Importance of Google Reviews

Thanks for checking out episode 3 of our brand new show, Local SEO. Once we got into the editing room, we had a bit of a surprise on this episode. One of our microphones failed, our first real “rookie mistake” in this production.

We had to get a little creative with the audio from the other mics, and we think the end result turned out okay. The topics we cover are great, and the recording turned out really well. So, even with one microphone down, we opted to push forward with this episode instead of re-recording it. Enjoy!

Don’t miss an episode – listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, and more!

Google Reviews, Bing Places for Business, Apple Maps, and Google My Business Messanging

For our third episode, we cover a range of topics. First we’ll stay on the Google My Business (GMB) subject, as we dive into the importance of getting reviews on your Google Business Profile page, and how reviews and ratings help build confidence for prospective customers.

We’ll also talk about a new feature recently released for GMB – the Messaging feature. This cool feature allows you to directly interact with customers via SMS text messaging, right from your GMB page. Best of all, it’s free! This is a really neat addition from Google, and something that can help you reach new customers in a way that most other businesses are not, so you can stand out from the crowd.

Google is not the only local directory you want to list in, though, so you’ll learn how to get included for Bing Places for Business too.

Plus, we’ll talk about how to get listed in Apple Maps. You’ll want to get your business listed here, so you’re included in the navigation apps that are built into iPhones and iOS devices!

Check out the show notes below for resource links, guides, and a link to watch the episode in video format!

Thanks for checking out episode 3!

If you want to dig even deeper, check out the brand-new course Dominate GMB, which will be launching soon! We’ll be talking more about the course later, but you can signup for the wait list now (and get a special bonus).

Here is the Transcript for The Importance of Getting Google Reviews!

Jesse: Hey everyone, Jesse Dolan and Bob Brennan here with Local SEO Tactics. We’re on our
third episode. We’re talking about your Google My Business listing, and we’re going to
dive right back into it here again today. Today we’re going to dive a little bit deeper into
some of the more advanced features of the Google My Business listing, and what you
can do with it, and how to get the most value for your business.

So, you’re going to want to go to your Google My Business page, pull up your listing.
Here, we’re on the home screen. And the first thing we’re going to talk about here is the
reviews. Anybody who has used the internet in any recent capacity is familiar with the
reviews. Ebay, Amazon, pretty much anywhere that you do business nowadays has
some kind of portal for reviews. And a lot of us as consumers, we may not even read
much more information other than the actual reviews to make a decision on who we’re
going to patronize.

Bob: Yeah, and I would say reviews is kind of a subconscious thing. When somebody who was
younger in my company a couple of years ago told me how important reviews were, I’m
just like, “Yeah, whatever.” And really now that I think about it, as we go through our
searches and we look at things subconsciously, we see the more stars, that’s what I
gravitate, and I usually start at the top and start making calls. If it’s for shoe repair, or
whatever it might be, but basically … and it’s good. I mean, when you think about it, as
business owners we need to serve our clients the best, and we need to create an
atmosphere that you have five star reviews. And really that’s what the stalwart
companies like Disney and everybody else, they have their own rating system. They’re
shooting for five stars because they know that customer’s going to come back.
It’s easy to play the card and say, “Well, the customer isn’t always right.” Well, that’s not
the world we live in and we’ve got to get these reviews, get these five star reviews. So
we’re going to go through that a little bit today.

Jesse: I’ll share a little story, too. Bob and I were talking about this earlier, before we were
recording this show here. For Christmas, my wife got me a gift card for Cabela’s. It’s like
a Bass Pro shop, depending where you’re at in the country. So, it’s a big sporting goods
store. And I wanted a nice pair of small binoculars. She got me a gift card, instead of
going into the Cabela’s store, which is kind of a poke from our house. I was just going to
shop online. Kind of knew the brand that I already wanted because I’d done some
research. But basically I purchased my binoculars online, just based off reviews. I didn’t
touch them. I didn’t feel them. I just went through the experiences those other people
had, and reading those reviews.

So, powerful stuff. If you’re out collecting the reviews right now through any other
means, you know if you have a Facebook page and your reviews on there, things like
that. Your new Google My Business listing is a very powerful spot for you to do this.
Once you get that review, you can use it in your marketing as well.

Bob: Yeah.

Jesse: If you have your website, there’s some really cool plug-ins, maybe, if you’re using
WordPress. But you can use to integrate those reviews or other third party applications,
which we’ll get into in future episodes. To bring these reviews off of the Google and
right onto your website. So if somebody leaves you a five star review, boom. It’s
instantly on your website, as well. For somebody who didn’t maybe go through Google,
but is still going to get exposure to that review, and the five stars with it on your
website. So, very powerful stuff to get these reviews. You can use them for your
marketing. You can get them for edification. And it really helps a lot.

The way you’re going to manage this on your Google My Business listing is go to your
home screen and over on the left-hand side, you’re going to see a button that says
reviews. So if you click on the reviews, you’ll be able to pull up and see all the recent
reviews. You have the ability, as a business owner, or anybody who manages your
Google My Business page, to reply and respond to these reviews. If somebody gives you
a five star review, definitely take the time out of your day to just say thanks. You don’t
have to write a long essay to them or anything else. Just acknowledging it, saying
thanks, I appreciate your feedback, goes a long way to that individual person. But then
also when people read these reviews, they see that you’re engaged and they actually
care about it. It helps legitimize your business.

Inversely, if you have a negative review, maybe somebody’s got some vengeance and
they just slam you for whatever reason, you have the ability to respond to that, as well.
From our own experience, and probably from any expert that you can read up on or
check with, think about that when you write this, you’re not writing it as a reply to a
negative review. I mean, you’re not writing this as an argument to that person. You’re
writing this for the public to read, right? So be careful of what you write. You don’t want
to make a bad situation worse by feeding into that argument with that customer.

Bob: Right. It’s not worth it.

Jesse: But at any rate, this is the spot where you would have that ability to leave those replies
of the reviews. Also, it’s important to note that, and you can turn this feature on or off
in your settings for your Google My Business account, but the email address that you
used when you set up your account to begin with will get a notification whenever
somebody does leave a review.

Another area here, which is pretty new in the last couple months here, is the messaging
aspect. And it’s pretty much what it sounds like. Google gives you the ability to text
message with your customers online. You enter in your phone number. Google is going
to send you a verification code to verify that it’s your phone number. You enter that in.
After that, it’s live. Customers can do a Google search for you or visit your My Business
listing page, and they’ll see a button that says message. They click that. Whatever device
they’re on.

So if Bob’s on his iPhone, and he’s searching for that, he’ll click on that. It’ll open up his
text messaging on his iPhone. So whatever device you’re using, the native text
messaging in that device, it’ll open it up and you’ll send a text message to the entity. So
the individual that would be at the customer service counter would get an alert on their
phone, and they would be texting back and forth with the customer. It’s pretty
inventive. Still pretty new. Not a lot of businesses are doing it, which is pretty good
because if you are doing it, that’s just one more way for you to stand out and take
advantage of technology that Google’s giving to you for free.

Bob: Do you want to assign that phone number to a manager? In other words, if you’re a
small business, maybe you’re a business owner, you may or may not want to get … This
is a dynamic feature, so I guess the question becomes do you want a point person to
take these messages? Is there a strategy behind that? Any thoughts?

Jesse: I think it depends on the organization. The people that are handling your phone calls
can, on the surface, be the same people that are interfacing with text messaging.
However, text message is very short, very concise. You’re not going to have a long
conversation on it. So whoever you trust the most to be to the point, to be accurate and
things like that. I would say one of the main factors is going to be accessibility. It has to
be quick. If somebody’s sending a text message, they’re looking for a quick reply. So, it
doesn’t give you a very concise answer, I know, for your-

Bob: Well no, but I mean the way I would use it, and just not to go too far off on a tangent,
but if it was my business and somebody texts me, “Hey, what’s the price of this?” I
would respond, but more importantly, I’d send a coupon because if it’s a price sensitive
text, give them a reason to do business with you. Send that coupon, so they’re going to
come in. You know what I mean? There’s opportunities with the messaging, and they’ll
probably be more opportunities in the future.

Jesse: Something we might coach all the businesses we work with in, is you should know what
kind of questions people are going to be asking you, right?

Bob: Yep.

Jesse: So to your point, Bob, if somebody sends you a text with a question, maybe a price
point, answer the price point, give whatever promotion is already out there, and if you
know there are secondary questions to that, in the example here for Helper Tech, if your
iPhone 6 has a cracked screen, there’s some things that we know. How much is it? How
long does it take? Do I need an appointment? In your case, if I was that manager or that
person that’s going to be replying to that text or whoever it is, I’m going to tell them the
price and give them the promotion. I’d probably also say preemptively, “This takes 15
minutes and there’s no appointment needed. You just walk right in,” or whatever the
hook is going to be on that.

Bob: Right.

Jesse: You don’t have to wait for them to ask a question, right?

Bob: Yeah. And as a consumer, if people are answering questions that are in my head, you
know before I ask them, that reinforces the fact that they know what they’re talking
about, and that’s an expert. That’s somebody I want to do this with. That’s something
that takes time to evolve, but you’ve got to pay attention to what they’re asking, and
then deliver that preemptively. And you’re going to covert, I think, convert people at a
higher rate.

Jesse: Right. I think the moral of the story here is again, doing things that other businesses
aren’t necessarily doing. Use the messaging service that’s in there. Don’t be afraid of the
technology. Other people aren’t doing it. That’s great customer service. People leave
you reviews. Respond to those reviews. Show them that you’re engaged. Just be really,
really good in engaging with those customers. Use the tools that are out here that are
amazing, and you’re going to be doing pretty well because you’re going to be out in
front of everybody else.

Bob: And some of this is a little tough for us older business owners. I’m 50. You’ve got to
engage in this texting. You’ve got engage in this stuff. And if you’re not sure, lean on
some of your younger employees. The next generation, this is how they’re
communicating. It’s text. They’re busy. They don’t have time to even call in most cases.
So, participate in that, but then when you participate, give more value that they can see
right up front, that you’re the organization to go with.

Jesse: Right. And I’d say two more points on the messaging thing, and then we’ll move onto
the next topic. One is don’t be afraid because you can always turn it off. If you open the
floodgates and you’re sorry that you did this because you’re getting too many texts,
shut it off. I could think of worse problems to have-

Bob: Right, exactly.

Jesse: Than consumers contacting, but if that’s the case, you can just shut it off. Secondly, is
something that we’ve said before and we’ll say it again. If Google is giving you this to
use, use it. There’s no proof out there. We haven’t done the studies ourselves to compare
and contrast. Maybe somebody else can. But if Google’s giving you the messaging
service, I would think that they’re going to promote your business ahead of somebody
else, all things being equal. They deploy them to be used and be engaged with. If for
nothing else, at least use it because Google’s providing it to you. And hopefully you get a
boost over your competition with that.

Bob: Yeah, and Google’s looking for that engagement. And if you’re participating in their
game, so to speak, that’s what they want to see.

Jesse: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, that is the messaging feature. Again, if you’re following along
on the podcast, check out the video and you can see some of this, too, to help grasp
what we’re talking about if you’re unfamiliar with it. A couple of the advanced areas
here in the Google My Business that we’re going to cover real quick. One is users. If
you’re an organization with multiple users that maybe need to get in here and updates
maybe or hours, or manage the reviews if you’re going to delegate the response to the
reviews to somebody else. We talked in a previous episode about your photos and
uploading those. If you want somebody else to be in charge of that, or at least help with
it, you can add users.

And Google has three different levels of permission that you can assign. You can be an
owner, a manager, or a communications’ manager. And those are basically in order of
the most privileges to the least privileges. We’ll put a link for more descriptions on what
that actually means in the show notes, to help you learn that. That’s
pretty much it for the main areas on the Google My Business listing. Google is about 75,
80% of the web traffic out there for searches.

Bob: Yeah, that’s true. It feels like it.

Jesse: The other big player out there is Bing. Bing has an application, it’s very similar to Google.
It’s called Bing Places for Business. If you’ve done the process for the Google My
Business listing, it’s very, very similar to Bing. There’s some slight changes in your order
of how you do things, but the same thing. You’ve got to enter in your business, phone
number, website. They’ve got to authorize it. They might send you a postcard. Maybe
it’s a text or an email. It depends. They have that feature, too, if you’re lucky enough to
get authorized that way. And you manage your hours. You manage your photos. It’s
pretty much the same thing as Google.

Bing represents about 20% of the market right now at last check for these searches. I
wouldn’t say it’s light your hair on fire emergency, but as a business owner, I would
argue about missing 20% of your market, so it’s definitely a big enough chunk where you
want to pay attention to it and get it on your radar, at least. But again, compared to
Google, it’s definitely a B priority.

Something else, I guess, that’s important to note is, although Google and Bing are the
two that we’re focusing on here, Yahoo is still a pretty popular search engine. I believe it
ranks third, at least in the United States, in most results, even still today. Yahoo Local
Business listings are actually Bing Local Business listings, so if you do some tests on
Yahoo, if you go in there and just search for some things and you see the Map back on
Yahoo and those results, those are going to be provided by Bing, as well. So if you take
care of Google, you hit the 80% of the market. If you take care of Bing, you’re hitting
Bing and Yahoo at the same time, which is definitely worth it.

Bob: You bet.

Jesse: So, the last area we want to cover in regards to the maps and business listings is kind of
an emerging one. It’s for Apple. If you have your Android device, like your Samsung or
your HTC smart phone, that’s obviously going to be run on Android, which is Google, so
the built-in navigation, that kind of stuff, is going to be run off the Google. So if you put
yourself in the Google My Business listings, you’re going to automatically show up in the
Google Maps for the navigation. But if you’re using an iPhone, they have their own builtin navigation app that uses their own maps.
If you want to get yourself put on that, you’ve got to go to,
and for this you need to have an Apple ID, and you’ve got to go through a verification
process very similar to Google, to Bing, to anything else. Just to prove you’re a
legitimate business. But after that, you put your business listing on there. Again, same
kind of thing. Address, phone number, website, photos, what do you do. And now
you’re in the Apple Maps. So if somebody’s on their phone and they click on the
navigation built into the iPhone, I’m not talking about going to Safari or the Google app
or things like that, but if you open up your navigation, within the navigation you can do
a search for something. That’s the listings that’s going to show up there for that.
So depending on your business, the product or service that you’re selling, maybe that’s
relevant to you. Maybe it’s not. But hey, it doesn’t hurt. That’s pretty much it for the
Google My Business listings, and the relevant Bing and Apple versions of that, as well. So
Bob, if people maybe wanted to get some how-to guides or some cheat sheets about
what we talked on today, the topics we talked on today, where would they find that?

Bob: Yeah, they’d need to go out to and you can download those cheat
sheets, and more importantly, there’s links to the videos that we have that essentially
are these podcasts. And a lot of our videos are instructional, and can show you how to
get these listings on the various, again, Apple Map settings, the various Bing and Google
My Business.

Jesse: And last but not least, we want to mention, as we do every episode, if you want a free
SEO audit report on your website, just go out to our website,,

Click on the top right button for a free SEO audit. You can do any webpage, any
keyword that you want. It’s completely free. It just takes a few seconds. It’s going to spit
you out a report telling you where you’re good, bad, and ugly. Give you a nice grading
scale and a checklist of things that you need to do to round out the SEO on your website
and get some improvements for your business.

That’s all we got for this week. Tune in next week, we’re going to start to dive into the
actual website SEO. We’ve been focusing these first three weeks here on the Google My
Business, which is by far the most important thing you should do. If you haven’t done it
yet, go back and do it within this episode. But starting next week, we’re going to talk
about your actual website, whether that’s a current site you have or you’re launching a
new one, how to build it from the ground up with SEO in mind, and just dominate your

Bob: See you.

Jesse: Hey everyone, Jesse here again. Hopefully you got some good ideas, some things you
can do to your business right now to start making some traction and getting some more
leads. If you are getting some good value, we’d love to hear that. Go to our show page, Leave us some feedback, good, bad, ugly, whether you like things,
whether you don’t like things, ideas for the future. Any and all feedback for us is great at
this point. Three episodes in, we’re looking to just see if resonates and see what you
guys think. So, I appreciate that feedback.

If you want to leave us a review on iTunes, you can find information on how to do that,
as well, on our show page, and share that with others. If you’ve business owners that
you know, anybody else who might benefit from the things that we’re trying to teach
here and the things that we’re trying to show, we’d really appreciate it if you could turn
them onto it. And just give us a share. Thanks.

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Listen to the episode however you like with the audio file.



  • About getting reviews on your GMB page.
  • Methods to reply to reviews – for good and bad ratings.
  • How to use the new Messaging feature included on your GMB page.
  • Tips for quickly interacting with customers over text messaging.
  • How to get setup in Bing Places for Business.
  • How to get setup in Apple Maps, for iOS devices and navigation.


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