With 93% of customers reading online reviews before purchasing a product, it makes sense that having Google reviews is beneficial for today’s businesses. Whether you have a physical or online business or both, having Google reviews is essential for today’s digital economy. Consider that 91% of 18 to 34 year olds trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. Let’s take a look at the top benefits of having Google reviews for your local business. 

Why Google Reviews Are Important

1. Increase Your Brand’s Trust

In today’s digital age, most people research a local business before they consider purchasing products or services from them. For almost 88% of online customers, they check out a business’s Google reviews first. These reviews help customers determine the quality of your business, how other customers are treated, and whether you are trustworthy.

To increase your brand’s trust, gaining honest reviews from customers is an effective approach. When customers publish a review, it’s essential that you respond to their reviews on a weekly basis. This applies to both positive and negative reviews. By responding to reviews, it shows others how much you care about your customers and their overall experience with your business. Customers that have posted negative reviews will appreciate you noticing their less than stellar ratings and apologizing and asking them to contact you to rectify the issue. Overtime, these Google reviews will help build trust for your brand, which helps lead to sustainable success for your business.

2. Drive Your Site Traffic

As a business, it’s important for customers to find your site through search engines. Aside from SEO efforts, it’s recommended that you ensure that your business has a good amount of Google reviews. This number varies, but having at least 30 reviews will show customers that enough people have visited your business and can provide an average rating for your business. More reviews are great, while less than 10 shows that your business is either new or hasn’t been visited by enough customers to be worth checking out.

As customers start noticing your positive reviews, they will be more likely to check out your site. When more people visit your site, this will hopefully lead to site conversions. For example, they may fill out a contact form, order a product or service, or subscribe to your email newsletter.

3. Improve Your Local SEO Rankings

As the top search engine, Google uses a variety of complex search algorithms to rank your site. Not surprisingly, Google reviews play a role in improving your local SEO rankings. Moz reports that around 9% of Google’s search algorithm uses review signals to help customers find a local business. Specifically, Google looks at the amount of reviews, type of reviews (positive and negative or local and visitor), and frequency of reviews. Indeed, a well-balanced mixture of these review indicators improve your business’s local SEO ranking towards the top of Google’s search results.

While it’s still a good idea to use specific keyword research and blogging to increase your local SEO, you should also focus on Google reviews if you want more local customers to find your business. When your Google business reviews help your site move up to the top page of the search results, it’s more likely that people will discover your business. Google uses something called a “Map Pack,” which lists local businesses based on your search inquiry. This list includes the name, site, address, phone number, and number of Google reviews for a business. Check out this screenshot below for a visual. 

4. Generate More Customer Leads to Your Business

After customers view your Google reviews, if they like what they see, it’s likely that they will visit your website. Having a modern, user-friendly, and mobile-responsive site is the first step to providing a positive site experience for visitors. Your site also needs high-quality, relevant, up-to-date content that visitors are seeking, such as product and service information, FAQ pages, or educational blog posts. Of course, this is not enough to lead to new customers. Indeed, Google reviews can have a powerful influence on customers’ decision making about your business. If you have positive ratings, you can mention this across your site and social media channels to get the word out about what other customers say about you. This will increase your customer leads as your business appears more trustworthy and professional than those without any reviews.

5. Receive Valuable Customer Feedback 

When customers write a review for your business, this gives you a valuable opportunity from customers. Positive or negative, you can use this customer feedback to determine what you are doing right and what you can improve on. Based on your average ratings, find out what the majority of customers like in terms of your business, products or services, customer support, and even pricing. You can use this feedback to improve your business and get a better idea of how to keep happy customers staying happy and convert unhappy customers into happy ones.

By responding to customers’ reviews on Google on a weekly basis, you are showing how much you care about them and their experience at your business. Other people will notice this and view your business as professional and caring. Don’t let your Google reviews get swept under the rug because this can harm your business and lead potential customers to take their business elsewhere. If you are looking for the perfect, affordable web solution for your business, check out Awesome Website Guys based in Wilmington, NC. We would love to discuss your digital business needs and help you create something truly awesome!