Businesses often overlook the value of Google reviews, and if you’re one of them, you’re missing out on a really powerful marketing tool. The benefits are priceless, and it doesn’t take as much effort as you may think. Follow along, and I’ll outline a few reasons why Google reviews are worth their weight in gold.
Google Reviews Build Trust
We’ve all been there. You’re shopping online for something important, something that can’t break within five minutes or the first try. Naturally, the first thing you might look for is a review from a previous customer. If they’ve had a good experience purchasing this item, so should you, right? That verification that we seek sometimes is called “social proof”. It tells us that other people have done business with them successfully or if they’ve had a bad experience. We can leverage, based on other people’s experiences, whether or not it would be worth the risk to do business with a company, just based on Google reviews.
Reviews Should Be Authentic
Google looks down on incentivizing customer reviews. Your customer reviews should always be authentic and genuine. Although it’s tempting to offer a discount in exchange for a five-star review, it’s misleading to new customers. It’s okay to ask for a review, and in most cases recommended. One way of doing this would be to follow up with an auto-generated email requesting a review after the purchase. Google has offered three helpful tips proven to generate helpful feedback and build brand trust.
- If you haven’t verified your business, you’ll want to do that. Only verified businesses can reply to customer reviews. Verification can be obtained through your business registration or physically mailed from your address. Head over to Google My Business to get started.
- Ask for reviews, but do not offer a discount in exchange. Instead, be creative with how you can approach customers to request a review. Most of the time, an excellent experience with your business will naturally gain reviews.
- Make sure to engage with the customers who leave reviews. This builds unique brand trust and shows the community that your company is proactive and involved.
Reviews Can Increase Your SEO Ranking
Believe it or not, reviews can also help optimize your website for search engine performance. When leaving a review, customers can be asked a series of questions related to their experience. Positive responses can signal to the search engine that your website is trustworthy and authoritative. It also helps your local SEO if customers recognize someone from a positive review. The quality of social trust this will build is priceless.
The Bottom Line
Google reviews are definitely one of the most valuable marketing tools available. It’s free to use, doesn’t take much effort, and helps build trust online and in your local community. Be sure to integrate Google reviews into your marketing efforts. Follow our blog and stay informed on the latest digital marketing and web design practices.