We live in a digital world and online reviews, especially Google reviews, play a pivotal role for businesses, particularly those relying on local search results. Found on platforms like Google Maps and Google Search, customer reviews have placed Google at the forefront of online review platforms.
Google reviews allow customers to share their experiences and opinions about businesses and give potential customers an insight into the quality of the services a business provides. They are a crucial and indispensable part of any business strategy.
Why Google Reviews Are Crucial
A staggering 92% of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchasing decision. 90% of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians. 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 77% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor.
An abundance of positive reviews indicates to Google that a business is reputable. A steady influx of new reviews shows Google that the business is still open, active, and relevant to consumers. Customer reviews are a significant aspect of any business-related search because they provide valuable insights into a business’s services. Showing a steady stream of customer reviews helps Google’s algorithm refine search results, pushing businesses with recent reviews to the top of the results page.
Highly rated businesses can see up to a 35% increase in clickthrough rates, driving more web traffic and potential customer engagement. Afterall, finding a quality business is what the searcher was looking for.
The Power of Google Business Profile (GBP):
Establishing a Google Business Profile (GBP) is foundational for gathering Google reviews. This free service is a must-have for any business, but especially for those with a local office. Anyone can create a profile for your business on Google. It’s essential to be proactive and to create a GBP profile that contains accurate information about your business, your location, and ways to contact you. By actively managing your Google Business Profile, you can engage with customers, keep your business information updated, answer questions asked by potential customers, and accumulate vital reviews.
How to Build your Google Business Profile:
- Claim your business: If your business is already listed on Google, make sure to claim it. As the business owner, you have access to all the information and pictures posted on your listing.
- Keep Information Updated: Ensure all business details are current and update your business hours regularly, especially during holidays.
- Write an Engaging Description: Describe your unique offerings and strengths, tell a potential client what you are all about.
- Choose Appropriate Categories: This increases your search visibility and aids in achieving organic (non-sponsored) views.
- Engage the Consumers: Periodically, you will notice questions being asked on your profile. Make sure to answer them promptly and accurately.
Get Google Reviews:
- Share the Review Link: Vizium360 sends a Google Business Profile review link with every survey. Sharing a direct link to your GBP makes it easy for your clients to leave a review, if they choose to do so.
- Engage Your Team: Encourage your staff to tell clients that you have a GBP and would appreciate their feedback.
- Email Signatures: Add a review link to your email signatures for easy access.
- Dedicated Web Page: Display reviews on your website. With Vizium360’s dynamic widgets, your reviews constantly update, keeping your website content fresh and potential consumers informed about your excellence.
Honesty is the Key:
- Don’t Pay for Reviews: This violates Google’s policies.
- Don’t Filter Reviews: Only asking for positive reviews or blocking negative reviews is unethical and violates Google’s review-gating policies.
- Be Clear About Employee Reviews: If your employees use your services and want to leave a review, be sure to be honest about their connection to your business.
- Study the new FTC guidelines for more information
Respond to Reviews:
If a client made the effort to share their experiences online, it is only polite to write a response. It is not necessary to respond to every positive review, but it is a must to answer negative ones. For positive reviews, simply express appreciation and invite a repeat visit. For negative feedback, remain calm, reply promptly, and offer potential solutions. Communicate that you take negative feedback seriously and will use it to provide better service in the future. Be aware of fake reviews. If a review looks suspicious, report it to Google and ask them to take it down if appropriate.