Improve reputation

Ultimate Guide on Google reviews and how to get more

Picture of Marko Zivanovic
Marko Zivanovic

Content Manager

What are Google reviews?

Google reviews represent your customers’ experiences with your business. Reviews are a huge sales driver since most people rely on them before making a purchasing decision.

The best part is that you can impact your sales with minimal investment since the Google review service is free.

To start getting the benefits of reviews you need to list your business on Google, if you haven’t already done so.

You can skip the following part if you have already listed your business on Google.

How to list a business on Google?

Getting your business on Google is the first step you want to take. So if you haven’t already set up your Google my business listing, here is a quick explanation of how to do it:

For people who don’t have a Google account

  • Click on “Sign In” and then “Create account.”
  • Select “For my business.”
  • Fill out the required fields to create your Google account.
  • After successfully completing your Google account, you will land on Google Business Profile Manager.
  • From there, you can follow the steps below.

For people with a Google account

  • Visit the Google Business Profile Manager.
  • First, use the search bar to see if your business already exists to avoid creating a duplicate.
  • Select “Add your business to Google” if it already doesn’t exist.
  • Enter your business name and business category (you will get recommendations for categories when you start to write).
  • Next, you want to provide Google with information about your location. In this example, we are using a wellness center, so we want to add a location. If your business doesn’t have an actual location, but if you are visiting customers, select no.
  • If you selected “Yes,” enter your business location.
  • From there, you must provide additional information about delivery, phone number, and website. After that, you have finished the process of listing your business on Google.
  • The verification process is the final step after you add all relevant information about your business. Enter your physical address, and Google will send you a postcard with a verification code.

Is your “Google my business” profile ready now?

Yes and no. After you verify your business profile, it will be live on Google. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about it. The more relevant information you add, the easier it will be for people to choose you over the competition.

Here is what you can do to optimize your business profile:

  • Add your working hours. Keep in mind that if you need to change your working hours, make the changes in the Google My Business section. You don’t want angry customers to leave negative reviews just because they had the wrong information and run into closed doors.
  • Write an engaging description for the “From business” description. For example, deliver information that can impact people’s buying decisions or write about what sets you apart from the competition.
  • Add real photos of your business, services, and products. Take advantage of photos to deliver credibility and help people choose your business. There are multiple ways you can do that. For example, if people are having trouble finding your location, you can add a photo in front of your business so people can find it easier. If you offer delicious desserts, you should include photos of them.
  • Take advantage of frequently asked questions. Another way to attract more people is to answer questions that potential customers may have before they click on your website. Unfortunately, business owners often overlook the “Questions and Answers” section, even though it can make a huge difference in conversion. For example, if you are running a fitness center, people may wonder if there is a parking lot nearby.
  • Add posts to your GMB page. As with social media, you want to post recent updates and announcements to your business page. Let people know about exciting things that are happening in your business.

Why are reviews important?

Using reviews and star ratings to showcase how people have positive experiences with your business certainly can impact your business growth. Statistics show that for 93% of people, online reviews impact their buying decision.

However, that is not the only benefit of Google reviews. A good rating on Google can put you at the top of search results.

This is also true with the Google maps app. The search engine simply loves businesses with plenty of reviews.

Customer reviews can be a cost-effective alternative to paid advertising and creating SEO-optimized content. In addition, you can generate more leads and customers by getting free traffic from Google.

Alongside delivering credibility and improving your position in Google search results, your reviews can provide even better answers that potential customers may have.

Take a moment to imagine that you are looking for a nice restaurant for a Friday night dinner. You don’t first check out their website. Instead, you search reviews to see what other people say about it.

Google’s algorithm will even provide recommendations, so people can easily find topics that interest them.

A real example of how Google reviews help with SEO

Here is the best example of the impact of Google reviews on a business position.

Take a look at one of our clients, TITLE Boxing Troy.

When someone searches for boxing spots in Troy, Michigan, they appear first on search results.

In addition, a good rating and number of reviews significantly separate TITLE Boxing Troy and Victorius MMA from Troy Kickboxing Outfit. So naturally, you will click on the businesses that send out better credibility signals.

TITLE Boxing Troy had 14 reviews when they joined Referrizer, and now they have 131 reviews.

If you want to read more about their success, you can read the complete story here.

Type of Google reviews

We can categorize reviews into 4 groups:

Positive reviews: Whether people are satisfied with your services, products, or simply the kindness of your employees, this type of review shows that your business is credible. Therefore, we can consider any review with 5 or 4-stars as positive.

Make sure to take advantage of these reviews anywhere, whenever possible. For example, in your email communication, on your website, etc.

Neutral reviews: If you receive a review with 2 or 3-stars, the customer experience wasn’t satisfactory. Naturally, this kind of review can impact your confidence or even make you angry, but you don’t have to look at it as the end of the world.

Neutral reviews can be a great way to receive customer feedback and learn what you can improve in your business. Ideally, you want those reviews to be visible to you only, but you will learn more about how to do that in this blog post.

Negative reviews: Many factors can influence people to write reviews with 1 star. Sometimes you can fix those issues, while other times, this can be totally out of your hands.

This is also true for neutral reviews. You can learn a lot from negative reviews. However, without question, negative reviews can impact people’s opinions. Luckily, this guide will teach you the most effective ways to deal with negative reviews.

Fake reviews: First of all, can Google reviews be faked? Absolutely! This type of review can come from angry people who never visited your business or even from the competition.

You won’t get any useful feedback, the sole purpose here is to destroy your business reputation.

You can’t do a lot to prevent these reviews, but there is a way you can deal with them.

How to deal with fake and negative reviews?

There are a few ways you can reduce the impact of these reviews.

Respond to negative reviews If someone has a genuinely negative experience with your business, you should take the time to respond to it and try to fix the issue.

Here you should be sympathetic and pleasant. Apologize for bad experiences and offer potential solutions that can make things better.

Ideally, you want to encourage your customers to contact you privately so you can potentially persuade them to remove negative reviews by providing solutions.

Respond to fake reviews Even if you may want to accuse someone of posting a fake review, you should take a more strategic approach here. Acknowledge their negative experience, but point out that something isn’t right with the information they have provided.

Remember to always be polite since other people will probably read your replies. You don’t want to create a brand image of a sour and angry business owner who can’t take criticism.

Delete negative reviews In most cases, deleting Google reviews isn’t possible if they result from a negative experience. However, if the reviews don’t follow Google policies, you can flag them and potentially remove them.

Delete fake reviews Luckily, Google has a clear no-no standpoint for fake reviews. If you think a review isn’t the result of a genuine experience, you can flag it and ask Google to delete the review.

Should you then bother at all to respond to fake reviews? Yes. Even if you can eventually remove fake reviews, it will take time for Google to evaluate your request.

The easiest way to deal with negative and fake reviews? Sometimes, the most effective and easiest way to deal with fake and negative reviews is to bury them with plenty of positive ones.

It would be much easier for people to believe your credibility if, in 100 positive reviews, you only have 1 negative review.

How to get better Google reviews?

Review rating depends on the customer experience with your business. There can be a lot of factors that can make someone’s experience positive or negative. From the quality of your service/product to the experience with employees.

If many people praise the quality of your products and services but often complain that no one is picking up the phone, you must address this.

It’s important to provide a top-class experience to all your customers and create relationships with them. Once you build a connection, even one bad experience won’t drastically change their opinion.

Can Google reviews be taken down?

As we mentioned before, reviews that you flag and take down reviews that are against Google policies. Google can also take down some of your genuine reviews.

If the algorithm notices unusual behavior, like many positive reviews in a short time, Google may unpublish those reviews.

Remember this, so when you try any methods for collecting Google reviews in this guide, don’t overdo it. For example, it is better to get 2-3 reviews every day than to collect 50 at once and lose them because Google thinks you are posting fake reviews.

What are other review platforms?

Depending on your business type, there are a few other platforms where you should build an excellent online reputation.


Yelp greatly benefits beauty salons, doctors, dentists, and restaurants. Yelp reviews could help your business in these or similar categories.


No matter if people discover you through Facebook the first time or if they are looking for more information, you need to have a great reputation on this platform. To make a great impression, ensure you have lots of positive reviews with a great overall rating.


This is a great platform for restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. If you are in the hospitality industry, you should focus on building a positive reputation on TripAdvisor alongside Google.

Your website

Credibility is essential for conversion. If you are already getting potential customers visiting your website, make sure you have relevant testimonials from customers. This will help you generate sales.

When to ask for a review?

Expecting customers to write a Google review by themself is not the best practice. Instead, you will need to engage them at the right time if you want to boost your online reputation and presence.

Ideally, you want to ask your customers for a review after they purchase or visit your business. If that is the case, their experience is still fresh, and they can write a relevant review.

Asking for a review after a purchase or visit doesn’t have to be a rule – even if it is most effective. For example, you can always send a mass email or text campaign to your customers and ask them to rate their experience.

How to get more Google reviews?

You can use multiple ways to boost the number of reviews you get. We will show you some simple ways and some cutting-edge methods that will help you to become a top-rated business in your area.

Ask in person. The easiest way to start collecting reviews is to ask your customers to leave a review when they are in your business or instruct your employees to do so. The good thing about this approach is that you don’t need any technology.

The downside is that you or your employees may forget to ask for a review. Sometimes even if you ask, your customers may forget to post the reviews, even if they had an amazing experience.

Email campaigns

As we mentioned, you can create an automated email marketing campaign that will trigger every time a customer makes a purchase or visit. For example, Referrizer provides business owners with a trigger to choose when they want to send automated emails.

In addition to triggers, we also provided a smart trigger to end the automated campaign. When your customer leaves you a review, you want to stop the campaign that asks them to leave a review. Whether using the Referrizer system or building your own triggers, make sure not to bother people, or it can impact your review rating.

One more way you can use email marketing is to send out a mass campaign to all customers.

You can use the same structure and design for both emails. Here is an example of one of our client’s review request emails:

You can change the subject line.

If you are using triggered emails after a purchase or visit, your subject line should look like this:

  • FIRST NAME, how was your recent experience with BUSINESS NAME?

For the blast email campaign, you can use something like this:

  • FIRST NAME, rate your experience with BUSINESS NAME

Text campaigns You can do the same thing for text campaigns. Create automated campaigns or send a mass campaign when you need to collect reviews.

The difference here is the distinction between text marketing and email marketing.

Text marketing outperforms email marketing in engagement and click-through rates.

On the other hand, email marketing is much cheaper than text marketing.

With these pros and cons, what is the ultimate answer? Should you use email or text marketing to collect reviews?

The answer is simple. You should use both. Some customers in your list will prefer one way of communication over the other. Naturally, some people will opt-in for text marketing messages, while others will provide you with their email addresses.

Your website The simple way to generate additional reviews is to ask people to share their experiences on your website. Create a small section that invites people to post a review on your home page or in the footer of your website.

One more place on your website where you can ask for a review is on your testimonial page. If you have a page where people share awesome reviews, you can invite other visitors to post a review on Google.

Email communication Email campaigns should not be confused with email communication. Just like you add a small section in your website footer, you can do the same in all your email footers. Deliver you updates, announcements, and promotions, while leaving a way for people to share their experiences with your business.

Loyalty program

Here we are transitioning to more advanced but straightforward methods for collecting positive reviews.

If you have a loyalty program and it is customizable, you can set posting reviews as one way to earn points. For example, every visit can earn 1 point, but every review can earn 5 points.

Doing so gives people multiple ways to collect points, earn rewards, and get valuable reviews.

This can result in people posting positive reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or other reviews platforms you want.

SMS autoresponder Have you ever seen table stands or posters in business that say Text YES to “this number” and get a free product?

Some of our clients have seen green success in collecting positive reviews after they deliver their free products.

Simply confirming that your customers have claimed special offers and asking for a review can boost your online reputation.


Yes, you can take advantage of your WiFi to ask people for reviews and feedback.

Here is how it works.

Before customers can access your free business WiFi, they need to provide their phone numbers and opt-in for marketing messages.

Right after they opt-in and get access to your WiFi, they will receive an automated text message that asks them to post a review.

Here is how it looks in Referrizer:

Should you use reputation management platforms?

Online reputation has become crucial for any business in today’s digital world. People’s perspectives can impact both large enterprises and local businesses.

Even though the importance of reviews and reputation isn’t in question, local businesses usually don’t have enough resources (time or people) to take care of it constantly.

This is where reputation management platforms can help.

Reputation management platforms are software that helps you manage your reputation, engage customers to write good reviews, and protect your rating from negative reviews.

By streamlining multiple channels into one dashboard or automating processes, business owners can save time and manage their online reputation even if they run the business by themselves.

What are the benefits of reputation management platforms?

If you are looking to improve your online reputation, here is how a reputation management platform can help you:

Keep track of multiple review platforms From one dashboard, you will be able to monitor reviews and ratings from the review platforms that are important to you. This will save you time and give you a complete overview to see where you are doing good and where you should improve.

Find the reviews With a reputation management platform, you can quickly locate negative reviews that need to be addressed or find positive ones that you can use for credibility and publish your website or in communication.

Protect your online reputation Most reputation management software will allow you to filter out negative reviews and keep your online reviews flawless.

Collect feedback from customers You will be able to engage customers and ask them to share their experiences with your business. Depending on the answers, you can discover what makes your business stand out from others, as well as what needs to be improved.

Collect positive reviews The most important part of reputation is ensuring you continually get new positive reviews. By doing so, you will be able to stay on the top of Google search results with fresh and relevant reviews.

What can you do with the Referrizer Reputation Management System?

Referrizer’s Reputation Management System is an ideal solution for local businesses. An easy-to-use system and advanced tools allow you to manage and grow your online reputation effortlessly.

Here is why Referrizer is a great choice for local businesses:

Improves reputation on the most important review platforms Referrizer allows you to boost reviews on where you need the most at the moment. One month you can focus on Google, another month, you can focus on Facebook, and so on.

Collecting reviews in multiple ways Referrizer provides different ways to engage people and ask them to post reviews. You can do it by:

  • Running automated email and text campaigns – You will be able to engage people and get them to post reviews after they visit your business fully automatically.
  • Launching mass email and text campaigns – Engage your customers with ready-to-use campaigns through email and text marketing.
  • Ask for a review after exchanging messages – Automate review requests when someone claims your special offer via text message reply.
  • Engage customers through your WiFi – Get people to opt-in when they log on to your business WiFi and ask them to post a review with automated text messages.
  • Get reviews through a loyalty program – Reward people with loyalty points when they provide you with a review.
  • Turn every email into a review opportunity – Add a review request box to each email that goes out to your customers.

Filter negative and neutral reviews Protect your online reputation by only publishing 4 and 5-star reviews. All other reviews you receive through our system will remain visible only to you as feedback.

Monitor reviews Filter reviews based on the rating and source, reply to Google reviews directly from Referrizer’s dashboard and keep track of unresponded reviews.

Get analytics Keep track of your reputation growth with charts and statistics for multiple channels. You will be able to see how reputation management boosts your reviews and grows your business.

Deliver credibility on your website With Referrizer’s Review Widget, you will be able to highlight the best reviews on your website and deliver crucial credibility that will help you to turn visitors into customers.

Ready to start collecting reviews?

Your online reputation can either help you grow your business or turn off potential customers. Your rating and review count will determine to what extent you experience one of these scenarios.

Whether you want to boost your online presence with reviews, become more credible, or hide a few bad reviews, Referrizer can help you with that. Schedule a demo to see how we help businesses like yours boost their Google reviews and improve their reputation on multiple platforms.

Marko Zivanovic

Content Manager

I use engaging words and strategic approaches to create content that converts.

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Marko Zivanovic

Content Manager

I use engaging words and strategic approaches to create content that converts.

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