It will be no surprise to learn that online business reviews play a huge role in the buyer decision process. As Google is the world’s most popular search engine, Google Reviews are very important for helping potential customers find your business. Google Reviews are unpaid reviews that customers voluntarily write about businesses they have visited. Google Reviews are directly integrated with Search, Google Maps and your Google My Business listing. This integration makes it easy for consumers to publicly leave feedback, share pictures and tell others about their experiences with specific businesses.
What are the benefits of Google Reviews?
Due to Google’s widespread use as a trusted search engine, Google Reviews are also trusted as reliable sources of relevant information about products and services from local businesses. As a result, Google Reviews have become a vital part of businesses’ online presence and marketing strategies.
Here are the biggest benefits of Google Reviews:
Improve local search ranking
Arguably the largest benefit of Google Reviews is that it can boost your company’s local search rating. Local SEO improvement is critical for your business because potential customers will not be able to make a purchase from you if they cannot find you. In addition to helping with ranking and revenue, reviews attached to your Google Maps listing will help your business stand out from the crowd while boasting about your great offerings and customer service.
Increase trust and credibility
According to Qualtrics, 91% of 18–34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family as long as they meet certain criteria such as authenticity and relevancy to the industry. This inherent trust of online reviews combined with Google’s reputation will allow Google Reviews to boost your business’s trust and credibility.
Influence purchase decisions
Often times, a Google Review can be the final push that gets a potential buyer to make a purchase. During the buyer decision process, many people already have an idea of whether or not they will buy from you. Your reviews are then simply serving as confirmation. While Google Reviews can provide that purchase validation for a potential customer, they can also push a potential customer toward the competition if your reviews are negative.
How do Google Reviews work?
You will be able to find your Google Reviews in your Google My Business profile. Google will then pick them up from there and display them on one of two platforms:
When someone searches for a navigational query, such as: “best contractors near me”, Google will show your business listing if you are a contractor in the searcher’s geographical area.
Google’s local SEO algorithm is driven by successful digital marketing tactics. As a result, Google will rank businesses with many reviews higher in local searches for a specific brand keyword.
2. Google Maps
If someone searches for your company name, your business may be shown in the Google Maps section of the Google Search results or directly in the Google Maps app.
In Google Maps, your business ranking is ultimately determined by a combination of the average rating, number of reviews and proximity to the user.
It is important to establish a process to acquire, manage and respond to Google Reviews, if you want your reviews and overall business to stand out in both Google Search and Google Maps.
How can I receive Google Reviews?
Now that you understand the functionality and importance of Google Reviews, you may be wondering how you can get started receiving reviews. The following steps will walk you through the process of setting up your Google My Business account and optimizing it for receiving Google Reviews.
1. Claim Ownership of a Business
The first step towards collecting reviews is claiming ownership of your Google business listing. This will allow you to update it with current information and any extra details that will help your business to stand out.
2. Make Your Listing Stand Out
Once you have claimed ownership of your business, it is time to make your profile attractive and enticing to potential customers by filling it with relevant details about your company and its offerings. At the very least, your listing should include the following information:
- Business description and relevant information
- Up-to-date hours of operations
- High-resolution photos
3. Use a Good Online Review Management Platform
After your My Business page is optimized for Google Reviews, you do not have to sit around and wait for them to roll in. You should actually be proactively asking your customers to leave reviews.
According to Podium, only 10% of consumers actually leave reviews, though 77% say they’d be willing to. On the other hand, 76% of consumers will leave a review after being asked.
One of the main reasons why consumers back out of writing reviews is that the process can be too lengthy and complicated. As a business owner who is seeking insightful feedback, it is important to make this process as easy as possible for your customers. You can do this by implementing an online review management platform that streamlines the review process by sending invitations via text message or email that will direct people straight to the page where they will write their review.
Google Reviews should serve as a vital part of your online marketing strategy. It will boost your visibility, trust and credibility with your customers as well as guide them through each phase of the buyer decision process. As long as you are initiating and streamlining the steps to collect Google Reviews for your business, your physical location and website are both bound to see an increase in traffic and sales.
Customer reviews are essential to finding new leads and closing more deals. A businesses that is highly recommended can also charge more for services because customers trust the company to do the work well and efficiently. Learn more about integrating customer reviews into your marketing plan.
To supercharge your business with curated customer reviews and extra visibility for the reviews that make your business shine, trades.org has reputation management programs to fit your needs. We’ll keep track of your projects, reach out to customers on your behalf and ensure that every transaction ends with a satisfied homeowner.