When it comes to managing your business online, there are a lot of places where people can voice their opinions. Public-facing reviews are a great way to collect feedback about your business, and when used strategically, can be a huge boon to your Google rankings. But if left ignored, Google reviews can also do harm.
Google reviews have been proven to affect a business listing's ranking on the search engine. Studies have shown that positive reviews that use keywords relevant to your business help it to be found more easily by others looking for a similar service. That is to say, if you run a shoe store and someone writes a review about how easy it was to get sized for boots, you may be more likely to rank when people are searching for boots in the area of your business. Reviews also help to show Google that your site truly is relevant to your business, and therefore relevant to what people are searching for.
Absolutely! Interacting with customer reviews is a great way to make your customers feel heard, and to show potential customers that your business cares about the feedback it receives. According to Hubspot, 1 in 5 customers expects to hear back, but by simply thanking reviewers for leaving positive reviews, you're setting the example that you're listening. Nearly 98% of online customers say that review scores affect their purchase decision, so it's very important to cultivate those positive reviews.
Occasionally, despite our best efforts, a customer may still have a nonoptimal experience in your business. If they leave a negative review on your business's Google listing, that negative review can impact your reputation with future clients, as well as affecting your overall rating on Google itself. One of the best things you can do as a business owner is to reply to a negative Google review with understanding and an intent to fix the customer's issue – without being defensive, apologize that they left the store unsatisfied and offer a solution if there is one available.
You can absolutely ask your customers to write Google reviews. In fact, the Google My Business management screen will provide you with a direct link to leave a review, which you can share with your clients through email, QR codes, or other methods. There are just a few rules:
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