If you frequent restaurants, stores, and other local businesses and you want to have an impact on the quality of businesses in your area, then you may want to write a review on Google Reviews.

All you need to do this is to establish a Google account, and then open Google Maps to get started. You can write a review on the Google Maps website, or using the Google Maps app on your phone.

Table of Contents

    In this article, you’ll learn how to start giving local businesses reviews, and even how you can establish yourself as a local guide. This will make your reviews even more valuable to local businesses. You can even get rewards for taking the time to give reviews.

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    How to Leave a Review in Google Maps

    Anyone can leave an online review about any business, so long as they have a Google account. To rate and review a local business you’ve visited, follow the steps below.

    1. Log into Google Maps using your Google account. Use the search field to search for the local business that you want to provide a review for.
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    1. In the left pane where the business details are displayed, scroll down and select the Write a review button.
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    1. A form will pop-up where you can complete your review.
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    1. Click Post when you’re finished.

    Now your review will appear alongside other reviews in the reviews section under the business information in Google Maps. Reviews also show up at the bottom of the business page that pops up when people select that business in the left pane.

    How to Edit Reviews in Google Maps

    If you’ve made a mistake or you’ve changed your mind about your business rating, you can edit your rating and review at any time. It’s also a good idea to refresh your reviews to reflect your latest experiences with a business, since some businesses may improve or worsen over time. Also, new reviews have the greatest impact on a business’s online reputation.

    To edit past reviews:

    1. Log into Google Maps using your Google account, select the menu icon at the upper left, and select Your contributions from the menu.
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    1. On the next page, you’ll see a listing of places you’ve recently visited. This is because the Contribute tab is selected by default, and provides you with an option to quickly rate and review businesses you’ve visited. Instead, select Reviews from the menu.
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    1. Scroll through each review summary listed on the left pane to find the review link for the one that you want to edit. When you find it, select the three dots at the right of the business name.
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    1. Select Edit review from the pop-up menu. Or, if you just want to add photos or delete the review entirely, you can select one of those options instead.
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    1. You can change the overall rating, and edit your previous review. When you’re finished updating, just select the Post button at the bottom of the review page.
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    Keeping your ratings and reviews updated and relevant is important if you want people to value the reviews that you leave for local businesses.

    Google Maps and Google Reviews

    The review form allows you to share a lot of information about your experience with that local business. This includes:

    • A visual star rating of 1 (very bad) to 5 (excellent)
    • A text field where you can give a detailed overview of your experience with that business
    • A button to Add photos to provide further evidence to support your positive or negative review
    • Customized questions related to the type of business you’re reviewing

    The impact of negative or positive reviews on local businesses are tremendous. It’s more common than ever for people to turn to Google Search or Google Maps to find goods and services. In fact it’s even more common than using the Yelp review site to find information about local businesses.

    Consider, for example, if you were looking for the best company in your area to replace windows on your home.

    A search in Google Maps for “window replacement” turns up a large number of local businesses that service windows, with various numbers of stars next to their business names.

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    Which business do you think potential customers are going to reach out to first? The one with a rating of 4.4 next to its business name, or the one with a rating of 4.7?

    People know that if a business is good at producing happy customers, then they’re far more likely to be a happy customer if they do business there as well. And business owners know this as well, so it motivates them to strive harder to develop a happy customer base and get positive customer feedback.

    The impact goes beyond Google Maps. If web users use Google’s search engine, in most cases Google Maps results and customer reviews are displayed there as well.

    Because Google reviews are so powerful, Google does not allow anonymous reviews. It also works very hard to prevent fake reviews (people that weren’t actually customers of the business).

    How to Become a Local Guide

    So you’ve discovered that you like to write reviews. If so, you may want to consider signing up to become a “local guide”. Google will assign points for every review that you leave. These points give you an edge over other reviewers because a local guide “star” badge will appear next to your name. The more points on your star, the higher your local review rank.

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    On the Local Guide help page, Google mentions as a guide you will receive early access to new Google features, but also “special rewards from partners”.

    There is no “rewards” page where you can redeem points. You simply have to wait for partner offers. While early access to things like Google storage and other perks do occur, partner offers are actually very rare.

    Most of the benefit of becoming a local guide is the additional recognition that your reviews receive on Google business profiles – either on Google search results or Google Maps. People have more respect for reviews that are left by highly ranked, local guides.

    To become a guide you just have to visit the sign-up page and provide your details. To get the most reward points for each of your reviews:

    • Write a review that is more than 200 characters
    • Include at least one photo, and add photo tags
    • Include a video

    There are other activities beside reviews that will give you additional points. These include:

    • Answer questions posted on Google business pages
    • Respond to Q&As posted by other users
    • Edit and update your past reviews
    • Add a place or a road to Google Maps
    • Publish a list or description about a place in Google Maps

    If you like the idea of making a significant impact on the quality of businesses in your local community, becoming a local guide on Google Maps is an excellent way to do that.