What is the first thing people do when they want to find out information about a business? Google it, of course! Meaning, the first things people see about your business are your website link or your Google My Business banner and the reviews you have. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure you understand Google reviews. Not only do the reviews help your clients and customers understand more about your company, it also allows you to gain insight into how people find your services/products.
Did you know that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? This highlights the gravitas Google reviews hold, and the importance of both encouraging and monitoring them. Customers are known to read at least 10 reviews before deciding whether to purchase or enquire; the more positive reviews you have, the more likely a purchase or enquiry will be made!
The most common way to get Google reviews is by asking your customers to write one. Always encourage your customers to write a review, since they really can impact consumer buying behavior in a successful way. It’s normally beneficial to include a CTA (call to action) to leave a review instantly after a purchase or interaction. Here is how your customers can add a review.
If you are a local business, reviews will help you rank higher in local searches. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business competing against big businesses in your area, Google won’t pay attention to the size when it comes down to what company ranks highest.
There is a chance you may receive some negative reviews from time to time, therefore, it’s important to know that reviews cannot be removed unless they go against Google review guidelines.
Another important action to note is to reply to your Google reviews. This can show supportive customer service, and if someone is asking a question, replying will provide extra information that future customers may want to know as well. Furthermore, if there is a negative review, by politely responding you can try to resolve the issue.
As important as reviews are, you should never pay for a review. If Google finds out that you are paying for your reviews or even offering an incentive in return for the review (e.g. ‘get a free month’s subscription if you leave a review’), not only is it against Google review guidelines, it will massively affect your Google ranking.