BENIFITS OF GOOGLE BUSINESS REVIEWS
1. Google Business Reviews Increase Brand Trust.
Transparency is becoming more and more relevant for consumers. That relevance (and importance) placed on transparency can largely be accredited to the accessibility to vast amounts of information on any given business. Today, it’s not uncommon for a consumer to research a business before purchasing products or services. In fact, nearly 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. A large part of this research is generally done through Google reviews.
To really hammer home the power of Google business reviews, the same survey reports a staggering 72% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more than they may have otherwise. This provides a great opportunity for local businesses to gain a competitive advantage over the next business by collecting Google reviews. Conversely, it creates a sense of urgency with how to respond to negative reviews, which will further build customer trust.
2. Google Business Reviews Increase Online Exposure & Local SEO.
Google’s search algorithms are complex (that’s an understatement). But, there is one thing for sure: Google reviews have an impact on Google local search. According to Moz, roughly 9% of Google’s entire search algorithm is driven by review signals like the ones you’ll find in a business’ Google reviews. These review signals are generally focused around review quantity, velocity, and diversity.
A well-balanced combination of these three review signals can help catapult your local business towards the top of Google local search results. This helps your business get found much more easily and quickly than utilizing only traditional SEO activities like keyword research and blogging. While still important, as a local business it’s critical that you don’t rely only on traditional methods and neglect other mediums like Google reviews.
With proper execution, Google business reviews can be one of your most successful marketing tactics. This is partially because Google business reviews allow your business to show up in the “Map Pack.” The Map Pack (shown below) consists of a group of businesses near the location from where you’re searching. The map pack displays the name and link to the business, the address and phone number, and the total number of Google reviews in addition to the average rating
3. Feedback Loop and Customer Intelligence through Google Business Reviews.
One of the most valuable advantages of Google reviews is the feedback loop and customer intelligence you can gain. 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:
By reading negative reviews on Google, you can quickly see what areas you need to improve upon and which areas you should be praising. At Podium, we’ve developed a simple process for any business to utilize when looking to get the most from their feedback loop.
The first step is to monitor and watch for a Google review after a transaction has occurred. You can either use an online reputation management platform, like Podium, to monitor reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook or you can monitor these sites manually. The major advantage to using a software platform is that reviews won’t slip through the cracks and jeopardize this entire process. Rather, a good platform can inform you every time a review has gone live and allows you to respond right from the platform.
The second step is to respond to the Google review. If the Google review is negative, you should always leave a response doing your best to resolve any issue. Our recent Guide goes into great detail on how to properly respond to a negative review. In general, it’s wise to apologize and provide a way to right any wrong they believe your business has committed.
4. 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.
5. 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.
How Real Businesses Benefit From Google Reviews.
Now that you’ve learned about the key benefits of using Google reviews, you may be wondering if real businesses are experiencing these benefits. In short, the answer is yes. Here are some examples of real businesses benefiting from online reviews:
Shannon Fine Jewelry has a 5-star rating on Google and almost 200 Google reviews, which has led to increased traffic to the site. Customers report this is directly because of the reviews they’ve read online.
Gallery Furniture has garnered 9,517 new reviews online, resulting in a huge increase in web traffic and inbound calls from customers searching online. They spend less online on paid search results and other marketing efforts because of their presence on Google reviews.
Zerorez carpet cleaners has greatly improved their customer service and business thanks to the feedback of 13,000+ online reviews.
Paul’s Pest Control has grown their business into a new market thanks to all the customers who choose them because of their positive online reviews.
How to Start Getting More Google Reviews.
Are you convinced to start focusing on earning more Google Reviews? If so, you probably want to get started as quickly as possible. You may even be convinced to buy online reviews just to get an immediate boost. But before you jump into action, remember that the best businesses have real reviews they’ve earned fair and square.
Customers can often spot fake reviews or incentivized reviews from a mile away, and so can search engines. Stick with tried and true methods like simply asking customers to review your business, sending email blasts, and advertising your Google Review page to customers. You’ll be glad you went the more ethical route in the long run.