April 11, 2024

Google Reviews are Becoming More Reliable and More Important. Whether You Like It or Not

April 11, 2024
Uncover the growing importance of Google reviews for businesses. Stay ahead with insights on their crucial role in online reputation management.
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Understanding the power of customer reviews is essential for all marketers and business owners alike. Consequently, managing, collecting, and reading reviews should be integral to your customer journey. 75% of consumers do not scroll past the first page of the search results, giving your business profile a great time to shine, but also challenging you to keep your information up to date. If your business profile is not in good shape and your reviews are not answered, you could lose potential customers.

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Online reviews have a direct correlation with your business’s online reputation

Customers will look for you online before making a purchase decision in the physical world. Google is currently the fastest-growing review platform, and therefore reviews on Google have become more critical than ever. Reviews directly impact the local SEO ranking and are an important part of a local search marketing strategy. At the same time, it is a powerful tool to convince a customer to purchase your product or service.

When answering reviews, you keep the lines open between the business and the customer, signaling to Google that your profile is active, and resulting in a better ranking for your business profile in Google. Having more reviews in your profile also signals credibility and trust, two things which are important when Google is evaluating your business profile relevance in local searches.

By reading reviews, a customer better understands what the business is doing right, and perhaps what has gone wrong in the past. A positive review works as a good convincer to your potential future customers, and having answered a negative review that explains a mishap or a issue that a customer has experienced, you reassure the potential customer that the issue is being addressed, bestowing trust from the beginning of the customer journey.

60% of consumers will disregard a business if they can’t find it online.

With that knowledge, you should put your gloves on and start working on managing your business listings right away.

The fact is that customers today expect to see reviews of the things they search for on Google. They want to hear good experiences and wrongdoings of a business to evaluate their decision to purchase. The process of convincing has become a more prominent part of the buying journey, a journey that can be well managed through having a great strategy for answering your reviews.

Customer reviews work as testimonials for your company and build trust and credibility. According to a study by Bright Local, an average consumer reads about ten reviews about a company before they feel like they can trust the business. Since reviews impact the customer’s purchase decision and are a powerful tool to affect a customer, try to look for a way to highlight them in your marketing.

The three main reasons why you should focus on getting more reviews on Google

Reviews improve your ranking on Google search

The effectiveness of your review strategy directly reflects your ranking on Google. The more Google reviews you have, the better you rank among your competitors on Google. Getting reviews and being active by answering them will boost your local search rankings. The more reviews you have, the more Google will reward you. A higher count of reviews can also make you more credible to customers.

A successful feedback loop

Reviews are a good source for optimizing your customer experience. By receiving and regularly reading reviews from customers, you'll be updated about how customers are feeling about your company, what they thought of certain processes and what they think went exceptionally well. You’ll likely also hear where improvements could be made on your part to better the experience.

When it comes to negative reviews, make sure you turn them into positive ones for both parties. You can’t undo the shortcomings of the customer experience, but you can and should always take responsibility and make the reviewer aware of this. It is essential to answer negative reviews politely, apologize if the situation requires it and try your best to resolve the issue.

This is your opportunity to excel when it comes to customer service. By acknowledging the reviewer and their concern, you’re signaling to them that the matter is taken seriously at your company and that you will try to solve it so that the mistake does not repeat. Of course you can not only mention this in your review and go on about your day, after answering the reviewer you should actively seek opportunities to improve based on the feedback. Occasionally, if possible, you could also update the reviewer on the progress of the improvement.

Build trust and credibility

As mentioned, positive reviews make customers trust your business more. Reviews of your business build trust and credibility among potential customers; they are empowering and directly affect your business by giving your customers a platform to openly discuss their experience with you. A study by Bright Local revealed that about 82% of customers read reviews before they make a purchase decision and that 52 % of 18 – 54-year-olds always read reviews.

After reading a positive review, customers continue to visit the web page, search for more reviews, contact the business, or visit the actual location. To mention, 76% trust online reviews as recommendations from family and friends, which certainly positively influences purchase decisions. Now also with the customer getting to know your business and making the purchase decision through reading reviews, they are more likely to also leave a review after they’ve made their own purchase. This further develops a positive circle of feedback.

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Getting reviews isn't always easy

Let’s look at the world now, where everyone is gathering reviews and customers are being contacted before, during, and after purchase; getting customers to write reviews is not always the easiest. Reviews have grown into a big part of many businesses, rightfully so, we argue that reviews are going to grow into a bigger market than it is today, and for that reason gathering reviews is essential now and in the future.

With customers being essentially bombarded with requests to give feedback and leave reviews, they might grow a negative connotation to giving it because of their constant cont with multiple businesses. We’re not saying stop sending out the requests, but thinking about how the request is presented and improving the customer experience in a way that promotes feedback can make a huge difference in how you receive reviews.

This goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, stay away from buying or collecting fake reviews. Collecting fake reviews or gathering reviews for compensation goes against Google’s guidelines, and when found the reviews will get removed and your profile could get suspended. Customers will also simply spot a fake review nowadays and that is certainly not adding any good credibility or trust to your business.

Proactively manage your customer reviews

Proactively manage your customer reviews by engaging in conversations when you have customers visiting. If they express something positive about their experience and you can truly feel that they are genuine, make sure to also ask them to leave a review online for you. Since shops can be busy at times and you might not have the time to discuss feedback with every customer, you can keep in contact with them after their visit.

You can do this by sending your customers an email or text message after a purchase, adding a link to easily leave a review on your web page, or encouraging them to leave review through targeted ads for customers who have visited and purchased from your business.

Just make sure that the process of leaving a review is as easy as possible. This is also part of designing a smooth customer journey, and as we all know, a smooth customer journey is a definite competitive advantage in today’s digital world.

How can I receive real-time notifications of new reviews for my business?

To receive real-time notifications of new reviews for your business, you can leverage a platform that offers a feature for instant alerts whenever a new review is posted. By using this system, notifications will be sent directly to you as soon as customer feedback is posted, allowing you to respond and manage your online reputation effectively promptly. This helps you stay up-to-date with customer reviews and enables you to address any concerns or feedback promptly, leading to an improved online reputation and increased business opportunities.

Automate your online review management

Transform all the reviews and feedback you get into valuable, actionable insights that fuel growth. Online review management software enables companies to monitor customers' online reviews and promote a positive experience across all touch points online. Mobal enables businesses to centralize and automate their online review management from one dashboard.

Manage all your businesses reviews from one place

With Mobal, you can manage all your reviews from one place effortlessly. In Mobal, you get a sleek and easy design that guides you through every step of the process. With reviews specifically, you can use our ready-made templates, tailored and sorted by rating, to further effectivize the use of your time, giving you more time and opportunity to actualize and take in all of the reviews to make headway for improvements on your business operations.

You can alo create and edit your own templates to your liking. Have a specific slogan or saying you’d like to use in your review replies? No problem, just add them to your template and have them ready for future answers, ready to be edited and customized to the specific review and situation.

FAQ About leaving a Google review

How can I write a great Google review?

To write a great Google review, make sure to include specific details that made your experience memorable. Focus on particular products, services, or moments that stood out to you instead of general statements. 

For instance, instead of simply praising the overall quality of the food, describe what made it exceptional, such as the unique seasoning on the chicken or the delightful surprise of the chocolate cake. It is crucial to be truthful in your review and avoid exaggerating to maintain credibility. While enthusiasm is appreciated, presenting an accurate representation of your experience is more beneficial to other readers. If areas could be improved, offer constructive feedback alongside your compliments.

For example, if you encountered issues with the service, mention specific instances like delayed drink orders or overwhelmed servers. Write your Google review promptly after your visit while the details are fresh in your memory. This ensures that your review accurately reflects your feelings and experiences. Delaying your review may lead to forgetting crucial points that could affect your feedback's overall accuracy and helpfulness. By following these guidelines, you can write a helpful and informative review that truly portrays your experience for others.

Are Google reviews anonymous?

Google reviews are not entirely anonymous since users are no longer able to leave reviews anonymously. However, individuals can still maintain a level of anonymity by using a username or only providing their initials instead of their real name. It is important to note that all reviews posted on Google are public, so users concerned about sharing their full name can adjust or shorten their name in their Google Profile before leaving a review.

While anonymity can help users provide honest feedback, Google typically promotes reviews from users with real full names rather than fake usernames. This is because the feature of anonymity could be misused to spread false information or damage a business's reputation. Both Google, businesses, and users are vigilant about identifying and removing suspicious reviews that may be misleading or harmful.

How can I post a review on Google?

To post a review on Google, there are several methods you can use based on whether you are using a browser or the mobile app: 

Using a Browser: 

1. Open your browser and perform a Google search for the business you want to review. 

2. Locate the business in the search results and click on it. 

3. Look for the 'Google Reviews' link on the business listing and click on it. 4. Click the 'Write a review' button to share your feedback. 

On Google Maps in your browser: 

1. Enter the business name in the search bar and press enter. 

2. Navigate to the 'Reviews' tab within the business listing. 

3. Click on the 'Write a review' button to start writing your review. 

Using the Google Maps App: 

1. Launch the Google Maps app on your Android or iPhone. 

2. Search for the place you want to review or tap its location on the map. 3. If multiple locations appear, select the one you wish to review. 

4. Scroll down and tap on 'Reviews'. 

5. Tap the empty stars to assign a rating and proceed to write your review. 

By following these simple steps on your browser or using the Google Maps app on your mobile device, you can easily post a review on Google and share your thoughts and experiences.

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