No matter how you slice and dice it, online reviews matter. We live in a world where increasingly people open an app or visit a website to express themselves, to gather information and to share their experiences.
One of the most popular ways of gathering information and sharing experiences is by using reviews – either by posting them or reading them – especially those on Google.
According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Review Survey, Google has become the major player in online reviews, with some 63.6% of consumers surveyed saying they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business. This is more than any other review site.
Other findings from the research show:
- Consumers expect brands to respond to their reviews – and most are left disappointed
- Negative reviews drive customers away
- Customers don’t trust businesses with a rating of fewer than 4 stars
- Online reviews are important to consumers, no matter the industry
When you consider that Google has so much influence in our lives – from search to advertising and navigation to news – it’s not surprising that Google reviews can affect your business’s performance in the broader Google ecosystem.
The way your business appears in Google search results, as well as your organic search ranking on Google, are also swayed by the reviews you receive.
No matter what you do to boost your online reputation, be it slick marketing campaigns, high-end visuals or engaging e-books, that is really only part of the story.
The other part comes from the reviews you get on Google. These reviews cancel the noise of the marketing and present a transparent kind of social proof of how your business is perceived by those who have interacted with it in some way – be it having a website designed, having stayed in a room at a B&B or having had a meal at a local restaurant.
Great for SEO
It’s important to remember that those who find your website probably reach it via a Google search, having typed in keywords related to the type of service or product you provide. And whether you have reviews or not will have an impact on the way these search results are delivered.
Remember, Google’s aim is to deliver the most relevant results for local searches, so the way a business is perceived by others helps it to deliver this information. The more positive reviews you get from your Google business listing, the higher you will rank on the search engine results pages.
In a nutshell, good reviews can boost your SEO.
Local results for Google searches and Google Maps show a star rating and may even include a snippet of the review. If your client or customer has left a review for you on Facebook or Trip Advisor, ask them if they’d also post a few original words on your Google listing (Google doesn’t like duplicate content).
More than just the SEO benefits, online reviews are important because they:
- increase the visibility of your business by building your brand
- they provide a good source of testimonials
- they build trust with your prospects (even if you respond appropriately to a negative review it shows your integrity)
First things first
Before being able to get reviewed on Google, your business must have a verified Google My Business listing.
Just follow the steps in the video below to set up your free listing:
Once your account has been set up with all your correct business information and your listing has been verified, you’re all set to ask your clients or customers for a review.
This is done by generating a link that customers can click to encourage them to write reviews and rate your business.
To create a link for customers to write reviews:
- Search for your business on Google
- Find your business listing and click Write a review
- Copy and paste the link you see in your address bar
When customers click your link, they’ll be able to rate your business and leave a review.
How we do it
At Select Web, we use a feedback form designed on Google Forms in which we ask our clients to review our service and invite them to post a review on Google using the link to our Google My Business listing (image below).
Once they click on the link, the form opens up, making it so easy for them to review us.
If your company doesn’t have a Google My Business listing and is not yet benefitting from the many advantages that Google reviews can offer, we can help.
As part of our SEO services, we will set up your Google My Business profile to help you get started.