Google Reviews Can Make or Break Your Business – Here’s Why
We get asked by a lot of our potential clients if Google reviews really matter and the answer is a resounding yes!
Google reviews can make or break your business because many people now consider them as much as a personal recommendation from a trusted source. But even before someone is reading your Google reviews, Google itself uses them to determine which businesses are the best ones to return in search results for your local area. So your reviews actually have an impact on whether or not someone even sees your business at all online!
If your business relies on local traffic, it is especially critical to ace this so you can be found in the Maps area of search results when someone is searching for products or services like yours.
In case you needed any more inspiration to strive for more Google reviews, here are some stats to blow your mind:
-These days, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
-97% of consumers say reviews influence their buying decision
-Reviews make a huge difference in amping up your Local SEO
At Digital Monk, a large number of our clients and followers are small and medium sized businesses that rely heavily on local traffic to sustain their business. This means that local SEO is critical to their digital strategy.
So what is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing a business, product or service to be more visible for a search query that is location-specific. Google uses a user’s location based on IP address or geolocation to determine what results to show them. So when someone performs a local search for a dentist, car wash or locksmith, the search engine will display local businesses relevant to their location.
Reviews are one of the most important ways to improve your visibility with Google.
The quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. And, when a person scans the search results for a local product or service in Google, the business listings that include customer reviews present greater credibility and, naturally, receive more clicks. If your search result listing shows a 4.5-star rating with 18 reviews (and your competitor listings show less), that’s strong social proof that your product or service is trustworthy.
Outside of local SEO, there are also a few more reason why reviews matter:
1. Google Business Reviews Increase Brand Trust
2. Reviews Help you Collect Important Feedback
Every Google business review you collect can, and should, serve as a customer survey response for you and your staff. In addition, each Google review will generally tell you a few things:
● Whether or not your company delivered a positive customer experience
● Where your company did an amazing or not so amazing job
● What product or service they received from your business
3. Improve Click-Through Rates to Your Website with Google Reviews
Any smart business knows that it’s vital to get customers to click on your link when it shows up in a search engine. You may spend all the time and money in the world on your SEO strategy, but if people aren’t actually clicking on your business, all the effort is in vain. Luckily, having Google reviews is an excellent way to increase the click-through rate when you show up in a search engine. Your Google review rating will show up next to your business name in Google, so a good collection of positive ratings will increase clicks through to your site.
4. Google Reviews Convert More Customers
Once customers have clicked through to your page, you’re nearly to the end goal. Customers who come to your site need to be enticed to purchase something from your business. While a user-friendly site experience and smartly designed web page are extremely important, Google reviews can be powerful enough to do the conversion alone. For this reason, any business with a strong rating on Google should be advertising that rating all over their website. This rating will increase customer trust even if they’ve never read your online reviews.
“With proper execution, Google business reviews can be one of your most successful marketing tactics.”
So how do you get more reviews?
1. Have Exceptional Service & Products.
2. Ask for them EVERYWHERE – in person, on receipts, in emails, after an appt or service.
3. Send an email, text or provide a QR code so customers can link directly to your Google review page – make it easy and do it very soon after they have visited you.
Research has shown that more than 70 percent of consumers would be willing to leave a review if asked, but you have to make it simple and straightforward for them to do so!
4. Create a company culture that asks for and gives regular feedback so your team feels comfortable asking for reviews and customers feel they are positively contributing to your business.
When requesting reviews, it can be helpful to “guide” the reviewer to include key details like the name of the service, your location, etc. You can do this by asking a few questions or something similar to this:
“If you enjoyed your service and want to help others in our area get the same great results, please feel free to provide a Google review at the link below.”
It is also important to respond to your Google reviews. Not only does this help your rankings, but it shows customers that you are engaged, that their feedback matters and that you go above and beyond to notice positive reviews and respond appropriately to negative reviews.
Reviews matter so be sure to build a process around asking for them and follow up on them online through your Google Business profile. Your Google Business profile is a crucial part of your digital strategy so treat it like your baby. Read more on making the most of your Google Business profile here.