Google, the most widely used search engine and a staple in everyone’s everyday life, is now taking over when it comes to mail, social media (Google+), and reviews. As Google users we are used to the layout and feel of the Google search interface due to frequent use, but what may not be known is the use of Gmail, Google+, and Google reviews, which are prominently used on Google Maps.
What You Need to Know
The ratings, based off a five-star scale, show up alongside the google searches on the right hand side of the page. Below the rating you can find the basic information about the place/company you are searching for and the reviews that have been written. When using Google Maps, the order in which the companies come up is based off the overall rating, i.e. the highest rated business will show above a lower-rated business.
Why You Care
Google Reviews are important due to the power of social proof and the way SEO works. People are more likely to use a service or buy a product that has a higher rating, because reassurance from others is needed in today’s society. Because of this it is important for your business to set up a reviews landing page on your website and ask your current customers to write reviews. An easy way of doing this is to send out an email blast to all the customers with a link to the review page, asking for them for a review.
Also, if you have a social media page for your business, use it! The power of social media is influential in getting consumers involved. The second reason Google reviews are important is due to search engine optimization or SEO, which is the process of getting organic search results on search engines. A lot of factors go into the process of getting on the first search page organically, but having reviews on Google has become important in terms of SEO and should be taken advantage of in order to increase your online presence.
The Really Important Part
Once you get the review page set up and have started receiving reviews from your customers, there are four things you need to remember:
- Don’t expect overnight success. It takes time to get consumers involved. Patience and diligence will be key in this process.
- Don’t fake it. Fake reviews are obvious and there is a high possibility someone will report the review, in turn hurting your ratings.
- Reply to ALL negative reviews. This shows that you acknowledge the customer’s feelings and are making an effort to improve.
- Google Reviews are important, but reviews on other sites are just as important. Having other sites with reviews not only backs up the google reviews, but it also shows that you haven’t been targeting reviews. Power in numbers is beneficial in the overall success of your SEO.
While Google reviews are important when determining your placement on the search page, there are no silver bullets in SEO. Many different aspects go into the determination of your quality score, which is used to determine your page rank. The more people who click on your page, the higher the chance of that page getting to the number one spot on google search organically, which is what SEO is all about.