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Google Local Reviews

Note: Google has switched Place Pages to Google + pages so the details have changed on how to implement since the initial publish date…

Some Local Traffic Stats From Google:

• 20% of all searches have local intent (2.8 billion a month)*
• 40% of all mobile searches have local intent*
• 97% of consumers search for local businesses online*

One of the most cost effective ways to reach these local consumers is through your Google Place Page. Having a well optimized Place Page with a star rating can be the difference between getting calls and leads through the internet, and not getting those calls and leads. Here are a few key facts to get you started:

  1. Google Places provides free clicks to your website
  2. Ranking in Google Places is influenced by your reviews
  3. Reviews or “social proof” has a powerful influence on the perception of your business online
  4. Anyone can easily review your business for free

What is a Google Place Page?

Google Places results are the “Maps” listings you often see in the Google results when you perform a “local” search (shown below).

The actual Place page is the Google generated listing for the business (shown below).

How Do I Get to a Google Place Page?

Do a search on the company name + city name. Under the business listing in the search results, click on the “Google reviews” or “Place page” text link. This will take you to the Google Place Page.

If you need to claim your Google Place Page start with this Google Help Doc.

Reviews Raise Your Google Place Page Rankings & Star Rating

In the past few months Google made changes to how they handle Place Page reviews. They are now only using reviews entered on your Google Place Page to determine your star rating. Reviews on Google and elsewhere online will have a positive affect on your local search rankings, but only Google reviews will be included in your star rating. Reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, CityVoter and others are AWESOME, but with these new developments it makes things simple. If you are a small business just starting a review campaign, focus on Google reviews first. The boost in rankings and the visual differentiation from the stars will help you stand out in the crowd.

How to Get Google Place Page Reviews:

First and foremost do amazing work! Then, request a review by using a link to your Google Place Page.

1) Place a link on your website asking for a review
2) Place a link in a personal email asking for a review
3) Place a link in your email footer asking for a review
4) Place a link on Facebook and other social media sites asking for a review

Don’t offer anything in return just present the link. Also be careful of the temptation to do “fake” reviews. Here’s why.

How Do I Link to My Google Place Page?

Once you have navigated to the Place Page, click the “Link” button in the upper right, then click the “Short URL” button. From here you can click “Send” and use the supplied Google email tool to send the link, or you can copy and paste the link anywhere you would like. You can add this link to your website, an image on your website, an email, or just about anywhere else online.

How to Write Google Place Page Reviews:

1) Go to the Place Page (see instructions above, or click a link if available)
2) Click on the big red “WRITE A REVIEW” button
3) Give the business a star rating
4) Write your review

Google requirements to write a review:

1) Google login or account of any kind (we suggest you start with a Gmail account)
2) Reviewer nickname (this is set by the user the first time they write a review)

Takeaways:

  • Reviews are an important way to increase Google Places rankings
  • Google only includes reviews on your Place Page to calculate your star rating
  • A Places review star rating will help you stand out in the search results
  • Reviews and other social proof are a powerful tool in online marketing

 

*Data from Quora and Google

 

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