How to grow your business with Google Reviews
According to an internet and e-commerce expert J. Clement, Google’s market share in search engines is almost 87% as of July 2020. There’s a very high chance that you use it yourself. If that’s the case, you’re undoubtedly familiar with Google Reviews.
When looking to visit a place, the first thing most of us is searching for it. Then, the thing you’re most likely to see is its Google Review. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small – chances are, it has a rating.
It makes sense, then, to think about how you can implement this tool to expand your business. After all, it’s already there, so why not use it to your advantage?
Why should you even care?
Many people refer to the current time as the ‘Age of the Internet’. With the International Telecommunications Union estimating that almost 87% of people in the developed world have access to the Internet, this statement correctly describes the status quo.
Considering that almost 9 out of 10 people you’ll meet use Google as their search engine of choice, they’re more than likely to use it to search for your business. And if they do, you better make a great first impression.
OK, so where do I start?
The first thing you should do is to make your business appear on Google Maps. That’s how it becomes possible for people to leave reviews. There’s a comprehensive guide about it available on Google’s website so we won’t discuss it here. Instead, we’ll focus on what follows.
Once you appear on Google Maps, that’s pretty much all you have to do. Now that the servers have processed the information about your business, a big block will appear in the search results of anybody interested in what you do. This piece of information includes the address, your opening hours, and, most importantly, what people who visited thought about it.
How do I get reviews for my business?
OK, so you’re visible on Google now. That’s great! However, your review count is a big, fat zero. And that’s perfectly fine. You don’t want to keep it that way for any longer, though, so now it’s time to get some precious ratings.
The most obvious way to get a couple of reviews reasonably quickly is to ask your family and friends. People closest to you, no matter whether they’re familiar with your business or not, will always be eager to help you with your new undertaking. Therefore, that’s where you should start to get some initial traction.
If you’ve run out of people, or simply don’t want to go this way (which is fine, too, by the way), you can always ask your most loyal clients to leave a review. They’re much more likely to do it compared to someone who’s visiting you for the first time. That’s because they know you and since they’re loyal clients, it’s safe to assume they enjoy the service or product you offer.
In addition to that, those people might feel like they’re helping you grow (spoiler: they are). It’s a win-win situation for everybody. You could even go as far as offering them something in exchange. That will make them even more eager to leave a rating and will strengthen the bond between your business and those customers.
Now comes the organic part. Don’t forget that the reviews are publicly available, meaning everyone can leave a rating if they wish. So, it could happen that in the process of obtaining reviews yourself, some people did it without being prompted. That’s what you should be aiming for in the long term – people liking your business so much that they decide to leave a review to help others find you.
Of course, you can ask every customer you serve to leave a review, no matter whether they’ve been with you for years or whether it’s their first purchase. That could work, especially in the early stages of your Google presence, but may seem annoying in some industries.
Obviously, you know your customers the best, so it’s entirely up to you to decide what decision will be best for business. Just remember to don’t come off as selfish. Put your customers first, and they’ll certainly repay you.
Will it actually help me?
Think about it this way – if people want to access more information about your business, they’ll most likely Google it. Then, if it appears on Google Reviews, it might just be the make it or break it moment for you.
Put yourself in this situation. Imagine your friend told you about a local restaurant she enjoyed, so you do a quick search on it. The first thing you’ll see is a Google Review for this place. If you don’t, that could mean it’s not visible on Google Maps, which might spark the thought along the lines of ‘Do those people even want me to find them?’.
If it does have a Google Review attached to it (and let’s be honest, it most likely has), that first thing you see, the star rating, can singlehandedly be the reason why you decide for or against visiting this restaurant.
Sometimes, when we want to assess how customers act, the best way is to look around and within. How do people around you act? What would you do in that situation? In many cases, this kind of mindset won’t work. Here, however, due to the ubiquity of Google, it’s a great idea.
The bottom line
No matter what you do, an online presence is a must in today’s world. Because the word ‘online’ has become synonymous with Google, people will naturally want to find you there. And if you want people to find you, then Google Reviews is the way to go.
This seemingly small element can significantly increase your results. Because it takes so little time, energy, and no money to start, we encourage you to take the first step right now in case you haven’t already.