Marketing a small local business can be tough, especially if there are a lot of competitors concentrated in the area. Standing out from the crowd can be difficult.
Using Google Reviews to improve your search rank and your online visibility can help a small, local business stand ahead of the pack.
- 93% of US consumers searched online for a local business.
- 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
- 57% of consumers will only visit your business if it has at least a four-star review rating.
What Are Google Reviews?
Everyone knows Google Search is the gold standard for finding businesses online. Google Reviews are just as important as optimizing your website for search rank. Additionally, Google Reviews provide more online exposure for businesses.
According to Google, “Reviews on Google provide you and your customers valuable information about your business. Business reviews appear next to your Business Profile in Maps and Search, and this helps your business stand out on Google.”
Why Are Google Reviews Important?
One of the biggest benefits of Google Reviews is the boost to local search ranking. Local SEO efforts are a key factor in people finding services or products they are actively searching for in their area.
Online reviews help to improve search rank as well as showcase word-of-mouth and provide a referral system. Having reviews will boost not only the search rank but the trustworthiness of your business as well.
Google Reviews help to:
- Influence business trust.
- Increase online visibility and exposure.
- Drive local SEO.
- Provide essential feedback.
- Improve click-through rates.
- Generate interest and convert customers.
Is Quality or Quantity of Reviews More Important?
In terms of reviews, quality and quantity are equally important—obviously, the more positive reviews, the better. Google averages the stars and provides an average score for consumers. The more reviews with more star ratings will average out better.
However, detailed descriptions outlining the services or products customers were happiest with matters too, more than just a simple five-star rating.
How Can I Get More Reviews?
The best way to get reviews is to ask for them. First, make sure your business is providing quality services or products. Train your staff to request reviews after purchasing your services or products. Additionally, providing a link to your Google Reviews on your website is another way to ensure customers have an easy time finding where to leave the review.
Other ways to request reviews are posting requests on your social media accounts and requesting reviews with follow-up emails to your customer database.
How Can I Remove Reviews From Google?
You cannot remove negative reviews from Google for any reason. However, you can flag reviews for removal.
If the negative review is not accurate or it is potential slander from a competitor or disgruntled employee, you can potentially get the review removed. Google provides a policy for removal—if you have reviews you think should be removed, check out the Google policy to see if you can flag the review for removal.
How Do I Get Started?
Claim your Google My Business page and complete all information related to your business—it’s a free service. Make sure you are posting updates to the account and verify all information is current. It is also recommended to go in and respond with a “thank you” to all the customers who have left a review; this will help with trustworthiness as well as customer loyalty.
For help claiming and managing your Google My Business page, see Google’s help page.