Word of Mouth (WoM) will always be the best form of advertising, but it’s gone digital. If you’re not prioritizing your Google reviews and actively managing your digital reputation, you are missing an important opportunity to be visible and vetted by more clients or customers. Keep reading to learn more about online reviews and how they affect your rankings in Google.
How Google Reviews Can Bring You Clients
When you enter a local search term into Google, three main factors will affect the ranking of each site displayed:
The first two ranking factors are explanatory–Google will attempt to present the most relevant options within your immediate vicinity. Makes sense, right?
Reviews, however, fall into the category of prominence. If you searched for “dog groomer” and found one with hundreds of highly rated reviews, that groomer may outrank a closer local competitor if they have fewer, less positive ratings and reviews.
3 Simple Steps to Get More Reviews and Boost Your Rankings
Let’s say you’re one of the many businesses that doesn’t have a ton of reviews. Here are three steps you can take to bump those review numbers and, consequently, your SEO results.
1. Fix Your Listings
“Near me” searches are growing exponentially year after year. With the rise of voice search, they’ll be even more important. It’s estimated that 22% of voice searches are location-based. That’s a big number and growing by the minute.
If you haven’t done so already, claim your Google My Business (GMB) profile. This is your most visible listing, since it will show up every time someone does a search for your business.
It’s incredible how many businesses don’t take this simple step to boost their rankings and online visibility. Some of these businesses still have their old business address and phone number listed and then wonder why they don’t get more phone calls!
If you want to make sure your Google listing (or Yelp, Bing, or any other listing service) is correct, Google your company and see what pops up. If you think you need help fixing it, give us a shout. We update and optimize Google My Business (and other) listings every day.
2. Send Review Requests
Customers trust reviews. The more reviews you have, the better. That’s why it’s important to ask your customers to leave reviews. This is the kind of social proof that future customers will trust and can ultimately encourage them to convert.
To get the best results, make sure you’re sending review requests via text and email. This makes the process easy for the customer. They don’t have to spend time looking for your business or where to post the review. All they have to do is click the link and write about their experience.
Also, there’s no need to feel weird about asking. Happy customers love to help out. Asking can feel awkward, but more for you than for them. Make it easy for them and you’ll get more reviews. If asking directly is still too much for you, GoBeyond has a cringe-proof process in place to get you those reviews without making you blush.
3. Respond to Customer Reviews
Lots of business owners don’t respond to online reviews. That’s a big mistake. A study by Harvard Business School showed that responding to reviews leads to a higher overall star rating.
But the benefits don’t end there. Genuine responses help build loyalty with your customers. A simple “Thanks a ton, we hope to see you soon!” can leave a positive impression in the mind of your customers and encourage them to come back for more.
Google has confirmed that responding to reviews can help your business rank higher on search engines. What’s not to love about that?
Don’t Stress About Getting Reviews
Word of Mouth will always be a factor when it comes to decision making. We’re social creatures and the opinions of others dictate everything from how we behave at the dinner table to how we make our laws. Word of Mouth has not and will never go away, but how we access those opinions has changed permanently.
Don’t stress about the review process. These days, having the occasional bad review is not a business death sentence. The far worse outcome sounds more like this: “Acme Products and Services? Never heard of ‘em”.
Want to automate your review process to make it easier and less painful to get more reviews of your business? Contact GoBeyond SEO to learn more about our process for getting reviews without the hassle.