provide positive reviews after a pleasant experience. After all, these are the reviews that will help companies rank well with Google and reach more customers. Too often, we forget to acknowledge when a business goes above and beyond or when a product exceeds our expectations.

Both the good and the bad reviews are equally important if you want to help Google rank businesses in the right order. Ultimately, as a consumer, you’d want to know about the positives and negatives. Keep this in mind when writing reviews and you won’t go wrong.

How to Write a Google Review

Now that you understand the importance of a Google review for businesses and consumers alike let’s walk through what you need to know to write one yourself. When writing a Google review, you need to ensure that the format is correct, the content is relevant, and the information is accurate.

What Are Google Reviews

Google first began showcasing reviews in 2010, but at the time it was sourcing reviews from other websites and review service platforms. Within a few years, Google’s review platform out-ranked the others, and they even acquired a few of their competitors along the way. Consumers now use Google Reviews more than any other review site.

Google Reviews is a service provided by the search engine that allows consumers to leave honest feedback about the companies and services they have used. In turn, this helps the global giant rank their results to ensure that users are presented with the best businesses when doing their searches.

What sets Google apart from other review platforms is that anytime you search for a local product or service, Google Reviews for businesses that match your query are eligible to appear. With Google, you don’t have to go searching for the reviews: if a business is listed on Google, then you can see if they have reviews, how many reviews they have, and what their ratings are!

Do you have a Google account?

The Google Review system allows anyone to leave honest reviews, but you must first sign up for a Google account to do this. In truth, the vast majority of online users will have one already, but if you don’t, then creating an account is easy! Just be sure that you know your sign-in credentials or create your Google account here. 

Have you picked the right company?

Remember that there will be several businesses that share the same name dotted around the world in different locations. Meanwhile, firms that are from different industries may share the same name too. If you are going to leave a review, then make sure it is for the right business. As you can see below there are two businesses with similar names. You can use the address, city/state, and phone number to confirm that you have chosen the correct one before reviewing.

Was the problem the company’s fault?

Was the problem the company’s fault?
Not every poor experience is at the fault of the distributor. For example, if you received a faulty product, it is possible that the faults were due to the manufacturer. In other situations, those issues may be rooted by shortcomings of the retailer or service. Don’t be too harsh on a retailer if it was the manufacturer’s fault, notably if the retailer made an effort to rectify it.

Does the business need another review?

Customer reviews are extremely valuable to both the business and future customers, so you can always assume that the company does need another review (even if their page is filled with 5-star feedback already)!

Have you given the company a chance to rectify issues?

Likewise, you should always give businesses a fair opportunity to correct their mistakes. After all, accidents happen in all aspects of life, and the issue you’ve encountered may be a genuine slip-up. As a good “rule of thumb” try contacting their customer care department first to see if they are able to rectify the damage.

Does the company care?

While the primary incentive for leaving feedback is to help out other customers – not least in the hope that they’ll have done the same for you by reviewing other companies – you also want to think about the business in question. If they often respond to reviews, your words can make a change.

Writing a Google Review

Now you are ready to write a Google Review. It may be easier to use your computer (desktop or laptop) for the sake of speed and accuracy, but you can learn how to write google reviews on your Android/iPhone or tablet devices from our How to Write a Google Review Part 2 guide.

Leaving a review is very straightforward, and shouldn’t take any longer than a few minutes. Simply follow these steps:

Open your browser: You can use Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer or Chrome to leave a Google review.
Log in to Google: This can be done on any Google website, including Google’s search homepage and Gmail. If you aren’t already signed in, the sign-in button should be located at the top right of your browser. Click that button and input your login credentials to begin.
Search for the business: Reviews can be written for most companies, including restaurants, entertainment venues, stores, and local traders. Use Google Search, Google+ or Google Maps to search for the company by inputting the name or address. If in Google Search for instance, then you will just type the business name into the search bar and press enter. In search, the business location will be listed under a map or to the right-hand side of the page. Once found, click the appropriate box on the business to bring up the full details.
Start your review: Scroll down and click the box that says “Write a review” to open a new box within the browser. Check that it shows your name and shows that you are logged in to your Google account.
Rate the business/experience: On the row of five stars, click the one that matches your opinion of the company. So, if you give it four stars out of five, click the fourth star. Remember, the more stars, the higher the rating.
Write a review: Leave your text review of the venue or business, providing accurate details so that other customers can gain a genuine insight. Some reviewers like to keep it short and sweet while others will go into greater detail about their experience. In truth, the bad reviews are typically the longest.

Add photos: While not essential, leaving a photo with your review can add value to the feedback and allow customers to view a product or service before they purchase it themselves. If you did take any snaps that you feel will be helpful to other users, upload them by clicking the camera icon and following the easy on-screen attachment process.

Publish: Click the ‘Post’ button and confirm your review. The review will show your name and a link to your Google+ profile (even if yours is currently blank). Other users will also be able to see how many reviews you’ve left in total and click the link to read all of them in one place.

You are done! It really is that simple.

The Final Word

Google reviews are one of the most valuable research tools offered to the modern consumer today, and you should use it as a reviewer as well as a customer. Next time you are researching a purchase or trying to find a great date-night restaurant make sure to read through the reviews to help make your decision. And, now that you know how to leave a Google review you can write one anytime you have a positive or negative experience with a restaurant, hotel, coffee shop or business!
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