Think about the last service you paid for. It could have been for a meal, car maintenance, housekeeping, etc. You might have thought, “Wow! They were really professional and had great service”, or even “I am never going back there again, and I’ll make sure to let my friends know to avoid this company.” Either way, you might have taken the time to provide a review of that company and their service.
Before you chose those companies for their services, you probably looked at their reviews online first. It’s 2019 and we all look at reviews for products and services, even on Amazon, before spending our hard-earned money.
And if you are a business owner, you might start to wonder how those reviews apply to you.
When thinking about the important aspects of growing your business and establishing authority, customer reviews may not be at the top of your list yet. Sure, you know you need some online feedback and preferably 5-star reviews, but what do you really know about them?
Specifically, what do you know about Google reviews?
The truth is that many business leaders aren’t well-versed in the world of online reviews. But we’ve learned that Google reviews are now crucial to the success of any business.
Today we’ll get into the specifics and break down the important facts of Google business reviews, as well as why it all matters.
Google Reviews Explained
There’s no complicated explanation here. Google reviews really are just as upfront as they seem, but our goal is to show you exactly why they’re important.
These reviews are just a way for you (a business) to collect feedback from customers who have bought a product or used a service.
Alternatively, reviews are a way for prospective customers to review businesses before making a purchasing decision—in fact, Forbes reported that upwards of 90% of customers read reviews before buying! The more reviews you have, the more trustworthy you’ll appear to buyers.
Still skeptical? Here’s some data from a 2018 report. Consider these fast facts:
- Google reviews give you credibility without having to spend any money.
- 91% of consumers read online customer reviews to determine whether a local business is good or bad.
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.
- 87% of people say a business needs a rating of 3-5 stars before they will use them.
When you have a question, where do you turn?
Like mostly everyone else on the planet, you probably Google it! And because most people turn to Google for answers, Google reviews hold that much more weight.
Yes, there are other options (Yelp, Facebook, etc.) and certain industries benefit from other review sites, but these are exceptions to the rules.
For example, healthcare providers benefit from health ratings, contractors benefit from Angie’s List, and some businesses benefit from Yelp, although generally Yelp is only beneficial when you pay for it. Businesses that provide for end-users need Google reviews, and even B2B companies can also benefit from industry-specific review services.
Facebook is significantly less powerful because while it will appear in Google search results, it is far below the Google review results of all the competitors and rankings.
So now that we have the basics squared away, let’s get into the steps of how to get these famous Google reviews!
How to Get Google Reviews
We know we’ve given you a lot to think about today, but this is the easy part.
Remember how we just mentioned that 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to?
That’s basically all you have to do—ask. However, you want to make sure you’re doing it in a way that will encourage positive feedback.
Here are our top three tips for getting customer feedback:
1. Be the Best
It should go without saying, but offering excellent service is the first step to getting great customer reviews. When you offer impeccable service and top-quality products, you’ll organically gain brand loyalty. Make your service so good that customers want to tell everyone about it!
Like we said, just ask for the review!
Put up signs around your store or office encouraging customers to reach out online with their feedback. Regularly ask on social media for followers to leave reviews, and utilize digital marketing reviews to get regular feedback. You could even host a contest: posting a Google review gets the participant the chance to win a prize!
3. Engage with People Who Have Left Reviews
Online etiquette can be strange and difficult to interpret, but think of responding to reviews as if you were writing a thank you note after receiving a gift or support from a close friend.
You should regularly monitor your Google reviews and respond to all of them. You should always thank the user for their time and then if the review requires follow-up or there’s concern, you can address accordingly. This will make reviewers feel appreciated and heard and will show readers that you actually take the time to monitor comments and concerns.
How We Can Help
When you partner with Content First Marketing, you can relax knowing that we will take the lead with all of this. We’ll set up your Google Customer Reviews, identify opportunities to ask for reviews, and give you actionable steps and a strategy to ensure your Google Reviews are doing the most for your business.
The Bottom Line
Google reviews, above all else, are the single most important thing you can do for your business – especially if your business has a physical location and services a local area. When your reviews are tied to your Google My Business page, they are also tied to the map pack, which is something your business can’t thrive online without.
When your reviews outnumber those of your competitors, you don’t have to spend as many ad dollars to beat them in search results. Google recognizes a more reviewed business as being more credible, more trustworthy, and more important to the user. Hence your local search ranking will improve as planned!
Be sure to keep an eye out for our next blog post on how to implement reviews into your business growth strategy!
We’re here to help! Even if you’re not sure of your next step, you can be sure that investing in a Google reviews strategy is just good for your business. Get started by scheduling your FREE consultation with our team today.