Google Reviews, Facebook reviews, website testimonials, Yelp Reviews... Yeah, it's pretty overwhelming! When you're busy, it can be tempting to put reviews in the too-hard basket, try to master all the sites and become the 'jack of all reviews, master of none', or turn your attention (and wallet) to a new marketing campaign instead.
But, the reality is that focusing on Google Reviews is one the most important steps toward achieving local dominance your industry.
When managed well, Google Reviews have the power to build brand trust, influence consumer decisions and attract new business. If they're ignored, they can end up deterring customers from your business, spoiling marketing campaigns, ruining customer perception and driving away business. on and driving away business.
But, hey, don't worry! We're not trying to scare you. Let's take a look at why Google Reviews have fast-become a key marketing pillar for local businesses, and highlight why attracting is more of a priority than ever before.
The tremendous reach of Google Reviews
The first reason Google Reviews should be a priority for local businesses is because they have such an enormous reach. Unlike reviews gathered on other platforms, Google Reviews are displayed front and centre of some of our most commonly visited apps and websites, which is why they reign supreme.
Google is the go-to search engine
With over 85% of market share, Google is undoubtedly the most popular search engine on the planet. When a person is in need of a product or local services, Google is often their first place to look. With such widespread usage, it's highly likely that potential customers will stumble across a business's Google Review rating while researching their options. A Google Review rating sits directly below the business' name, turning it into a virtual storefront, offering a glimpse into the experiences of previous customers.
Try it! Type 'local plumber near me' into Google and watch those stars stick out like a sore thumb.
Google Maps leverages your Google Reviews
Google Maps is often forgotten about by businesses when thinking about attracting local customers, but the truth is that it's one of the most popular ways to find a business. Google Reviews are seamlessly incorporated into these search results too.
As a natural result of increased reviews, your reach further extends into this network as well. It's like having your reputation right on the map!
Google: the modern-day phone book
Remember the days of flipping through the Yellow Pages to find a business's contact details? If not, enjoy being young! After "the directory years" came the days of storing phone numbers in your cellphone contacts. In 2023, it's common to hear, "I'll just find their number on Google". That's because Google Business Profiles (GBP) have are the new phone book. Your GBP is a digital business card - and it displays those sought-after customer reviews front and centre.
Even after a customer decides to engage with your business, it's likely they'll still be greeted by your star rating when they search for your contact number or email on Google. That star saying needs to do everything it can to help - not hinder - your chances so securing their business.
The mobile-friendly advantage
In a world where smartphones reign supreme, Google's platform shines. Its mobile-friendliness caters to the majority of users who rely on their phones for information. This accessibility has contributed immensely to the popularity of Google Reviews.
Comprehensive information hub
If managed well, GBP offers a treasure trove of information—address, phone number, website, photos, reviews, services, and even a Q&A section.
All these details in one place make it incredibly convenient for users to make informed decisions. Its "one-stop shop" approach is another reason Google manages over 85% of search engine traffic.
Dependable, reliable, Google Reviews
The second reason Google Reviews are so popular amongst consumers is because they are so trustworthy and reliable when compared to other review platforms. Here's how Google has positioned itself to be the source of truth for so many shoppers:
Google's brand is centred on trust and truthfulness
This one's simple. When it comes to online credibility, Google holds a position of authority. Customers trust Google to supply relevant, data-rich information. The trust afforded to Google Reviews by consumers is a natural extension of the brand's dependability in other areas like search result accuracy, data protection, and probably their stock price as well.
Google has zero-tolerance for fake or spammy reviews
No one wants to be misled by fake or spammy reviews. They're a common problem for businesses and customers alike, and for this reason Google has developed sophisticated algorithms to weed out fake reviews, ensuring that the reviews on display reflect the most recent, genuine customer experiences.
Google Reviewers must have an account
Unlike platforms where reviews can be submitted anonymously (or spammed by bots), Google Reviews require users to have a Google Account. It's all about that trust/transparency factor. It's easy to set one up, and it's important to note that it doesn't mean you need to have an @gmail.com email address. This verification simply adds a layer of authenticity to the reviews, making them more reliable and trusted by consumers.
Readers and reviewers are diverse
Google Reviews are left by, and will be read by, a diverse pool of people, ranging from regulars to one-time supporters, young and old, social media fanatics to consummate professionals. This diversity has two benefits. Firstly, it provides a well-rounded view of your business's performance and perception. Secondly, it means that a larger potential customer base gets to read about your great reputation - great for awareness!
A drive for reviews on Facebook is great, but the comments will go unseen by customers that aren't active on social media. Similarly, you could have 300 raving product reviews that you've uploaded to your beautifully-designed website, but that won't necessarily help the thousands of people searching Google for the best mechanic in their local area. Google Reviews help you capture the all-important "active intent" market segment in ways that other review sites simply don't.
Interaction with Google Reviews
Google Reviews offer businesses the ability to directly respond to their reviewers, on the platform. This capability not only allows them to address any concerns; it also shows appreciation for positive feedback. This two-way interaction enhances the credibility of Google Reviews and offers the opportunity for a business to leave some context to a negative review, or some brand personality to a positive one.
Google: The one-stop shop for information
Once again, Google's platform proves its worth by offering comprehensive business information in one place. Shoppers can gather all the information they need to form an opinion about your business from one Google Search result or one GBP check. This helps solidify Google's role as a decision-making companion.
So, take a moment to review your Google Business Profile. Asides from reviews, how's it looking? With the vast majority of searchtaking place on Google, and well over-half of that activity being for local businesses - how do you stack up? Take a look at our blog on writing a standout business description, or why ensuring your business information is all up to date and accurate. It all adds up!
Google reviews are a key pillar to success in today's digital landscape.
Google owns 85% market share of search results, which means your Google Reviews are more likely to be seen than review efforts on any other platform.
Google Maps is one of the world's leading maps systems, and it displays your Google results loud and proud too.
It's becoming increasingly common for people to Google Search your business for your contact details. It’s important that the results encourage them to call you and don’t put a potential customer off.
Smartphones reign supreme, and Google Reviews are designed to be mobile-friendly.
Google is a one-stop shop for someone looking to contact you or form an opinion on your business. It’s important your Google Reviews help and don’t hinder your reputation.
Google is trusted, so Google Reviews are too.
Google filters out fake reviews and requires reviewers to have a Google account to ensure authenticity.
Reviewers and readers of Google Reviews are diverse, so Google Reviews are often well-rounded and help attract a wide audience.
Tackling the overload of reviews from various platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp can be overwhelming. For local businesses, Google Reviews' should be made a priority to help secure their position as a trusted business choice.
Keen to start getting more reviews, but don't know where to start? Download our free Google Reviews guide and learn the 4 steps to exploding your reviews... the ethical way!