When customers have a positive (or negative) experience with a business or when they’re considering purchasing a new product or service, Google reviews are their go-to.
Google reviews offer customers the opportunity to share raw, honest feedback on their experiences with businesses and can make or break prospective customers’ decisions. They’re helpful for business owners, too – positive Google reviews encourage engagement, increase conversion rates and bolster brand reputation.
But how do you leave a Google review?
In this guide, we’ll outline how to leave a review on Google and answer frequently asked questions about the process.
- Leaving a Google Review on Your Smartphone
- Leaving a Google Review on Your Desktop
- How to Leave a Google Review without a Google Account
- What to Include in Your Review
Leaving a Google Review on Your Smartphone
Using your smartphone to leave a Google review is simple. Here’s how:
1. Open the Google Maps app or open Google Maps in your browser.
2. Type the name of the business you’d like to review into the search bar. If there are multiple locations, make sure to choose the correct one.3. The business will appear. Click “Reviews.”
4. You will see five empty stars. Choose a star rating out of five.
5. You will be prompted to write a written review and add photos. Though this is optional, it is encouraged.
Leaving a Google Review on Your Desktop
The process for leaving a Google review on your desktop is similar:
1. Open a browser window and navigate to Google Maps. If you’re not already signed in, sign into your Google account.
2. Search for the business in the Google Maps search bar.3. On the left side of the page, click “Reviews.”
4. Click “Write a review.” Here, you’ll be prompted to provide a star rating, a written review and relevant photos.
How to Leave a Review Without a Google Account
You do not have to have a Google account to leave a review. You can still provide a star rating, write a description and provide photos – but you will need to enter an email address before leaving your review. You can enter any email address you like, and it doesn’t have to end with “@gmail.com.” Here’s how:
1. Search the name of the business you’d like to review in the Google search engine.
2. You'll see a business profile on the left side of the screen. Click the button that says “Write a review.”
3. You’ll be prompted to sign into a Google account. If you don’t want to sign up for a Google account to write a review, don’t worry – you don’t have to. You can use an existing email address to access Google, but first, you’ll need to click the button that says “Create account.”
4. A dropdown menu will appear. Select “For my personal use.”
5. From here, you’ll be prompted to answer a series of questions, including your name, birthday and gender. Next, you’ll be asked to create a Gmail account. You’ll see an option that says, “Use your existing email.” Click this button.
6. Type in your email and press “Next.”
7. You’ll be asked to create a password to access Google with your email. Create a password and press “Next.”
8. A verification code will be sent to your email. Enter the verification code.9. Rate the business!
What to Include in Your Review
A few key ingredients go into writing a great Google review. Consider the following tips to increase the likelihood that your review provides useful insights to other users:
- Be respectful. It’s important to try to remain as objective as possible when leaving a review – even if you’re leaving a review for a business you didn’t have a positive experience with. Criticism is acceptable as long as it’s constructive. And, of course, make sure to avoid profanity or hurtful language.
- Be authentic. Google reviews shouldn’t be all or nothing – include both the positive and negative aspects of your experience.
- Be specific. What did you like about your experience? What did you not like? Is there a specific product or service you’re referring to in your review? Make sure to include all necessary details in your review.
- Avoid personal information. Google reviews are a place to share your experience with a business – not a place to share personal or private information. Keep your identity as safe and secure as possible, as your review will be available to the public.
- Proofread your review before you submit. Excessive punctuation or poor spelling and grammar may come across as spammy. A three- to five-sentence paragraph is a great length for a review.
- Avoid unnecessary commentary. Some businesses may become the subject of public debate or conversation – but your review should only include details about your firsthand experience with businesses.
When you write high-quality Google reviews, you can collect points and get Local Guide benefits.
Now that you know the basics, let’s dive a little deeper with these FAQs about leaving a Google review:
Is My Personal Information Safe?
Leaving a Google review for a business is a relatively safe process. However, it’s important to consider the following before submitting your review.
- Google reviews require a name. You can’t leave an anonymous Google review, but you can use a pseudonym if you’d like. Keep in mind that pseudonyms or fake names may not appear credible to other users, and your review is more likely to get flagged as spam.
- Your profile picture and past reviews are visible to other users. If you have a profile picture, those who read your review will see it. Furthermore, all of your Google reviews are visible on your “About Me” page and are visible to other users unless you delete them.
- Don’t reveal any personal information in your Google review. Your name (or pseudonym), profile picture, and written review are the only pieces of information visible to other users. To protect your privacy, keep these elements of your review objective and free of identifying information.
With this in mind, your personal information is safe as long as you don’t reveal it in your review.
How Long Does it Take for Reviews to Appear?
Google reviews are filtered and monitored for spam and suspicious activity. Sometimes this process is instant – in these cases, you’ll see your review right away.
If you don’t see your review as soon as you submit it, check back within 48 hours. If your review doesn’t appear within a 48-hour timeframe, Google’s moderation system may have accidentally deleted it. If you suspect that this happened, wait a few days and try to leave another review with slightly different text.
Can You Tell How Many People Have Seen Your Review?
Yes – you can tell how many people have seen your review. Here’s how to access your view count on your smartphone:
1. Use your smartphone and open the Google Maps app or browser website.
2. Tap “+Contribute” at the bottom of your screen.
3. Scroll down. You’ll see a box that says “Your contributions have X views.” Click the text that says “See contributions.”
4. You’ll see a list of your Google reviews. Each review will show the number of views underneath it.
The process is similar on desktop:
1. Navigate to Google Maps and sign in to your account.
2. Click the three horizontal lines at the top left of the screen.
3. Click “Your contributions.”
4. Click “Reviews.”
Can I Leave More Than One Google Review?
Unfortunately, you can only have one active review per business at a time. But, if you’d like your feedback to reflect a more recent experience, you have a few options:
- Delete your original Google review and post a new one.
- Leave a review on another review site, like Yelp.
- Check the business website to see if they accept written testimonials.
Can I Edit or Delete a Google Review?
Yes, you can both edit and delete a Google review. Here’s how:
1. On your computer, open Google Maps.
2. Click the three horizontal lines at the top left of the screen.
3. Click “Your contributions.”4. Click “Reviews.”
5. Next to the review you want to edit or delete, click the three dots.
6. Select “Edit review” or “Delete review” and follow the on-screen steps.
Google Reviews: A Simple Way to Support a Local Business
Leaving a Google review is an excellent way to provide helpful feedback, allow future customers to make wise decisions before purchasing a product or service and help your favorite brands gain new customers and stay in business. And, if you’re a business owner, positive reviews can enhance brand credibility, increase engagement, improve local SEO and bolster your reputation.
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