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.
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.
The Future of Google Reviews
Let’s be real, Google isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, their search engine has been being more and more innovative to be the main hub for local business searches, which it basically already is.
With the Google local pack, and now Google Guaranteed, they are definitely trying to master this system. Local searches make up for 46% of searches on Google, so it’s no surprise that they are looking for new ways to make this service better.
Reviews are one of the things Google uses to determine the authenticity of a business. They are going to continue to play an important role in local search rankings for years to come. Especially since the news came out recently that about 11 million local listings on Google are fake.
Because of this, Google is pushing heavily into it’s Artificial Intelligence that identifies fake business listing behaviors as well as fake Google reviews. Fake reviews and fake business listings go hand-and-hand because someone who has a fake business listing knows that in order for it to be successful, it is going to need reviews.
Since these posers won’t be able to get real reviews, they’ll probably resort to paying for fake ones on sites like Fiverr, or Upwork.
The way I believe they can actually fight this is by pushing the need for consistent reviews, no matter positive or negative. If you make the frequency of reviews a more important ranking factor, people with fake business listings will fail due to the fake reviews that they will have to keep spending money on. With more fake reviews being posted on your business page there will be more of a chance at getting caught.
To get a headstart on frequent review generation, check out 2 Step Reviews. It’s a texting software that makes it easy to get reviews from customers and engages your employees to use it.
Google Local Reviews
The Google Local Pack is what most of us are used to when talking about reviews and finding local businesses. This pic should look familiar it for you:
As of right now, Google’s ranking system is not great here. If you were faced with these results, you’d either call the first result or likely click more places to explore other options.
It’s also no surprise that the 50 reviews with 4.1 stars is a lot more attractive than the other two (although the 1st and 2nd appear to be the same company, and is a prime example of a fake listing).
More and more people are using this piece of Google to find the perfect business for their needs, but to combat these fake listings and probably make more revenue, Google introduced Google Guaranteed.
Google recently debut this new piece of real estate on its search engine page.
Pretty legit – you definitely want to be in this spot, but it’s not free like Google My Business. Getting in is free, but then you have to pay $25 per qualified call – which isn’t terrible in a world of lead generation but can definitely add up.
You’ll also need a business background check and will have to submit some business licenses to ensure you are a real business. This is something any real business should be able to do and will aid in keeping fake listings off the Google streets.
Once you’re in hear, the only thing left to do is once again, get consistent reviews. This not only helps you in your Google Guaranteed rankings but also is the only real differentiator when it comes down to you and your competition considering there is nowhere to click through to your website from your Google Guaranteed page.
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.
Getting More Positive 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!
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.
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.
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