Many businesses see Google reviews simply as an opportunity for customers to give praise to their products and services. However, not many companies realize that there is a valuable link between product reviews and SEO that helps boost your brand visibility, increase your online reputation, give you more conversions, and fuel better search results – all of it for free!
If you’re not currently using Google reviews for your business, you’re missing out on significant opportunities to increase revenue. Here are five reasons how product reviews and SEO work together to build your business – even if you get bad reviews!
Reviews increase brand trust: With more and more businesses going online, providing transparency to your customers has never been easier – or more important. A recent study found that 93% of consumers used online reviews to help them make a buying decision.
Google also uses reviews to gauge how to rank your website on the results page. The idea parallels the importance of backlinks: when another website links back to your website, Google interprets that as an endorsement and will reward you by giving your website better visibility.
It’s the same with reviews. People leaving online reviews about your business – whether good or bad – signals to Google that you’re a legitimate operation that provides its customers with the opportunity to help influence the buying decisions of future shoppers.
Google gets educated about your business: Online reviews help Google understand your business more. When you add reviews to your website or when customers leave them on Google My Business, it gives the search engine more content to read and keywords to leverage when learning more about your business.
Google will search through reviews for keywords, giving your website added SEO weight when customers describe key information about your products or services. This will also fill in any content gaps on your website, helping Google understand your website better and increasing your overall visibility in the process.
Good reviews bring in more clicks: Sounds like a no-brainer, right? When you’re shopping online, you’re much more likely to click on a business with a Google 5-star customer rating as opposed to a bunch of 2-star ratings. Plus, your star rating appears right by your business name in search results, which highlights your great work for future shoppers.
Just like how click-throughs from search results help your overall rankings, clicks from reviews will benefit your SEO results too. Google sees these clicks as a signal that you’re providing a great customer experience, and give you better rankings as a result.
They help rank your business in the “local pack”: Another important way that reviews benefit your local SEO is by helping you appear in what’s known as the local pack. The local pack is the list of three businesses that appear in the box at the top of the search results page, right underneath the map with the three businesses pinned.
Those businesses are part of the local pack because they have the best matches on the searched term. Your business must appear in that box because it’s the first thing that people see after they perform a search. Your business is more likely to appear in the local pack if your reviews contain both ranking keywords and the location of your business.
You have an opportunity to demonstrate engagement: We all know how important it is to engage on social media to build your brand reputation. However, Google also recommends that to improve your SEO rankings, you should also engage with your audience by replying to reviews.
Of course, it’s easy to respond to great reviews. Negative reviews? Not so much. Nevertheless, negative reviews give you a valuable opportunity to turn the situation around. It’s been noted that 89% of consumers are open to changing their negative review if they are impressed with how the business responds to their concerns. This means that that 2-star review can become a 5-star review with the right approach to the problem.
How to ask for Google reviews
The good news is that Google reviews are fairly easy to get, as long as you make it easy for your customers to give them. Making the review process easy also adds to a positive customer experience, increasing your chances of getting a great review.
Here are three steps you can take to get more Google reviews:
Just ask: The simplest, most direct way you can get a review is to just ask for one. The best time to do this is after you complete a job or when your customer has received a product. You can ask when you send an invoice, through a follow-up email, or just before you conclude a telephone conversation. Make it part of your normal business routine and you’ll start racking up the reviews in no time.
Make it easy: For many people, leaving Google reviews is a snap. However, others might have never done it before, and need a little extra help. That’s okay – here’s another chance to add to an already amazing customer experience! The basic steps of leaving a Google review go like this:
Sign into Google (their Gmail account)
Search for your business on Google
Click on “Leave a Review”
Choose a star rating, write the review, and submit!
The key step is to ensure that the customer signs into their Google account before navigation to your Google My Business page. You can make it easier for them by providing links within the step-by-step instructions that lead to the Google sign-in page and your business page. It’s best to give everyone as much guidance as possible so they don’t get lost along the way.
Send a reminder: Your customers might be too busy to write a review when you ask them the first time. They might not get to it right away, or forget about it altogether. Feel free to send them a friendly reminder within a couple of weeks to give them a little nudge.
You can also include invitations to review your business on your website, social media profiles, or in your email signature. The more avenues you provide to your customers to leave reviews, the more chances you’ll have of stacking them high!
Try getting some reviews today for a cost-effective way to build your brand trust with Google, drive more organic traffic to your website, and boost your search engine rankings.