Businesses that wish to leverage their Google My Business profile to attract new potential clients need to design a strategy to deal with different kinds of negative feedback.

According to Search Engine Land, 88 percent of consumers consider online reviews to be just as valuable as personal recommendations. While many business owners don’t particularly like the fact that they no longer have nearly the same degree of control over their brand images as they once did, customer reviews can undoubtedly provide valuable feedback.

Google Maps is one of the most popular mobile apps of all, and many smartphone users rely on it heavily for finding local businesses. Accompanying listings both in the search engine results and on Google Maps are ratings and reviews for local businesses. These reviews are among the most visible of all, having a major impact on your search engine visibility and brand reputation. As such, you’re going to need to deal with bad reviews promptly and responsibly.


Before you can respond to reviews left on Google, you’ll need to add and verify your business. There’s a good chance that your business is already listed in which case, you’ll want to claim the existing listing. Remember that people can leave reviews regardless of whether you claim your listing or not. Every local business should be listed on Google My Business since it will allow you to appear in Google Maps and other services while also granting you the ability to respond to reviews.

Identifying Fake Reviews

While you should never try to remove negative reviews if all they do is provide some constructive criticism, it’s important to remember that many review systems can be easily manipulated. For example, an unscrupulous competitor may leave fake reviews on Google to deliberately hurt your search engine rankings and your reputation. Fake reviews are, of course, against Google’s terms of service, and you have every right to report them and have them taken down. It can be very hard to identify fake reviews, but here are some common signs to look out for:

– Reviews that seem to exist only to recommend another product
– Product reviews dating from before the product was even available
– Reviews that don’t make any reference to the product, business or service
– Excessive use of first person pronouns to appear more credible

If you spot a review that violates Google’s review policies, be sure to flag it immediately. It may take several days for Google to assess the review, after which they will remove it, provided it includes content that goes against the rules.

Responding to Constructive Criticism

When it comes to negative feedback, studies have shown that customers tend to put more weight into the business’s response rather than the review itself. Customers hate to be ignored, especially if they are disappointed by a purchase. By responding promptly to reviews, particularly negative ones, you’ll be in a better position to build a relationship with the customer and hopefully resolve the issue.

It’s often easy to take negative reviews personally, but it’s essential for the sake of your reputation that you react professionally and don’t get too defensive, even if you feel that the feedback is unreasonable. You should ideally start your response by thanking the customer for leaving a review before attempting to address the issue they had. Also, remember that your reviewers are existing customers, so you shouldn’t use the opportunity to try to sell them something.

Of course, there will be the occasional customer who’s impossible to please, but you should always attempt to address their complaints. If you can resolve their issue, there’s a good chance they’ll even change their review. If that doesn’t work, you may want to try winning over other readers by taking a more humorous approach, especially if the feedback is blatantly unjustified.

Source: This article was published business.com By STEPHEN VAN DELINDER

Categorized in How to

Hopefully by now you know how important it is to not only have local reviews posted for your business, but to incorporate those reviews into your overall marketing and advertising plan.

According to WordStream, “79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, 85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses, and 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more.”

It’s no wonder Google and Yelp is so important to a business’s online success. Unfortunately, many companies stop there.

Believe it or not, there are actually many different online platforms and avenues you can take to get reviews for your business that will still add value, so it’s important you direct your consumers to write those stellar reviews in more places than just the top two.

This will help give your business extra visibility, help give another audience more opportunity to review your business, and give you more ammunition to work with overall when published reviews in your marketing materials.

Below is a list of great alternatives to Google and Yelp to get you started:

Amazon Customer Reviews

Amazon Customer Reviews is arguably just as popular as Google and Yelp, but it has to be mentioned.

Amazon.com Help Customer Reviews

Amazon is a very popular site for consumers looking for reviews on a product they intend to purchase, and in fact a lot of people go to Amazon specifically for reviews even if they plan on buying the product somewhere else. Amazon has such a wide range of products for sale that there is almost always a review (or several) for the product you’re searching.


Amazon rates it’s products using a 5-star scale, and then purchasers are able to write their own reviews underneath. You can also sort those reviews into “most helpful” and “most recent” to narrow down what will most likely be a giant list.

Amazon also has a list of “top reviewers” that you can attempt to elicit to review your products. They have titles like “Top 100 Reviewer” and “Hall of Fame Reviewer” listed next to their names. A review from them could mean big things for your company! You just have to do the work to reel them in.

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has been around since 1936, making it one of the oldest and most trusted sources for product reviews.

Best Mattress Reviews – Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has done a great job of changing with the times; they’re present on Twitter (@consumerreports), YouTube, and various other social media sites, so they have a solid following. Their mission is to reach as many people as possible, and so they understand the value of reaching out to a wide audience using whatever channels necessary.

Consumer Reports is unique in that it’s in-house testing laboratory and survey research center tests and researches all its products before posting reviews.

It’s a non-profit company and doesn’t accept any advertising, so it’s reviews are true and unbiased. According to Wikipedia, approximately 7.3 million people subscribe to Consumer Reports, so if you’re not using it for your business’s reviews you’re missing out on a huge, diverse audience of consumers.

Aabaco Small Business from Yahoo!

Aabaco Small Business from Yahoo! (formerly know as Yahoo! Local Listings) has several good options for business owners looking to increase their client base.


Business Directory Local Listings Online Local Advertising from Small Business

You can create a FREE listing by going to this website. You can also purchase an Enhanced listing for $9.95/mo, or a Localworks listing for $29.99/mo. Visit their homepage for more information on how the various plans relate.

With a Localworks listing you have the ability to reach a network of over 150 million local searches each month. You can list your business over more than 60 websites so that you are able to always control the information that is out there in order to make sure it is correct and factual.

An Enhanced listing gives you more photos, a company tagline, and a detailed business description. Similar to other listings sites, consumers are able to review and comment on your business. As a business owner, you have the option to respond to these comments. This opens the door to either recommend new products or rectify a bad transaction, sending the message that you are in touch with and care about your client base.

Foursquare for Business

Although FourSquare for Business isn’t as important as it was in the past, they still have an incredibly following.


According to their homepage, more than 50 million people use FourSquare for Business for product reviews, and more than 2 million businesses take advantage of the site in order to increase their sales and awareness for their company and products.

FourSquare works for reviews because people are able to leave photos, comments, and reviews for local businesses thus enabling them to have conversations with other locals about the benefits and drawbacks of a particular place. By using FourSquare yourself, you can learn from your target audience and improve your business to better meet their needs, so it’s a win all around.

Facebook Ratings and Reviews

If you didn’t know that Facebook was more than just posting statuses and liking photos, you and your business are missing out! Facebook is one of the most popular places to review and grow businesses. Facebook Ratings and Reviews is a new feature, but it’s rapidly growing in popularity.

Ratings Reviews Facebook Help Centre

Similar to Amazon, Facebook Ratings and Reviews uses a star system for their users to express their like or dislike of a company or product. The more people who review a business, the more likely it is to show up in someone’s Newsfeed; thus increasing brand awareness.

One downfall with Facebook is that your ability to respond to a review is limited based on the consumer’s privacy settings. For example, if their profile is extremely private, most likely you won’t even have access to the review, let alone the ability to respond to it and remedy a situation.That being said, if reviews become a problem for you, Facebook does offer the option to turn them off but still list your business on their site.


Now that you know some great review alternatives to Google and Yelp, what are you going to use to increase the audience for your business? Have you had any luck with the sites listed above, or do you have any helpful tips for alternative sites? Comment in the section below!

Source:  https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/05/19/five-places-your-business-should-source-online-reviews-other-than-google-yelp/

Categorized in Business Research


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