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Local SEO Keyword Research Doggie Door: How and Why to Search Google Maps Reviews by Keyword

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Here is the dog door, which I will explain in more detail in a moment:

1. Go to the Google Maps tab OR open the Google Maps app and go to any business. You’ll either need to go to maps.google.com or open the app as this doesn’t work anywhere else, such as the Google Business Profile Dashboard, Chrome app, etc.

2. Click the Reviews tab. as if you were a customer wanting to browse them. (Of course I’m assuming that business has reviews.)

3. Click on the magnifying glass icon, enter any word or short phrase in the search bar that appears and view the list of all reviews that contain that word or phrase. The word or phrase appears in bold.

Here you can find the keyword search function in the Google Maps app:

Practical, isn’t it?

Now, if your immediate reaction would be, “Why is that convenient?” or “Um, I guess,” a few comments are in order.

First of all, this isn’t my “find” or anything like that. I’ve been incorporating Google Maps reviews keyword search into my client work for several years, and the fact that you can search Google Maps reviews by keyword was news to everyone I’ve ever told about it. Still, the first report of this feature appears to be from 2018, and Greg Gifford I made this nice, short video on this topic in 2022. In this post, I simply want to detail why it’s useful, how I use it, how you can use it to advance your goals, and some details you probably won’t learn anywhere else.

However, if you have more than 20 Google reviews, it becomes very tedious to search through your reviews to find a specific review or aggregate a group of them. The same applies if you want or need to collect competitive information and review competitors’ reviews. You have business to attend to and can’t spend all day browsing Google reviews one by one.

Google doesn’t make it easy to search your reviews or those of others. Google Maps reviews are not indexed and you cannot view a list of all reviews in the GBP dashboard. Even if you open the reviews in the pop-up (where you normally read a company’s reviews – see below), you may not be able or willing to scroll through the entire list, nor will you click on each “More.” Link to expand each review so you can perform a CTRL+F search. Google makes it easy to wander around, but it’s not easy to focus on what you’re looking for.

You may want or need to sift through a haystack of reviews for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Research keywords intelligently: by identifying specific words paying customers Use this to describe what you (or a competitor) were paid for. Then you can target them as you wish on your website, or integrate them into a PPC campaign, or both.
  • Collect competitive intelligence, measure the popularity of this or that service that your competitor offers, and look at the exact search terms that their customers used. Furthermore, once you have identified the reviews of the different types of customers you would For example, you can click on their Local Guide profiles to learn more about who these people are and what cow paths they follow.
  • Search for reviews that are relevant to a specific product or service so you can add them to your website.

  • Find reviews that are relevant to a specific type of customer: someone who had an emergency, someone who has children, someone who previously hired a competitor, etc.
  • Pull up a bad review that sticks in your mind so you can report it to Google.
  • Search for a review that you think was filtered or a review that may have resurfaced after being filtered.

You may have other reasons to dig through a bunch of Google reviews (in which case, please leave a comment and let me know).

What do I suggest you? It’s simple: Search your business’s Google Maps reviews for various keywords, like I described above. Enter different terms that are important to you and that interest you. See what comes of it. See what reviews you can copy and paste onto this or that page on your site, and see if you can create spin-off pages based on terms that come up again and again. Then spend a while looking at competitors’ Google Maps reviews. You’ll learn a thing or two about their customers and how they attract those customers (or not).

A few notes:

A. The search function is primitive. It’s literal. Google doesn’t just know what you mean. For example, if you search for “cleaning up,” you’ll see reviews that contain that one word, and if you search for “cleaning up,” you’ll see reviews that contain those two words, even though they mean exactly the same thing, so you have to search for both. In general, searching for the singular returns more results than searching for the plural. Therefore, if in doubt, enter “dentist” instead of “dentists,” “school” instead of “schools,” etc.

B. You can only search for phrases in the text of reviews. You can’t search by the reviewer’s name or by features of the review, such as star rating or inclusion of photos.

C. It is site specific. Let’s say you have 10 locations and 10 GBP pages. You need to go to the reviews of each GBP site and search for what you want to find. There is no way to search all 10 locations at once, although that would be nice.

By the way, this search function has been available on Yelp for as long as I can remember.

As I’ve said time and time again over the years, reviews are probably the most useful building material for your local SEO and all of your marketing, pound for pound. The fact that they can improve the ranking a little and help (a lot) convince people is just the beginning. It doesn’t matter if the reviews are good or bad, long or short, from you or a competitor, new or old, spelled correctly or not, from a long-time or new customer, etc.: they can all be useful. All can help you research keywords, flesh out your website, make it more compelling, attract more of the type of customers you have or want more of, attract new types of customers, and get more reviews that continue the cycle.

Why do you want or need to search your reviews?

Any tricks to quickly find what you’re looking for?

Any questions?

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