In a mobile-first world, a brick-and-mortar business’s online reputation and visibility are everything.
Consider that nearly half of Google searches (47%) are seeking local information—be that the business’ contact info, store hours, directions to the store or customer reviews. So, a Google Business profile is the best way a multi-location company can get itself “on the map.”.
Via Google, customers can share their experiences to help others make informed purchasing decisions, impacting a location’s online reputation and search results.
As a result, these reviews are vital. But things get a little trickier when you need to manage Google reviews for multiple locations. To help with that, we’ve put together this guide on best practices for managing and optimizing Google Reviews for multi-location businesses.
Table of Contents
- How to Set Up A Google Business Profile for Multiple Locations
- Managing Google Reviews
- Optimizing Multi-Location Reviews
- Harnassing Google Reviews
How to Set Up A Google Business Profile for Multiple Locations
Google Business profiles were expressly designed to help you grow your business.
But before you can receive Google reviews for multiple locations, you need a designated place where people can post them. And if you have several locations, each spot will require its own sub-page.
So, to begin, you’ll need to set up a Google Business account.
Have you already done that? If so, you’re ready to set up those sub-pages for different locations by following these steps:
- Create a business group – To manage multiple locations under a single profile, you must designate the business as a group. Doing so makes it possible to make individual changes to each profile or manage them all simultaneously. To add up to 9 locations, follow these steps:
- Once signed in to your profile manager, click on Businesses at the top left of the page.
- Click the Add Business tab in the middle right.
- Select Create Group.
- Enter the name of the group and click Create.
- Select the group, click Add Location and then follow the prompts.
- Update each location’s details – Once you’ve added your businesses, you should update their profiles, providing the information customers search for, such as location, contact information, hours of operation and so on. If this information is inaccurate or missing, your Google Business page will likely drop a few spaces in the search results.
- Include photos for each location – Each location likely has a unique appearance and atmosphere—even for franchises. By sharing attractive photos showcasing the store's interior and exterior, you can help customers easily identify the location and encourage them to pay a visit. Customers may even complain in reviews if there aren’t any photos provided.
- Start Posting – Each location page has a designated Google Post section where you can engage potential customers and drive traffic using keywords. You can post about news, offers and events or even highlight a special product or service offering.
Once the profile is set up, your customers can start leaving comments, reviews and ratings.
Managing Google Reviews
So, the reviews are rolling in. What then?
Next, it's essential to track, handle, and address the reviews by thanking customers for their positive feedback and responding to any negative comments they may have left. Naturally, regularly performing this task for multiple locations can be a bit of a juggling act.
Most multi-location businesses will manage the reviews in one of two ways:
Some larger companies opt for the corporate management model, in which the corporate office (i.e., its marketing and customer service team) manages all the Google Business pages and reviews.
This method simplifies and streamlines the review management process, making it easier to maintain the brand’s image and respond promptly to customer concerns. However, since the corporate team is not physically present at each location, they may be unaware of the exact details of the situation. As a result, responses may not be as personalized, timely, accurate or impactful.
Other businesses may favor the location manager approach, in which the store’s manager is responsible for responding to feedback and addressing any customer complaints.
This method may consume some of a manager’s time that would otherwise be spent on value-add tasks, but it establishes a more individualized connection with the customers.
Also, since they’re on the ground and actively managing the location daily, this approach can provide clarity in situations where the customer—and not the business—was in the wrong. But you may wish to provide guidance to ensure brand consistency across all responses.
Optimizing Your Multi-Location Google Reviews
Want to ensure that your business stands out in a positive light?
Here are four actionable strategies you can deploy to optimize your business pages:
#1 Ask for Reviews
Unprompted, consumers tend to write a review if the company inspires a heightened emotional response. While some may feel inspired to promote a business after a positive interaction, generally speaking, consumers are far more likely to write about a negative experience.
Even if most customers leave your store feeling satisfied and happy, many may not write about their positive experiences. Or, they may not even be aware that they can or should leave reviews in the first place.
If you want to receive more positive reviews, you need to ask customers to leave them.
Although a simple appeal after a purchase or bill payment may suffice, many consumers will need an additional nudge to take a few minutes out of their day to write about their experience. One way to do this is via SMS, email or a social media prompt—especially if there’s an incentive attached.
#2 Respond to Reviews
When and how you respond will factor into a customer’s overall satisfaction and brand experience. A speedy response with a personalized message will be far more effective than a late one with a generic apology.
#3 Embed Reviews
If a client or customer leaves a positive review that flatters your store, why not showcase it to customers on your website?
While you could update these comments manually, embedding reviews makes it easy for customers to have an up-to-date, accurate, authentic view of consumer sentiment.
To learn more about this and why it matters for your website, check out How to Embed Google Reviews on Your Website.
#4 Analyze with Insights
Want to see how customers find and interact with pages in your business group?
Google’s Profile Performance and Insights is a tool that lets businesses see how each location page is performing. With Insights, you can see:
- How customers found the listing (whether via search results or Google Maps)
- Number of views and clicks for each listing
- Which actions customers take after finding the listing
- What percentage of messages you responded to
- Number of direction requests
- Total number of food orders
Equipped with this data, you can make tweaks or optimizations as needed to your location and review management.
Harnessing Google Reviews
A Google Business profile is a powerful tool multi-location businesses can leverage to maximize visibility, customer engagement and loyalty through Google reviews. Multiple locations make management a bit more difficult but far from impossible.
The real challenge is getting more reviews—and the most convenient and effective way to do this is via text.
With Textedly's Online Review Management Software, you can connect with your customers using SMS or MMS. This powerful platform makes automating review and referral requests to your customer contact list, easy.
If you’re ready to drive new customers through your doors, try Textedly today for free.
Go Globe. The Importance of Local Search Engine Marketing Infographic. https://www.go-globe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/local-search-marketing.gif
National Strategic Group. Why Would They Write That?! The Psychology of Customer Reviews. https://www.nationalstrategic.com/why-would-they-write-that-the-psychology-of-customer-reviews/
Google Business Profile Help. Changes to your Insights data. https://support.google.com/business/answer/10018786?hl=en