As a business owner, you know that online reviews are essential, and they can make or break your business.
In fact, 89 percent of worldwide consumers say they read online reviews before buying products, and 49 percent report trusting those reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Good reviews can help you attract new customers, while bad reviews can deter potential customers from doing business with you.
That’s why it’s crucial to learn everything you can about Google reviews and how to use them to your advantage.
In this blog post, we’ll show you everything you need to know about Google reviews and ratings, including how to get more reviews, how to respond to negative reviews, and how to use Google My Business to your advantage.
What Are Google Reviews?
Google reviews are public comments and ratings left by customers about your business.
Customers can review businesses on Google Search, Maps, and Local Finder. These reviews are essential because they help potential customers learn more about your business before they decide to patronize it.
Google reviews can be up to 4,000 characters and include a small writeup and rating from 1 star (lowest) to 5 stars (highest).
It probably doesn’t surprise you that Google is the most popular online review platform, with more than 59 percent of consumers using it.
Why Do Google Reviews Matter for Your Business?
Google reviews for business are critical because they can improve your business’s visibility and click-through rate (CTR) on Google Search and Maps.
A higher CTR means that more people see and click your listing in search results, leading to more customers.
In addition, Google reviews and ratings act as social proof. They show potential customers that other people have had positive experiences with your business, making them more likely to shop with you.
Google reviews for business are also one of the many factors that search engines consider when determining local SEO rankings.
This means that if you can get more positive Google reviews, you may be able to improve your position in local search results. In other words, Google reviews have the potential to bring you more customers and help you grow your business.
Tips for Responding to Google Reviews
Responding to Google reviews is just as important as getting them in the first place.
When you take the time to respond, you show potential customers that you value their feedback—good or bad. You also have a chance to give your side of the story if a customer leaves a negative review.
Once you start gathering reviews, take the time to respond to positive and negative feedback.
While positive reviews are great for boosting morale, responding to negative reviews is essential for maintaining your business’s reputation.
ReviewTrackers found that more than half of customers expect a business to respond to negative reviews within a week. Yet, 63 percent reported never hearing back from a company about their review!
In addition, research from BrightLocal found that 89 percent of consumers would continue to frequent a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
How to Leverage Google Reviews for Your Business
Google reviews for business are more than a way to get feedback from customers—they’re also a powerful marketing tool.
Here are five tips for leveraging Google reviews to improve your business.
1. Showcase Reviews on Your Website
Once you have a collection of Google reviews for business on your Google My Business page, you can showcase them on your website using a widget. This gives potential customers an easy way to see what others think of your business before they decide to make a purchase.
Different widgets are available depending on the content management system (CMS) you’re using. Be sure to choose one that’s compatible with your website platform and fits the style of your site.
If you’re not sure how to add a widget to your website, most providers offer instructions or customer support that can help you.
Some popular Google reviews for business widgets include:
- WP Review Pro
- Widget for Google Reviews
2. Use Positive Reviews to Reduce Abandoned Carts
If customers see that other people have had a positive experience with your brand, they’re more likely to complete a purchase.
One of the easiest ways to increase customer confidence is by adding testimonials and product reviews to your checkout process.
A detailed review can help you reduce abandoned carts by:
- helping customers with specific problems
- building trust, which is important for potential buyers
- reducing any friction during the checkout process
When adding reviews to product pages or checkout flows, make sure they’re specific and highlight the features that are most important to your customers.
For example, if you sell headphones, a customer might be looking for reviews that address sound quality, battery life, or comfort.
If you’re not sure which reviews to showcase, start with your most recent ones or those from customers who have made similar purchases in the past.
In fact, online flower delivery service Flowers.ie saw a 37 percent increase in purchases on products that showcased reviews.
You can also use Google reviews and ratings to collect feedback about your business, product, or service. Use this valuable customer feedback to improve your business.
For example, if you see that customers are mentioning a problem with your checkout process, you can take steps to fix that pain point.
3. Update Reviews Regularly
Not only do customers want to see that you have reviews, but they also want to see that you’re actively collecting them. Would you rather shop at a company that hasn’t gotten a review in the past six months, or one that gets them regularly?
If it’s been a few months since your last review, reach out to some of your recent customers and ask them for feedback. You can always offer an incentive for leaving a review, like a discount on their next purchase.
PhysioRoom.com increased its review collection by 1,900 percent, which improved its monthly B2B sales by 8 percent.
Here are a few ways to collect new reviews:
- Ask customers for reviews in confirmation emails.
- Post signs in your store or office promoting reviews.
- Include review requests in product boxes or packaging.
Conclusion: Google Reviews for Business
Google reviews for business are a powerful way to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
Reviews show customers that your business is reputable. They can also highlight your company’s best assets and show your customer service commitment.
By following Google’s review policies, you can build a strong list of reviews that will benefit your business. Plus, by responding to negative reviews in a professional manner, you can turn a bad situation into a positive one.
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