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61 Statistics That Prove Reviews Influence Consumers

61 Statistics That Prove Reviews Influence Consumers

Online reviews play an integral role in brand perception, rankings, and overall marketing success. If you’ve Googled yourself or your company lately, you may have been surprised to find negative results about yourself. This isn’t a detail to be taken lightly, as our world (and especially our reputation!) is defined by our digital footprints.

While this list of online review statistics is by no means comprehensive, it may provide some insight into the power of online reviews.

Online Review Purchase Impact

  1. More often than not, people select products based on the number of reviews they have rather than the average rating of that review. Therefore, quantity over quality is key in seeking out new reviews. Psychological Science (2017)
  2. 36% of consumers state that the most important factors to consider when making a purchasing decision are reviews on third-party sites, local search engine rankings, and Google reviews. Review Trackers
  3. Over 40% of adult Americans have discussed companies, local and not, on social media. Search Engine Journal (2017)
  4. Of all consumers who responded to surveys, 67% were influenced in some way by online reviews. Moz (2015)
  5. Customers who read reviews on a mobile device are one 127 times more likely to make a purchase decision on that product than those who read via a desktop. Vendasta (2019)
  6. Reviews of more than fifty per product can result in a 4.6 increase in conversation rates for that product. Vendasta (2019)
  7. The relationship between review rankings and product quality is weak, but the correlation is stronger for products with a large number of reviews. The takeaway? Just because you have a good product doesn’t mean you will have a high number of reviews. Colorado.edu (2016)
  8. 64% of consumers read online reviews when trying to research a potential technology purchase. Vendasta (2019)
  9. Consumers have widely varying expectations depending on the industry – consumers are more likely to leave positive insurance reviews,  whereas they are less likely to leave positive reviews in areas like education and housing. Review Trackers
  10. Since 2010, the average review length has shrunk by 400 characters. Review Trackers
  11. Only about 10% of Americans consistently leave reviews on products and services. Pew Research Center (2016)
  12. User-generated content and reviews influence consumer decisions more than any other factor, including product quality and search engine results. TurnTo (2017)
  13. 88% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends, family members, or colleagues. Bright Local (2014)
  14. The age of the review is more relevant than practically any other factor. 44% of consumers won’t consider a review as reputable if it was written over a month ago. This varies depending on the industry and the specific product but underscores the importance of constantly seeking out fresh reviews. Bright Local (2015)
  15. Interestingly, the number of stars your business has matters, but a five-star ranking is not necessary to attract a majority of consumers. While 94% of consumers will consider a business with a four-star rating, less than 60% will consider one with only three stars. Bright Local (2015)
  16. The age of the consumer also matters when it comes to marketing success. The 18-29 age demographic “always” or “almost always” checks reviews – about 53% of the time. Even an older audience is critical, with only 34% of adults over the age of 50 failing to check reviews on a consistent basis. Pew Research Center (2016)
  17. Since 2010, reviews have become more positive, growing in good vibes by about 12%. Review Trackers
  18. Before choosing to frequent a business, over 90% of all consumers read online reviews. Bright Local (2018)
  19. Online reviews impact nearly 70% of all purchasing decisions. Moz (2015)
  20. 92% of consumers consider online reviews when they are researching products for an online purchase. Search Engine Journal (2017)
  21. Online reviews are more important for potential apartment rentals than referrals. Kingsley (2014)
  22. Almost 70% of shoppers say that over 50% of their searches lead to their frequenting of a local business. Think With Google (2014)
  23. Regardless of the industry, online reviews are important. Auto repair companies see the most substantial impact from online reviews, with primary care physicians and auto dealers following as close seconds. Review Trackers
  24. 97% of all consumers will read online reviews before making a buying decision, with 54% of them using the Internet each month to research local businesses. Review Trackers
  25. 40% of consumers read online reviews and form an opinion after reading just one to three. Vendasta (2019)

Online Reviews and SEO

  1. Online reviews, especially keywords used within those online reviews, influences local search engine rankings more than anything else. Local SEO Guide (2017)
  2. 30,000 businesses discovered that, upon adding user reviews to their sites, the companies saw a lift in search engine traffic from 5,500 to 8,000 visits on average. There is a powerful relationship between search engine optimization and reviews. Yopto (2016)
  3. 93% of Internet searches never progress past the first page, with most consumers using only the first 10 results to make a decision. Advanced Web Ranking (2014)
  4. Adding reviews can boost conversion rates by nearly 270%, with higher priced items seeing improvements up to 380%. Spiegel Research Center
  5. Nearly 70% of all consumers use rating filters to enhance their searches – this figure has more than doubled within the last year. Review Trackers
  6. Including star ratings in a search engine results page can increase follow-up click-through rates by 25%. It can also boost your SEO. Bright Local

Business Responsivity

  1. 53% of consumers expect businesses to respond to their online review within a week or less. Review Trackers
  2. How you handle reviews, regardless of their tone, is important. 78% of consumers like to see a business respond to online reviews, as this indicates a higher level of commitment to customer satisfaction. Search Engine Journal (2017)
  3. 68% of all consumers left reviews for local businesses -but only when they were asked. Bryan Caplan (2018)
  4. Consumers read, on average, a whopping 7 reviews before deciding to trust or select a business. Bryan Caplan (2018)
  5. Restaurants have the highest amount of applicable views, with 60% of all restaurant reviews read by consumers. This is followed up by hospitality, medical services, clothing vendors, and grocery stores. Bryan Caplan (2018)

The Power of Negative Reviews

  1. Customers spend 5 times as long on a site if they are able to interact with negative- yet trustworthy – reviews. In all, they tend to convert 85% more often. While this seems contradictory, it goes to show that having only flawless reviews doesn’t necessarily help your business, and it’s better to allow for a diversity of reviews. Reevoo
  2. 100% of customers who report annual salaries of $150,000 or higher claim to leave reviews related to negative customer service experiences. Vendasta (2019)
  3. A third of consumers assume that online reviews are fabricated if there is an absence of negative reviews. Vendasta (2019)
  4. Businesses can lose 22% of their new business when customers find a single negative article on the first page of their search results, but those with 2 negative results lose twice that amount. If you have 4 or more negative articles, you can expect to lose up to 70% of new potential customers. Moz (2015)
  5. Over 40% of all consumers will avoid doing business with a local company if they have received a single negative review. While the number of overall reviews factors in, this statistic has interesting implications for small business owners. Bright Local (2018)
  6. Negative reviews have the ability to drive 94% of customers away. In fact, a customer is 21% more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than after a positive one, making it important for you to respond in order to protect your brand’s reputation. Review Trackers
  7. While 79% of consumers read a fake review in 2017, a vast majority (84%) don’t know how to spot a fake review. Bryan Caplan (2018)
  8. If a business is able to resolve a negative review and experience quickly, 95% of those dissatisfied customers will ultimately return to the business for another try. Vendasta (2019)
  9. The most common words in online reviews? Friendly, rude, and comments about the customer service (the latter comprises nearly 27% of all online reviews!) Vendasta (2019)

Google vs. Other Review Platforms

  1. Google is the site of choice for consumers, with nearly 64% saying that they are more likely to check Google reviews than any other review site. Review Trackers
  2. Over 82% of Yelp users said they normally frequent the site when they are planning to buy a product or service and are seeking reliable recommendations. Yelp (2013)
  3. 91% of adults use search engines to find information. Pew Research Center (2012)
  4. The top three online review platforms (of those that are solely dedicated to reviews) are Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Foursquare. Vendasta (2019)
  5. 65% of consumers view an online search as the most trusted way to uncover information about companies and specific people – this level of trust is higher than what is found for any other source, regardless of whether it is housed on-  or offline. Edelman (2014)
  6. Every minute, an average of 26,380 reviews are posted to Yelp. Vendasta (2019)
  7. Every single star increase in a rating on Yelp correlates to a five to nine percent increase in business revenue. Michael Luca (2011)
  8. Within the last three years, Google and Facebook reviews have grown by more than 60%, probably because everyone now has a Google account or a Facebook account, removing the necessity to log in to a separate review website. Review Trackers
  9. While 38% of consumers read online reviews via mobile Internet browsers, only 24% install customized apps for this purpose. Vendasta (2019)
  10. 33% of consumers feel that all local businesses should make sure their websites are optimized for mobile. 61% of consumers are more likely to reach out to local businesses if they have websites that are mobile optimized. Vendasta (2019)

Your Online Presence

  1. Over half of all Americans have Googled someone before deciding to do business with them – with about 45% of this group deciding not to do business with the person as a result of something the search uncovered. The Denver Post (2012)
  2. An employee’s bad reputation costs a company roughly 10% more per hire than the reputation of a good employee. Harvard Business School (2016)
  3. Nearly three-quarters of all American employers use social media to screen potential hires. A comparable number of HR departments are required to do so. Career Builder (2017)
  4. Standing out online is important, with 95% of all career recruiters affirming that the job market will become more competitive. This underscores the need to stand out in a positive way in the digital setting. Jobvite (2015)
  5. 70% of American recruiters have rejected candidates based on those candidates’ digital footprints. Cross-Tab (2010)
  6. 57% of employers are less likely to interview candidates with no digital footprint at all. Career Builder (2017)

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Never Buy Fake Google Reviews – Here’s Why.

Never Buy Fake Google Reviews – Here’s Why.

We should say from the start that we understand why someone might be tempted to game Google’s reviews. Online reviews have become an extremely important signal for consumers. If a company’s Google listing features overwhelmingly good reviews people are more likely to trust the company and hire them.

Having lots of poor reviews have the opposite effect. These reviews can make or break a company’s future business prospects. There’s a lot at stake, so we understand why buying Google reviews or paying to have fake reviews written is a tempting strategy.

But it’s a terrible idea.

Apart from the obvious ethical problems, (it’s just plain wrong), the chances that it will work in your favor are far outstripped by the chances that it will cause more damage than good. And the more often you do it, the more likely the house of cards you’re building will come crashing down around you, taking your business reputation along with it.

Here are the reasons you should never buy Google reviews or have fake reviews written on your behalf:

Wrong Way Sign

1. Fake reviews go against Google’s terms of service

“Sure”, you say. “But that’s only if they catch you.” Okay. That’s fair. But they will catch you.

Google takes the authenticity of reviews on their site VERY seriously. And they have the world’s best software engineers on their payroll. You can bet they have extremely powerful algorithms pouring through reviews looking for fakes. With AI and machine learning, these algorithms are very good at spotting bogus reviews.

So maybe if you did it once you MIGHT get away with it. Maybe. But probably not.

Certainly, the more reviews you purchase, the chances of Google figuring things out increases dramatically. And if you are caught, and you will be caught, Google will likely terminate your business listing and blacklist you from the site.

You’ll go from a business on Google without a lot of reviews to a business that’s not on Google at all. That’s a terrible conversion.

Google is the single most trusted business review service on the internet. If you don’t even show up in their listings, your future prospects start spiraling badly.

2. Fake testimonials online aren’t fair to your customers.

Let’s pretend for a moment that Google isn’t good at spotting counterfeit reviews and you manage to get yours into your company profile. Have you won?

Not at all. People are naturally very good at spotting fakes, and they certainly won’t reward you for dishonesty.

People normally react to fake reviews one of two ways:

  1. Either they spot them immediately and punish the company by completely discounting them from their future purchasing decisions.
  2. Or the person just gets a bad feeling about the company and completely discounts them from their future purchasing decisions.

In the latter case, they may not know why they’re getting a weird read off of the Google reviews on the company’s page, but some part of their mind is picking up on subtle cues that tell them these reviews shouldn’t be trusted.

So whether a person spots your fakes immediately or just senses them on a subconscious level, the result is the same. You’ll be out of the running for future business.

And when your fake reviews are spotted outright, they can breed negative reviews, from people trying to warn others about the obvious fake reviews in your listing.

Don't Buy Reviews

3. Technically, it’s illegal to pay for Google reviews

And you could get hit with a hefty fine if you’re caught. In 2013, after a year of investigation, the FTC revealed the results of a sting operation it had been carrying out under the name “Operation Clean Turf”. Nineteen companies were busted for either writing fake reviews for Google and other sites or for soliciting them. Fines reached as high as $100,000 in some cases. This made it clear the FTC was no longer tolerating the practice.

It’s illegal because it amounts to false advertising.

You aren’t allowed to lie to consumers, and soliciting fake reviews is an attempt to do exactly that. If you’re caught you’ll suffer a fine, and a permanent stain on your reputation.

Buying Google reviews or having fake reviews written simply isn’t worth it. The small bump in your Google listing they might get you isn’t worth the much higher penalties associated with getting caught.

And you probably will get caught.

Is the inevitable loss of your Google listing, your reputation, and the cash taken via fines really worth it?

Bottom Line: Don’t buy Google reviews. Earn them.

If you’re really interested in building value for yourself on Google, you should be earning your positive reviews.

Yes, this takes more time, but the value to your business is far higher.

For one, they won’t self-destruct, destroying your reputation in the process. They’ll actually positively influence customer behavior, driving more business through your doors, and with more business, handled properly, should lead to even more positive reviews.

It’s a positive feedback loop.

So how do you get more positive reviews? Ask for them.

Seven out of ten customers say they’d leave a review if asked.

2 Step Reviews helps you get real reviews from real customers

Our easy-to-use app automates the process. Just enter your customer’s name and contact info and let the app ask for the review for you.

We know how to ask for a review, and our specific language greatly increases the chances of getting one. Get started now at www.2stepreviews.com and schedule a free demo today!

How to respond to Google Reviews

How to respond to Google Reviews

If you register your company on Google My Business, then it allows you to create a Business Profile where you can connect with your customers. It also lets them leave reviews, which everyone else will see when they search for your company through Google.

Naturally, as Google is the largest search engine out there, these reviews become extremely important. While ensuring you gain as many positive reviews as possible is vital, it’s just as important to ensure you respond to the reviews in the right manner. Bearing that in mind, this article will talk you through some of the best ways to respond to Google Reviews, and why it’s absolutely crucial that you do so.

So how do you respond to a Google Review?

First of all, we’ll briefly explain how you actually go about responding to any reviews. On your Google My Business profile, you just have to click on the Reviews section, then click Respond.

Step 1: Go To You Google My Business Page and Click “Reviews”

click reviews in Google My Business

Step 2: Click “Reply” Under The Review You Want To Reply To

Click Reply To Reply to Google Review

Step 3: Type Out Your Review Response And Post It

That’s all there is to it, but the way in which you respond is what makes a load of difference.

So, here are some of the biggest do’s and do not’s:

Take your time and plan out the response

The worst thing you can do is write a quick reaction without giving it any thought. This usually leads to grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, which cost against your business. What’s more, you’re likely to respond more emotionally and say things you regret if you just fire off whatever is on your mind.

Instead, take time to plan out your review and write it carefully. Ensure that it makes sense, all the spelling is accurate, and you haven’t made glaring grammatical mistakes. It’s worth getting someone else to proofread it as well, just to be safe. Now, you’ll publish a professional response that makes you look a lot better.

Respond within a few days

If possible, you should respond to any review within a few days of it being published. This shows that you’re on the ball and care about customer feedback. People will be impressed that you respond so quickly, which reflects well on your business. If you leave it too long, then your response won’t have much of an impact as the reviewer has probably forgotten all about it.

Of course, if you’re really busy, you may be unable to respond within a day or two. If that’s the case, then around two weeks is still going to be effective.

Always be polite

It goes without saying that you need to be polite when addressing any reviews. It doesn’t matter how rude the person has been, you have to maintain politeness at all times. It looks terrible when you see a business respond to rudeness with more rudeness. It’s totally unprofessional, and this alone could put off a lot of current and potential customers.

When you’re polite, it counts in your favor – especially when people are rude to you. It shows you have class and integrity, and people will respect that.

Address the content of the review

Some reviews will contain a lot of information and feedback for businesses to use. If you come across one that explains any problems someone had or includes questions, then make sure your response actually addresses the content in the review. This does two things; it shows you’ve read the review and paid attention to it, and it shows you’re keen to help out and solve any issues.

If someone leaves a review and asks a question, then you just respond “Thanks for the review, we’ve taken your feedback onboard” then it just looks like a generic response. There’s no indication you’ve actually taken the feedback on-board, it’s almost like you’ve responded just for the sake of responding!

Respond to both positive and negative reviews

A common mistake is only responding to one type of review. Some businesses ignore negative reviews and focus on the positives, while others do the opposite. Don’t do this; make sure you respond to both positive and negative reviews!

Positive reviews deserve a response as it shows your customers you’re so thankful for their feedback. Negative reviews can’t be ignored as you need to show people you’re addressing any issues and taking their feedback on-board. People will notice when you only respond to one type of review, and it looks quite bad. We go over responding to negative reviews in depth here.

respond to reviews

Why is it important to respond to Google reviews?

There are a few reasons you really need to start responding to your reviews on Google. The first of which is that it impacts your reputation. Responses will show people that you’re a professional company who takes things seriously and values all customers.

Secondly, it can influence future customer behavior as well. If someone sees a negative review, then reads a positive response from you, it might make them want to try your business. Similarly, the person leaving that review may change their opinion and return. Likewise, responding to positive reviews encourages customers to remain loyal and keep coming back for more.

Thirdly, from a marketing perspective, responding to Google reviews can encourage more people to leave reviews as they know they have an impact. As a result, the more reviews you generate, the better your SEO will be. It’s proven that Google reviews do impact your search ranking so you can gain more exposure. Customers are more likely to leave a review if they know the business will respond!

Hopefully, there’s some advice here that will help you respond to Google reviews. Don’t underestimate the value of your responses; it can have a profound effect on the success of your business.

If you want to get more Google reviews, 2 Step Reviews is a solution that makes it easy for customers to do it. Contact us today for more information.

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How to Respond to Negative Reviews

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

It’s every business owner’s worst nightmare; you go on Google, and to your horror, there’s a negative review for your company. Instantly, you go into panic mode thinking about the consequences this has on your reputation.

You know bad reviews can turn away potential customers. Now you think everyone will avoid your business just because of this negative review.

While there’s no denying a bad review can impact your business, things can be improved by simply responding to it.

If you know how to respond to negative reviews, it will lessen the blow and can even help your company as well. As such, it’s strongly advised that you read through this guide to learn how to respond to bad reviews the right way, and why it’s so important.

1 Star Review, Bad Review

Why you should respond to bad reviews

We’ll begin with the why; why do you have to respond to all of your bad reviews? Well, on a base level, it’s a form of damage control.

If someone has a problem, you can respond to them to try and address the issue. Instantly, you save your reputation by showing that you’re willing to listen to negative reviews and work on the bad aspects of your company.

From a consumer standpoint, it’s so impressive when a business takes the time to listen to negative feedback and respond to it. If anything, it can actually convince customers to return to your business because you seem so professional and authentic.

It’s also a way to explain why someone’s experience might have been poor.

For example, if you run a restaurant and someone complains that the dining experience was bad as it was freezing cold, you could respond by telling them why this was the case. It could transpire that your heating system broke for that day, so this was a one-off occurrence.

Now, a potential customer reads that response and instantly negates the bad review. But, if you left it how it was, they’d read it and think “hmm, I don’t want to dine here if it’s cold!”.

Unhappy customers appreciate a response

Customers feel more valued when you respond to their feedback as well, which further builds loyalty with them. Even the act of apologizing is enough to change someone’s opinion and put them in a better mood.

The best way to explain why you need to respond is to imagine what happens when you don’t. You’ve got negative reviews that are just sitting there with no reply at all. It merely makes your business look a lot worse than it actually is, while your responses help lessen the negative impact they have.

What to say when replying to a negative review

It’s not good enough to just reply to a bad review with a short response. There are specific things you need to do for your reply to have the impact you’re hoping for.

To help you out, here’s what you should do:

1. Start with an apology

All of your responses to bad reviews should start with some form of an apology.

Sympathize with your customer, telling them you’re sorry that they feel this way, or you’re sorry they had a bad experience. Regardless of whether you think their review was warranted or not, you have to begin with an apology.

Instantly, you take ownership of the issue, which makes you look like a far more professional and respectful business.

Imagine if you began your reply by saying “Well, we’re not sorry because it’s your fault you didn’t like our business” – it would look absolutely terrible, your reputation would be finished!

2. Respond to negative reviews quickly

People will only really leave a negative review when something upset or annoyed them so much that they had to voice their concerns. Thus, the best thing you can do is reply as quickly as possible.

Ideally, within a few hours is the best course of action, however, it’s ok to leave it for a day or two. Any longer than this, and you’re letting the review fester and tarnish your reputation.

If you respond quickly, potential customers will see you’re on top of your game in terms of keeping customers satisfied. It will also speed up coming to a solution with the unhappy customer.

3. Offer an explanation & solution

If you follow the first two tips, then it’s easy to assume you can respond with something like this: “We’re sorry you feel this way and thanks for the feedback.”

However, this does nothing for the customer as you’ve not made any effort to address their problems. The correct approach is offering an explanation for whatever their issue might be.

Explain that things aren’t usually like that, and give a potential reason for their disgruntlement. This is an explanation to other people reading the reviews as well as the customer themselves. As mentioned earlier, it’s almost a way of limiting the damage by showing that it’s an isolated incident.

Along with this, you should offer a solution to make things better.

Ask them to get in touch, and you’ll provide a free refund, or suggest a discount if they choose to return and give you a second chance. Even if they blank you, it shows potential customers/clients that you go the extra mile and value all of your customers.

This can help generate leads as people will give you a chance because they know you’ll look after them if things turn out bad.

4. Make each reply genuine & polite

Never ever set up automated responses to negative reviews. It’s not genuine, and you’ll end up damaging your reputation even more.

To add to this, ensure that all of your responses are polite as well. If you get angry with a customer, then you will just spread the negativity and lose so many existing customers and potential leads!

The main thing to take away from this is that you need to respond to your bad reviews. Don’t leave them to linger and damage your business, write timely and polite responses that offer solutions and address the problem.

It can also be beneficial to reach out to the customer away from the review platform afterward as well. This further improves your reputation as you’re going the extra mile once more.

Want instant alerts when you get bad reviews and an easy solution to bury them under several positives? Check out 2 Step Reviews today.

How to Claim a Business on Google

How to Claim a Business on Google

Google is a very powerful tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. One of the best things you can do for your company is to create a Google business page. This opens up an opportunity to connect with your local customers, get a listing on Google Maps, and improve your brand exposure.

Today, you will learn exactly how to create one of these pages and how you verify it. Also, there’s every chance someone has created a page for your business already, which you don’t have ownership of. So, you’ll also learn how to claim ownership of this page.

click

How to create Google business page

You’ll be pleased to know that the process of creating one of these pages is incredibly straightforward and can be done in no time at all. In the following section, we’ll provide all the steps you need to follow to achieve this.

  • Step 1: Go to Google My Business and click on the green MANAGE NOW button. (It’s worth noting you need a Google Account to access Google My Business)
  • Step 2: What’s the name of your business? You will be faced with a screen that asks what the name of your business is. Here, you just have to type in the full name of your business. Make sure that it’s consistent with what you call your company on all other platforms. Click on the blue button that says Next.
Enter Google My Business Name
  • Step 3: Where are you located? On this page, you have to provide full details of your business address. It’s vital that you get everything correct and accurate, as this will essentially determine where you appear on Google Maps. So, double and triple check that the address is right! Also, if you deliver goods and services to your customers, you need to check the box with a small van symbol next to it. From here, click the blue Next button again.
Where Are You Located Google My Business
  • Step 4: Choose the category that fits your business best. This section is optional, and you can add to it later on. Essentially, you select different categories that your business fits into. This is how Google classifies your company, and it states that it helps customers find you when they’re searching for a business like yours. They’re basically the keywords associated with your company, and you can always add more later on. Click Next to continue.
Choose your Category fro Google My Business
  • Step 5: What contact details do you want to show to customers? Here, you can include as many contact details as you like. Set the phone number if you want people to see it, and you can put the URL to your website there as well. Again, make sure these details are accurate as people will use them to get in touch with you. If you don’t have a website, you can select ‘I don’t need a website’ or ‘Get a free website based on your info.’ Press the blue Next button when you’re ready.
Contact info for Google My Business
  • Step 6: Stay in the know. This screen just asks if you want to receive any communication tips from Google, select either Yes or No.
  • Step 7: Finish and verify this business. After this, you have almost created your Google business page. This page just tells you to press the blue Finish button and get started verifying your business.
GMB Setup Complete

How to verify Google business page

girl on computer

Once you’ve created your Google business page, you will proceed onto the verification process. This is Google’s way of ensuring someone can verify your company, which will allow it to be viewed on Google Search & Maps. It also lets you promote your business with photos and posts, track analytics, and respond to customer reviews on Google.

There are multiple ways you can verify your business, with the most common one being via mail. Google will send out a postcard with a verification code to your address. All you have to do is click Verify Now when you see your page on Google My Business. It may take a few weeks for the postcard to reach you, but you can then click on Verify Location and enter your 5-digit code, then select Submit.

Google My Business Postcard Verification

For some businesses, you may see an option to verify your business by phone or email. This is much faster, so you should do this is given the chance. When you initially click Verify Now, you will see options for Verify by phone or Verify by email. Click whichever one you want, then follow the instructions, and the code will be sent to you.

How to claim Google business page

Lastly, you need to know how to claim an existing Google business page that you don’t own. If you’ve been around for a while, you may already have a page made by Google or someone else. Thankfully, it’s not too tough to claim your page.

Simply head to Google My Business, and start the same process you begin when creating a listing. Here, if your business is already there, it will appear when you type in the name. Click on the business, and you’ll see a screen that tells you someone has already claimed and verified this listing. From here, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Click Request Access and fill in the simple form.
  • Step 2: Select Submit and your request will be sent to the current listing owner.
  • Step 3: Wait for a response. The listing owner has 7 days to respond, where they will either approve or deny the request. If approved, you can now log into Google My Business and manage the listing. If denied, you can appeal the denied request to try and claim back your rightful ownership. If there’s no response, then you may automatically be allowed to Claim or Verify the listing through your Google My Business dashboard.

There you have it; this is how you create a Google Business page, how you verify it, and how you claim ownership of an existing one you don’t have access to. There are so many benefits that come from having a business page on Google as it can drive more traffic to your site/premises, be a way to get Google reviews and establish yourself as a professional and authentic entity. Get started today if you haven’t already; it only takes a few minutes to create your page!

Google Reviews: The Path To Success

Google Reviews: The Path To Success

When a potential customer discovers your business online, it’s likely to be via Google. The dominance of the search engine is beyond doubt, and that’s one of the reasons why you need to take Google Reviews seriously. People read those reviews and form an opinion of your business, and that applies even if there aren’t any or many reviews of your business. A lack of reviews can be as damning as below average reviews.

It’s important that your business gets up to date with Google reviews, how they can be used and managed going forward and what makes them so important to your business going forward. That’s what we’re going to explore in more depth now, so read on and start learning.

Review Us On Google

What Are Google Reviews?

When someone uses your business’s services, they might head to your business’s Google profile and leave a review of the company. These reviews will then show up in the form of an average star rating and short written reviews when the next person Googles your business with the thought of potentially using your services.

Google reviews are seen by consumers that you want to turn into customers of your business. On top of that, things like SEO can be impacted by Google Reviews, so there are multiple reasons why you should think more about how this could all impact your business.

What Makes a Good Review?

High star rating reviews are obviously important, and these are arguably more important than what’s written about your business. Most people will glance at the star rating attached to your brand and make a decision on whether they want to proceed. It’s about achieving more conversions via that star rating.

Your business will immediately appear more credible and trustworthy if you have a high star rating. This should be more than 4 out of 5, ideally. But if your business has a low rating, they might immediately dismiss the business or assume that it’s not worth taking the risk.

Another thing that matters is the quantity of the reviews. If you have lots of Google Review, people will immediately see that your brand is an established one that people are actually buying from or using the services of. That’s a big deal in itself.

customer feedback

Why Are Google Reviews So Important for Small Businesses?

It all comes down to trust and credibility. If people get the feeling that they can trust your business before they’ve ever even used its services, that’s got to be a good thing for you. As a small business owner, you have to take advantage of every opportunity you can to win customers over, and you can’t deny the dominance and influence of Google. Lots of reviews will also help your business do better from an SEO standpoint as well.

How Can You Get More Positive Google Reviews?

If you want to achieve more positive reviews from customers, there are some things that you need to know about. After all, this is the aim for your business. Knowing why Google Reviews are important is not much use if you don’t have any understanding of how to get more of them. Here are some tips and methods that’ll help with that.

You can also check out our step by step guide to get Google reviews.

Ask for Reviews

This might sound very simple and obvious, but it really is the best way to achieve more Google Reviews. You just need to know how to ask for reviews. That doesn’t necessarily mean people will say yes to that request or even listen to it, but they’ll be more likely to leave you a review if they know you want them to. You can make it as easy as possible for them to do this by emailing them a follow-up and providing them with the link they need to leave a review. That’s often all it takes for you to get more Google reviews.

Pre-Screen Customer Reactions

Of course, before asking people to leave reviews, you should probably find out how people perceived your services and their experience of being a customer of your business. If they didn’t like the experience or something went wrong with them, you should find this out before asking for reviews because that’ll just result in your business getting the wrong kind of reviews. You can pre-screen reactions and find out how people felt about the process before going any further. This should ensure you get mostly positive reviews.

Don’t be Tempted by Fake Reviews!

no fake reviews

Buying fake reviews can seem tempting, but it’s not the silver bullet answer you might be looking for. People can tell when there’s something fishy going on and it doesn’t look good for your business if basically everyone knows that you’ve been buying fake reviews to make your business look better. It’s also a major violation of Google policies, and therefore it can massively damage your business going forward if you’re not careful. There might even be legal consequences of using fake reviews.

Stay Persistent

Sometimes, you have to be persistent and keep working on this, even when it sees really difficult to do so. There are lots of ways in which you might struggle to get Google Reviews or to get positive ones. But you’ll only improve things and gain better reviews over the long-term by plugging away at it and doing whatever you can do prove to people that your business can be trusted. Good customers service and a strong product also matter in all this. People will be more likely to take the time to leave a review if these receive those things.

What you’ve learned here will help your business succeed in the online landscape going forward; there’s no doubt about that. Any business that wants to succeed these days has to reckon with Google Reviews and the impact they have on customer decisions, so don’t underestimate their impact. Keep in mind all the details and ideas discussed here and use them to your advantage.

Head to 2stepreviews.com if you want to learn more about acquiring Google Reviews and boosting your chances of success going forward.

Companies Shouldn’t Mass Message Review Requests

Companies Shouldn’t Mass Message Review Requests

Texting is a great way to reach your customer base. After all, what consumer doesn’t have a cell phone in their hand at all times? While texting is a great marketing strategy, many businesses take the easy way out and use a mass message to reach all of their customers.

While this is definitely the quicker and easier approach, it’s a major mistake that can cost you some serious money, time, and business. Instead, consider these alternatives, and remember that your messaging should always be tailored to your individual clients.

Consider these reasons for why a mass text is not the ideal method to get more Google reviews from your customers.

customer feedback

1. It’s impersonal

The whole point of texting your customers is to create for them a pleasant, human-centered relationship. By sending a mass text, you do the opposite. It’s fine to engage with your customer base via text message or other digital communications – just remember that they don’t want to feel like one person in a sea of thousands of customers.

The best way to text your customers is to do so individually (instead of en masse) and to use emotion, tone, and proper grammar throughout the entire message.

2. It could go unnoticed

The easiest way to irritate your customers? By sending them unwanted communication. Think about it. You receive enough spam marketing calls and annoying messages from businesses all vying for your attention. You likely have these flagged to go right to your trash. Don’t end up in the trash due to a silly mistake in timing.

3. It’s unexpected

While people are used to receiving text messages, they likely aren’t used to receiving messages from businesses they have frequented. Although the element of surprise can often work to your advantage, it can also leave your customers feeling confused, ambushed, and unsure of what to do next. Instead of this (unwelcome) unexpected message, consider reaching out to your customers when they are expecting it – like as soon as the services have been rendered.

4. It is unlikely that your customers will feel invested enough to take the time to leave a review

The easiest way to make sure your customers feel invested enough to take the time to leave a review? If they feel like you are going out of your way to invest in them. The best way to do this is to simply ask your customers to leave a review.

Emphasize the importance of the positive review in helping to build your business, and remember that a majority of clients are more than willing to leave a positive review when they are asked directly (face-to-face).

5. You could have serviced the client months ago

Timeliness is everything when it comes to garnering customer reviews. If you ask a client for a review months after they have visited your business, the odds are that he either isn’t going to recall the experience, or will ignore your request altogether. The only way a customer will remember an experience enough to review it is if the service was altogether exceptional, or altogether terrible. Take advantage of the freshness of time by asking for a review as soon as the service has been completed.

6. They may have already hired someone

This point is a simple one, but important. Send a request for a review too late, and you not only lose out on that customer’s future business, but you’ve made them forget about their past experiences, too.

7. You want a broad sprinkling of reviews consistently, at different times  – and not all at once

If all of your reviews come flooding in within the same block of time, that will look suspicious. More and more people are turning to online reviews as a method of gauging a business’s reliability. Don’t let this silly mistake stand between you and the prospect of growing your business.

People also look for reviews that are fairly new, since they’d be the most relevant representation for your business. Having a consistent stream of positive reviews shows you have a consistent stream of happy customers. The best way to achieve this status is by asking all your customers immediately after service.

2 step message

The Alternative

Instead of sending a mass text all at once to your prior customers for fresh reviews, consider this approach. Go after reviews from the people you service every day, as soon as the service has been completed. This is when your customers’ experiences will be the freshest and vibrant in their minds, as well as when they are the most likely to give you something (besides a payment, of course!) in return for your good work.

The personal interaction created by this immediate transaction and experience will encourage them to review you right away. It will help generate more reviews over time than mass messaging your entire customer base all at once.

2 Step Reviews is a texting solution for reviews. With our app, we make it easy for your employees to enter the customer’s name and phone number and just hit send to send the request. It is one of the easiest and most efficient ways for review generation.

The Growing Importance of User-Generated Content

The Growing Importance of User-Generated Content

If you’ve ever looked into how to better market your business online, either by search result or by social media, you have likely heard the term consumer-created (or user-generated, synonymously) content. This term is thrown around a lot in marketing conversations, and while it sounds complicated, it is one of the most important aspects of 21st century digital marketing (and really not complicated at all!).

What Is Consumer Created Content?

Consumer-created content refers to any type of content that is created and made available to the public by a user of a service. It is often generated without a commercial marketing intent. It could be anything from a blog post to a YouTube video, or even a comment left on a business’s Facebook page. Even selfies count as consumer-created content.

From a marketing-specific standpoint, this kind of content is best described as that created and made publicly available by individuals outside of your organization – think fans, customers, and online reviewers – and yes, even critics.


woman and her connections on social media

Consumer-created content can take place on online review sites, like Yelp and TripAdvisor, or on social media like YouTube or Instagram. In today’s challenging marketing climate, user-generated content is more effective than paid advertising, invasive sales promotions, and television commercials. Consumers don’t rely on what businesses say – they rely on what other customers say – to make their decisions. In fact, ninety percent of millennials and eighty percent of baby boomers (those older than fifty-five) say that authenticity is key in deciding what brands they will support (Social Media Today, 2017).

And brands can’t fake authenticity. Instead, they need consumers to develop authenticity for them. The power of consumer-created content is huge. Peer endorsements hold more sway than celebrity endorsements, and are ten times more likely to encourage in-store purchases. In this day and age, customers are less interested in advertisements and more interested in peer commentary.

What Are the Benefits of Consumer Created Content?

On the most basic level, consumer-created content fosters trust. A business can easily say that it is the best, but a customer saying it is the best is so much more powerful. Consumers look to their peers for information, so you need to make sure the most positive information is out there.

Consumer-created content allows businesses to outreach instantly to consumers. You can strengthen your customer relationships and allow them to connect to your business in a way that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to.


people and conversation bubble icon

Furthermore, this type of content is perfectly designed for social media. Facebook, Pinterest, Yelp, and Instagram, along with hundreds of other social media and review sites, exist almost entirely based on user-generated content. Consumer-created content is already more shareable and easily broadcast than are campaigns disseminated through traditional media. You can use them on multi-channel initiatives and even to improve your own branded campaign.

Why Does Consumer Created Content Matter?

Most modern-day consumers value authenticity above all. They don’t trust manufacturer descriptions or business-generated content. This is where consumer-created content is so valuable. People already talk about your business in person, on social media, and on online review sites. If you are able to harness this conversation and use it to expand your business, you will find that your sales increase exponentially.

How Can You Use Consumer Created Content In Marketing Your Business?

Consumer-created content is more marketable and beneficial than any other kind of branded promotional content. It is cost-effective, because you don’t need to shoulder the burden of expenses related to campaign development, brand production, or expensive celebrity contracts. Instead, all you need to do is engage with your community of supporters and allow them to tell your story.

Facebook Recommendations: How To Ask For Them & Why

Facebook Recommendations: How To Ask For Them & Why

As a business owner, you may not think of your social media profile as anything but personal. However, social media outlets – and in particular, Facebook – are an important way for customers to reach you and to learn more about your business.

Over a billion people are currently active on Facebook, and it’s not just the millennials you need to be concerned about – this social media platform has a widening reach.

Facebook is no longer about socializing. It’s also a great way to make recommendations, to share reviews, and, of course, to express dissatisfaction with a service.

Facebook Desktop Image

Why Do Facebook Reviews Matter?

More and more consumers are turning to online reviews to help guide their purchase decisions. Over half of all Internet users around the world use the Internet to post reviews, with a close percentage also reporting that they always check online reviews before making a purchase. If you own a restaurant, this is even more significant – nearly eighty percent of all customer complaints occur online.

If you have a high number of negative reviews, it can seriously damage your business. You can try to remove Facebook recommendations, or at least make sure you have far more positive reviews than negative. It’s important that your business’s Facebook page support your positive reputation. That’s why knowing how to get more Facebook recommendations can go a long way.

How To Ask For Recommendations on Facebook

You know you want to ask for a recommendation on Facebook, but may be afraid to ask in the wrong way. Our solution is simple; be honest. If you just serviced someone and your pretty sure they are satisfied with what you did, they’re likely to return the favor.

Simply ask if everything was OK, and then tell them how much you’d appreciate it if they’d leave you a recommendation on Facebook. Tell them it helps the business look good and grow, and will help their Facebook friends if they ever are in need of a service like yours to trust their referral.

It’s understandable that asking people to go out of their way for you is a little awkward, that’s why having a real system in place will work wonders no matter how you ask.

The trick to getting more business reviews on Facebook is simply by not leaving it up to the customer to take action. In this common scenario, only people who are dissatisfied are the ones who take the time to find your Facebook page.

The best course of action would be making it as easy as possible to get to your Facebook page, and right to the area where they write their review.

This can be done by simply grabbing your Facebook review link (which is easier than getting your Google review link). Just do the following:

  1. Go to your business’s Facebook page
  2. Click reviews in the left-hand side
  3. Copy the link above.
Facebook Review URL
https://www.facebook.com/pg/2stepreview/reviews/?ref=page_internal

Once you have this link you should manually send it to your customers in the form of text, email, or any other form you are comfortable with.

Our app, 2 Step Reviews, takes all these steps out. All you have to do is enter the person’s phone number and they are sent a link that brings you to a landing page with a Facebook and Google button. Embedded in these buttons are your direct review links, making it extremely easy for the customer to leave you a review – so you can get more.

Here’s a quick look at it:

Why Does Facebook Matter In Particular?

Facebook is the leading social media platform, with billions of active monthly users. Over half of all Americans use the platform regularly, and nearly half use the platform to check online reviews. Its usage in regards to accessing customer reviews trails just slightly behind major review sites like Google and Yelp.

One of the nicest features of Facebook is that it allows you to interact directly with your consumers. If they have complaints, you can address them, and similarly, if they take the time to leave a positive review, you can thank them directly. Showing engagement with your customers is one of the easiest ways to boost future and current customers’ reliance.

facebook thumbs up

Facebook has an amazing reach and influence and, as a result, has become one of our country’s most powerful marketing tools. Consumers check the platform regularly, and Facebook reviews matter. Most consumers review referrals from social media friends as well as strangers’ Facebook reviews when making purchase decisions. Facebook actually accounts for nearly half of all social media referrals, and sixty-four percent of total social media revenue.

If someone wants to recommend your business, they are much more likely to already have a Facebook account than a Yelp account. Writing a review takes minimal effort on Facebook, making it easier for them to do so. Plus, they automatically have a connection on Facebook, meaning their reviews will reach local customers faster than it would if they posted on some other less well-connected site.

How Can I Make the Most of My Facebook Presence?

Facebook helps create a positive brand presence. If you are able to interact successfully and positively with your online reviewers and customers, you can create a brand that is regarded as both trustworthy and valuable. Nearly eighty-five percent of 2017 survey respondents said that they trust online customer reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. The takeaway?

If you respond positively to an online review, you can gain serious street cred among your potential customers. A Facebook review is useless if you aren’t making the most of it, so be sure to always treat your online-posting customers well and with the utmost respect.

Whether your Facebook page is helping consumers make buying decisions – or simply making your customers feel as though their business and opinions are valued – reviews do matter, and should be at the forefront of your social media marketing strategy.