March 22, 2024
9 min read

Google Review Management: The Complete Guide for Beginners

As a small business owner, you already know how much Google reviews impact your brand's online reputation, visibility, and traffic.

By learning how to manage Google reviews, you can improve your local SEO, enhance your brand's reputation, and earn the trust of new customers. You can also increase the amount of reviews you receive, ensure the accuracy of your business listing, and promote your brand for free.

This comprehensive guide to Google review management covers everything your business needs to know to get started, including:

  • Why your business needs Google reviews
  • How to set up a Google Business Profile
  • How to monitor and respond to reviews
  • How to flag negative Google reviews for removal
  • How to encourage customers to leave reviews
  • Key benefits and advantages of using review management software 
  • How to choose the right Google review management software for your business
  • FAQs about how to manage reviews on Google  

Why should you have Google reviews as a business?

Before we dive into our review management tips or start comparing different software options, let's quickly revisit some of the reasons why Google reviews are important for businesses. 

They include:

  1. Gaining consumers' trust and boosting your credibility
  2. Helping your business appear in local search results
  3. Sending more traffic to your storefront or website

Building trust and credibility

Online reviews help build trust and credibility for your business — especially Google reviews, which consumers trust more than other types of reviews. 

When potential customers see positive Google reviews from others, they are more likely to trust your business and feel confident in purchasing from you. 

Positive reviews act as social proof, showing that your business satisfies its customers and provides quality products or services. 

Improving your online visibility 

When customers review your business on Google, it increases your visibility in local search results. That means your business is more likely to appear on Google Maps and be displayed in relevant search results whenever someone searches for a product or service related to your business in your geographic area. 

This increased visibility can translate to more website traffic and increased foot traffic to your physical store.

Boosting your SEO 

Google reviews positively impact your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. 

The more reviews your business receives, the more content search engines can crawl and index. This can help improve your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) and make your business more visible to potential customers. 

Additionally, Google considers the quality and quantity of reviews when determining search rankings, so having positive reviews can give you an edge over competitors.

How to manage Google reviews (from A to Z)

To manage your Google reviews, you'll need to set up a page for your business. 

You'll also need to monitor Google for new reviews, request reviews from your customers, respond to all the reviews you receive, and flag inappropriate reviews for removal.

Review page set-up

The first step of managing Google reviews is to create a Google Business Profile (formerly "Google My Business") for your company. As Google explains, “Before you can engage with potential customers, make sure your profile is set up and verified on Google. Upon verification, customers can only find your business profile on Google.” 

Here’s how to set up and verify your business account on Google.

review page set up
review page set up on gogogle part 2
review set up on google part 3

Review generation

The more positive reviews you receive, the higher your business will be rated—and the more potential customers will learn about your brand. 

Here's how to get more Google reviews, according to Google's own tips:

  • Request reviews from your customers in person after a "positive interaction" or via email or text campaigns. You can also request reviews "on your receipts or on a card you mail with your product."
  • Provide a direct link to your business listing to make sharing feedback convenient for your customers. For example, "You can create a custom short URL so customers can visit your Business Profile with one click to leave a review." This process is explained in more details below. 
  • "As a best practice, thank customers who take a few moments to share their appreciation for your business." 

As noted, Google enables your business to create and share a link your customers can follow to easily leave a review. Here’s how to provide your customers with a link to your business profile: 

how to share a link review

Another strategy is to work with a review generation service like Shout About Us, which enables you to automate sending out requests for customer feedback.

Review monitoring

You can't manage reviews you didn’t see. Monitoring Google keeps your business in the loop and up to date on customer feedback, which enables you to resolve complaints swiftly and watch trends as they develop. 

To monitor Google efficiently, you need to enable review alerts and notifications. For example, you can set your account to send you email notifications whenever somebody leaves a comment on your business profile.  

Here’s how to turn on Google review notifications, depending on what type of device you’re using. 

For Android users: 

how to monitor reviews on an android

For iPhone and iPad users: 

how to monitor reviews on an iphone

If using a laptop or desktop computer: 

how to monitor reviews on a laptop or computer

While this guide has been focused on Google, it's also important for your business to monitor other review sites, such as Yelp and Tripadvisor. Here are 16 examples of review platforms and social media networks to monitor, depending on your industry:

  • Amazon
  • Angi
  • Apple Maps
  • Avvo
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Facebook
  • Foursquare
  • Glassdoor
  • GrubHub
  • Nextdoor
  • TikTok
  • Trustpilot
  • Youtube
  • Zillow
  • Zocdoc

Make sure you have review alerts and notifications enabled for every platform you want to monitor. Or, simplify your tasks by letting us handle the review monitoring for you. Shout About Us tracks over 75 platforms — and if there’s one you’d like to add, just let us know, and we’ll get your profile connected.  

Review responding

Here are some of Google's tips for responding to reviews:

  • Thank your reviewers for their feedback, including negative reviews.
  • Keep your responses brief.
  • Respond to your reviews as soon as possible.
  • Always be courteous and never make personal attacks.
  • "Tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not have learned from their first visit."
  • "Acknowledge mistakes that were made, but don’t take responsibility for things that are out of your control."
  • If the reviewer had a negative experience, apologize in a way that "demonstrates compassion and empathy."

Here are some additional best practices to follow:

  • Personalize every response to make it unique to the reviewer.
  • Use the reviewer's name in each response.
  • Ensure that all responses are consistent with your branding and messaging.
  • Encourage customers to return to your business and/or contact you for support, depending on the nature of the review.
  • Create a protocol for dealing with the most serious customer concerns, like reviews about malpractice or discrimination.

When it comes to the actual process of creating and publishing review responses, there are several strategies your business can follow:

  • Write and publish every response manually, such as composing responses directly within Google.
  • Use customizable review response templates to speed up the writing process.
  • Use an AI tool or review response service like ResponseScribe to generate fast, professional replies to your online reviews.

Review removal

Google tries to ensure that all reviews on its platform are authentic. That means Google will not remove bad reviews simply because they happen to be negative or critical.

However, Google will remove reviews that violate Google's review policies. This includes, but is not limited to, the following types of prohibited content and behavior:

  • Any type of review manipulation or "fake engagement," which includes:some text
    • "Paying [for], incentivising, or encouraging the posting of content that does not represent a genuine experience"
    • "Discouraging or prohibiting negative reviews, or selectively soliciting positive reviews from customers"
    • "Content that has been posted by a competitor to undermine a business or product’s reputation," like attacking a competing brand with 1-star ratings
  • Any type of "inappropriate content," including but not limited to reviews that contain:some text
    • Hate speech
    • Threats or harassment
    • Obscenity or profanity
    • Personal information
    • Anything "adult-themed" or sexually explicit
    • "Off-topic" content
    • "Gibberish and repetitive content" (such as spam)
    • Any other "offensive content"

There are multiple ways to report a review to Google: using Google Maps, Google Search, or the Review Management Tool on your business profile. 

how to flag a review

Flagging a review will trigger an investigation to determine whether the reported content violates Google's policies. You can stay up-to-date on the status of your review removal request by following the steps below.

how to check the status of a flagged review

Manually flagging individual reviews is an ongoing, time-consuming task, especially if you have multiple locations or business listings. To save time, you can use a review removal service like Shout About Us, which fully automates the process. 

What are review management tools?

Online review management tools are programs or platforms that are designed to help companies track, analyze, and reply to customer feedback on different review websites. They can be used for managing Google reviews, Yelp reviews, Facebook reviews, and more. 

While every platform is different, they typically offer review management features such as:

  • Alerts and notifications for new reviews or ratings
  • Tools for generating and sending personalized review requests
  • Automated review responses to positive, mixed, and negative reviews
  • The ability to analyze reviews and gauge customer sentiment

Equipped with these capabilities, Google review management tools make it easier and more cost-efficient to manage your online reputation. They also enable your business to respond to reviews promptly, gain valuable feedback from customers, and address negative feedback in a professional manner. 

Let’s go over three advantages of using Google review management software.

1. Saving time and improving efficiency 

Managing online reviews can be a time-consuming task — especially if, like most businesses, you need to manage reviews on multiple platforms and not just Google.

Review management tools save you valuable time by automating many of the manual tasks that are necessary for managing reviews, such as:

  • Monitoring Google and other platforms for new reviews
  • Sending review requests and collecting customer feedback
  • Flagging reviews that violate Google's policies
  • Analyzing customer sentiment

This enables your team to focus on other projects, increasing your organization’s efficiency. 

2. Ensuring consistent messaging 

Every review response should be personalized to the customer. At the same time, all responses need to be consistent with your brand's voice and messaging.

Depending on the specific tool, there are two ways that review management tools can help businesses respond to reviews with both consistency and personalization:

  1. Providing review response templates, which can be customized to the reviewer
  2. Using AI or professional writers to create each response for you

This ensures that your review responses are not only error-free and professional-sounding, but also that they align with your brand's marketing strategy and language.  

3. Gaining actionable insights

Review management tools provide businesses with valuable data and insights about their online reputation.  For instance, many offer analytics features that allow businesses to track review trends, measure customer sentiments, and identify areas for improvement.

By gathering and analyzing this information, your business can make informed, data-driven decisions and target the most effective ways to improve the customer experience. 

How to choose the best Google review management tools

To choose the best Google review management software, consider your company's goals and requirements. For example, do you want to focus strictly on getting more reviews? Or does your business need a comprehensive solution, like a service that takes care of reporting inappropriate reviews, analyzing customer feedback, and responding to reviews for you?

Shout About Us offers all the review management features your business needs, including review generation, review removal, and review monitoring on over 75 platforms. 

We also offer a done-for-you review response service, ResponseScribe, which delivers personalized replies to your reviewers within hours of receiving them. You can select the services you need a-la-carte to design the perfect review management plan for your business.

In addition to determining what services or features you require, you also need to consider the size of your organization and the volume of reviews you'll need to manage. 

Some review management platforms are specifically designed for small business owners, while others are made to support large enterprises and multi location businesses. Shout About Us is a scalable platform for businesses of all sizes, whether you need to manage a single location — or hundreds of them.

Other factors to weigh include:

  • The level of customer support you'll receive. Have a question? Our customer support team responds within hours via your preferred method of communication: phone call, Zoom call, email, or text.
  • How many review sites the platform allows you to monitor. We track your reviews and ratings on 75+ sites, with more available upon request. Just let us know which sites you want to track, and we take care of the rest.
  • Ease of set-up and implementation. Shout About Us integrates with 75+ platforms and lets you get up and running fast.
  • Your organization's budget. Our plans start at just $19 per month and never lock you into long-term contracts. You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your plan any time you want. 

Save time and money by automating Google review management

Improve your business's reputation and attract more customers with an intuitive, cloud-based platform that makes review management a breeze.

 From monitoring your reviews on Google and 75+ platforms, to creating automated, personalized email and text campaigns to request reviews, Shout About Us empowers your brand to reach and convert more customers. 

Rethink the way your business manages online reviews. Get started with a demo today.

Emily Homrok

Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.


Frequently asked questions

How do I deal with unfair Google reviews?
How do I manage Google customer reviews?
How do I control Google reviews?
What is Google review management?
Review Management
May 2, 2024
12 minutes
4 Top Google Review Software for 2024

What’s the best Google review software to manage your brand’s online reputation? Here are 4 of our top picks for customer review management platforms in 2024.

Emily Homrok
Review Management
March 26, 2024
5 min read
Is Your Brand Or Agency Following These 3 Harvard-Recommended Strategies To Respond To Negative Reviews?

Discover whether your brand or agency is implementing three Harvard-recommended strategies to address negative reviews effectively, enhancing customer trust and improving your online reputation.

Emily Homrok
Review Management
March 25, 2024
5 min read
The Ultimate Guide To Online Review Platforms For Businesses, Part 1: Google My Business (GMB)

Unlock the potential of Google My Business with our ultimate guide, designed to help businesses maximize visibility, engage customers, and enhance their online reputation through effective review management.

Emily Homrok

Let's start responding

Give it a try for free and see how you like the quality of our responses.