Listening to customers and designing tailored experiences for them is an important factor in gaining and retaining customers. In our digital world, information is readily available and online reviews have become the lifeblood of consumer decision-making. Among the plethora of review platforms, Google Reviews stand out as a cornerstone in shaping the customer experience (CX) and influencing purchasing decisions.
Good or bad, all reviews are important, they impact customer perceptions, brand credibility, and overall business growth. Whether you’re a small, local business or a multinational corporation, understanding and harnessing the power of Google Reviews is a highly-underrated SEO and marketing tool.
Google and other search engine algorithms are driven by many pieces of information, including review signals. What is important to Google SEO ranking is the quantity of reviews. It also takes into account the velocity of reviews and whether the reviews are repetitive in their nature. Variety is key.
The more reviews your website and business has, the more your SEO capabilities and online visibility chances are increased. This is a great marketing tool, often overlooked – it can make a huge influence on your SEO ranking.
Confidence and Trust
Consumers have come to expect reviews and ratings on products they are interested in purchasing, especially if purchasing online. By reading reviews, consumers can gauge experiences people had with a product or service before making a purchase decision. With good Google reviews, you will be able to build confidence and trust in your brand, no matter what business you run.
Transparency is also a good way to enlist trust amongst your customers, by displaying good and bad reviews you are showing your willingness to be transparent and trustworthy. According to PowerReviews 97% consumers look at reviews before making a purchase decision. If your business doesn’t have Google reviews, you are at risk of losing potential customers to sites where there are many reviews and therefore are perceived as being more trustworthy.
What About Negative Feedback?
While we’d prefer a less-public form of feedback, negative reviews are common and the way they are handled is important. One way of looking at negative feedback is to positively approach the problem raised. How else do we know how to improve our business? If criticism is given in a review, the best way to handle it is by being proactive – addressing the problem and fixing it. By informing the customer that, as an example, if the service was poor, things have been improved thanks to their input.
Monitor all Google reviews, respond to people and encourage consumers to write a review.
Ask Customers for Google Reviews
Why not ask your customers to leave a Google Review? This is a great way to get more reviews on your site. Add a “Review” call-to-action on your website or on your social media pages. Don’t be tempted to put fake reviews on your site, you are bound to be caught out and it will have the reverse effect on good reviews. Google reviews can be helpful to all businesses whether you have an eCommece site or even if you work on long-term projects with your clients. After a purchase or at the conclusion of a project (especially if you know a customer has had a good experience) send a “thank you” email with a link to your Google Reviews and gently encourage them to leave a review.
Interact with Customers
Similar to comments and messages on social media, a Google Review should be a two-way conversation. Once a customer has left a review for your business, it is important to follow it up with a response. This will show that you value your customers and are committed to improving your business if needed. Giving non-defensive responses to any negative Google Reviews you may receive, will show a dedication to making your brand even better. Additionally, people love to know there is real person behind a company and getting a reply is a nice personal touch.
Five Star Rating
Your business should be aiming for a five star ratings from all customers. A business with a five star rating and over 100 reviews is almost guaranteed to get more traction and site visits. Once your business is tracking well with Google Reviews, you might even be able to reduce your spend on paid search results and other marketing efforts.
Showcase Your Reviews
Showcase your good reviews at high-impact moments in your shoppers’ journey. Whether it’s in-store or online, display your reviews and enhance your customers confidence in your products, resulting in more sales for your business.
Considering that some consumers won’t even make a purchase without reading reviews, Google Reviews are worth investing effort in, they make a big difference and can directly drive a consumer’s decision. Consumers feel a sense of empowerment when they write reviews and checking Google Reviews before making a decision has become the norm for most consumers today.
Google Reviews is a great way to gauge how your customers perceive your brand, service or products while also helping to drive more traffic to your site. The power of customer reviews should not be underestimated in its influence on future potential customers. Creating a community of fans is a powerful tool.