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Google review management: The complete guide for your brand

Google review management: The complete guide for your brand

Welcome to the internet — where your customers are talking and their words carry weight.

As a business, managing Google reviews is a big deal. Especially when a single negative review can bulldoze your reputation, sales and everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

Thankfully, we have the technology to save the day.

In this post, you’ll learn all about Google review management — from why it’s important to finding the best software to help you automate your strategy.

Let’s get started.

Table of contents:

Why are Google reviews so important

Research shows as much as 98% of customers read online reviews for local businesses — and they’re mostly turning to Google.

But reviews do more than just attract and convert potential customers. They’re also excellent brand awareness, SEO and market research tools.

Here’s why you need to pay attention to Google reviews:

Gain trust and credibility

Positive reviews of your business tell newcomers “Hey, this place is great!”

They’re excellent tools for building trust with potential customers as they’re proof you’ve succeeded in delighting past clients just like them.

But it’s not just about praise. By responding to negative reviews promptly — and graciously — you’re able to build credibility and improve your social media reputation. Even dropping a simple apology to a disgruntled customer shows you care about their experience.

Generates new business

Google reviews work wonders in driving brand awareness. They help you attract new customers by boosting search visibility and capturing interest.

Plus, reviews help potential customers learn more about your business and products. This motivates leads to take the next and convert.

Improves local SEO

Reviews prove you’re a reliable business with a history of delivering great customer experiences. For Google, this acts as a signal to boost your rankings.

The more good reviews you get, the higher your business listing shows up in local search results, such as on Google Maps. This encourages more local customers to connect with your business and check you out in person.

Gain valuable insights

You know what’s better than surveys and focus groups? Raw, unfiltered feedback from existing customers — AKA reviews.

Reviews provide tons of insight to help you grow and improve your business. Dig deeper to uncover customer challenges and preferences, analyze competitor strategies, assess your customer service, and understand your product’s strengths and weaknesses.

How to manage Google reviews

Managing Google reviews is no easy feat, especially for large businesses operating in multiple locations. It can be tough keeping track of hundreds of reviews, responding timely and continuously analyzing all of that data.

Here are some strategies for managing Google reviews more effectively.

Update all of your business locations

First, ensure all your business info is accurately listed on Google. You don’t want to lose business opportunities or confuse leads with incorrect or outdated data.

Regularly check and update your Google Business Profile with the correct addresses, phone numbers and operating hours.

Screenshot of Sprout Social's Google business profile

Make this a routine part of your business’s monthly maintenance. This simple step can make a huge difference in how easily customers can find and connect with you.

Automate Google reviews using software

Automation tools can be a game-changer in managing reviews efficiently.

For instance, you can set up automated responses for common queries and alerts for new reviews. This reduces response times and ensures no feedback goes unnoticed.

A retail store, for example, could use automation to send a thank you response to all positive reviews and flag negative ones for immediate attention.

Analyze feedback

Don’t just read reviews and respond to them. Study them carefully to extract insights that can help you improve your business.

Customer feedback can help you uncover trends, spot opportunities for new products and features and identify areas for improvement.

For example, you might find that a significant number of customers are complaining about a certain feature missing in your SaaS product. Introducing that feature can help you reduce the number of negative reviews, retain more customers and improve satisfaction.

Use feedback as a marketing asset

Did you know Google reviews work as social proof? And yes, you can leverage them to attract new customers and convert leads.

For example, you can showcase the best reviews on your website, use them in your ads, weave them into sales conversations and even proudly share them on social media.

Screenshot of Sprout Social's Twitter account discussing customer feedback publicly.

Solicit reviews

Don’t be shy about asking for reviews. The more feedback you get, the more data you have to analyze and use.

Encourage customers to review your business by sending them follow-up emails, such as after a purchase. You can also offer incentives like discounts to motivate them to leave feedback.

Don’t forget to make the process as easy as possible. Add CTAs and links that take customers directly to your review page.

How to automate Google review management

Automation is the backbone of modern marketing — especially when it comes to streamlining processes and executing tasks at scale. It helps you save time and resources you’d rather invest elsewhere in your business.

Here’s how to automate Google reviews in three simple steps:

Find the right app

Do your research and pick an app that offers all the necessary features, like AI-powered replies, sentiment analysis and smart alerts. Also look at whether the app integrates with your existing systems and has positive user feedback (hint: reviews.)

Set up in-app alerts

Once you’ve chosen an app, set up real-time alerts to notify you of new Google reviews instantly. This ensures you’re always in the loop and promptly respond to customers.

Use in-app automation for auto replies & ticketing

Set up auto-replies to immediately respond to common queries or to thank customers for leaving positive feedback. Similarly, you can leverage built-in features to enable automatic ticket creation for negative feedback or assigning reviews to specific team members.

Why businesses need Google review management software

Google review management software isn’t just a tool for handling reviews — it’s a strategic asset, especially for multinationals and enterprises.

Here’s how investing in the right review management software can help your business:

Brand image and personalization

Using software helps you tailor your responses to individual reviews — with a lot less effort.

For example, tools like AI-powered replies and automation enable you to reply instantly, stick to your brand voice and personalize your messages with a click.

The result? A strong, positive brand image and happy customers who feel special because you acknowledged their feedback and addressed them directly.

Multi-location & multilingual management

Tools like Sprout Social let you manage reviews in multiple locations and languages from one dashboard. Corporate gets the big picture, steps in where necessary or allows individual branches to engage with feedback directly.

Screenshot of Sprout Social's review management features

For large companies spread across various regions, this unified view is a huge plus. It helps you engage quickly with customers worldwide while maintaining your brand’s integrity across different markets and cultures.

Efficiency

Fun fact: 88% of consumers are likely to engage with a business if the owner responds to all reviews, both positive and negative.

Using review management software helps you sort through the clutter, automate repetitive tasks and focus on what matters — responding to all reviews.

For instance, Sprout lets you collect, view and sort all reviews in one place. You can instantly reply to feedback, set up alerts for new reviews, automate responses to common queries and use AI to personalize and tailor your messages.

Screenshot of Sprout's review management features

All of this helps speed up your customer service and lets you respond to feedback in the best possible way.

Measure customer satisfaction with sentiment analysis

Google review management software can analyze reviews and tell you how customers feel about your business.

For example, Sprout’s sentiment analysis feature helps you understand customer opinions and emotions about specific products, topics, competitors and more.

Screenshot of Sprout Social's customer satisfaction report

This helps you measure overall customer satisfaction, identify issues with your business and develop tailored strategies to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Risk mitigation

Negative reviews can be damaging. But responding promptly to a bad review can help you turn a poor experience into a good one — or at least cushion the blow.

Using review management software lets you enable notifications for negative reviews so you can address them as soon as they pop up. When potential customers see you’ve solved the issue or apologized to frustrated customers, they’re less likely to look the other way.

Drive business decisions

Review management tools make it easier to collect and analyze customer opinions and feedback. This helps you identify trends, common issues and complaints about your business as well as uncover data on customer needs and preferences.

Use these insights to make strategic business decisions, from improving existing products and services to launching new ones and more.

Competitive intelligence

In a competitive market, understanding your rivals is key.

Review management software allows businesses to monitor competitor reviews, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and position themselves to stand out.

This competitive intelligence provides a unique edge, helping you differentiate your offerings and stay ahead of the curve.

How to find the best Google review management tool

Wondering what to look for in Google review management software? Here are the most important features to consider:

  • Collaborative workspace
  • Multichannel
  • Notifications
  • Integration with other CRM’s
  • Artificial intelligence and automation
  • Multilingual
  • Security and privacy
  • Reporting and analysis
  • Scalability and ease of deployment

Top Google review management software

There are dozens of review management tools out there. Below is a list of our favorite picks:

Sprout Social

Sprout Social offers a comprehensive review management tool that consolidate feedback across multiple platforms, locations and languages. Businesses can easily monitor and respond to feedback, and analyze customer sentiment around specific topics and brands.

Screenshot of Sprout Social's online reputation management feature page

Birdeye

Birdeye is an all-in-one review management tool that helps you solicit, track and promote reviews across hundreds of platforms. The software also offers robust review automation features like auto-response rules and personalized templates.

Screenshot of Birdeye website

Podium

Podium offers a range of review management features, including text and email review requests. The platform stands out because of its AI-powered tools like intelligent response suggestions.

Screenshot of Podium's website

ReviewTrackers

ReviewTrackers is a robust all-in-one platform with advanced analytics and review management tools for large enterprises. The software offers collaboration tools for team responses and customizable dashboards that provide data visualization.

Screenshot of ReviewTrackers websiteRizeReviews

RizeReviews is a budget-friendly review management platform designed for small businesses. Their platform makes review generation easy with pre-written email and postcard templates.

Screenshot of Rize Reviews' website

Manage Google reviews like a pro

Whether you like it or not, reviews influence your customers. How you manage those reviews can determine the success of your business.

Sprout Social is a powerful yet easy-to-use Google review management software. With Sprout, you can manage reviews on multiple platforms, social profiles, locations and languages all from one place.

You also get access to other tools like social listening, sentiment analysis, advanced analytics and more to help you understand your customers and grow your business.

Want to try it for yourself? Take Sprout for a free 30-day test drive — no credit card required!