What are Google Business Reviews and how does it help in business ?

What are Google Business Reviews and how does it help in business?

The local search algorithm is so complex that a good local SEO has to look at almost every aspect of the business’s marketing, from the website and ads that the business controls to external citations, links, social media, online directories, and more. Customer reviews and ratings are essential items in the SEO’s tool belt, especially for optimizing local businesses.

Google+ reviews can be tough to get, and tough for customers to leave for you. Google sure doesn’t make the process as easy as it could be. But if you really want to attract more customers through the local search results, you need to get Google reviews from current and past customers.
Reviews as a whole are one ranking factor of many. A competitor with no reviews or awful reviews may outrank you. But rankings are secondary: The real point of reviews is to give people a reason to click on your listing and then to pick up the phone or visit your website. A #1 ranking for a business with no reviews is a missed opportunity.

Reviews can only be written on Google+ Local business pages, not on personal or on non-local-business Google+ page. If your page has the little “pencil” button near the top of the page, customers can write a review of your business on that page.

Why Reviews and Ratings Are More Important Than Ever for Businesses

Ratings and reviews are a huge conversion factor, more influential for getting users to click through and make a purchase than business citations or most other elements of local SEO. If your search result has 4.5 stars and 18 reviews (compared to fewer for your competitors), that’s strong social proof that your product or service is trustworthy. But besides increasing users’ trust, recent search innovations have created new reasons that SEO-minded local businesses need reviews and ratings.

Google Map searches now feature reviews prominently

Google updated its map search layout to show ratings and reviews much more prominently, giving users immediate feedback to help them make a snap decision. Ratings and reviews can influence rankings.

Reviews do impact rankings for at least three types of searches:

  1. Map searches – The new Google Maps features tour even says outright that the “highest-rated” businesses near you will be returned when you search with local intent
  2. Local Carousel – A study done by Digital Marketing Works and quoted by Search Engine Land found a “very strong correlation” between reviews/ratings and Carousel position. Many other factors contribute to ranking, of course, but it makes sense that Google would show the “best” businesses first to increase user satisfaction.
  3. Mobile searches – In Google Now search results for mobile devices, review counts and average ratings affect ranking and are prominently displayed

With more than 90% of consumers researching online before ever contacting a business, positive public business reviews are very important for every small business.

While it is not feasible for every business to directly contact customers and clients to ask for a review, those businesses who can – Should! And more than asking for a review, businesses should send a direct link to the actual review form, when possible.

Nearly 70% of all internet searches are done through Google and when a potential customer searches for your business with Google, the average rating of your ratings on Google Business are displayed on the results page with a link for the searcher to read all of your Google Business reviews.

How to leave a business review

As per Google, Customers can leave reviews of your business by following these steps. Reviews from your customers can provide valuable feedback for your business. Replying to reviews helps build trust with customers.

Computer

  1. Sign in to Google My Business
  2. Scroll to “Reviews” and click Manage Reviews. Note that your business needs to be verified in order to respond to reviews.
  3. Click View and reply.
  4. Write a response and click Submit

Note that you’ll be posting publicly as your business when you reply to reviews. Replies to reviews may not appear immediately on your business listing on Google.

Mobile app

  1. Open the Google My Business app.
  2. In the top left corner of the screen, touch the three bar menu icon > Reviews
  3. Touch RESPOND NOW to reply to the reviewer

Tips for Responding to Reviews

Business owner responses allow you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. Be nice and don’t get personal. This isn’t just a guideline–it’s also a good idea as a business owner. It’s difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. In addition, responses should comply with our local content policy.
  2. Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response.
  3. Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers, not just one.
  4. Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not know from their first visit.
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