Every business owner is aware that having an online presence helps them increase their business. The problem is that most of us don’t understand online marketing well enough to do it ourselves.
Yes, a website is important. But there are millions of other websites out there. And many of them are probably in direct competition with your company.
Which means you need to find a way to stand out. There are definitely ways to do that within your website but the one way that helps you stand out above all others is Google customer reviews.
Keep reading to learn why and how Google Customer reviews can make a huge difference to your business.
Google Customer Reviews Help Boost Business
Do Google reviews help SEO? The short answer is definitely.
Especially when the Google business reviews include the right keywords that customers and search engines use to find you. It’s actually the second-most influential factor when looking at a local business’ performance.
In other words, rankings and reviews go hand in hand.
In fact, the only other factor that outperforms Google reviews in terms of rankings is if your website is SEO-friendly and already has plenty of organic keywords to help boost your rankings.
Why Google Reviews Boost Your Website Rankings
There are several reasons why rankings and reviews go together so well. Let’s go over why Google reviews help SEO.
Google Trusts the Public More Than Your Company
When you read a product description that the company selling the product has written, you can tell. Everything is great about the product and there’s never any downside.
Customer reviews, on the other hand, tell the real story. A customer will state exactly why they love the product and why they didn’t.
You know you can trust most of the reviews. Sure, there may be a few reviews left by someone who is clearly angry about everything in life, but most reviews are true to form.
And Google places their trust with the customers above all else to help them rank websites.
People Trust the Public More Than Your Company
Again, you’re only going to state highly positive facts about your product. It’s hard to know what you’re buying, especially if you can’t physically touch an item.
Customer reviews are important to other customers. It helps them begin to trust your company, even if this is the first time they’ve heard of you.
And customer reviews help sell your product to others. The more positive reviews and stars, the more clicks on your website you’ll receive.
Facts About Rankings and Reviews
Do Google reviews help SEO? Let’s take a look at some of the facts and statistics regarding Google reviews.
Over 80% of consumers trust online reviews. In fact, they trust them as if they’re a personal recommendation from someone they already know.
Not Everyone Wants to Leave a Review
And not everyone is going to leave a review. Around 38% of buyers will never leave a review for you, no matter how great or lousy their experience with your company was. Some people only leave them on specific items but may not leave them for a restaurant or other service-based companies.
It’s only around 10% of your consumers who will take the time to almost always leave a review. For this reason, getting Google reviews shouldn’t be a passive activity on your part. Instead, you’ll need to focus on asking and encouraging people to leave a review.
People Actively Seek Out Google Reviews Before They Do Business With You
Google business reviews are hugely important because at least half of adults under 50 actively search out reviews before they consider buying a new product. Even adults over 50 are likely to seek out a review before they make a purchase.
Only 34% of adults over 50 say they never check a review.
Reviews help people make purchasing decisions. It’s a bit like getting the inside scoop on a product or service before you add something to your cart.
And the more reviews you receive for a product or service, the more likely people are going to purchase it. And it doesn’t even matter if the ratings are less than stellar.
Negative Reviews Can Hurt You
When it comes to rankings and reviews, negative reviews can and will hurt your business. Even if you receive tons of reviews on a product, negative reviews aren’t great.
If you receive too many negative reviews, people will refrain from doing business with you. Especially if you don’t have many reviews, to begin with.
Increased Conversion Rates
Adding reviews helps improve your conversion rates. You can actually improve your conversion rates up to 270 percent just by getting Google business reviews.
With higher priced items, those same Google reviews can actually increase that item up to 380 percent. And early reviews are vitally important to your business.
They can help solidify the direction of your sales. As few as five reviews will make a huge difference.
And the first five reviews are the most important as most people don’t want to scroll too much further down to read all the reviews.
Google Reviews are Great for Local Businesses
For those companies who are looking to increase their local business, reviews are highly important. 70% of local searches end with the consumer making a trip to the physical location of the business.
How to Use Google Business Reviews
There are several ways you can use Google reviews to increase your business. Let’s start by focusing on how to handle negative reviews.
Handling Negative Google Reviews
First off, there is no company on this planet that has 100% positive reviews. There are too many cranky people on this planet for that to happen. Also, no business is perfect.
Handling negative reviews isn’t that difficult. But you first have to learn how to not take negative reviews personally. Instead, use the review as a way to improve your product or service.
Always respond as quickly as possible to any negative reviews. Customers want to see how you handle the review and are expecting you to respond. Not responding makes you look bad.
However, always make sure you’re calm and rational before you respond. Expressing anger won’t help you gain trust and loyalty from your consumers.
Use positive language and thank them for their input. Promise to do better and learn from any mistakes that were made.
Use Reviews to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty
Most shoppers trust online reviews. It’s how many of us first learn about a company and we base our decision to do business from the reviews.
When you’re building a brand, it’s imperative that you build trust along with that brand. Customer reviews can do that for you quickly and easily.
And the more reviews you generate, especially positive ones, the more loyalty you’ll create with your brand. Your goal is repeat customers and lots of them.
Getting plenty of reviews is one easy way to quickly gain trust and retain customer loyalty for many years to come.
Continue to Gather Reviews
Old reviews aren’t worthless but they’re less likely to be viewed as trustworthy. Instead, you need to focus on always generating new Google reviews.
There are two reasons why. As we’ve discussed, rankings and reviews go hand in hand. With no new reviews, there’s no new information for Google to use to continue to boost your rankings on their search engines.
Customers are less likely to trust reviews that are old. If there are no new reviews, people assume something is now wrong with the product or service to cause people to stop leaving reviews.
How to Ask for Google Business Reviews
There are some marketing companies who may suggest offering a discount or a deal to a customer if they leave a review. The problem with this solution is that most consumers are turned off by the prospect of having their reviews “bought” with incentives.
Rather, most consumers would prefer if you simply asked them to leave a review. You can ask them in person or you can ask them via text or e-mail.
If you do ask via text or e-mail, make sure to include a link back to your Google business listing so they can easily and quickly leave their review.
While not everyone will leave a review, many people are happy to do so if asked.
Incorporate Reviews Into Your Website
Another way to get more reviews is to incorporate the reviews into your website. Doing so will help increase SEO rankings as well since you’ve added another way to gather organic keywords to your site.
Also, having a page or section where people can freely leave their reviews on your website makes it easier for potential customers to make purchasing decisions without having to leave your site.
And it’s also easier for them to leave a review on your site since they’re already on it.
Boost Your Business Locally
Google customer reviews are a great way to boost your business locally. But it’s not the only way to increase local business.