WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GOOGLE REVIEWS?
- They provide social proof: In today’s world where more local business is done online than ever, people are now turning to the Internet to learn more about companies. We trust the opinions of people who have had experiences with a brand before. If your business has more positive Google reviews, potential customers will read them and choose to work with you.
- They provide visibility. Because reviews provide social proof, businesses with more positive Google reviews are more likely to show up in search results. Google uses relevance, distance, and prominence to factor into ranking and delivering results.
- They indirectly lead to increased CTR and revenue. Since new customers will be able to find your business and are more likely to do business with you with many positive Google reviews, they are known to boost revenue. A study by Harvard showed that a one-star increase in rating for business leads to a 5-9% increased. Another study by cxl.com in 2020 showed that review stars can boost CTR up to 35%.
First, what is a Google review? They are feedback or reviews that customers leave on the reviews section of Google Maps. With other review sites, customers need to make an account, however, with Google, many people already use Google search, Google phones, and Gmail. This makes Google’s reach much wider than other review sites.
To leave a Google review on a computer, navigate to Google Maps and sign in. Search for the place you are reviewing. On the left will be the listing. Scroll until you see “Write a review.” Click “Write a review.” When you click, you will see 5 stars. Click on the star rating you are leaving, and you will be able to rate and review.
A study by Inc shows that 91% of people regularly or occasionally read reviews. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. According to a 2019 study, 57% of people regularly check Google for reviews.
To join the many reading Google reviews, search for the business in Google. You will see a star rating below the business name. Click the number of reviews next to the rating to start reading reviews.
When business owners see negative Google reviews, they may want to delete them. It is important to realize though that if there are a few negative reviews and lots of positive reviews, the latter will outweigh the former. In fact, we have studies that show that a 4.5 rating is more trusted than a 5-star rating due to suspicion of inflated ratings.
However, the process is not so easy. The simplest thing a business owner can do is respond to a negative review. In certain circumstances, you can also flag reviews for removal, if you suspect they are fake reviews. You can read more about this here. In this case, Google Small Business Support will ultimately decide whether to remove the review.
- It may be surprising that the best way to get more positive reviews on Google is to ask your most satisfied customers. Look for promoters (referring to the Net Promoter Score) who are already happy with your brand and may be recommending you to others. When you send automated requests for Google reviews at touchpoints, more reviews will come.
- Good touchpoints are after a transaction has been completed and a customer has had enough time to experience the product. Set up expectations while interacting with the customer that the review request will be coming by explaining why they are important to your business, warning them if the request will come by text or email, and when it will be coming. The customer may need a few hours after the service to leave a review in terms of service.
- One of the best ways to send review requests is through automated emails or texts, especially through reputation management software. With review requests, it is best to keep the email simple and include personal details such as the person’s name and order information.
- With Google Reviews, it is good to create a short link to encourage customers to write reviews and share them in the email. To learn how to create a link, visit Google’s Support blog.
Now that you know Google Reviews are so important you may be wondering how to manage them? Getting notifications when a review comes in, positive or negative, is important so you can respond accordingly. The timing of a response to a negative review is important because you could convince an unhappy customer to reverse their review.
What about anonymous reviews? To learn how to deal with them, visit our blog.
Managing reviews is easiest with reputation management software such as ReviewInc. You can set up notifications so that you will get an alert when a positive or negative Google review comes in, along with other review sites. You can also respond directly to Facebook and Google reviews from within the platform.
An important thing to keep track of with reviews is sentiment. ReviewInc has many tools to help measure sentiment, but you can also read incoming reviews and look for patterns as strengths or areas to improve.
As stated before, asking is the best way to generate more reviews, and reputation management software makes this process simple. ReviewInc’s Review Flow shows the process of asking for feedback along with follow-ups such as the Thank You Email and the Follow Up Email. With the Review Flow, businesses can set up the campaign when the time is right to ask for a review, execute the request, and follow-ups flawlessly.