Online reviews are one of the most significant determinants of a prospect buying from a business. According to statistics, 93% of users base their buying decisions on online reviews. 81% rely on Google reviews to evaluate a business.
That gives your Google Business Profile a significant footprint in influencing your business’s sales.
Google reviews do more than affect how much money you’ll make at the close of the financial year. Positive and negative reviews also significantly affect your brand’s online reputation, which can significantly impact consumer trust.
Let’s dive deeper into what Google reviews are and why you should care about them.
Google customer reviews is a service offered by Google that allows businesses to collect reviews on their websites. Getting a Google customer review requires an active Google Merchant account.
Through the service, Google does the heavy lifting of collecting customer feedback for you. Typically, Google will email your client, asking them about their experience interacting with your brand. The email contains a short survey form that the customer fills with their information and feedback.
Google allows you to display this information on your website or other marketing platforms. These reviews also help determine seller ratings, including the number of ratings and average star ratings. The higher the rating, the more trust your brand has among customers.
Naturally, most businesses strive to get several positive Google reviews. Often, it’s tempting to ignore a few scathing ones or lightly address the issues raised by the customer. However, these two reviews hold a great impact, which often acts opposite.
According to statistics, 94% of consumers report that positive reviews increase their likelihood of engaging a business and buying their products or services. Inversely, 94% of consumers will cease interacting with a business after reading a negative review.
Most businesses float between negative and positive reviews. The overall impact they have on a business depends on the pattern of these reviews.
If reviews are generally positive, more customers will be drawn to the brand. However, if they increasingly turn negative, new customers will fear buying from the business, and existing customers may be drawn away.
The impact can be significant if you run a Google My Business listing. On average, a GMB listing receives 1,009 searches monthly. This high visibility in search results makes your reviews stand out more to prospects, significantly influencing their purchasing decision.
For a review or set of reviews to be treated seriously by a prospect, it must contain five key factors. These include:
Star ratings have a unique influence on your customer’s buying decisions. According to research, purchasing likelihood increases between 4.0 and 4.7 out of a 5-star rating. If the rating approaches a perfect 5.0 score, the likelihood drops.
That’s because the prospects start questioning the legitimacy of the reviews.
Prospects also want to read very recent reviews of your business. Recency makes reviews more authentic and reflects the current experience dealing with the business and its products or services.
Positive Google reviews have a tremendous impact on several aspects of our business. Some of the reasons why you should invest more into them include:
Consumers desire transparency with the business or brand they’re interacting with. This desire is more profound today, given the improved accessibility to vast amounts of information about a business. That’s why consumers spend considerable time researching a business before committing to buying from them.
With a healthy quantity of Google reviews, customers build trust with your brand. Typically, they’ll pay attention to the number of positive reviews you have, your overall rating, and, more importantly, how you respond to feedback.
For instance, a positive response to negative criticism in your Google reviews shows that you’re a brand that listens to the customer. The response should also be timely so the customer can build confidence in your online support.
Google search algorithms are complex, making SEO one of the hardest nuts to crack. However, with Google reviews, your local SEO can improve significantly. According to Moz, SEO experts believe that Google’s algorithm pays close attention to three types of reviews, these are:
These review signals drive Google’s algorithm based on quantity, diversity, and velocity. By balancing these three factors well, you can catapult your business towards better local SEO performance.
Google business reviews also allow your business to appear in the “Map Pack,” which consists of a group of businesses near the location someone using Google Maps is searching. Typically, the map pack will display your business’s name, address, phone number, website link, the total number of Google reviews, and average rating.
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