Why should you have reviews on Google when there are so many other review sites? What makes Google so special?
Your small business has a set budget for local marketing, and you know online reviews are a large part of what connects businesses to the right customers. Which review site is going to help you achieve this goal?
The Google Giant
Just a little background — Google is taking over local marketing. Even though they’re new to the review game, with Google+ Local reviews launching in 2012 followed by Google My Business in 2014, they have become the search engine giant people turn to for local results.
They’re a reliable source of information for everything the consumer needs to know: hours, address, phone number, driving directions and of course, reviews. It just makes sense to Google a business — Google, after all, is the new verb to describe searching online.
But besides Google’s intuitive popularity among your target customers, getting more reviews on Google should be your focus when you’re building up your online reputation with customer reviews.
Google Reviews Directly Affect Local Organic Search Results
According to Moz, review signals — including review quantity, velocity and diversity — account for between 7 and 13 percent of local organic search results. It would naturally follow that since Google’s reviews are directly linked to their search engine, they’re going to factor into whether you get to the top spot when searchers Google “plumber in Salt Lake City.”
Local SEO starts on Google. Claiming your My Business page on Google is the first step, but ensuring you have a healthy reputation from your online reviews is an integral part of the process as well. It shows Google customers are visiting your business and care enough to post about their experience, and that’s enough to make Google recognize you too.
Google Lets You Ask for Reviews
Yelp has a strict policy against businesses asking consumers to review their products or services. Yelp believes businesses will only ask customers who they know have a favorable view of them to leave feedback, unfairly skewing the results in their favor, and potentially damaging Yelp’s reputation as a fair, balanced, authentic review site.
Google isn’t quite as strict. You are allowed to reach out to customers right after you’ve done business with them and ask them to leave a review on Google. It’s frowned upon (and may get you flagged for spamming) to have customers leave reviews in waves, but genuinely requesting reviews on a regular basis is acceptable, and a great way for your small business to build a digital reputation.
Getting reviews on Google is also convenient because the platform makes it easy for you to respond. You are allowed to defend your brand and try to resolve complaints, or thank your satisfied patrons for their feedback.
Google Shares Reviews from Additional Sites
Google shows consumers results from many different sites, like Yelp, OpenTable, Facebook and more. For this reason, consumers might not even bother opening one of the other review sites — they might just search on Google. Many believe Google’s commitment to transparency beats out the competition and will slowly become the preferred platform for review aggregation.
Want to amass detailed reviews from your best customers? Trust Accrue Reviews to help you get started, providing an easy-to-use system that helps you build your digital reputation. Contact us today to learn more!