For those who were familiar with using Google Places as their means of leaving and receiving reviews, or who were there during the earliest days of Google+, the changes to the review system may seem daunting. What they do allow is a greater opportunity for customers to review and share their experiences at a business.
If you are making the switch from Google Places, the first thing you will need to do is create your own Google+ account for your business where your customers can leave reviews. The process of registering and reviewing is simple for your customers, who will need only to search for your business on the left side of the screen. Not that different from Google Places, they can click on a “Write a Review” button and provide feedback about your business.
Be sure to optimize your Google+ business page and include a good description, photos, and videos, at a minimum. This can make it more likely for people to want to recommend your business.
Those who have visited your business and wish to leave feedback for you or other would-be customers can leave it using a text box that appears after they select the “Write a Review” button. These reviews will appear on your business’s Google+ page for you and your potential customers to read.
An added bonus for you and your company is that you will still have the opportunity to comment and reply to any reviews that you receive. This gives you the chance to thank those that speak highly about your company and try to correct any bad impressions that someone has included in a review.
Google+ Local, where your customers will rate your system also has a new rating system for customers and clients to use. They will be asked first to rate your company in a number of different aspects on a scale of 0 to 3, which are then combined to give your business an overall rating from 0 to 30. Though the individual posts are aggregated together into a single score, visitors to Google+ Local can still see the individual ratings.
The reviews left on your Google+ page can display in the Google+ Local listing. Google review scoring was previously on a familiar 5-star rating system. The switch stems in part to Google’s acquisition of Zagat, a rating and review company.
Add to the Google+ Local is based out of the Google+ network, which allows for easy sharing and networking through larger groups than would occur by a mere search alone would have done with Google Places. As Google continues to adapt and consolidate more of its services with Google+, the social networking site is likely to spread, and so will your presence with Google+ Local.
If you are a business and have not claimed your Google+ business page, you should do so now. Google+ is playing an increasingly important role in the Google search rankings.