Your Google Business listing is arguably one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal from the perspective of search engine optimization.
It’s the first contact most people on Google will have with your organization. It’s also the first glimpse they’ll get of your brand. If your listing is in some way insufficient or incomplete, it’s going to leave a bad first impression. This is something that will inevitably cost you leads.
Business details aside, one of the most important aspects of Google Business is the ability for visitors to leave reviews. But why exactly are they so important? What is it that makes them so critical to the success of your brand?
A few things.
They’re Good for Search Engine Optimization
As noted in Google’s own help documentation, reviews are treated as a ranking factor in local search. The presence of positive reviews, and more importantly, a brand’s response to those reviews, can greatly increase your business’s visibility. Even negative reviews can help improve your visibility if you manage them effectively.
The first step in this is to confirm that the review is authentic. Although it rarely amounts to much, plenty of less-savory businesses may conscript people to leave “fake” negative reviews for their competitors. Some spiteful customers may occasionally do the same, through no fault of your own.
Fake reviews are usually relatively easy to spot, and you can simply determine their authenticity by talking with your employees. If you’ve determined that a review is fake, you can flag it for removal by Google. In the event that the review is genuine, your next step is to respond to it immediately.
Offer a genuine apology for whatever went wrong, and provide the customer with information on how they can resolve their issue. Once the problem has been dealt with, you can often even ask the customer to modify their review on your behalf.
They Guide Customer Decisions
It’s common knowledge at this point that people tend to trust customer reviews almost as much as word of mouth, if not more so. Per a 2020 survey from review platform Trustpilot, 89 percent of customers look up the product and business reviews before making a purchase. If your business has a large number of positive reviews, that indicates to prospective customers that you’re trustworthy.
This will help your business in search. It will also make people more likely to visit both your website and your physical store.
They Can Help You Establish a Rapport With Customers
By establishing a dialogue between yourself and your audience in the review section of your page, you can build even greater trust with them. Pay careful attention to these reviews. Doing so can help you identify potential pain points for your audience. Even a positive review can provide feedback on how your business can potentially be improved, after all.
Either way, show your audience that you’re listening and that you truly care. This will go a long way towards building and expanding a loyal base of customers.
To go the extra mile, have your customer support have after-hours service. Letting customers know that you are there for them during any time of day will only help strengthen your relationship.
How Can You Encourage People To Leave a Review?
Before we wrap up, it’s important to note that you cannot force people to review your business or its products.
Similarly, I’d advise against offering any significant incentives for reviews. Doing so has a tendency to skew their authenticity.
Requesting a review can be as simple as including a link to your Google My Business Page post-purchase. Another approach is to ask people who visit your physical store to leave a review if they liked your service.
With these reviews, you can compile a case study to show off on your site which will help both your SEO and brand identity.
That’s really all there is to it —while you might not get a review from every single customer, you might be surprised at how many people stop in to support your business.
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- 3 Good Reasons to Encourage Customers to Review You on Google Business - December 16, 2020