How to Capitalize on the Google Review Expansions in 2020

2020 has been a year of tremendous change in more ways than ever. One of the more positive changes that has impacted the business landscape is Google expanding review attributes earlier this year. Google has continued to set their focus on being the first and only destination searchers need to turn to when finding new businesses they’re interested in. In order to accomplish this, Google must consistently refine their technology to better meet the modern consumers’ evolving needs. By pushing out new review attributes, as well as adding new features for the hospitality industry, this expansion “gives Google even more data about the businesses using its platform, opening up future ranking possibilities and solving the problem of ratings-only reviews.” (Source)

This new feature is a huge asset for small and mid-size businesses if utilized correctly. To ensure that your team can fully utilize this expansion, here is an in-depth breakdown of what attributes are and how you can utilize them to grow your business.

Defining an Attribute

Attributes are traits of a business that reviewers can choose to provide further context in their reviews. Reviewers can use these traits of a business to foreground their reviews.

For example, when a customer leaves a 4 or 5-star review for your business, Google will then prompt users to select positive attributes to better describe their interaction with your brand with short, concise verbiage. Reviewers will see a dialogue box that asks them, “What do you like about this business?” Users can then select from the designated positive attributes, such as professionalism, punctuality, quality, and value. 

Similarly, for 1-2 star reviews, Google will surface the question “What do you not like about this business?”. The customer may then choose between the negative attributes presented. These will appear after the word “Critical” in a review if a user selects a negative attribute. (Source)

With more listed attributes, customers can easily narrow in on specific things they’re looking for in a business, like timeliness or professionalism. This enables consumers to be able to research more about a company that they are thinking of doing business with. Additionally, this offers customers a more granular, standardized way to distinguish between different businesses with the same rating, making their research and choice easier.

Maximizing on Google’s Expansion

Attributes bring forward many benefits to the table. Not only do they provide marketers with both comparative structured feedback and sentiment; but the expansion also turns Google’s simple five-star ratings into a system with upwards of 25 data points. 

An interesting statistic to note is that as many as one third of Google reviews currently are what’s called “ratings-only”. Research shows that users who had been just leaving ratings are now also leaving several additional review attributes. The expansion provides Google with increasingly granular data that can be used in new and unusual ways.

With the benefits of the expansion noted, here are a few practical take-aways on how you can utilize them in your online reputation strategy now:

  • Continue to send out on-going review requests for your GoogleMyBusiness page. Aside from the benefit of more overall new customer feedback, review attributes may slowly compile in your new ratings as well. 
  • Highlight review attributes in social media content to set your company apart from your competitors who have the same rating score as you.
  • Utilize your attributes to refine your messaging in your email marketing to emphasize the traits that may be listed in your company reviews such as: professionalism, punctuality, quality, and value.
  • Use the negative feedback from your attributes to modify your services or product.

Though 2020 has been a year of many unexpected changes, updates like the Google expansion are bringing forth a multitude of positive improvements to various industries. Small changes like the expansion can produce big waves of impact over time. In the years to come, the data provided by Google attributes will be extremely insightful for both consumers and business managers alike. 

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