Google reviews should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. They can greatly influence the way people perceive your business, are great for boosting your credibility and reputation, and can help you to stand out from competitors by highlighting what you do best.
Getting reviews from customers has always been beneficial for any business but, now more than ever, it’s more important for you to know why exactly Google reviews matter and how your business can get more.
Let’s talk about the three main benefits of getting Google reviews:
The power that Google reviews and word of mouth have with influencing other potential customers can’t be underestimated. A 2022 study revealed that 98% of respondents read online reviews for local businesses and, in 2021, 81% left a review themselves.
People turn to Google reviews because they want detailed and credible first-hand recounts from others to help them make decisions and become informed about a business’ customer experience. In other words, people are far more likely to trust your business if your quality of service is verified by other’s reviews.
In fact, the vast majority of people trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations from friends and family, as long as the reviews are authentic, relevant, and one amongst many. Google reviews build trust and credibility, with consumers more likely to purchase something from a site that has customer reviews than one that doesn’t.
Receiving feedback from customers on your products or services is vital for giving you insights on how to improve your business. It’s also important to reply to these reviews, as it shows customers that you’re aware of any issues and are working to improve them.
A lot of the time, when customers read Google reviews it’s because they are looking for confirmation that they are making the right purchase decision. Getting reviews related to your products or services provides evidence of their trustworthiness and can be just what a consumer needs to push them from consideration to purchase.
In the last few years, we have seen a greater-than-ever need to integrate business operations online. This can be a daunting task but, fortunately, one of the biggest benefits that Google reviews bring your business is a boost in local search rankings.
Google is always looking to deliver the most relevant results for local searches and, to do this, it not only needs to know what your business does but also and what people think of it. For example, when people search for businesses in a certain location, Google Maps will prioritise the ones with the most and highest-rated Google reviews, showing them first. This means you could be seriously missing out on exposure to potential customers if you’re not rated highly enough to appear on the map!
For Google, content is king, and content is an integral part of SEO. Google’s algorithm is always looking for relevant content to feature to their users and Google reviews are a fresh and unique source of user-generated content to include on your business’s website.
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Now that you know the benefits of obtaining Google reviews for your business, let’s talk about how to actually get them. You can let the reviews come in organically, but this method can be slow and unreliable. Instead, here are a few simple ways you can quickly boost your number of Google reviews.
This seems like a no-brainer, but the best way to increase the number of reviews your business receives is to ask for them. About 37% of consumers are likely to leave a review if asked via email or SMS, but you want to make sure these messages are personalised and don’t look like a mass send-out. It’s also important to determine when the best time is to ask customers, which depends highly on your industry. For example, you could email your customers after receiving one of your products or after engaging with your services, so that they can review their experience.
Unfortunately, people are more likely to leave an unprompted review if they have a negative experience with a business, whereas only about 34% of consumers will leave an unprompted positive review. However, receiving the odd bad review doesn’t mean you’re done for – in fact, it shows that you are a real business with real customers. Ultimately, the best way to ensure you maintain a positive rating overall is to make sure the positive reviews outweigh the negative ones, which you can do simply by asking your customers for them.
About 88% of consumers are likely to leave a review if a business went above and beyond to ensure they had an exceptional experience. Having great customer service is the best way to take what could be a bad customer experience and turn it positive, which is far more likely to result in positive reviews, therefore also increasing the social credibility of your business.
Think about it – when one of your customers comes back to you with feedback in person or on the phone, you respond to them. Just because Google reviews are online doesn’t change the fact that you should acknowledge them.
By replying to positive reviews, you show customers that you’re committed to enhancing their experience and exceeding their expectations. Similarly, responding to negative reviews and looking to resolve a situation demonstrates to potential customers that you care about your clients. Either way, responding to reviews, even if it’s just to say thank you, indicates to Google that your page is actively managed, which is rewarded with better online exposure.
Google reviews should play a fundamental role in your digital marketing strategy. They boost your business’ online visibility, build trust and social credibility with your customers, and allow you to get valuable feedback to help improve your business. Knowing how to leverage your relationships with your customers and add your personal touch when asking for reviews is the best way to ensure you’re successful in receiving them. Outsource2Us can help you put a strategy in place to obtain Google reviews for your business so you can reap all the benefits that come with them.