If you’re on vacation and need a good restaurant, where do you go for recommendations? If your doctor retires and you need a new one, who do you ask? And if you’ve recently moved and need everything from furniture to nail salons, what do you do? If you’re like a lot of folks, you pull up Google and start typing. Here’s why Google reviews matter for every business.
- Google is a trusted friend.
In 2014, 88% of consumers read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business. That’s up significantly from previous years, and the numbers are steadily climbing. And 88% also said that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. As a business, you need those kinds of recommendations. Google is out in your community, always available to tell prospective customers why they should choose you. Positive reviews, especially, can lead people right to your door.
- Negative reviews aren’t all bad.
So you got a bad review. Or maybe a couple of them. It’s not ideal, but don’t let them go to waste. Use negative reviews as constructive criticism to make your business better.
Food too slow? Maybe it’s time to look at staffing. Receptionist distracted? Maybe you’re in need of lockers to keep cell phones and personal items. Even the best businesses have room for improvement. Don’t let your ego get the in the way of growth. And while we’re on the subject…
- Your customers want to know you’re listening.
Google makes it easy for you to respond to your customers, so what are you waiting for? Positive reviewers appreciate that you take the time to sincerely thank them for their feedback. Negative reviewers (sometimes) can be placated with a well-thought out answer. And even if you aren’t able to make it right, potential customers can see that you took the time to speak kindly and professionally to a reviewer. Your behavior speaks volumes about your business and can refute (or not!) the reviewers concerns.
- Come out on top (of the page).
Maybe you’re an experienced business owner with years of SEO experience. Or maybe you’re waiting for me to tell you what SEO means. Either way, Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting your company to show up first on Google every time someone searches for your industry. It’s a many-layered process, but basically, Google favors companies with good reviews and more reviews when showing organic