In the days before the internet, marketing was less of exact science and more about perception. Many people led with “I think we should…”, which is like throwing a dart at a board. Banner ads, billboards, door-to-door sales, and other such physical advertisements were the only things people knew how to do. If you wanted to get customers, you had to go out and talk to them. But now, many of these things are frowned upon… Gone are the days of door-to-door sales, display ads can be considered inappropriate and annoying. Even calling someone with a sales pitch will probably just get you blocked. Sometimes emails can really struggle to gain the right attention.
The general consensus, in order to get found online, you have to top the Google Map Pack. And Google reviews can help get you there!
Why is it that certain websites get lots of clicks while others hardly get any at all?
Are your competitors hogging all of the positions on Google? While reviews aren’t 100% of the pie, Google reviews are an incredibly important part of getting found by customers.
If you aren’t getting the results you want from Google, then this is the information you need to fix that. We’ll show you how you can use Google reviews to improve your visibility and outrank your competition.
What are Google reviews and why are they important?
Google reviews are comments generated by users that customers can post on google about businesses. They have a rating of up to five stars that get calculated together to create a business’s average star rating on Google.
How can Google Reviews help your business?
Google reviews help customers to discover local businesses that they might be interested in. Having as many positive reviews as possible is the best way to get your business found and chosen by customers.
5 important benefits of Google Reviews:
1. Google reviews increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in local areas.
Google doesn’t say specifically how they rank pages on local search results. But we do know that the things they care about most are relevance, prominence, and distance. Reviews will increase your page’s relevance. In addition, Google also analyzes businesses’ review recency, frequency, quality, and quantity when determining their ranking. It is estimated that roughly 10% of Google’s algorithm is determined by reviews.
Getting positive Google reviews regularly is one of, if not the fastest ways to make sure that your SEO is working for your business! When done right, Google Reviews can be your most effective marketing tool!
2. Google reviews make customers trust brands.
Honesty is becoming an important issue for customers. 86% say transparency is more important than ever, and 94% say they are more interested in being loyal to a transparent brand. Due to the age of information, where it is much easier for customers to find out information on bands, transparency is more important than ever. In modern times, customers will almost always research their brands before buying from them.
Finding a positive customer review will increase customer trust in the local businesses that they find. Not only that, but the responses to reviews are also important. 89% of consumers read business responses, and 56% say that a business’s response to reviews has impacted their opinion of the business.
3. Google reviews create a valuable feedback loop.
The best part about Google reviews is the feedback loop that you get from customers. Getting information from reviews can be invaluable to improving your business. And you don’t even need to survey customers to get this information!
Whether or not you delivered a positive customer experience
Where you excelled or under-delivered
How you can improve
Reading all of your Google reviews can help you understand how you can change for the better as a business.
4. Google gives your website a better click-through rate.
It can’t be overstated how important it is for your website to have the best click-through rate possible. But even with the best SEO and marketing strategies, nothing starts if your website isn’t actually clicked on. But Google reviews will increase the rate that people click on your website, which will in turn increase its Google ranking.
5. Google reviews increase revenue.
By optimizing, factors such as visibility, SEO, feedback, and trust, Google reviews will increase the revenue of local businesses. Google reviews have a direct impact on purchasing decisions and on how customers find and choose what products and services they will use. And since getting these reviews is so cheap, it becomes the most cost-effective method of marketing that can be done, and will deliver maximum return on investment.
Why do Google reviews matter for your business?
In addition to improving your local search ranking, Google reviews also impact every part of your customer’s journey.
Awareness. Google reviews are about more than just visibility. These online reviews are also where consumers go to find new businesses to become patrons of.
Consideration. Research suggests that average customers won’t even consider a business that doesn’t have a star rating of at least 3.4. In addition, half of the consumers would prefer to travel more or even pay more for a business with higher reviews.
Purchase. The reviews that people see online are a major deciding factor for whether customers will actually pay for a company’s products and services. 93% of consumers say that reviews are a factor in their purchase decisions. 92% of B2B buyers are more comfortable purchasing after seeing a good review.
Post-Purchase. Even after purchases are made, the reviews left behind will help your business figure out customer opinions. The improvements that businesses make after reading these reviews will result in even more customers.
Here are some major ways that local businesses benefit from Google reviews.
1. Ambiance Design Windows got together 165 Google reviews with 5-star ratings. This resulted in a huge increase in web traffic and inbound leads. This allowed them to save a lot of their marketing budget.
2. The Smile Studio has a spot on the Google Map Pack due to patients that gave them positive reviews.
3. RPM Alamo has seen a 20% in revenue and a significant increase in website conversion rate due to having more than 1,200 reviews.
A comprehensive guide to getting Google reviews.
The biggest question about google reviews is how to get started. First, you must set up a Google business profile. The following steps will show you how to set up and optimize your profile
STEP 2: Sign in to your Google Account, or create one. Then, click Next.
STEP 3: Enter your business’s address and create or claim your listing.
STEP 4: Fill out basic information about your business.
STEP 5: Submit for verification.
*Because Google wants to prevent any of its users from being scammed, you must verify your Google Business Profile listing before it appears in Search and Maps. Most local businesses verify their listings by phone or email, though you can also choose snail mail.
How to optimize your Google Business Profile
In order to get clicks, your business profile listing must be complete, updated often, and filled with important information.
In order to make listings visible, Google reviews are important as they show off customer feedback. Having a good listing will increase the number of reviews. According to Google, “businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.”
- Include important information. Businesses must include their business name, address, and phone number are the same everywhere on the internet. All relevant information must be included in business descriptions and all content seen by customers. It is important to include keywords when it makes sense, but not to overuse them. “stuffing” content with keywords will raise the attention of Google’s spam detection.
- Add quality photos. Including photos in your profile will make it eye-catching and help it stand out compared to the competition. More photos will help your business be detected more in online searches.
If your listing includes photos, it will have 42% more requests for driving directions from Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to a business’s website. However, it is important to make sure that the photo size is optimized for the platforms customers are using. In addition, you must make sure that your photos will work on different devices. Nearly 68% of consumers are going to be using a mobile device while only 32% would use a desktop.
- Add your hours of operation. An important thing that customers need to know about your business is when it is open and closed. As a result, you must keep your hours of operation up to date, not only when regular hours change, but also on holidays and other special occurrences. These updates should include safety measures, changes to your location, and any other relevant information.
Getting Google reviews and dealing with customers.
Now that you have your perfect business listing, we can start working on getting Google reviews.
One of the most important things is to make sure that it is convenient for customers to leave a review. If it is too difficult, customers who may have left a review often will not bother.
So many of the ways that businesses use to get customers to leave reviews to end up not working. So what’s the best way to help ensure that you will get a review? Text.
Over a third of consumers who receive a text review invite to leave a review and approximately 41% of consumers prefer text to communicate vs. 18% who prefer email. The platform you use matters tremendously when it comes to google reviews.
Text reviews can give your business many more reviews. You can get as many as 15x more Google reviews than with email.
5 ways to have more Google Reviews
Text invitations work well; however, there is a lot more that you can do.
1. Time the invitation well.
Typically, some break or downtime during sales is the best point for you to ask your customers for a review. For example, in the auto industry, you may ask once the call itself is completed and the customer is waiting in finance.
2. Set expectations for the review. The next thing you need to do is set some expectations. It is important to let the customer know
Why is it important for them to leave a review?
What method will you use to send the invitation?
When will they receive the invitation?
Thanks so much for coming in today, Megan! We’re so glad we got your carburetor figured out. Would you mind taking 30 seconds to leave us a review?
Thanks. We really want to deliver the best service for you, so we appreciate your feedback! I’ll send you the text with the link to review right now. Have a great day!
3. Respond to reviews. In order to gain more reviews, it is crucial to show your customers that reviews matter to you. In order to do that, you must respond to reviews. Businesses should respond to negative reviews within 2 hours and positive ones within 24 hours. Doing this will show customers that you not only appreciate reviews but also are comfortable with critical feedback.
Google’s support page explicitly states that leaving responses on reviews “shows that you value your customers and their feedback” and helps “build consumer trust.”
4. Use feedback to improve. If you want to show that you take feedback seriously, you actually have to take that advice.
5. Consider using a reputation management platform. Responding to and organizing a large number of reviews can be difficult work. However, a reputation management platform will make it a breeze for any local business of any size. 94% of local businesses who use these tools say that it more than pays for itself.
Control your target market.
There are always customers that are looking for your products or services. However, that doesn’t always mean that they will find them. If you don’t have a collection of good reviews, it is much more likely that your potential customers will never find you.
Sending review invitations automatically will help you not only look better as a business but make sure that you don’t miss any potential customers.