Today Google has transformed the way a brand is conveyed. A brand is what your customers are telling Google through your reviews. Take a look at your business on Google; how many stars and how many reviews are by your business name? At first glance a consumer can judge your entire business just by your reviews. Outdated reviews are just as bad as having no or little reviews. Consistently generating new reviews is significant to your business and it matters to Google. You cannot buy reviews and it requires a bit of effort to generate and maintain reviews and responses. If building reviews is not on the top of your 2021 marketing goals, your strategy needs to be reexamined. I will break down 5 reasons to ramp up your Google business reviews and reputation management this year.

1. Google reviews in general matter more then ever. Google decides how you rank based on your volume, keywords in your reviews, third party reviews, star rating, the reviewer and the velocity.
2. Consumers rely on Google reviews to decide if they will engage with your business.
3. Google reviews have a correlation with higher sales
4. Reviews Build consumer trust
5. Your competitors are paying attention to reviews

Review Signals

SEO or search engine optimization in is primarily focused on Google. It’s the most relevant search engine and therefore your focus should be on having your best image on Google. Review signals account for 15.44% of local SEO ranking factors according to Moz. Back in 2018 reviews accounted for 12% of the local pack. This slight increase shows the importance of reviews with consumers. What exactly are review signals? Review signals are made up of a business’s review quantity with text, review velocity (speed at which new reviews are generated), and review diversity. While review diversity refers to reviews on other significant third-party sites like Yelp and Facebook, the main focus should be on Google.

Consumers Rely on Reviews

At one point or another or perhaps several times a day we look to Google to find a local business. In fact, 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 34% searching every day. This is according to BrighLocal consumer review survey 2020. The review survey found that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses up from 81% in 2019.

Let’s consider a typical individual looking to get pizza for dinner. The consumer may look to Google to see pizza restaurants nearby. After reviewing the first few options it is likely they may click on the business that has the highest star rating and the most reviews passing over the business with no reviews or very little reviews. A business with a low volume of reviews may be mistaken for a business that is slow or not popular. A business with a high volume of reviews will be portrayed as having better pizza then its competitor, after all the reviews say they do and it appears they sell more pizza. Picking a business with higher star rating and volume of reviews will help ensure an efficient, satisfying experience. This brings us to our next point…Google reviews have a correlation with higher sales.

Google Reviews have a correlation with higher sales

Ask your self are you more likely to choose a business with a higher volume of reviews and lower overall star rating or one that has less reviews and a perfect 5-star rating? The studies show more reviews correlates with more revenue. According to Womply’s study on the impact of online reviews on revenue, more reviews equal more revenue. The average number of reviews is 82, a business that has more then average number of reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue. Businesses that have 200 plus reviews earn nearly 100% more annual revenue then the average business. If you are wondering how you can maximize sales its probably a good idea to start thinking about how you can generate more reviews.

Reviews Build Consumer Trust

According to Womply’s study people spend up to 49% more money at businesses that reply to reviews. Stay ahead of your competitors and start engaging with your customers through your reviews. It’s a reflection of how much you care about your business and customer satisfaction. Google also looks favorably on businesses that reply to all reviews, both positive and negative. When a potential customer sees that you care enough to respond to a review it’s a reflection of the responsiveness you will have to customer needs and therefore customers are more likely to choose you.

Your competitors are paying attention to reviews

More and more businesses are realizing the importance of reputation management. Don’t allow yourself to fall to behind. Your branding can very well be summed up by the number of star reviews. It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at your marketing strategy, if your review rating is low you won’t convert your leads. Get with Reputation Arm today for a free consultation.