What is Local SEO? Part 5: Social Media & Local...Read More
Google reviews help potential customers understand your business. It helps your local SEO, online reputation and helps your business stand out from your competitors.
It may not seem like much, but Google Reviews give your business a significant boost in credibility without you needing to spend any money on marketing or advertising. Reviews help you with your local SEO, reputation management and establishing trust between you and your customers.
A Google Review is simply a rating from 1-5 stars that any person can submit on your Google My Business Page. People are able to provide helpful feedback, get questions answered or voice concerns in a public setting. Many business owners fall into the trap of thinking that a bad review is the end of the world for their business; however, by responding to a negative interaction, in a public space, you are showing customers that you are invested and care about what they have to say. Seeing one negative review will not dissuade other potential customers from using your products or services if you have a high overall rating.
Another one of the benefits of reviews is that they provide your business a way to level the playing field in terms of local SEO. If you are not actively asking your customers for reviews then you are missing out on a key advantage of your online strategy. By having a good review rating on your Google My Business page, your likelihood of appearing in the top of the search results is much greater than a company without any reviews or a company with poor reviews.
The bottom line is that positive reviews of your company on Google can greatly improve your search results and reputation. Below are the top 5 reasons Google Reviews are important for your business.
People want to work with companies they can trust. Transparency is becoming more relevant every year in how we as business owners deal with our customers. Most of this push for transparency is guided by an increased amount of information available to customers. People can quickly and easily compare products or shop around to find the best price. In a study done by BrightLocal, 82% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase.
72% of consumers reported that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Think about when you are on Amazon or researching a company before you purchase something. It is a simple truth that products or services that have more reviews with a higher rating will receive more business than those that have few reviews or poor ones.
If you are not familiar with Local SEO check out our blog post here.
In short, Google uses a complex algorithm to determine the relevancy of your website and business in terms of the users search query. One of the factors that Google uses to determine if your website or business should be near the top of the search results is focused around your reviews.
The three big areas that Google takes into consideration when factoring your reviews are as follows:
Quantity refers to the total number of overall reviews your business has. You should make it part of your routine to ask your best customers for reviews online to increase the total.
Frequency encompasses how many new reviews you are getting. If you have not had a review in over a year your search ranking will suffer for it. This stresses the importance of having a plan to get new reviews throughout the year.
Overall ranking is simply your overall review score on Google. You’ll want to aim for a 4/5 star rating or higher.
By getting reviews at least once a month, targeting your best customers for positive reviews and responding to these reviews you have the ability to boost your business to the top of local search results.
The map pack is what we refer to as a group of businesses near a location from where a user is searching. Let’s say you own a restaurant. If I search “food near me”, Google will bring up a list of places within my proximity that I can get food from. However, it will prioritize businesses who have better and more frequent reviews.
The Map Pack will display your overall review rating, website, address, phone number and link to your website as well.
Something that is often overlooked in Google reviews is the insights you can gain into your customers thought process and feelings. Every Google review you get should be treated as a personal survey for your business. It will tell you a few things up-front:
Often, negative feedback can feel unjust and unfair; however, you can take this as an opportunity to find weaknesses within particular aspects of your business and work to improve them. It also gives you a chance to win-back customers who had a poor experience and build trust with your customers that already love what you do.
What’s a click-through-rate? To put it simply, CTR is how many people click on a link to your website after seeing it. If 100 people see your website link or listing and 20 people click it — then you would have a 20% CTR.
So, how would you go about getting a customer to click on your website when they are looking at you and 5 other competitors. The answer is great active reviews. Your Google rating shows up right next to your business name in a search. If a user has to choose between a restaurant with a 3.5 star rating and it has 9 reviews compared to one with a 4.2 rating and 57 reviews the answer is pretty clear.
Once they click through to your website the journey is not yet over. Customers will still need to be convinced to make a purchase or visit your store. A user-friendly website and well designed web page are imperative to this last step. If you need help with the website aspect you can contact us here. However, it is also possible for your Google Reviews to be enough to make the sale. Having glowing feedback from real customers says a lot about your business and users will trust those opinions.
Getting reviews doesn’t need to be a time consuming process. Some of the easiest ways to get reviews from your clients are:
Voyage Media Works offers Local SEO services that cover all the topics here. Our team works with businesses to get their listings and website optimized.