The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Local Business with Google Reviews

To build your business, you need to get customers to trust you. One of the most important factors for attracting and retaining customers to scale your business is Google Reviews. Online reviews are just as powerful as trusted recommendations, and they can make a huge difference for many customers. 

Google Reviews serve as strong social proof, which helps customers make decisions based on the experience of their peers. 

So how can you get more Google Reviews and what can you do with them once you have them? 

In this guide, we break down everything you need to know about Google reviews including:

  • The importance of Google reviews
  • Ways Google reviews impact search rankings
  • How to get more Google reviews
  • How to leave a review
  • Deleting reviews


Why do Google reviews matter?

Here are the top reasons to focus on Google reviews:

Google Reviews Boost Local SEO


Your local search ranking is where you show up for relevant keywords on the search results. While SEO is a finicky game, Google reviews are one surefire way to boost your rankings. Google itself even lists managing and responding to reviews as a key determinant of search ranking! Among common SEO practices like optimizing your Google My Business listings with accurate information and photos, Google states the importance of reviews. “Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”

The factors that Google uses to determine the relevancy of your reviews are:

  • Quantity of reviews.
  • The rate you receive reviews (frequency and timeliness).
  • Diversity of reviews. 

Google reviews are critical for your search rankings, and ultimately your visibility in the local market. 


Google Reviews Earn Trust from Customers

When searching for a business online, people are wary, and for good reason. It’s very hard to tell the true quality of a business from what it says about itself online. For many shoppers, reviews are extremely important and powerful, and reviews can help clarify the line between business you should trust and those to avoid. For that reason, 91% of young consumers (18-34) trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. 

Reviews that are authentic and relevant earn the most trust. Companies that have many reviews on the same site also appear more credible. Because of Google’s status, many people trust Google reviews from their peers. 


Google Reviews Convert More Purchases

When consumers are on the fence about purchasing, Google reviews can make the difference in converting. Before making a purchase decision, many people want some sort of confirmation about their choice. Google reviews share the customer experience and can be the final push people need to make the purchase. 

Having a wealth of positive online reviews provides customers with validation nd confidence when purchasing. Of course, a low star rating or sparse reviews can have the opposite effect, repelling customers. 82% of shoppers will not choose a retailer with fewer than 3 stars, and while some reviews are better than none, businesses need at least 40 reviews before consumers will believe the average star rating. 


How Google Reviews Boost SEO Rankings 

Google reviews influence your search rankings by skyrocketing our credibility. Google’s 2018 local ranking factor reviews stated that reviews accounted for a whopping 15.44% of how Google ranks your business! This percentage is up from 10.8% in 2015, making Google reviews 13th of the top 50 ranking factors. 

Earning reviews is only part of the equation. Responding to both positive and negative reviews can also help you rank higher in local search. Reviews also improve click-through rates and conversions, which matter for your rankings. 


How Google Reviews Benefit Ads

Google reviews are the key to more effective ads. Google AdWords is a great marketing strategy that often fails to reach its full potential. When you add Google reviews into your AdWords campaigns you can obtain far more leads than other ads that do not include reviews. More reviews lead to more conversion, which in turn leads to more reviews and sales. This cycle is one you definitely want to capitalize on. 


How to Generate More Google Reviews

Clearly, Google reviews are important for your business. However, trying to generate more Google reviews can be confusing and intimidating, where do you even start? Here is a simple step-by-step checklist for setting up your Google My Business Page so you can collect online reviews. 


Set Up a Google My Business Account

To collect Google reviews, you need a My Business Account. Set up your account and claim your business. Your Google My Business google account allows your business to show up on Google Maps and Search based on the search query. It will show all of your important business information and details as well as photos of your business. Via your My Business Account, you can monitor when people are searching for your business and your listing views. 


Update the Information on Your Account 

Make sure the information on your My Business Account is up-to-date and accurate. Include the details such as:

  • Your services
  • Business hours
  • High-quality photos of your business that help you stand out. Google states that businesses with images receive a 35% higher click-through rate than those without.


Use an Effective Online Review Management System 

Once your Google My Business listing is claimed and optimized, you’re ready to start collecting Google reviews. Waiting around for them to come in is the wrong approach, instead you need to take active steps to encourage reviews. 

The Pew Research Center found that 38% of Americans NEVER leave reviews, despite the importance that customers place on reviews. Even when customers want to leave reviews, they may not know how to. If there are too many steps, then customers won’t leave a review. However, asking is a powerful tactic. Over 3/4ths of customers will leave a review after being asked to. 

Attract and Close can help you simplify the process with our incredible online review management system. With our powerful software, we can help you streamline review invitations, making it easier than ever for customers to leave reviews. 

We utilize text messages and email as the channels for invitations, which produced a much higher response rate. You will experience more Google reviews with our comprehensive system than with many traditional email-based platforms. 


Tips for Getting More Google Reviews

With our online review management system, Attract and Close will help you generate more reviews than ever. However, we have some important tips that will help you get more Google reviews:

  • Time the invitation. Timing is essential when it comes to getting Goole reviews. The best time to ask for a review is right after the sale when there is a bit of downtime. Send the digital invite right after the interaction as it will be fresh in their mind. 
  • Make it easy. Remove the barriers that customers face when it comes to leaving reviews. Our platform helps with this, as we send automated links right to the place customers go to leave their reviews. 
  • Explain the reason. Before or in your invitation, you should set the expectations for the review. For example, you should explain why online reviews are so important and how they can help your business. You should also let customers know how and when they will receive the review invite. 


How Can I Leave a Google Review?

Sometimes customers from the past will want to leave a review, or a recent customer will have a question about the process. Understanding how to leave a Google review will allow you to explain the process to them. Luckily, it’s a really simple process. All you have to do is search for the business. Once you find the business listing, you scroll down to “Leave a Review”. From there, select the star rating and write out any comment you may have. Click “Post” to publish the review.


How Do I Delete a Google Review?

Responding to reviews and trying to resolve any negative reviews is the first priority. However, there are some reviews that are fake, spammy, and not worth leaving up. If a review is unreasonably nasty or fake, then you may want to delete it. 

First, you should still respond to the review. Next, you can flag it ask inappropriate, fake, or promoting a competitor. Google will then review it for removal. You should also report the review to the Google Small Business support who can also remove it. 

In reality, it is normal to have a few bad reviews mixed in. How you handle the negative reviews shows your customer support and that you listen to feedback. Leaving up a few negative reviews makes you seem like a genuine business with real customers, so execute caution when deleting Google reviews. 


Start Generating More Google Reviews 

To conclude, Google reviews should be one of your top marketing priorities. They help your local search rank, show your legitimacy, and serve as powerful social proof for impacting conversions. 

Generating Google reviews is an ongoing process that requires a proven system, and that’s where Attract and Close can help. With our powerful software and expertise, we can help you take proactive steps to obtain more Google reviews which will ultimately help you grow your business. To learn more about our review management system or to get started today, schedule your free consultation HERE.