1By Joe Bonacci, Accounting Specialist

It’s hard for a small, local business to start up, grow and thrive in today’s competitive landscape. In years past, businesses relied on word of mouth to expand, unless they were willing to spend a large amount of money on advertising. Google business reviews are your new word of mouth.

Google is often the first point of contact between a customer and a business. It is an incredibly important tool. Over half of Google searches are being done on mobile devices.  So there is your starting point. From this point, when your business or type of business is searched, you want to be one of the top three in your category. One way to push your business to be one of the top searched is Google business reviews. You might be asking yourself how important Google reviews are compared to other review sites. Google is the largest search engine in the world. When someone googles your company, they automatically see your review.

Let’s talk about the importance of Google reviews. Did you know, 91 percent of consumers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews? It IS the new word of mouth.  Imagine if you were new in town and wanted to order a pizza. Would you order from a place that had 1 or 2 or no reviews or one that had 53 reviews with 51 or more reviews being 4 or more stars? Exactly. Think about this, by the time someone has started looking Google business reviews, they have already figured out their need or want, now they need to make the decision of who to go with.  Most people will read around 6 reviews before they form an opinion of a company.

Google reviews work hand in hand with your company’s SEO (search engine optimization). Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings will improve your business’ local rank. If you were Google, why would you recommend a business if they stink?

The Home Service Industry is one of the top 5 business categories that benefit from local SEO. Google reviews are essentially free advertising for your business. The top 3 listings for a local search result average 472 percent more reviews than listing 4-6, so the more reviews you have, the better the SEO. 

For small businesses, SEO and Google reviews are incredibly important. They work hand in hand.  If you are not sure how to get started, go to Google.com/MyBusiness.  Three things to remember that Google business reviews can provide to your company:

  • Increased exposure and local SEO
  • Real feedback from customers so you know what you are doing right and what you can improve
  • It builds your brand’s trustworthiness

When you have more people leaving positive reviews for your company, there is a greater chance that it will attract others to review for your company, which increases your SEO. 

For more on reviews look here.

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