How to uncover valuable customer feedback with Google’s reviews search functionBy Lawrence Dy
- You can easily search Google Reviews using Google Maps.
- Through Google Maps’ reviews search function, click on the magnifying glass icon to bring up a search box. Then, you can type in the keyword you want to search for and click "Enter".
- The Google reviews search option can help users gain insight into the experiences of other customers with the business, enabling them to make more informed choices.
- Businesses can also leverage the Google reviews search option to discover what customers are saying about their products and/or services
So, can you search Google reviews? Luckily, the answer is yes, and that’s exactly what I’ll show you how to do in this article.
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Online reviews are the keystone of a rock-solid online reputation management strategy, and reviews on an SMB’s Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) provide a wealth of insights into what customers really think of the business. But when those reviews start rolling in at scale, it can be difficult to manually sift through them to find specific reviews or keywords. That's where leveraging the Google reviews search function comes in. Our article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to effectively use this feature to quickly find valuable customer feedback, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately improve the overall customer experience.
How to search Google reviews by keyword
Let’s say you’re looking for reviews for a particular business or product. In this case, you can search Google reviews by using the review search function within Google Maps.
Just follow these steps to search for Google reviews by keyword:
- Search for a place on Google Maps.
- Tap the Reviews tab.
- Type what you are looking for into the search bar. Click on the search icon found under the “Write a review” button to reveal the search bar.
For example, let’s say a customer is scoping out a new hair salon and they have curly hair. They want to know what fellow curly-headed folks think of the salon because reviews from people with straight hair don’t apply as much. They can follow the steps above to search for the term “curly” and see all the reviews that mention your hair type. If one of your clients is a hair salon, this search would provide insights into how well they’re serving their customers with curly hair.
While it’s a good practice to check out other review sites like the business’s own site in addition to Google for a more complete picture, Google is a highly reputable and trusted review platform, making it a top-notch source of customer sentiment for shoppers, businesses, and marketers alike.
If your clients ask if you can search Google reviews by user, unfortunately, this can’t be done directly in Google. You can only search Google reviews by keyword to find the contents of the review.
Analyzing Google reviews
Okay, you can search in Google reviews… now what?
The Google reviews search function is extremely handy, but it’s only as useful as the actionable insights you draw from those reviews. To really take control of your client’s online reputation, you have to go beyond merely searching Google reviews. You’ll need to know how to analyze those reviews, notice themes, track changes in sentiment over time, and apply that knowledge to improve their reputation.
Let’s go over how that’s done.
Identifying common themes in your reviews
When they’re evaluated as a whole, reviews can clarify broad themes in customer sentiment about a business or product. There are a couple of ways you can go about identifying themes, and like most digital marketing tasks, you can take a slow and painful approach or make your job easier with the right tool for the job.
The slow and painful way—which can still be handy for small, new businesses with a limited number of reviews—is to manually read each review and take notes about what customers are saying. This can become prohibitively time-consuming at scale, but if you don’t have too many reviews to read, it can be a productive exercise.
Fortunately, you don’t have to stick with this approach if you have clients with a large volume of reviews or a large roster of clients. There are tools available that can help you identify common themes with a few clicks.
For example, Vendasta’s Reputation Management software uses AI-powered insights to provide a big-picture overview based on reviews on Google and beyond. It can also be used to compare your clients' performance with their competitors, which can be helpful for identifying weak points and guiding better business decision-making.
So, what kinds of themes should you and your clients keep an eye out for when you search Google reviews? Trends related to product quality, customer service, shipping time, and value for the price are all valuable indicators.
Tracking changes in your reviews over time
Your SMB clients are living, evolving organizations, and this is likely to be reflected in their Google reviews. For example, let’s say you’ve been offering review management services for a year, and the resulting insights have led your client to implement changes to their product or service. Analyzing changes in reviews over time can help you identify changes in customer satisfaction.
To do this manually, set up a good old-fashioned spreadsheet for the job. Choose a recording interval (for example, monthly), and note the number of reviews, average rating, and common keywords or themes from the period. This way, you can show your clients how their reviews—and customer sentiment—are trending over time.
Alternatively, a third-party tool like Vendasta’s Reputation Management can help you spot trends at a glance by generating reports and producing a timeline of notable moments in customer sentiment. This isn’t just useful for your clients to gauge their performance: it’s also a fantastic way to prove the value of your Google review management and other digital marketing services.
Challenges in using Google's reviews search function
While Google’s review search function coupled with the right third-party review management solution means you can search Google reviews and identify trends easily, there are still some common challenges to be aware of when managing your client’s reviews. Next, we’ll explore two of the most common ones: the volume of reviews and their variability in quality.
Volume of reviews
A high volume of reviews is generally a cause for celebration. It means lots of people are engaging with your SMB clients, buying their product or service, and hopefully sharing their positive experiences. However, with more data comes more responsibility. As the volume of reviews increases, manual methods of management are unlikely to cut it. There’s no way to turn off Google reviews, so managing them well is non-negotiable.
In this case, it’s important to give your clients the tools to get a handle on all the information coming in. Teaching them how to search Google reviews by following the steps above is a great first start, but if you really want to support them in building a stellar online reputation, introducing a powerful review management tool is essential for handling a high volume of reviews.
Variability in quality
Regardless of the platform being used, reviews vary in quality. Some may simply be more thoughtful and helpful than others, while some may be outright fake.
While Google does a good job of identifying and removing fake reviews, some can still slip through the cracks. If you suspect your client has been attacked by a review bombing campaign or has fraudulent reviews on their profile, there are steps you can take to dispute these Google reviews.
A final note on quality: never buy Google reviews, and make sure your clients know that this is a major no-no if they don’t want to risk having their account suspended or removed. These Google reviews likely won’t show up anyway, making them a waste of money. A natural mix of positive and negative reviews is more trustworthy, authentic, and likely to support a positive online reputation.
Effective uses of Google reviews search function
We’ve covered how you can search in Google reviews and glean valuable insights, but there’s more to getting the most out of a Google Business Profile. Here’s how to use Google’s powerful free listing tool to supercharge your client’s reputation—and bottom line.
Responding to reviews
Whether they’re positive or negative reviews, all reviews should get a response. If there’s one rule to remember when it comes to review management 101, this is it.
Positive reviews should be acknowledged with gratitude, and negative results should be addressed in a friendly, professional, and productive manner. That upset customer just might turn into a satisfied returning client if their concern is resolved quickly, showing that the business deeply values the experience it gives customers.
To maximize the impact of your review responses, be as prompt as possible. A response within 24 hours will be more appreciated than one that comes in a week later, long after the reviewer stopped thinking about the product or service.
Encouraging more reviews
A Google Business Profile that has a steady stream of real, positive reviews will make prospective customers feel more confident to spend their hard-earned dollars with their business. After all, there’s solid social proof that other customers trust it enough to support it.
The question is, how do you actually get more Google reviews? Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Ask: Most people are happy to leave a review when asked, so automate the process of review generation by sending automated review requests through email or SMS. A simple “review us on Google” in an email footer can help boost those review numbers.
- Make it effortless: Provide a link to the Google reviews page on your client’s site or in their emails, reducing the effort required for someone to leave a review.
- Create an engaging profile: Regularly update the Google Business Profile with posts, photos, FAQs, and more to invite more engagement and reviews.
Google’s guidelines don’t allow incentives in exchange for reviews, so while this is a fairly common practice, it’s best to avoid it.
Frequently asked questions
How do I search for Google reviews?
To find reviews that contain a certain keyword, you can use the search function provided by Google. First, click on the magnifying glass icon located on the Google Business Profile page. This will open a search box where you can enter the keyword you want to search for. Once you've entered the keyword, press the "Enter" key or click on the search button to initiate the search. The search results will display all the reviews that contain the keyword you entered.
Can you filter Google reviews?
Yes, you can filter Google reviews by several criteria, including the date of the review or the rating of the review. To filter Google reviews, go to the Google search results page for the business you’re interested in and click on the "Filter" button. From there, you can select the criteria you want to filter by.
What is the link for Google reviews?
The link for Google reviews is unique to each business and can be found by searching for the business on Google and clicking on the "Reviews" tab. There’s a button that lets you copy the link to your dashboard.
How do I write a review on Google?
To write a review on Google, go to the Google search results page for the business you want to review and click on the "Write a review" button.
Can I read Google reviews on Google Maps?
Yes, you can read Google reviews on Google Maps. Search for the business you’re interested in on Google Maps and click on the business listing. You’ll see the reviews listed and be able to search for specific keywords.
Why can't I search for Google reviews on Google Maps?
Your browser may not allow you to search for Google reviews on Google Maps. However, if you’re using an up-to-date browser, you should see the search icon above the reviews.