There are over 300 online review sites on the world wide web. From Yelp, Bing, TripAdvisor, Yellow Pages and so much more, it’s really hard to figure out which one business owners should invest their most time in order to increase their online reputation and presence. I know that it can be a little bit overwhelming. Well, let’s settle in now… it is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE to first focus on your Google My Business listing.
Why is Google My Business the most important? Let’s just think about that. What’s the first thing you do whenever you want to find out more about a specific business or service? Google it! Let’s take a medical practice for example. We can assume that whenever a person is referred to or told about a medical practice they’re probably going to run a Google search. When they specifically search for the practice they’ll find web listings such as their social media presence, other websites referencing their company and of course their own website, but what they’re really drawn to is the company’s Google Business Listing Panel on the right side of the page. This area is where they’ll find information such as directions to the business, hours of operation, select photos and most importantly, reviews.
Say it together… Google it!
The same thing holds true when someone is looking for a local business or service but don’t have a specific company in mind. What would you do? Say it together, Google it! That’s when you see a bunch of paid ads on the top of the page (generally I skip over those, I’m guessing you do too) and you’ll see a map of what Google believes to be the three most relevant businesses that match what you’re looking for. Sometimes you’ll see more than three but the additional listings say “ad” beside it and you’ll probably skip right over those. You’ll also notice the review ratings of those businesses. You see where I’ve been leading? Reviews, reviews, reviews!
Reviews have become so important in the business world. Online reviews bring in new customers to businesses. It’s all about Social Proof. A survey from Review Trackers found that 97 percent of consumers research online before making local shopping decisions. Another survey by BrightLocal found that 88 percent of people trust online reviews as much or more than personal recommendations.
Get Google Reviews Or Your Business Will Fail
Getting Google reviews is absolutely vital because you want good reviews to pop up as soon as people run a search for a business like yours or specifically your company. And whenever you get five reviews then you get that little graphic with the star rating for your business right beside your name. Oh man, you want those stars. Besides the reviews showing up on a Google search, they also help with your website rankings, can be posted on your website to provide social proof to potential customers and so much more. All this is the reason why reputation management with even more than just Google reviews has become so important to a business’ marketing strategy.
So how are you feeling about your Google My Business page now? Do you have one yet? Are you going to start asking for reviews?
In a future article, I’ll lay it all out on how to claim and set up your Google Business listing. If you know you need to improve your business’ online reputation but need help, give us a call at (800) 485-9498. We offer full services to help your business get reviews, maintain that reputation, and get the word out what your customers are saying about you.
Adrian La Fosse cut his teeth in the marketing world from being a real estate agent in Columbia, SC. He found that he had a knack and joy in creating websites and other digital marketing elements. His main goal is to work with his business clients to help them see actual results from his marketing campaigns.