Your Company Must Have Google Reviews or It Will Die (2019)
The Internet has changed the way most businesses and customers interact. Google is one of, if not the most, driving factor in this change.
Through reviews, first and foremost Google Reviews using Google My Business, in 2019 customers are able to tell others about their experiences with a business. Twenty, thirty years ago, businesses relied mainly on tactics like physical advertising, word-of-mouth and the Yellow Pages to spread the word about their business. For customers, choosing a company was more of a gamble unless one of their peers recommended them to a business where they had a good experience. This is where Social Proof comes in with our current digital age.
Now, customers can review a business in real time and let every potential customer know about their experience. Some may argue this has changed business marketing for the worse, but if a business consistently provides their customers with positive experiences, Google Reviews can bring them many more customers. How do you get started getting those reviews? Through a Google My Business listing.
How Google My Business Works
The best feature of Google My Business (GMB) is its cost—zero. Google provides the service to businesses free of charge as an incentive for people to come to them when looking for reviews.
Setting up your Google My Business account is fairly simple. You sign up on the Google My Business website and follow the step-by-step instructions. You’ll be asked to provide basic information like your business’ location (if you don’t have a physical storefront, you can still use Google My Business), your hours of operation, phone number, and other social media accounts and/or websites.
Doing this makes it significantly easier for customers to find your business when they perform Google searches. It also:
Allows you to update your listing as needed. For example, if you have different hours for the holidays, you can update your account and let your customers know,
Enables you to share photos. This can be a powerful tool to show customers what you have to offer them,
Gives you the ability to answer any questions customers may have about your business,
And, most importantly, it opens up a line of communication between you and your customers, both past and potential through their reviews.
Once a profile has been set up, customers will be able to review your products, service and/or their experiences publicly. And, each time they leave a good review, your business will be a little more visible and attractive to potential customers.
1. Google Reviews Create Communication
When someone leaves a Google review for your business, they’re essentially starting hundreds of conversations. Think of it as a past customer beginning a dialogue with your future customers who might read their review. Potential customers often make decisions on where to spend their hard-earned money based on these reviews, so do your best to make most your reviews good ones.
“Think of it as a past customer beginning a dialogue with your future customers who might read their review.”
When someone leaves a Google review, the business now has an opportunity to see how a customer felt about their interaction. This comes in either the form of constructive criticism to let a business know what needs to change, or praise to let them know what to keep doing.
It’s common for businesses to reach out to customers who have left reviews for them. If it’s a good review, the customer may appreciate it when you post a comment of thanks on their review. If it’s a bad review, it allows you to make amends and try to resolve the problem. How you respond to bad reviews actually shows potential new customers that when a customer has an issue, that you care and work to resolve it.
View bad reviews in an opportunity. Before reviewing businesses on the internet, it was difficult for those businesses to get feedback on their performance. Now, companies are updated regularly, in the form of reviews, on how well they’re doing their job. This is yet another powerful benefit of Google reviews.
2. Google Reviews Brings New Customers
The more Google reviews your business page receives, the more likely your business will be one of the first ones listed when a customer searches something related to your product. For example, say you own an iPhone repair shop and a customer types “where can I fix my iPhone” into the Google search bar. Your business will show up on a list of local businesses who offer similar services. The more reviews you have, the closer to the top you’ll be.
When you search something like “pizza near me,” it will only show the top three results with an option to see more businesses. This is often called the Google Map 3-Pack. The ones that make it to the top get the most views. The more reviews a business has, the higher it will be on the list when someone clicks to see more businesses. But, the prize is getting to the Google Map 3-Pack.
If you don’t think this is important, consider these statistics: 97% of consumers searched for a business online in 2017, according to a study by BrightLocal. In addition, 85% of people reported they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
If you’re having trouble gaining reviews, don’t be afraid to ask customers for them. If you know you’ve done your job well and you’re sure they’ve enjoyed their experience, it never hurts to ask. Many people will be happy to tell others about your business and them doing so helps drive future customers to you.
3. Find Out What They’re Looking For
Google My Business has an insights tool that lets owners of a business’ page see how people are interacting with your page. For example, when a customer clicks on a button on your page, Google My Business will tell you which button it was—whether it was to call you, get directions to your store, go to your website, and more.
“If you’re having trouble gaining reviews, don’t be afraid to ask customers for them.”
You can use this information as a way to further your understanding of how your customers see your business and what they’re looking for. If you pay for advertising online through a service like Google’s AdWords, you can spend more money driving phone calls to your business if you see a large number of people calling your business through Google My Business.
4. Google My Business Drives Action and Saves Money
Google My Business puts you in front of people who are looking for what you have to offer and want to buy now, or soon.
If used correctly, Google My Business has the potential to save you the money you would spend on traditional advertising like television commercials and radio spots. Years ago, these used to be some of the few ways you could let a customer know you were doing business. They cost a lot of money and there is no way to ensure those ads are being shown to the people most likely to use your services or buy your product.
With enough Google reviews and a strong enough online presence, you can advertise directly to the customers who are looking for your kind of business. And, you can do this for free or at a much smaller cost than traditional advertising.
At the end of the day, businesses want Google reviews to be positive—and the majority of reviews are positive. Use efficient tools like Google My Business to push your business out into the spotlight and if you’re doing your job well, the customers will come.
We Can Help
Big Machine Marketing specializes in business branding and websites, as well as business Reputation Management services. If you need help with setting up your company’s Google My Business listing and review funnel, we’re here to help.
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.