Why are Google reviews important for your business?
One ingredient for a successful online business is a bunch of positive reviews on your business page. Several studies show that over 90% of potential customers read online reviews before deciding to patronize a business.
Of all kinds of reviews, Google reviews are the most sought after, as more people turn to Google reviews than any other review site. It is easy to understand this situation because Google is the most visited search engine.
Google reviews are assets to your business because your customers and visitors trust them. That is not all; Google reviews can also help boost your rankings on the search engine.
How does Google Review Increase your search engine ranks?
First of all, Google works with reviews because they trust your users and their opinions about your business. So, if you have lots of positive reviews, Google believes that you are doing great.
Also, Google reviews provide information on Google’s Algorithm.
Google uses the words in your reviews to create relevant search results for users. For instance, if a reviewer mentions that you offer a spectacular project management service, Google will take note of that review and rank your business high when people search for related services.
What aspect of your review influences your search engine ranking?
The first thing to note about Google reviews is that not every factor in your review affects your rating. For example, the number of reviews you have, the timing of those reviews, and the comments in the review box can all impact your search engine ranking.
If you have an overall star rating of 5 stars with only 5 reviews, you don’t have much luck climbing up the ranks, because Google cannot be sure of the quality of services you offer from only 5 reviews.
The best way to grow in the ranking is to gather as many reviews on your page as possible. The more reviews about your business, the more Google interprets the reviews as a correct reflection of your service.
While a major milestone is reached when you collect a lot of reviews, you should also ensure that you are constantly getting new positive reviews. This is necessary because several customers tag a review as outdated once it is past one month.
How Do Google Reviews Affect your Click through Rating?
Research shows that businesses with higher overall ratings enjoy a click-through rate that is 35% higher than businesses with less overall star ratings.
This implies that you will get more customer attention and more traffic from your website.
More Google reviews- How to get them and how many you need
Before we get into the business of how people can leave reviews for your business, let us answer a question plaguing the minds of many business owners- How many Google reviews does my business need?
As we discussed earlier, you need as many reviews as you can get. However, there is no cap or a stipulated number of reviews for any business.
With the number of reviews playing a vital role in determining your search rankings, a business with thousands of reviews definitely has a higher chance of making the top rank than a business with one or two digit reviews.
While you chase after as many reviews as you can lay your hands on, remember that the industry or business size determines what the average review numbers should be. A small business with few services is unlikely to get as many reviews as a multi-national with dozens of services.
One thing you can do, however, is to ensure that your business has more reviews than your competitors.
How do you achieve that? Get as many Google reviews for your business as possible.
Before we go on to get Google reviews, let us cover how to get Google reviews.
Claim your Google My Business Profile
The first step to getting Google reviews is to claim your Google My Business (GMB) profile. Your Google My Business Profile is a Google profile that appears when a person types in your business name.
Once you claim your profile on the GMB free tool, you can manage your business details, update your business address, information, and business hours. You can also send review requests and respond to customer reviews.
Google My Business is also vital for improving your business discovery by potential customers. GMB can improve your business’s search ranking when correctly optimized.
How to optimize your ‘Google My Business’ profile for better ranking and reviews
An optimized profile increases your chances of ranking high in search engine results, which places you in a better position for patronage and reviews.
Here’s how to optimize your Google My Business profile:
- Claim Your Profile
You will likely find your business listing when you run a company name search, especially if your business has existed for a long. You will find a ‘claim this profile’ option where you can follow the necessary instructions to claim your profile.
- Update Your Business Information
The next thing to do after claiming your profile is to update your business information like phone numbers, address, office hours, FAQ, and other relevant details.
- Create an Appealing Profile
You can add pictures and details to make your business page more attractive to customers. You can either check what other businesses have done with their profiles or reach out to an expert who will guide you through optimization options.
How to get Google reviews for your business
Here are some things to note about the process of collecting more Google reviews for your business page.
- Ask your customers to leave reviews
One thing most business owners don’t know about seeking reviews for your business is that you could get sanctioned for selectively seeking reviews.
If you are going to ask your customers for reviews-which you should, ensure to ask every single customer who does business with you. Google interprets selective requests as review gating, and it could earn you a penalty in search ranking. In the worst-case scenario, your business could get banned.
- Send Timely Review Requests
Timing is essential when requesting reviews from your customers. The best time to send a review request is the day a customer purchases your product or uses your service. Timeliness is important because when they leave a review early, they can properly articulate their experience with you as it is still fresh. But when time passes, not only will they have forgotten, they will likely be uninterested in leaving a review after a long time.
- Send Online Review Requests
A satisfied customer might leave your company all-smiles and happy, but as they go about their duties, they will likely forget to visit your business page to leave their reviews.
The easiest way is to send them a link, and email, or a message that directs them to your business page where they can quickly leave a review.
A guide to leaving Google reviews
Do you know the process for your customers to leave reviews for your business? You should know so that you can put them through if a need arises.
How to review using a mobile device
- Open Google Maps
- Input your business name in the search bar
- Tap the business and select the ‘reviews’ tab
- Locate the section labeled ‘Rate and Review.’ Leave a star and a description. (description is optional)
- Post the review
How to review using a Desktop
Type in your business’s name and location in the search bar
Click on the “Write a Review” button located on the bottom right
Input a star rating, write a description, and a photo (photo and descriptions are optional).
Can a customer leave reviews without a registered Google account?
It was possible to leave a Google review without an account in previous years, but all that has changed since 2018. The anonymous review option using Google+ posed a challenge for business owners who couldn’t trace their reviews to a real customer or tell if it’s a prank.
Although the anonymity made it easy to leave reviews, it also posed a challenge of reviews that weren’t trustworthy.
Now, you need a Google account to leave Google business reviews.