In this day and age, how do we know the restaurant we are stepping into will be a good experience? Are we sure that the food we serve is excellent as we believe it will be? The answer that many of us will give is Google. It has become the first point of contact for us and business we plan to visit. We use it to compare businesses and find what people have to say about them.
One important metric that Google uses in ranking businesses on their engine is the reviews left behind by customers. This feature was introduced in 2013 and has grown in importance ever since. This feature allows Google users to leave reviews on Google Maps or the Google listing itself. Also, Google reviews are taken into account by the Search Engine and show up on every relevant search. Hence, if your business is to have a great presence on Google, it is pivotal to work on receiving good Google reviews.
The Evidence Behind Review Importance
Even before we present the data that shows the importance of Google reviews, it can be explained in a simple example. Imagine that you are going out on a weekend night and you wish to visit a restaurant to have dinner. Since you do not know of many places, you will want to do some research on where you should spend your money on. Therefore, you will go on Google and type up the type of restaurant you want. Since you do not want to make a mistake, you will choose the restaurant that is preferred by most others, hence the reviews about the business. The more ratings it has, and the higher the overall value is, we tend to pick it more. Therefore, having more and better reviews than your competitors results in more customers visiting your store.
Image 1: Since the second restaurant has more reviews, and an acceptable rating, you would choose that particular one as your destination.
However, if you still have doubt, then perhaps the data can convince you. There was a study conducted in 2014 on the perception people had on Google reviews. The study was quite enlightening about habits. It showed that about 88% of individuals placed the same amount of trust in online reviews as they did with personal recommendations.
This study also had quite an interesting amount of data regarding customer preferences. One that stood out was that 85% of customers read more than 10 reviews. This is an indication that having more reviews can serve to increase trust in your business. Nevertheless, this is an overall indication that Google reviews and other review sites play an important role in how your business performs.
Even before the data is presented to you. It is simple to know that when we see the reviews of a business, and if there is one that is visited more, and has a higher rating. We go for that particular one, over the business that has less and lower ratings. I am quite sure you would as well. Reviews are ever becoming a part that many people take into consideration when deciding to visit.
This comes from a study conducted in 2014 that showed many have begun to accept Google reviews and less are mistrusting of Google. Therefore, since this study’s data came from 2014, it is acceptable to assume that this trend has continued onto this day. Also, the same study found that the more reviews a business has, the more trustworthy it is deemed by customers. Besides, Google reviews are among the first things that people see when they search up your business on Google.
Even a few bad reviews aren’t necessarily bad. If you actively respond to them and look at resolving any conflicts shows potential customers you care about the experience they will have. The positive reviews can be displayed on your business or showcased elsewhere to garner interest in your business. There is quite the amount of things you can accomplish with good reviews.
Improved Visibility on Google
The reviews left on Google by your customers do more than simply enticing more customers to visit your store. Google is always looking to improve the user experience, therefore, they have adjusted how businesses appear on their engine over time. They want to ensure the most relevant and beneficial results appear, and they use Google reviews. They check over how many reviews are left and what sort of rating you receive from them. This is outlined in their article which talks about new Google Map features. They state that the highest rated business near you will appear when you put in a search query.
There was an update recently that ensured to showcase ratings and reviews more prominently. Plus, it has been shown that reviews do impact your local search rankings. A study conducted showed several businesses that lost reviews due to Google changes dropped several ranks. Of of the many that dropped, only one recovered. This was due to the business gaining several positive reviews.
Therefore, it is clear why Google reviews are important, and why your business should focus on them. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!