Have you ever used Google reviews before deciding to buy from a particular business? If so, you understand the importance of Google reviews in today’s online marketplace. Truthfully, utilizing these pieces is one of the most crucial things you can do to be successful in business.
Most small business owners do not have a significant marketing background. Unless their business happens to be in marketing, of course. Then that’s a pretty lucky situation. For the rest of us, however, we may need some help in marketing our wares. Google reviews are the perfect tool for boosting your business and its visibility.
For help with your online presence, the team at ALYKY is here for you. Our digital content strategy team can get you on the right path.
Google Reviews Aren’t Optional. Go Get Them.
Google reviews give every business a chance to connect with prospective clients. Regardless of your budget or the size of your business, you can take advantage of this piece of marketing. In an annual survey, ReviewTrackers learned that nearly 64% of shoppers look at Google reviews before checking out a business in person. So don’t ignore these!
Reviews on the search engine giant help small businesses compete with the big boys who have much larger budgets. An excellent Google review is like money in the bank for a smaller company. It is free marketing. The more reviews you garner for your website, the more you can compete in the modern digital marketplace. This is just one reason we’re going over the importance of Google reviews.
Why Is a Google Review So Powerful?
Let’s face it. Full-blown coordinated marketing campaigns that have a significant budget are highly effective much of the time. We won’t pretend they’re not. But Google reviews carry their own type of power, and it is mighty. Here are four critical reasons you should seek Google reviews for your business:
1. Google reviews offer transparency and credibility.
Today’s shoppers are savvier than ever. They are quick to spot slick marketing that seeks to take advantage of them. Google reviews, however, feel more organic and authentic to the average consumer. The more transparent a business appears, the more likely a potential customer is to make a purchase or sign up for a service. Reviews from actual buyers carry tremendous weight for prospective buyers.
2. Google reviews boost your SEO.
You can (and should) have excellent content on your website for SEO, both in blogs and on static web pages. That piece is crucial to getting your website to rank well on all search engines. But Google reviews are also a big part of your rankings. They trigger the algorithm to notice and rank your website and, in particular, to include them in the Local Pack.
Also called the Map Pack, the Local Pack is the part of the Google search results that show three local businesses to match the user’s query. Reviews are a crucial key to making your business show up in this coveted area. Showing up here is gold for your business.
So to help your local small business show up among the giants of commerce, you must have Google reviews. At this point, it is non-negotiable.
3. Google business reviews build trust.
Trust can be a tough thing to come across online. Consumers are at the mercy of the information on their screens and can feel overwhelmed when trying to make the right decision. Google reviews can change that.
If you are walking by a brick and mortar and notice that it’s full of customers, you are likely to think it is a reputable place. This is what Google reviews do for your business. They make potential customers want to check you out, since it appears that all the cool kids are doing it. Google highly values trustworthiness and factors it into its rankings. In fact, trustworthiness is the “T” in their famous EAT algorithm, and it is vital.
Since Google pays so much attention to the reviews, you should too. And although everyone loves receiving positive feedback, it’s important to have a mixture of reviews. Consumers tend not to trust businesses with all 5-star reviews, so you have to include the good, the bad, and the ugly. This simple step further boosts your transparency as you build that all-important trust with your potential customers.
How to Get Google Reviews
Unfortunately, small businesses are at risk of being scammed by disreputable companies. They may convince you that paying for Google reviews is a great way to boost your rankings and grow your business quickly. Please don’t do it. You will do more harm than good for your company.
Why should you avoid this route? Good question. Here you go:
- Buying reviews is illegal. The Federal Trade Commission prohibits it and can hand down fines of thousands of dollars.
- Purchasing reviews is against Google’s policies. They will take down reviews that they do not find to be authentic.
- Paying for reviews violates your customers’ trust. As costly as fines and Google jail can be, losing the respect and trust of the consumers is something that few companies can recover from.
Fortunately, there are legal and reputable ways to gain Google business reviews for your company.
Ask for a review.
It is as simple as it sounds. Few customers spontaneously choose to write a Google business review. Most reviews happen as a result of prompting from the business, so make sure you do the prompting.
During any interaction with your clients or customers, ask them to consider leaving a Google review for you. Whether it is in person or in an email, make the request. You can even send customers a link that directs them to write their reviews. Let them know how important Google reviews are for your business and that you’d appreciate their honest feedback.
It is essential that you not incentivize this request. Customer reviews must come with no strings attached to be authentic. Connecting rewards or incentives to a review will create problems for you with Google, so don’t be tempted to try it. The importance of Google reviews is a big deal, but not worth doing anything illegal.
Respond to reviews.
As much as consumers look at Google reviews, they also look at the business owner’s responses to the comments. They want to see how you handle the good and the bad. So make a point to respond to each review you receive. It matters.
Almost half of the consumers are likely to visit a business that replies to negative reviews. Again, these responses build trust and reputation. If you are unsure how to respond, there are many templates online to give you a helping hand.
Do a good job.
The best way to ensure great Google business reviews is to be excellent in your work. When you provide the best service or product possible, your happy customers will be eager to leave you the reviews your business deserves. Like we keep saying, the importance of Google reviews can’t be understated- but get them the right way.
ALYKY Knows the Importance of Google Reviews
When it comes to overall marketing and content strategy for your business, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. There are so many “shoulds” for you to keep up with, it’s exhausting. The strategy team at ALYKY can help you understand and create a robust plan that will catapult your business to success. Reach out today to get started.