Local Businesses often overlook one thing when it comes to their efforts online – Google review management. What are Google reviews, and how important are they for business growth? This guide will answer all the ways online reviews can impact your business listing on Google My Business.
Suppose other customers want to know more about your business. They usually need to research and check online reviews. Reviews play a crucial role in showcasing your service quality, brand reputation, and more with a star rating. If your business exists as a GMB listing, everyone can easily see the response, feedback, and ratings related to your business. You don’t want a negative experience to affect your business, and that’s where Google review management comes in.
It may be easy to assume that online reviews are a liability, especially when it comes to business clients. Business owners may not have control over what customers post online on their business profiles.
But that’s not wholly true. Google review management benefits everyone – businesses can use them to bring more customers when used as a marketing tool to grow their business. This guide will show you how you can increase review volume and the best way to respond to reviews.
Can review activity lead to business growth?
Google business reviews can show your local business in a whole new light. It can showcase the products or services that new customers expect from you.
A positive review by a happy customer naturally draws more customers to your brand. That’s what we need. Take this positive review, for example:
A lot of things are evident from this review. It demonstrates your professional level of service and a beautiful car for a happy customer. These online reviews provide more promotional material than your Google Business Profile does. We need more positive user-generated content that serves as testimonials and persuasive advertisements for local businesses. It feels genuine, and authentic and can do wonders for your online reputation.
Reviews are significant for local search ranking
Here is how Google reviews and SEO work in boosting your business.
In the United States alone, about 33% of internet users look up local businesses every day.
These consumers use keywords to find products or services they are interested in. As a business, it is your responsibility to optimize your Google Business profile so that those customers have an easier time finding you than your competitors.
Did you know that the first Google result gets 31.7% of the clicks?
Local Pack Ranking Factors
To rank higher than other competitors, here’s what businesses need to consider:
- Google My Business Signals – categories, products, keywords in business title, etc.
- Link Signals – linking domain authority, inbound anchor text, etc.
- Review Signals – review quantity, review diversity, review velocity, etc.
- On-Page Signals – keywords, domain authority, NAP presence, etc.
- Citation Signals – citation volume, aggregator NAP consistency, etc.
- Behavior Signals – mobile clicks to call, check-ins, click-through rate, etc.
- Social Signals – Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
As you can see, Google considers a lot of information into account to rank local business listings. We will look at how review signals play into our ranking through GMB/GBP.
To make use of review signals, your GMB/GBP profile needs to be as detailed and accurate as possible. This means having your Google Business Profile page list things like address, timings, categories, etc. This information remains largely static, and therefore you don’t have much choice in optimizing it much further. However, the better your information is, the more the likelihood of other sites linking back to your site. It is challenging, nevertheless.
But what if there was another way to get the same results easily and consistently? This is where Google reviews come in. People can regularly post reviews on a regular basis. Be it positive reviews, new reviews, or even a bad review, Google takes all this data to understand what services or products you offer. Frequent reviews send a signal to Google that your business is active. This is where Google review management comes in. They demonstrate authority, authenticity, and expertise – three attributes that Google uses to rank your business.
In fact, the more favorable reviews you get, the more search terms you will be ranked for. A happy customer searching for “best restaurants near me” on Google Maps may end up finding Google reviews of your restaurant. It is clear that for local SEO, higher ratings are important.
Reviews are great for driving higher customer engagement
By investing in Google review services, businesses can ensure that their online reputation is accurately represented and firmly established. In addition to improving local SEO rankings, Google reviews give businesses a platform for engaging with customers on an ongoing basis. This will create more repeat customers, ultimately leading to a higher ROI for the business.
Are Google review services and online reviews best for acquiring new customers or returning customers?
A report by Adobe shows that only 8% of customers return yet account for 40% of the revenue. It is said that highly engaged customers spend more and return to a business more frequently than new ones. The idea is to develop and maintain positive relationships with existing customers.
For increased customer retention, it is important to invest in Google review management. Responding to reviews shows customers how seriously you take their feedback. Consumers tend to reflect on these experiences favorably and are inclined to visit your establishment again.
And what’s more? Google also tells people how much a particular review has been viewed online. A positive review can be a huge advertisement for a business for no additional cost!
Investing in Google review management should be seen as an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. If done correctly, the benefits make it well worth it!
Managing google reviews correctly helps people determine where to shop
Suppose a potential customer is trying to find a sushi restaurant nearby their present location. They will run a search on “sushi restaurants near me.”
The customer will be shown a list of sushi restaurants, each with their ratings, location, and other details.
Here are three things that customers will look for to make their final decision. And no, its not a 5-star review.
Number of reviews
The more reviews a business listing has, the better it is for a customer to trust it.
Old reviews or recent reviews?
A business whose last review was 3 months ago? Forget it. A business listing with a more recent review performs well with new and old customers alike.
Don’t assume a perfect score is best
Customers don’t trust 5-star reviews straightaway. They will dig in deep first to see whether that score is fishy or not. Something like 4.2 could seem plausible. Remember, businesses have to strive for authenticity here.
How can I increase reviews with Google Business Management?
For your business to benefit from reviews, it must first figure out how to get reviews consistently.
Here are a couple of ways you can get more reviews on your Google My Business listing:
Give directions to your business
Believe it or not, customers want to talk about you. But most don’t do that because they don’t know how. Make sure you can help them do that. You could make a detailed infographic about “how to leave a review” on your socials, website, or newsletter.
Give them a direct link to post reviews
This is the easiest way to get reviews for your business listing. Your Google Business Profile page enables you to create a direct link for reviewers.
Navigate to your GBP profile first. Follow these steps:
- In the left-hand menu, click the option called “Home.”
- In the “Get more reviews” card, click “Share review form.”
- You can now copy your short URL and share it with customers.
- Customers who click on this link will see a screen to rate and review your business.
For the best results, include this link in your newsletter and website. The idea is to make it as easy as possible to get Google reviews.
Google review management, or Google reviews services, is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Google reviews help improve local SEO rankings, as well as provide a platform for engaging with customers in order to increase customer retention and ROI. Google reviews also impact your search engine visibility by providing Google with data about the products or services you offer and allowing them to understand that your business is active.
Sure, you will get the occasional negative reviews from customers. But how you choose to respond to those situations is important. That’s why businesses feel the need to convert a negative review into a win by offering refunds, replacements, and a commitment to do better next time.
Moreover, higher ratings can qualify you for certain search terms when people look for “best restaurants near me,” listings with fewer than four stars are automatically filtered out. Google review management not only helps you rank higher in local search results but also gives businesses a chance to engage with their customers on an ongoing basis.