Google business reviews are becoming one of the most important basics for Local SEO. Google gives them a lot of weight when deciding who hits those top spots. Without doubt, this is one of the most poignant ways to bring user trust to your business. And that’s not just hearsay. Recent surveys carried out by Zendesk indicate that ninety percent of the people who responded to their surveys said that positive Google reviews affected their decision. Almost even, eighty-six percent said negative reviews also affected their choice. Bottom line is, Google reviews can make a massive difference with regards to whether a user chooses your company.
Award winning author Brian Solis, chief analyst at Altimeter Group (a Prophet company) sums it up:
“Welcome to a new era of marketing and service in which your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
There is no question, Google is the number one online search. Therefore, it makes sense to make every effort to get your customers making those reviews. Top SEO companies usually include gaining Google reviews as part of their SEO strategies. Why? Because it is extremely influential with regards to ranks and user perceptions of your business. If your business is not listed do it now – LIST YOUR BUSINESS
Why Is Google Business Listing so Important?
For those who’ve been online a while you might remember Google Places for Business. Google my business is the update. The big difference between the two is Google my business is fully integrated into the Google plus platform. This means, business owners can manage all their info in one place – Much easier and neater!
Your business address, telephone number etc is very important to Local searches. When a user searches for “builders in london” for example, Google will return a list of results known as the “local pack”. The results will have the business address, telephone number and opening hours as well as reviews. Imagine you are the person searching. Who are you going to choose? Would you choose the business with vague details and no reviews? Or would you opt for the one with the address, opening hours, contact telephone number and some good reviews? In reality it’s a no brainer and this is why getting your business listing complete, ranked on the first page and some good reviews from satisfied customers is going to send your click-through rate into orbit (statistics show up to a 20% increase). Remember, Google takes reviews into account when ranking your business. Once you have your listing complete make sure it’s verified (HOW TO VERIFY) – That done, it is time to start getting those reviews.
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – What’s Yours?
As the research shows, users are influenced by reviews. Of course, there are other review companies such as Knowledge Graph, and they can be influential to customers also so do not ignore them by any means. Even so, Google is the number one search engine and what reviews you get here definitely count. Even if you have one review Google will show it.
How to Ask Your Customers for a Google Review?
Of course, natural and genuine reviews are best. That does not mean you cannot give them a little nudge in the right direction! If you have a customer you are reasonably sure is a happy one simply ask them directly what they thought of your service and engage with them. If they are happy tell them a good review would be greatly appreciated. Don’t be shy! However, timing is everything. Not so soon they have no opinion and not so late that the buzz has worn off. Creating links to your business listing and the review form from your social accounts and website makes it easier for your customers. People like easy so do not miss out by not getting those links in. If you have an email list, send out a review request to everyone on it. Of course, with the link to your my business review form!
REMEMBER! Your customers are busy – Make it simple for them!
Google reviews are certainly one of the most important on the web and should be a prime focus. Even so, that does not mean it is a great idea to ignore all the other business listings out there. Local business listings are good when targeting Local SEO, Yahoo Local being top of the list followed by Yelp, Yellow pages and FreeIndex. Reviews on social media will not actually affect how Google ranks you. Even so, your FB business page or YouTube channel can show up in the search results, so it is also a good idea to get them flowing.
Finally, do not forget your own website. Having reviews here and enabling customers to leave reviews and comments can be a real confidence booster to people landing on your site. If your company relies on local business, optimising through Local SEO strategies and so reviews are important – like it or not! So get those reviews flowing and watch your business boom.