We have all heard that “Location is key” when operating a business, this may be true, but there is another critical piece to the puzzle: reputation. Just like opening a new restaurant in a terrible location that hurts your business from day one, a company with a negative online presence can hurt the current and future state of the business.
Google reviews are vital to the local success of a business online. According to “Inc.” over 50% of people who read online reviews formulate an opinion about the business after reading them, and over 80% of people will treat them as a personal recommendation.
A lot of people trust online reviews from customers as much as they trust a referral from a friend!
Three Reasons Why Google Reviews Are Important
To keep things brief, we will go through the importance of Google reviews for your business:
Many people will search your business online before ever seeing it in person; this is why having your Google My Business profile optimized and a slew of positive customer reviews is very important.
Reviews tell a story about the quality of a company’s services or products and how the staff treats people when doing business with them. Online reviews have a significant impact on building trust and good first impressions of your potential customers.
Google Reviews Can Help Organic Search Rankings
Google uses online reviews to rank higher in local organic rankings. Your online reviews are a powerful indicator (for Google) of whether people like your business or not. Many studies have been conducted, and the final result is that companies with good online ratings are prioritized over companies with bad reviews or very few reviews.
If Google wants to provide a great customer experience, it makes sense for them to take our reviews into account. The number of business reviews also makes a difference. If you have five reviews and your competition has 36, who do you think will get the first call?
People aren’t just looking for products and services. They are looking for individual reviews with a positive experience. That’s why people read and trust reviews because they talk about the experience and the quality of products and services.
The way people do business with local companies reinforces the importance of these local reviews. Some businesses receive more calls from a Google my Business profile than their actual site. Often these buyers make a phone call before deciding to visit the website.
We see this as an excellent opportunity for local customers to outperform their competitors through strong reviews and optimized listings.
There has never been a better time to start making optimizations for your Google My Business profile and creating a strategy to get more reviews. From updating your business description to monthly Google content posting, there is a wide range of things you can do on a month-to-month basis to increase reviews and organic rankings through your listing. If you are unsure where to start, here at ChoiceLocal, we are here to help make sure your online reputation is set up for success and help bring more customers through your online listings.
About the Author
Ben Strahsburg is an Account Executive and Digital Marketing Specialist at ChoiceLocal. When he’s not in the office, he enjoys playing guitar, longboarding, and hanging out with his German Shepherd.