Google review management services offer the most efficient ways to get started on a review marketing strategy for your Google Business Profile account, but what are they exactly?
In this post, we take a look at what Google review management services are, the best services out there, a few alternatives and how you can launch your own review management service.
Let’s get into it.
What are Google Review Management Services?
Google review management services are services that manage your online reputation by claiming your business on listing sites, monitoring the reviews you receive, removing or suppressing false and other negative reviews, and generating more reviews from real customers.
Let’s talk about that last bit for a quick second.
They use legitimate strategies instead, such as sending review requests through email and text or by generating a QR code you can add to various places.
Keep in mind that Google review management services can be quite pricey, as in hundreds or even thousands per month.
Click here to skip to the part where we talk about a few alternatives if you’re looking for cheaper, more casual ways to manage Google reviews.
With that said, here some of the features many Google review management services offer:
- Custom Strategy – Some services will analyze the state of your business’ Google reviews as a way to develop a custom strategy optimized for what your business needs.
- Monitoring Reviews – Real-time analysis of every positive and negative review you receive on various platforms, but usually Google, Facebook and Yelp.
- Collecting Reviews – Sending review requests to real customers to encourage them to leave reviews.
- Responding to Reviews – Creating custom-made responses to your reviews with no canned responses.
- Removing False Reviews – Flagging, reporting and asking Google to remove false or misleading reviews on your behalf. This isn’t easy to do, so it often requires professional help.
- Suppressing Negative Reviews – Decreasing the influence of negative reviews that can’t be removed by promoting positive reviews, responding to positive reviews with keyword-based responses to enhance their weight and generating more positive reviews for your business.
- Managing Listings – Claiming unclaimed business listings and keeping them up to date.
These are the primary areas of focus Google review management services offer, and the ones that matter most to your business’ local SEO strategy.
The Best Google Review Management Services for Small Business
- WebiMax – Best choice for reputation management and all-around marketing.
- NetReputation – Best choice for review management on Google, Facebook and Yelp.
- WebFX – Best for guided review management. This service is affordable as well.
- Rhino Reviews – Great option if you’re looking for a fully-managed review management software for Google reviews.
They’ve earned awards and recognitions from Newsweek, International Business Times, Digital.com, G2 and QuickSprout.
WebiMax offers to improve your local SEO, particularly on Google, by:
- Developing a tailor-made strategy for your business after conducting a full analysis of your reputation.
- Presenting a realistic timeframe for when your business can expect to see results.
- Collecting and showcasing negative reviews in a complete report.
- Deleting negative reviews.
- Outranking negative reviews they can’t remove by promoting positive reviews.
- Getting more reviews for your business.
- Claiming unclaimed review profiles, especially Google.
WebiMax also offers pay-per-click marketing, social media marketing, local marketing, lead generation, web design services and more.
Because the company offers a tailor-made service for different businesses who have very different goals, they don’t list their prices online.
You’ll need to get in touch to receive a quote instead.
NetReputation is another award-winning reputation management agency. They’ve earned awards and recognitions from Yahoo! Finance, Newsweek, Inc. 5000, Digital.com and Forbes.
They offer reputation management services for individuals and businesses.
Review management is one of NetReputation’s specialties. Along with Google, they manage reviews from Facebook and Yelp.
Here are some of the services you can expect to receive from NetReputation:
- Review monitoring, which they do with reputation management software to look for reviews that can “strengthen or damage your online reputation.”
- Removing false or misleading negative reviews.
- Responding to reviews.
- Generating new reviews on Google and other review platforms by collecting legitimate reviews from real customers.
NetReputation will even send email and text alerts to notify you when they’ve successfully removed a false review.
By their own account, they’ve removed over 100,000 false negative reviews for clients.
Other than review management, NetReputation offers listing management, branding solutions, SEO, Wikipedia page updates, PR services, PPC management and more.
Like WebiMax, NetReputation doesn’t list their prices online.
You’ll need to get in touch for a custom quote.
WebFX’s review management service works a little differently than the previous two options on this list.
That’s because it’s primarily a review monitoring software you operate yourself, but you do it through guided support from WebFX.
Here are some of the features WebFX offers for review management:
- Along with Google, manage reviews from Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Glassdoor, OpenTable, HealthGrades and more.
- Monitor up to 100 locations.
- Email alerts for new reviews.
- Custom review generation campaign.
- One-time response guide for responding to reviews, positive and negative.
- Monthly reports for review response performance.
- Up to 10 negative review consultations a month.
Monthly prices start at $99 and go as high as $250/month. If you want to manage six or more locations, you’ll need to pay an additional $50/location per month.
Some plans have an initial charge between $500 and $9,000. The cost is dependent on the number of locations you want to manage. It’s waived for clients of WebFX’s wider services.
4. Rhino Reviews
Rhino Reviews promises to pick up the slack that other review management software applications cause by actually helping you succeed rather than giving you a tool you need to manage completely on your own.
With Rhino Reviews, along with monitoring software, you also get:
- Custom campaign creation.
- Personalized review responses with zero canned responses.
- Keyword-focused review responses that boost local SEO.
- Optimization for your Google Business Profile account.
- Syndication for local citations.
- Responses for social media comments.
- Local competitive analysis.
- Monthly performance and strategy calls.
- Dedicated account manager who specializes in Google Business Profile.
Like the other services on this list, you’ll need to get in touch with Rhino Reviews for a custom quote.
Alternatives to Google Review Management Services
We have four alternatives to Google review management services to share with you, and they all let you manage your reviews in different ways.
- Starfish Reviews – Our own review generation and monitoring software.
- Review Marketing Strategy – A review marketing strategy you can operate manually.
- Birdeye – Professional review management software.
- Brand24 – Social listening software you can use to monitor mentions of your business, including reviews on Google.
1. Starfish Reviews
Our WordPress review plugin can help improve your site’s local SEO performance on Google by generating more reviews for your business and making you more aware of the reviews your business receives.
Best of all, if you operate a WordPress site, you can manage all of this from the backend of it.
Our plugin’s primary use case is review generation, which is done through what we call a “review funnel,” aptly named as it lets you decide what text gets shown based on the way your customer rates your business.
A review funnel begins with a simple prompt, which you can customize.
Here are a few examples of prompts:
- Would you recommend (business name)?
- How would you rate your experience with us?
- I noticed you received
When shown this prompt, your customer can respond positively or negatively.
Starfish Reviews, alongside giving you an easy way to create this prompt and display it on your website, lets you customize your message for each response type.
Doing so allows you to focus your customers’ attention on leaving Google reviews (though, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor and other review platforms are available as well).
You can then showcase this prompt on your website with a shortcode and share the link with your customers.
Starfish Reviews also fetches your latest reviews from a number of different review platforms so you can monitor them from the WordPress dashboard.
2. Your Own Review Marketing Strategy
This one’s great for one reason: it’s free (mostly), though it is time consuming.
The only real cost to this type of strategy comes in the form of salaries and training if you want to hire dedicated review management team members.
Other than that, it mainly eats up time by giving you and your team more tasks to cover in the day-to-day management of your business.
But it is important.
After all, according to statistics, 94% of consumers report being influenced by online reviews, and another 94% say they’re more likely to purchase from a business that has good reviews.
Plus, 53% of consumers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews.
These stats prove how important reviews are for your business as well as how important replying to reviews can be.
After all, Google is one of the most likely places for consumers to be exposed to your business for the very first time.
If you don’t have recent reviews, good reviews or replies to reviews, they may very well skip on over to the next business in Google’s list.
With that said, here are the key components of a review marketing strategy:
- Claim your business on listing sites and review platforms, especially Google, Facebook and Yelp.
- Keep your listings up to date.
- Get more reviews by asking customers to leave them.
- Showcase reviews on your website and marketing materials to utilize social proof.
- Respond to positive and negative reviews.
- Try to get false, misleading and spam reviews removed.
- Make note of criticism customers leave, and work to improve or eliminate the cause.
Your business’ online reputation can make or break your success, so if you’re not going to spend money on a professional Google review management service, make the time to implement each step of this strategy.
Birdeye is a multipurpose online reputation management application that has a lot of features geared toward managing online reviews.
This mainly involves gathering your reviews from multiple sources through an intuitive web-based application so you can manage your reviews from a single dashboard.
This allows you to keep track of the reviews you receive, and you can even reply to them directly in the application itself.
This means you won’t need to visit each individual review platform to reply to reviews.
Outside of reviews, Birdeye helps you locate and manage listing sites that have missing or outdated citations for your business.
The app also has customer messaging capabilities, social media management features and even the ability for you to receive customer feedback through surveys.
4. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is primarily a social media publishing tool that includes social media listening.
It lets you manage and respond to social media messages as well as monitor mentions across multiple platforms, including review platforms.
For Google, you can use the app to monitor reviews by reading them as they come in.
You can even respond to them directly from the app.
Analytics are also included, and there’s a premium analytics solution that goes even deeper into your business’ reputation.
Along with Google, the app also supports Facebook, Yelp and more.
How to Start Your Own Google Review Management Company
As you become more familiar with Google review management, consider starting an online reputation management company as a side hustle with a heavy focus on Google review management.
Starting a Google review management company is the perfect side hustle for a few reasons:
- Google reviews are an important and often overlooked form of marketing for local businesses, and many companies are not managing their reviews effectively.
- You can add more platforms to charge more for additional services.
- You can break review management down into individual services and offer tiered prices for them.
There are numerous services you can offer clients just by managing Google reviews alone. Let’s discuss a few.
Claiming Unclaimed Google Listings
Sometimes businesses get added to Google automatically. Google even updates unclaimed business listings automatically.
Your client likely already has a listing on Google as a result, a listing that’s completely unmanaged by people familiar with your client’s business.
That’s why your first task with new clients should be to find these listings, claim them, and update all false or missing information plus remove duplicate listings.
Performing an Initial Audit
While you can certainly get right to work on collecting new Google reviews for your client and responding to current ones, consider performing an audit of the current state of their online reputation first.
That way, both you and your client will be familiar with your client’s strengths and weaknesses as far as Google reviews go.
Developing a Custom Review Marketing Strategy
Performing an initial audit of your client’s online reputation will also help you develop a custom review marketing strategy for them.
The audit will let you know exactly what areas of review marketing your client needs to focus on: getting reviews, responding to reviews, removing false reviews or using reviews as marketing tools.
Knowing how much or little your client needs of each will help you plan a review marketing strategy for them.
Deleting False or Misleading Reviews
If your initial audit reveals false or misleading reviews, your number one priority should be to remove them (or suppress their influence at the very least).
Unfortunately, it’s ultimately up to Google to decide whether or not a review you flag as fake should be removed.
Even so, you can still take it upon yourself to go through the motions of having fake reviews removed on behalf of your client.
Just log into your client’s Google Business Profile account, find the fake review, click the three-dot menu attached to it, and click Report Review.
Google lets you flag reviews for a number of different reasons these days, including for being:
- off topic.
- a conflict of interest (review from a competitor).
- hateful or discriminating.
- filled with personal information.
- not helpful.
If you can’t get a review removed, you should at least respond to it or focus your attention on getting more positive reviews for your client.
Responding to Reviews
Offer to respond to reviews on behalf of your client to increase the number of reviews they respond to and to reduce their use of canned responses.
Make sure you have a direct pipeline to decision makers in the business or at least someone who’s quite familiar with the way the business operates as you’ll likely be in need of information to pass on to customers quite often.
Getting More Reviews
This is one of the most important aspects of review marketing, so it’s a service you should offer no matter what.
Get more reviews for your client by setting up ways to ask customers for them and setting up review links (+marketing materials to use them on) for your client.
Collecting Customer Feedback
You should also include ways to collect customer feedback for your client.
Positive feedback will give your client testimonials to add to their websites.
Negative feedback will give them constructive criticism to work on.
Your Google Review Management Company + Starfish Reviews
Starfish Reviews has a plan (Agency plan) suitable for review marketing agencies as well as one (Entrepreneur plan) suitable for freelancers who are just starting out.
These plans allow you to install the Starfish Reviews plugin on 10-50 WordPress sites owned by your clients.
With our plugin, you can handle these aspects of a typical review marketing strategy for your clients:
- Getting more reviews by asking for them.
- Creating a single review link for multiple review platforms or one review link for each.
- Collecting feedback from customers.
- Showcasing reviews on clients’ WordPress sites.