With 1 in 4 UK consumers now using TripAdvisor before they book their holiday, the importance of reviews in todays consumer-led society has never been higher. This week someone came to JDR for an interview, and had read all our Google reviews ahead of the interview. Many potential customers read our reviews before finally deciding to work with us. Your customers do too.
It’s not always easy to get these reviews – your customers will mostly take your good service for granted and Google don’t let you write a review without opening an account so unless they are extremely motivated they will be easily deterred. In the company marketing department, you may not have easy access to your customers, and many directors dislike the idea of ‘bothering’ customers to ask for reviews. So is it worth the effort? Here are 6 great reasons:
1) Google Reviews Boost Your Local SEO
20% of all searches in Google have some local intent, e.g. ‘Solictiors in Worcester’, or like the example below 'SEO Company in Derby'. This is growing as more and more searches are done on mobile devices as consumers are out and about searching for local products and services. In fact, a massive 40% of all searches on mobile devices have local intent. Google’s map results rank first for these local searches, and to rank well in these results you need to have lots of positive reviews.
2) Google Reviews Increase CTR From SERPs
If you are monitoring your keyword performance in Webmaster Tools you’ll see your ‘click through rate’ (CTR) from the search engine results pages (SERPs) for each keyword. Every time your website appears on the first page of the search results, your consumers choose whether to visit your site or one of the many others they are presented with. If yours is the only site which shows reviews – you’ll get the click.
Google reviews normally only appear as part of the map listings, but you can even get your web team to mark up your website code so that a summary of your reviews appear in all searches via ‘Rich Snippets’ – an example is below.
3) Er, People Read Them. Obviously.
Your directors, your staff, your customers, your prospects – people read reviews. That’s the culture we’re in now – people will believe what ‘Sarah, unknown Google user’ thinks of your business before they believe any of your marketing spiel. People – especially in the UK I find – are sceptical and wary of cons and scams. The more reviews you have, the more proof that you are a real business with real customers – and the more positive those reviews are, the more confidence they will have in you and your business. You will get more sales leads, they will convert better and buy more on the back of this confidence.
4) There Is A Bad Review Out There…With Your Name On It
Just imagine what your directors, staff, customers and prospects will think if they see someone has left a review of your business.
Imagine that one day, while looking through your proposal a potential customer decides to Google you, and sees that someone has left a review. They are curious, and click to read it, only to find a vicious, harsh and angry review from someone going to great lengths to detail exactly why you are a terrible company to deal with and why everyone else should stay the heck away from you.
This may sound unlikely, but no business has ever been successful without upsetting a few people along the way – and sooner or later someone WILL write a review like this for you. Even if this proves to be a false review from a malicious competitor and is eventually taken down, the damage will have been done. You can never get a first impression back.
The only way to defend against this scenario is to swamp any bad reviews with good ones. If a potential sees one bad review and no good ones, they will question your business. If they see one bad review and 50 great ones, they will question the bad review.
So get started now, you can’t start soon enough.