Any business that doesn’t have an online presence is missing out on many opportunities. According to a BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey, 90% of consumers looked up businesses online in 2019 before shopping with them. This isn’t to say those consumers would never visit an establishment if they couldn’t find any information about it online, but the chances would increase if they had an online presence. Having an online presence doesn’t merely mean having a website with the products or services you offer anymore. You have to also engage with your customer base and give them as much information as possible about what your company stands for so they can make an informed decision.
This brings into the discussion the point about reviews. It’s impossible to please every customer you have with the product or service you offer. Consumers particularly like to write reviews if they had even the slightest negative experience. However, most people will only write a positive review if their experience was outstanding. There are plenty of review platforms online today, but Google reviews are the most valuable for companies due mainly to their visibility.
Google Reviews Are The Most Visible
Google My Business listings include consumer reviews that are visible in general search results as well as in Google Maps. It’s easier than ever before for a consumer to read reviews about an establishment before visiting them. And chances are if the consumer is searching for a local establishment, they are motivated to visit one right then and there. If you have very few Google reviews or none at all, then your chances of earning the customer drop significantly. When you prioritize the value of Google reviews, then you’ll have a solid foundation for an effective marketing strategy.
The More Reviews You Have, The Higher Your Search Ranking
The value of Google reviews presents itself over time as you accumulate more reviews. The criteria Google uses in their search rankings include the number of reviews on your business, the average star rating and how many recent reviews you’ve received. While the quality of the consumer review is important, so is the quantity when it comes to online visibility. This shows how important it is to generate Google reviews consistently and even create strategies around it, which we will discuss later.
Negative Reviews Aren’t Always Bad
When it comes to Google reviews, or any reviews for that matter, negative reviews aren’t always bad. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should strive to earn negative consumer reviews, but it’s definitely not the end of the world when you get a few. A BrightLocal Consumer Survey reports that 82% of consumers will be put off by negative reviews. However, this number can change drastically depending on how you handle the negative review as a business owner.
For example, if a customer complains that your product or service didn’t work as expected or if they had a specific negative experience with your website or employee, don’t just ignore it. And especially don’t delete the review! Instead, take the review as an opportunity to respond and turn the poor experience into a positive one for the customer. Not only will the consumer remember what you did to remedy the situation, but other people will see your comments as well and you’ll make a good impression on them. No company is perfect in everything they do, so by responding to negative reviews and fixing both the customer’s issue and the root cause of the issue, other consumers will take notice and have a higher regard for your company.
Do You Want All Positive Reviews?
Positive reviews are great for obvious reasons, but having all positive reviews can make some consumers feel suspicious. In this day and age where it’s difficult to know what to believe online, too many positive reviews can give your business a too-good-to-be-true feel. On the other hand, it’s essential to offer a product or service and create a positive customer experience. A BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey indicates that positive reviews are enough to lead 27% of consumers to at least look at the company’s website and make an effort to contact them. Leading consumers to your website may increase the chances of them making a purchase significantly.
Do Reviews Help SEO?
Yes, Google Reviews can help improve search rankings. Online reviews send a strong signal to search engines that communicate expertise, authority and trust. Google Reviews are part of the over 200 factors involved in search rankings.
The Right Strategies Can Generate More Google Reviews
So what can you do to generate Google reviews and stay relevant online? Depending on your marketing budget, you may be able to begin a DIY campaign asking for reviews. The thing about consumers and leaving reviews is they aren’t going to jump through hoops to do it. Making the process as easy as possible, like sending them an email with a link to write a review, is always going to be more effective. If you require them to create an account or take any other step, your chances of earning the review will decrease drastically.
Some companies offer incentives to consumers in return for Google reviews. This is typically in the form of a discount code to use on a future purchase, but you can get as creative as you would like with a strategy. The important thing is to never ask for a positive review because you don’t want your company to have the reputation of having to beg for good reviews. However, it’s usually harmless to ask for an open and honest review from a consumer and give them a small token of appreciation in return.
WebNet Marketing Studio loves analyzing data and helping companies put together the most effective marketing campaigns possible. We always stay ahead of the curve and can help you not only generate organic reviews but also soar up the Google search rankings to improve your company’s visibility. No matter where you are currently at with your business and marketing strategies, we can help you achieve your goals. Give us a call or fill out our simple online form and let us know how we can serve you!