When it comes to Google reviews, the feelings of business owners tend to be mixed. Some see them as useful, while others tend to view them as a mixed bag at best. However, there is actually a good reason to go as far as to encourage your customers to leave reviews, especially if you are running a local business. To reassure you of that fact, we have prepared a guide on the importance of Google reviews for local businesses.
You can use reviews to make your business stand out
One of the biggest difficulties for local businesses is trying to stand out. In order to build a reputation for yourself, you need to work on raising awareness one step at a time. And the importance of Google reviews shines through perfectly in this instance! If customers leave reviews, it will immediately make you more noticeable, especially on the Google My Business app which so many people use nowadays to find a good business near them. You will even have your business pop up on Google maps, with reviews listed next to your information if you have any.
If you are troubled with how to increase your customer base, then this is definitely a path you could pursue! And things tend to snowball quickly if you can get good reviews. If a customer finds you through those, they will feel more inclined to leave a review themselves, after all.
Reviews let you understand your current situation
The second reason why Google reviews are important is that they allow you to have a comprehensive look at the quality of your business. Customers, after all, tend to share their experience with not only products but customer service as well. This means that you will be able to really learn about what is lacking and what is positive about your products and services. From there, you only need to work hard to improve with the reviews as a guideline.
Similarly, you will swiftly find out if there is a problem on your customer service end. If they are mistreated, most customers will leave a bad review as a warning to others. And while this would naturally be a bad thing, at least you can find out about what your employees are doing and quickly cut off any troubling behavior.
You can use reviews in marketing
The importance of Google reviews even shines through in marketing! There are different ways to advertise a business, but one of the all-time successful approaches is showing off the good reviews and testimonials you’ve gotten. The wider the spread of the reviews, and the more realistic they are, the better the effects of such a marketing strategy. It can even be effective to put in a few ‘moderate’ reviews. Just to show that you are actually offering a realistic view of what your previous customers think of your business.
The best part is that there is a myriad of ways to use these reviews in marketing. You can feature them on your social media page. You could include them in ads. It is even possible to feature them prominently on your website. The only limiter here is your imagination!
Reviews can increase your business’ rankings
One of the most important reasons why you should actually go out of your way to ask a client for a Google review is because they affect your website’s Google rankings. You see, Google ranks all of the websites they have indexed according to their stats. One of the stats which are taken into account during this process is actually the number and quality of reviews a business has. This means that if you acquire a lot of reviews, and they are generally good, you will be able to rank much higher!
The benefit of high rankings is that you will show up higher up on the list of Google search results if someone looks up keywords related to your business. This, of course, means you would be getting a lot of opportunities to convert website visitors into new customers.
Lots of customers rely on reviews when picking a business
Another way in which the importance of Google reviews for local businesses manifests is through swaying customers. When picking a local business, since you are in the area and can choose freely, you naturally want to go for the best one. Still, it can be difficult to judge exactly which business is ‘the best’. Some people judge by the size and service list of a business. However, a lot more people actually tend to decide based on the reviews each business has gotten. So, if you have a lot of good reviews, it is only natural that your business will be picked.
Reviews actually affect your SEO
One thing to keep in mind is the fact that Google reviews will affect your SEO. The keywords used by those leaving the reviews are listed under your business’ page, after all. This can have both good and bad effects. Naturally, if the SEO changes are in line with what your business needs, then it’s a good thing. However, if you become associated with bad or poor-quality reviews, it can be detrimental to your SEO. Still, overall, it is always better to have more reviews than to fear bad ones.
You can use reviews to interact with customers
The final aspect of the importance of Google reviews is the fact that they allow you to interact with customers. Let us take a moving company as an example of how this would work. If a customer leaves a bad review but does not explain why they are unsatisfied, you can comment on it and ask for clarification.
You can ask whether there was anything damaged during the move. Or whether the efficiency was bad, or even if they were unsatisfied with customer service. By doing this, you illustrate the willingness to improve, get useful feedback, and build rapport with customers. If reviews are good, you can offer useful tips such as recommending moving estimate software for future needs.
As you can see, the importance of Google reviews for local businesses really cannot be understated. Under the highly competitive conditions local businesses face, reviews can help you really shine!