The Complete Google Reviews Checklist(Updated August 2022)
This is the most complete Google Reviews checklist you will ever need.
First, we’ll review some quick facts and how they affect your Google reviews.
Then we’ll dive into the factual Checklist you need to take action on to make sure you can:
Continue getting great Google reviews.
Control what others see about your business on Google.
Get rid of bad reviews on Google.
Continue ranking based on local ranking algorithms.
Let’s get to it…
Table of contents
**On August 2nd, 2022, Google finished its “Google Product Reviews Update.”
**This means Google will look differently at how reviews for all websites are put together and how legitimate they are.
With the above said, here are the most critical things you can do to ensure your website will not take a ranking dip
1-Make sure your website includes recent reviews
Make sure your reviews are practical.
It is a fact that visitors to your site are most likely to check out the most recent reviews first.
I know I do this myself whenever I look through reviews for a product I am considering.
Google’s local algorithm considers how recent your reviews are because it indicates consistent activity within your website. This, of course, can be viewed as an essential ranking factor.
Recent reviews also let potential customers like yours truly know that your product is hot and in use right now or at least recently.
So, how to add review dates to your reviews?
The best part?
The above widget is free to use. So once you set it up, you don’t have to worry about it again.
2-The more Google reviews you can show on your website, the better your credibility
In short, it’s better to have 500 Google reviews than 5. This is an obvious point, but it should be mentioned. Think of it as “Mass approval.”
Google’s number 1 goal is to provide the most relevant, practical answer to all questions.
When crawling your site, the more reviews you have, your ranking will be better.
One other thing to note is your competitor’s stats. How many reviews do they have? are many 5-star reviews do they have? 4 stars? etc…
Looking over some of your competitors(the ones ranking on page 1) will allow you to better measure how many reviews you should aim for on your site.
A great technique I learned when obtaining a review is that instead of asking a potential client for a review, you write out questions for them.
Once they answer the questions, it’s only a matter of putting the answers together into one lump answer.
Answering a simple “how was our service?” question can be troublesome and time-consuming for many business owners. But answering three precise questions about what you would like to be highlighted in the review is much easier.
According to Google’s latest “Review update,” the more in-depth the reviews’ details, the better rankings your website is bound to get.
3-Aim for reviews at 4 stars or above
In a perfect world, all your customers will give you 5 stars, but that’s not how the real world works.
If the total of all your reviews lands you at above 4 stars, you are good to go. This will not affect your online standing with rankings.
Bad reviews are good because they allow you to improve your service. Think about it, every product you have ever bought was purchased by someone who hated it for particular reasons.
With the above in mind, always be on top of all reviews. The good and the bad in responding to them on time.
4-Avoid getting “fake or bought reviews.”
You’ve been there, on Amazon, looking through a product you are interested in buying.
As you scroll through, you see a product with 4.5 stars from 100,000 people?… something’s afoot. Especially once you see that most high-star reviews only contain about 3-word descriptions.
Usually, you can obtain what is considered fake reviews because you offer your product for free in exchange for a positive review.
This is usual practice when starting out with a new product but should be avoided past a sure volume cap.
You don’t want most of your reviews to be “bought reviews” because any regular person in 2022 will be able to spot them from a mile away.
According to Google Product Reviews Update, the more in-depth the review is, the more likely it will be considered in the ranking. If the review is 2 words long, there is a good chance it is not a “natural, honest” review.
There are always general questions you can ask, then there are specific questions.
I will list general questions below, followed by more specific questions.
When all answers are put together, each review will be exactly what Google wants to rank your website for.
What do you like most about our product?
What about our product was different than other products you saw while surfing the net?
How often do you ship products similar to ours?
Was our shipping time fast enough for you?
Is there anything you would change about our checkout process?
Did you find it challenging to check out/enter payment information and get the confirmation email for our product?
On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our product to your friends or family?
Are our products reliable and innovative enough to recommend to every person you have ever known?
5-Read over the best practices listed on Google Search Central
What better way to ensure you cover all basics than reading them straight from the Google overlords?
Google has a precise list of rules on how the reviews on your site should look, from what they should say to how specific they should be about your product.
I would say once every 3 months, look over the list to ensure your latest batch of reviews follows the guidelines. It’s a 5-minute step that can very positively impact your rankings.
6-Make it easy for your customer to give you a 5-star review
The steps so far have covered just some of the things you can do to ensure Google will rank you higher according to your reviews.
Now let’s dive into something you can do so your customers will give you better reviews.
7-Request a review from every one of your customers
Feedback from your customer is paramount.
Most of your customers will have a somewhat ok experience surfing through your website or purchasing your product.
People are generally happy to click on “pay now” and go their merry way.
That is all fine, but it doesn’t really give your service anything to improve on.
This is when a feedback request like, “anything we could have done better?” would be a significant ask.
When customers see this pop on their “Thank you for your payment” screen, it prompts them to think not only of the positive but anything they found could have been better in the buying process.
8-The advantage of SMS
According to texting statistics, over 6 billion texts are sent every day.
People are much more comfortable responding to a text than sitting there and answering questions on a website.
With this in mind, sending a customer who just bought your product a quick text asking for feedback will have a much better chance for a response than feedback requests at the website level.
There’s a comfort to our phones, a familiarity you feel every time you text. Use this to your advantage when it comes to your customers.
The last thing to mention for SMS is that the feedback you ask for can be given fast, like 10 seconds or less fast.
People don’t like to take essays when texting. Enough said.
9-Add a QR code so it is even more accessible for people to review you.
Yes, we live in the era of “Too easy is not easy enough,” and QR codes remind us of this.
The average cell phone in 2022 can do almost anything, and that includes the ability to scan a barcode, which then takes you to a web page where the review can be given.
Many bars or establishments nowadays don’t even have paper menus. Instead, most of them just ask you to scan a barcode that contains all menu items.
10-Respond to every review as often as possible
Every time I try to download an app and look at the reviews beforehand, I can recall.
Every customer review that is answered makes me feel better about downloading the app.
Your responses are being looked at even if it is responding to a negative review.
Remember the above and make sure you respond often.
11-Improve your service based on your reviews
This one should be obvious, but make sure improvements are being made based on your negative feedback or reviews.
Even if the improvement is not immediate, as long as you respond that you are working on fixing what the complaint was, that will be enough.
Before I forget, please be specific if you are responding that you are working on the issue the complaint brings up.
So bad review response would be:
“Thank you for your feedback, we are currently working on the issue, and it will be fixed shortly.”
Good review response:
“Thank you for asking about bigger sizes on this shirt. We are currently working on expanding our size selections!”
See the difference? one makes you feel like a robot wrote it, the other, a concerned business owner.
12-Use Email Marketing To Your Advantage
Email marketing can be helpful when it comes to obtaining Google reviews.
It’s as simple as, you guessed it! Sending out an email campaign to all recent visitors to your site, asking them for an email review.
The guys at Lemlist can help a ton when sending out email campaigns, with graphics telling you who opened your email and clicked on the link within.
I love their excel download feature as I am an excel guy. The excel download lets you play with the email data; genuinely excellent.
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Well, that’s it for now!
I am always improving this site so please leave any comments or questions below.