New GMB Attributes Feature Labels Reviews as “Positive” or “Critical”
Google My Business (GMB) is an important component of local search engine optimization (SEO) for lawyers and other businesses alike. For law firm SEO, maintaining a GMB profile with the proper name, address and phone number can turn clicks into clients.
Furthermore, GMB profiles serve as a forum for customer reviews. Since word-of-mouth is so important in a potential client’s decision-making process, understanding and monitoring GMB reviews is essential for building a quality online presence.
Recently, Google released a new feature to label some reviews as “positive” or “critical” in tone. These attributes can further influence how others see your business. With this update, business owners need to understand the GMB review process and implement appropriate changes to help improve their online presence.
What Can Customers Add in a GMB Review?
When leaving a GMB review, customers must, at a minimum, provide a rating between one and five stars. Once the user selects the number of stars, they may then choose descriptors based on business quality, value, professionalism, and responsiveness.
The user will see negative descriptor options for a one-star or two-star rating and positive descriptors for a four-star or five-star rating. A neutral 3-star rating does not have descriptor capabilities.
Google’s new attributes feature will use these descriptors and the star rating to label some reviews as “positive” or “critical.” Since descriptors are an optional field and this is a newer feature, not every rating will be assigned a “positive” or “critical” attribute.
Next, the reviewer will have the option to leave a comment about their experience. This is also an optional field and does not affect the attribute category.
How Do “Positive” and “Critical” Reviews Affect SEO?
The descriptor options and attribute categories help Google further prioritize the reviews it displays to the user. Rich reviews that contain multiple attributes and a thorough comment will provide the user with more information than star-only reviews.
If two competing businesses in the same category hold the same star rating, Google may rank the one with more rich reviews higher. After all, Google wants to present the user with the most relevant results.
Since these attributes are visible in the business profile for local and organic search, they can help users make split-second decisions about whether to interact with your business or not. These indicators help signal a company’s quality and can influence how users and search engines value your GMB.
I Don’t See Any Attribute Reviews On My GMB, What Can I Do?
If your GMB profile does not have any attribute reviews yet, do not worry. This is a newer feature and one that is only available in a select number of business categories. Furthermore, Google has suspended certain GMB features due to COVID-19 restrictions, so it may not have added these attribute labels to your profile just yet.
Local SEO and GMB management alone cannot transform your business overnight. However, by understanding how users see and communicate with your business online, you can better tailor your in-person experience to accommodate client needs. This continual effort can help your business prosper both off and online.
As such, pay attention to your strengths (positive reviews) and weaknesses (critical reviews) to create a client-focused business approach. Understanding the review process and other GMB features can help your business stand out online and guide future SEO efforts.