Feedback from customers has always been a valuable way to glean insight into your approach and acquire testimonials to use in your marketing efforts. In today’s competitive online marketplace, though, reviews are more important than ever before.
As Google has become the go-to source for the inside scoop on a business or service, what people are saying about you on the world’s top search engine site matters — a lot. Having enough, and the right kind of, Google reviews can be the difference between being at the top or bottom of the search engine result page when internet goers are looking for companies in your vertical.
A trusted recommendation on Google reviews
As counterintuitive as it may seem, many people have come to take Google reviews in the same way that they would a referral from a trusted friend. It is information they are willing to act on. That means if you’re able to continuously gain new reviews, you will increase your visibility and ROI. We see this play out time and time again—Google reviews are the new word of mouth. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the reasons why they are so important.
Search engine optimization and visibility
We’re all aware that Google tracks everything, right? Well, not only does its algorithm track all behavior, it rewards some types of conduct more than others. Those with a high number of ratings get a boost in the reach results scale because Google recognizes businesses that try to engage with their customers.
Not to mention, a series of positive review ratings can push your business into the Google Local Pack—a list of the first three businesses near the top of the search page based on location. This is prime online real estate you should seek to occupy.
The ability to influence potential customers
Recent polls indicate that upwards of 91% of consumers occasionally (at a minimum) check online customer reviews to get a read on a business. And the fact remains that having no reviews is the same as having bad reviews. The vast majority of the time, a potential customer will pick a business with some online cred over one with a blank slate.
Increased opportunities for engagement
Google reviews also provide an ideal platform to engage with customers and establish your voice as a company or brand. Responding to reviews in a timely way shows that you care about your customers’ opinions and are willing to take the good along with the bad. Google rewards those who respond actively and automatically propels them upwards the rankings.
Improved click-through rate
If your business has a high review rating, users are naturally inclined to click on your website to determine what all the fuss is about. This generates more awareness and familiarity with your product. If your competitor, alternatively, has more reviews, they are more likely to get the clicks. In other words—you lose business.
The importance of accumulating genuine Google reviews of your business is only growing. If you’ve been focusing on other elements of your search strategy, but haven’t paid much attention to review data, then it is time to unlock the value you’ve been missing out on.
Feel free to get in touch and speak with one of our experts about how to take your Google listings and online reviews to the next level. Likewise, if you’d like to stay up to date on current social media trends and growth marketing hacks, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest digital marketing news.