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Great News from Google Place Page – Review Responses

Yesterday, Google released a new feature that gives Place Page owners the ability to respond to reviews. Every business has the opportunity to be listed on Google Maps and Google’s 7-pack. Unfortunately, only around 7 to 10 businesses will make it to the first page of the results. Those with reviews, good or bad, have a greater chance of being seen. Now you have that opportunity to respond to them! Your professional response to these reviews can build strong relationships – or ruin them. Let’s take a look at this new feature along with a few suggestions on responding to reviews.

An example response to a review on Google Places. Image provided by Google. An example response to a review on Google Places. Image provided by Google.

Three areas where reviews appear…

When searching Google, searchers have three opportunities to see reviews – 7-Pack, Google Maps, and the 1-pack located below the listing. Let’s find out a little more about them…

Google 7-pack

Most Google searchers are familiar with Google’s 7-pack. When specifying a city or location, it will appear above the organic listings. If your listing is located here, you’re in good shape – for now. A few poor reviews and you may wish Google never existed. On the following screenshot, notice how the 7-Pack shows the quantity of reviews. If clicked, the searcher will be taken to the Google Places page where they can read the reviews in full detail.

Google’s 7-pack links to reviews. Google’s 7-pack links to reviews.

Google Maps

Google maps is a very a well-known tool, and with the growth of mobile devices it is becoming ever more popular. When searching for ‘dining in Fond du Lac’ about ten listings appear. Most restaurants have reviews and Google chooses which review to use along with the listing. In addition, there is a link to go to the Places page to read all the reviews.

Reviews are front and center on Google Maps.Reviews are front and center on Google Maps.

Google 1-pack…

When searching Google for a specific company, the 1-pack might appear below the listing. It includes a map, address, hours, reviews and a link to the Places page. If, for example, a searcher is getting directions, what would they think when a poor review appears? Now might be the time to search for your company!

Reviews might appear when searching for a company on Googles SERP.Reviews might appear when searching for a company on Google’s SERP.

How to respond to reviews…

First, if the review is not from Google Maps, you will not be able to respond within Google Places. You will need to go to the corresponding site and respond there – if possible. I recommend focusing on the Google reviews because they will appear on your Google Places page.

A review appearing on Google Places Page but located at a different website.A review appearing on Google Places Page but located at a different website.

Step 1: Responding to a review…

Log into your Google Account and then go to www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter.

Step 2: Google Places Dashboard…

After the Dashboard appears, click See your listing on Google Maps.

Click See your listing on Google Maps to view your listing.Click ‘See your listing on Google Maps’ to view your listing.

Step 3: Find the reviews…

Once at the Places page, scroll down to find the reviews.

On the Google Places Page Scroll down to see reviews.On the Google Places Page Scroll down to see reviews.

Step 4: Respond…

Below the review, click Respond publicly as the owner.

Click Respond publicly as the owner.Click ‘Respond publicly as the owner’.

Wait! Read the policies…

Before writing a response review Google’s policies. Comment Posting Policy

…and a word from Google…

Engaging with the people who have shared their thoughts about your business is a great way to get to know your customers and find out more. Both positive and negative feedback can be good for your business and help it grow (even though it’s sometimes hard to hear). By responding, you can build stronger relationships with existing and prospective customers. For example, a thoughtful response acknowledging a problem and offering a solution can often turn a customer who had an initially negative experience into a raving supporter. A simple thank you or a personal message can further reinforce a positive experience. Ultimately, business owner responses give you the opportunity to learn what you do well, what you can do better, and show your customers that you’re listening. – Google

…and a word from team member Jody…

I think it’s very important when an owner responds to a review, that they don’t let their emotions dictate what they write. Constructive answers to concerns are the best. – Jody | wisnet.com team member

Step 5: Publish…

When ready to respond publicly, click Publish.

Write your response and then click Publish.Write your response and then click Publish.

Conclusion

Hopefully this is your first step towards understanding how reviews work as well as a tool for dealing with them. Responding to criticism is a double edge sword and can cause many more problems than it solves. Hiring a PR spin artist (also known as a copywriter) should be considered. Either way, one unsatisfactory or erroneous review today can stifle business for many years to come – therefore always respond. Good luck!