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Google Reviews: An Overview of GMB and LSA Platforms (And Why You Need Reviews on Both)

| Reputation Management

For local home service businesses, reviews on Google My Business and Google Local Service Ads have a huge impact on lead generation.  Here’s what you need to know about getting reviews on each platform.

As of this writing, Google has a bit of review conundrum.  Businesses that are on Local Service Ads (LSA) and Google My Business (GMB) need reviews to optimize their position on each.  The problem is that even though these are both Google properties for the same businesses, the process for obtaining and posting reviews isn’t the same.  Here are few of the inconsistencies:

  • Reviews on GMB appear and count on LSA, but LSA reviews do not appear or count for GMB.
  • Reviews can only get labeled as “Google verified review” on LSA.  There is no verification process on GMB.  However, unverified reviews can show on LSA but they won’t be labeled “verified”.
  • GMB reviews are not verified based on booking, but to leave a GMB review the user must be signed into their Google account.  But a user does not have to be signed into Google to leave a review on LSA.
  • The business can publish a response to reviews on GMB, but not on LSA.  However, the business response on a GMB review will not display when that review is shown on LSA.

You can only get the most valuable, verified reviews on LSA after someone booked business with you through that platform.   They look like this:

google lsa reviews

On the contrary:

lsa review not verified

The reviewer decides if they want to include their name or job type.  You request the review through the LSA platform:

lsa ask for a review

You can also ask for a review once the lead is booked:

lsa ask for review

The verified reviews you request after booking the job appear at the top of your review profile on LSA.  We don’t know this for sure but assume they carry more weight in how your business in ranked on LSA.  Other reviews only come from “A Google reviewer”, with no name or job type listed (even reviews that come from people with usernames on GMB will be anonymous on LSA).

You can request a review on GMB and create a link that goes to your profile.  This is is a hyperlink that can be used anywhere, such as this type of email template:

review email

You can also create a hyperlink that goes to your LSA page and request a review from anyone to go on that listing.  However, only the customers that booked through LSA can leave a “Google verified review”.

 

Recap and Recommendations

Like we said at the start, this is pretty confusing.  Google wants to prioritize reviews because users like them, but obtaining, verifying, and organizing reviews remains a challenge for businesses.

Don’t overthink it.  Make sure your service is exemplary.  That’s the most important step in having a positive review profile that works for you.  When you know a job went well, request a review.

Also, take these steps:

  1. If LSA is in your area or coming to it, start getting more reviews on GMB.  This will help you rank on the LSA platform until you start getting verified reviews from jobs you booked.
  2. Make sure your GMB account is fully optimized and continue to request reviews from clients on this platform.  You want to rank as high in these listings as possible because the clicks are free.  Most businesses on LSA continue to get leads through GMB as well.
  3. Respond to reviews as needed on GMB, but keep in mind that responses won’t show on LSA and you can’t respond to LSA reviews.
  4. Optimize your website content for your location.  Be explicit about your location and service areas.  You want to make sure Google knows where your business is.  Higher ranking on organic listings helps your GMB rankings.
  5. Once you start booking through LSA, be sure to request reviews.  The more high-rating, verified reviews you have, the better you’ll rank on searches.
  6. Remember that getting reviews is an ongoing process.  You want to have frequent, recent reviews on your profiles.  If it’s been months since you got reviewed it will begin to hurt your rankings and cause doubts with leads.

Hopefully, Google will continue to streamline the process of getting reviews on these platforms.  One thing they’ll have to look into is allowing businesses to respond to reviews on LSA.  It’s considered valuable for businesses to respond on GMB, and it’s often necessary to clarify the situation with a poor review.  As of now, Google has not provided an explanation for why businesses can’t respond on LSA.

For both LSA and GMB, reviews play a significant role in how you’re ranked.  The more reviews you have, the higher you rank and the more jobs you get – which allows you to get more reviews.  It’s a cycle you want to get into before your competition beats you to it.

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