In this third blog post about Google My Business, we’re going to talk about why reviews are essential to growing your business. If you missed the first two you can read them here. How to claim & verify your Google My Business listing and How to Optimize your Google My Business listing.
When we’re searching for a new business to work with, a doctor, a product to buy, etc. and we don’t have first-hand experience or a friend or family member’s recommendation, we often turn to consumer reviews for help making our decision. Your potential customers are the same.
Research shows that 91% of people regularly or sometimes read online reviews. That’s a vast majority of people that are reading reviews. More importantly, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as information from friends.
64% of people make their decision after reading 1-6 online reviews. They’re not spending all day looking for information. They’re looking for information so that they can make a decision and move on.
If you don’t have reviews and your competitor does, who do you think the customer is going to choose? Research shows they’ll pick the company with reviews. While all online reviews are critical, Google My Business or Google Maps Reviews are particularly crucial for small businesses. Having positive reviews for your business allows consumers to learn more about you and make a decision to try your business hopefully.
Google Maps or Google My Business Reviews matter because they show up both in the Google Search Results and on Google Maps when someone is searching for information or business near them. Consumers search locally with an intent to purchase (want the hard data on this, read this post).
The yellow star rating associated with your map listing stands out in the search results and grabs attention. We see a higher click-through rate for websites with star ratings and reviews. When I worked at the New York agency and oversaw campaigns for multi-million dollar clients, adding or optimizing star ratings and reviews was one of the strategies we focused on for them because it helped increase their click-through rates and drive more business. Having Google My Business Reviews does the same thing for you but without the additional costs that large e-commerce companies incur for programs like Bazaar Voice and Power Reviews. Adding online reviews is one of the best free digital marketing strategies you can use.