Did you know that 5.4 billion Google searches are performed each day? You may have mixed feelings towards the idea of Google My Business (GMB) and whether to use some of its features. One said feature may be the reviews section. If you are hesitant on if Google My Business reviews matter, read on. Because this tool is more powerful, and more in your control, than you might think – especially for ranking in your local area.
That depends. Do you believe your online presence is important? There are two main reasons you should make optimizing your Google My Business a priority.
GMB listings allow people to find your business from anywhere. Google My Business listings give potential customers the most important information they need about your business. That means updating your hours of operation, the services you offer, your location, contact information, and any other info a customer may need to interact with your business. We also recommend regularly adding images and posts to your listing. This not only attracts people to your listing, it also shows regular activity on your listing to Google which helps build trust that your information is up-to-date and accurate.
In addition to maintaining an updated GMB listing, Google My Business reviews are an important ranking factor when it comes to how people find you in searches. Gaining customers online is all about how you interact with them in both a positive and negative light. Proper engagement is allowing an exchange to happen between you and your potential customers.
GMB reviews facilitate this because they allow potential customers to see how others have rated their dealings with your company, and they can see how you responded to their feedback. When people feel like you want to interact with them, or hear from them, they feel better about doing business with you. Your response to negative reviews and how you handle negative feedback can also help build confidence with potential customers by letting them see how any conflict they may have will be dealt with.
As touched on above, reviews are an important part of the GMB platform. Let’s face it. People are always going to talk about an experience that stood out, good or bad, and Google has made it really easy to do this with the GMB review feature. If you really want your GMB listing to stand out, encourage real and honest reviews; good or bad, and then engage with those users by responding to their feedback. And, if necessary, making a wrong, right.
For most businesses, reviews are inevitable. That includes the not-so-favorable reviews. You can’t please everyone, but you can attempt to rectify the situation and hopefully, keep a loyal customer.
When we’re researching a new place to eat, shop, or get our hair done, we often find ourselves in the reviews section. People tend to focus on the negative reviews. For example, if a business has 3.2 out of 5 stars and 100 reviews on Google, that’s going to raise some concerns. If a potential customer sees you listening and engaging with an unhappy one, you appear more credible and bring in more business.
Pro tip: Responding to negative reviews on your Google My Business is especially important. People want to see how you navigate controversy. With that in mind, if you come across a legitimate bad review, remember to always be respectful, honest, and, if possible, find a solution that will make the customer happy. Not interacting with these reviews could alienate people from your business since they don’t see you taking complaints seriously. Make sure you answer in a way that takes the engagement with the customer offline. Make sure to include contact details in your response so the customer can reach out to you that way rather than going back and forth in your review section.
One big mistake that businesses can make is letting the pride for the brand get in the way of how they handle criticism. Our advice? Check that ego at the door. We know that reviews are a great way to listen to our customers. They can even give organic insight as to why business was lost in some cases. If you own pretty much any business, you should care about how the public perceives you. This is not to say you should bow down to all complaints and have the mentality that the customer is always right. You just need to listen to what they say and be respectful in your response. Sometimes, the customer will not be right, that is ok. Just keep it respectful and take it offline.
Google has strict rules and guidelines when it comes to paying for or offering incentives for good reviews. Why? Because if you know someone was compensated to leave a good review, you can only take it at face value.
With that being said, there are several ways you can encourage customers to leave reviews without asking them directly, including well placed links, signs, and banners. You can always ask a happy customer to leave a review as well… Studies show that over 70% of people asked are willing to write about their positive experience with your business. So, don’t be shy! Ask a satisfied client to leave a positive review of their experience, they’ll likely be more than happy to oblige!
You can make it easy for customers to leave a review by making sure links to your Google My Business are easily seen by your customers. Include a link in your email signature or put it somewhere it can stand out in a natural way on your website. These will not only remind or encourage customers to leave a review, it will also direct them straight to your listing so they can do so quickly and efficiently.
Being a business owner can be overwhelming and you often must wear many hats. If you lack the time or the knowledge to manage your GMB listing, find a digital marketing company with experience to help. If you want to speak with someone about your online presence, reach out to Connectica today! Not only are we Google-certified, but we also care about your business as much as you do.
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