Do you remember the last time you tried a service without someone’s recommendation? I like seeking new services if they’re only a few dollars, only to be the first to discover it. If it’s essential that it works the first time, it’s time to hit the reviews.
The power of advice is immense. Up to 90% of consumers don’t visit a business unless they’ve read a review about it. There’s a substantial value to online reputation, and having good reviews means people may flock your business some more.
Google Reviews is one of the best review platforms online. It’s one that many Australians like to use. Why?
Why is Google Reviews so important? Today, we’ll talk about the power of this review platform and why you don’t want to miss on the benefits that it can give your business.
This will convince you.
What is Google Reviews?
Google Reviews is Google’s ratings and review platform. The entire system integrates with Google My Business and Google Maps for consumers to use. It has gone through various overhauls over the years, with the newest ones being the Google Local Guides, Google Pigeon Update and the GMB Featured Snippet.
Google Local Guides aims to bring people more incentives to users to provide more valuable information about local businesses. This creates an incentive for companies to provide better services. How?
84% of people trust online reviews as if they’re from friends or family. A locale with no reviews or has very little of them is at a disadvantage. On the same note, if a local place has inconsistent service, the ratings and reviews will reflect that problem.
The additional branded Google My Business Featured Snippet shows up whenever users perform a branded search. This shows all your GMB details, including contact details, location and a “write a review” option.
Why are Google Reviews Important?
There’s a few reasons why Google Reviews is vital for your business. Positioning yourself on the platform creates value. Your reputation on the site can affect your bottom line. Here’s why.
1. Google Ratings and Reviews are in the Top 5 Worldwide
Google Reviews, and by extension Google My Business, is one of the top 5 review sites in the world. It is the fastest growing review site for a reason. Some of its competitors are the biggest on the internet as well, which includes Amazon Product Reviews, Yelp for Business and Facebook.
Google’s scale and integration in all Android devices can get you the biggest audience in the world. They leverage ways to encourage customers to give you an honest review whatever happens, rather than getting a review for astounding moments only.
The service’s growth is staggering. Data from early 2017 review growth rates suggests it grew its review numbers by double from 2016 to 2017. To not be on Google My Business means you’re leaving out a big chunk of your potential audience blind to what you can do. It’s the best route to have your customers leave reviews for your business.
2. Google’s Reviews is Not All Software
If there’s something about GMB and this review system, it’s that the level of integration is invaluable. The reason is that it doesn’t just work for ratings.
Google combines your customers’ mobile location and tracks where they go. If they visit you or are nearby, Google will send them a prompt for a review. They encourage short, quick reviews with a few snaps here and there.
This means your customers can get a notification if they still have that review on pending. Ubiquity makes it better than its competition in the rating industry, many of which are only available if the customer seeks them.
Its omnipresence makes it the most powerful place to find recommendations. More recommendations equate to more business for you.
3. Better Online Reviews Provide Better Visibility.
There’s a strong correlation between ratings and search engine visibility, with Google valuing the power of local SEO. Studies show that when comparing 200 of Google’s known ranking factors with 100,000 local businesses, your business gets a boost if:
- An organic keyword is in your reviews
- If your location receives a mention in the review
What does this mean for you? Reviews and ratings in Google My Business can help the local organic rankings if you encourage meaningful content from your customers. Excellent customer service and even solid email marketing is an exceptional way to inspire such reviews. Google associates trust with solid reviews, and it’s a valued relationship moving forward.
Can star ratings give you a direct boost at all? Data is more sparse for this, but for as much as we know, it can.
If you’re doing PPC marketing, Google Ads get a 17% boost in click-through rates (CTR) if you have positive star ratings. Businesses with 4 and 5-star reviews also enjoy a 16% and 19% improvement in CTR respectively.
If you have a robust Google My Business local presence, you get more chances of being on the 3-Pack. As 52% of users click the top three search results on Google more than the others, this can help.
4. Google Reviews Provide Unbiased User-Generated Content
Google wants people talking about brands. People are unbiased, and never support brands they don’t believe. When you write a company blog, they don’t get the extra boost in value due to their perceived bias.
This tends to contrast with reviews, which Google sees as user-generated content. Customer testimonials are third-party experiences and have substantial value.
Foster a culture of mutual respect with your customer base. Reliable customer service can generate a high-value review, but expecting perfect reviews across the board is naïve. That’s a good thing though.
Since reviews are unbiased, people don’t expect 5-star reviews. People tend to read on what past customers have to say and what to be wary about with your service. By taking the rough with the smooth, smart customers will see that people are honest with their evaluation of your service.
5. Reviews Let You Make the Business Complaint-Friendly
As we’ve said, not all online reviews are positive. They don’t have to be. If you want to, however, convert a bad review to a good one, Google Review will notify you about it and even catch it in time.
Once you catch it in time, it’s best to reply to the complaint and address its specifics. If you think it’s a legit review, it’s smart to damage control and find ways to make sure that the problem doesn’t happen again.
Replying helps. When people know that someone is replying on the other line, they’re less likely to prime for an aggressive stance. Most irate customers are willing to compromise, as long as they can see someone addressing their complaints.
In your replies, try to put as much positive spin as you can to your responses. People appreciate kind customer service. Whilst you can’t salvage a 1-star review to a 5-star review, excellent customer service maray help bump that up a bit.
Making the Most Out of Google Reviews
If you want your business to make the most out of Google Reviews, the best way to do so is get your business verified on Google My Business and keep track.
Encourage your customers to put some extra effort and help you with the service through reviews. If your customers like you enough to take a few extra minutes of their time to review the locale, this means you’re doing a good job.
Also, you might want to find someone who can handle your reviews and online reputation. If you can’t be asked to monitor it yourself, don’t be afraid to get a team to take care of you online.