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February 13, 2023
The Ultimate Guide to 5 Star Google Ratings and Reviews
In this chapter, you’ll learn how customer reviews and google ratings drive sales. After reading this chapter, you’ll know how to focus your efforts on the most important review sites—Google or otherwise.
Get Google Reviews, Respond to Reviewers & Manage Your Online Reputation
Over 60% of customers check Google reviews online before they visit a business. They’re looking for social proof and reassurance that your business is right for them.
85% of consumers are willing to leave most businesses a review.
But it’s hard to get customers to leave real-life, positive Google reviews
You’re texting, emailing, calling, or otherwise actively asking customers for Google reviews.
How can you get more Google reviews?
How can you control and manage what potential customers see in Google?
How can you make it easier for customers to leave positive Google reviews?
How should you ask for Google reviews?
How should you respond to Google reviews?
How can you remove or delete bad Google reviews?
We’ve got the answers laid out in this ultimate guide and in our Reviews and Feedback How-to Hub.
What is a Google review?
A Google review is a voluntary, unpaid, online review that which customers write about places they’ve visited. Google reviews are tied directly to Google Search, Google Maps, and your Google Business listing. Google reviews make it easy for people to leave feedback, add pictures, and tell others about their experiences.
UNDERSTANDING GOOGLE REVIEW RATING
The Google review rating system is a five-star rating scheme that ranks businesses based on client comments. After dealing with a company’s products or services, customers can submit a company review, in which they must choose one star (poor) to five stars (outstanding).
Although not every company has a Google search rating, having a good (3 stars or more) score and favorable comments, and a positive rating provides several advantages.
It provides click-through and visibility rates. Positive reviews result in up to 29% more clicks, resulting in additional visitors to your website.
It helps in building consumer trust. Online reviews are one of the most critical factors for customers when choosing a company. Consumers pay close attention to online reviews, and over 80% of consumers read online reviews, with 86 percent expressing hesitation about purchasing from a business with negative ratings.
Although having no reviews or ratings won’t harm your business, you’ll miss out on exposure if you don’t have any. Negative stars and feedback will cost you a lot of potential consumers!
Although this is not conclusively established, there are persistent rumors that Google takes company reputation data into account in their search algorithm. Some empirical evidence suggests that poor repute (including internet reviews, fraud accusations, website security/malware concerns, and so on) can reduce your Google search visibility.
Google 5-Star Rating
According to Hitreach, the essential Google review and Google 5-star rating requirements include 1) Getting reviews from Trusted review sites, 2) Applying the correct Schema (code) markup, 3) Having a high site authority in the form of other websites linking to yours and a powerful overall brand.
In recent years, Google has relaxed the criteria for earning star ratings in search, meaning you only need one verified review from a client to display them. After obtaining reviews on your Google Business page and third-party sites, you must inform Google about it as soon as possible.
Following are a few methods to obtain Google Reviews:
Through Google My business profile of yours. Users may write a review for you directly on Google maps if they have a Google account.
Through Google’s trusted review sites – Google prefers reviews from 3rd-party sites to be on their list of review partners, which carries weight for organic review stars while primarily concerned with ad extensions. Trustpilot and Feefo are both well-known and reputable, making them good choices.
Here’s what Google reviews look like for customers searching for your business in Google Maps:
7 reasons why Google ratings and reviews matter
Out of all the review sites for building and managing online reputation, Google is the biggest.
They’re also the most relevant for local, small businesses. This is because Google Reviews are tied heavily to local searches, Google Maps, and Google’s search algorithm.
Here are the top 7 reasons why Google ratings and reviews are so important:
Your potential customers want to search and find you on Google Google reviews improve your local search ranking Customers look at more recent reviews first
The number of reviews your business has will build credibility Customers want to see honest, truthful reviews Customers read the tone and sentiment of your existing reviews
1. Your potential customers want to search and find you on Google
Why does your business need Google Reviews? Well, 86% of consumers read reviews when they need a job done or they require a service.
Just Google phrases like, “plumbers near me” or “local flower shops” and you’ll see how other businesses rate on Google. In fact, the average local business has about 39 reviews.
2. Google reviews improve your local search ranking
Reviews are one of the biggest google search engine ranking factors for local businesses.
They’re also an incredibly low-cost digital marketing strategy.
Looking to improve your visibility, Google ratings and ranking in Google?
Then you’re going to need to get more reviews by asking via text message, email, and over the phone.
Google even uses all of your reviews and business information to figure out what your business does. This helps them judge the quality of your products and services.
3. Customers look at your recent Google reviews first
Just because you have a host of reviews tied to your account, doesn’t mean they’re relevant.
Many customers will look at your most recent reviews first. This is because they recognize that services are variable or sometimes seasonal.
Google also weights how recent your reviews are as a ranking factor in their local search algorithm. Recent reviews indicate general business activity.
More recent reviews also reassure customers that others are actively using your product or service and finding success.
4. Your business doesn’t need a perfect 5-star rating on Google
Having a few less than perfect reviews won’t tank your online reputation. Things happen and sometimes people are entitled to leave reviews that are critical of your business or service.
Bad reviews show that you’re human. But responding gives you a chance to publicly show how empathetic, responsive, and customer-oriented your business is.
When someone leaves a less-than-perfect review, be sure to respond quickly (we’ve got strategies for that below).
It’s also a good move to integrate Google reviews into your customer service process. This gives you a more streamlined way to collect feedback and build your online reputation.
You stand to gain a lot just by appearing empathetic and responsive. Moments like that can go farther than a bunch of perfect 5-start reviews that don’t say much.
5. The number of Google reviews your business has built credibility
Quality reviews are important. But your quantity of Google reviews is also a ranking factor. It’s something potential customers will consider when evaluating your business.
But keep in mind, the number of Google Reviews you need will vary depending on your business and competitive landscape.
If your competitors have a bunch of reviews, then you’ll want to at least get close to matching them. You can offset this sometimes if your reviews are more honest, truthful, and comprehensive.
6. Customers want to see honest, truthful, comprehensive Google reviews
Have a lot of long, honest, high-quality reviews? That’s great because the average consumer reads around 10 reviews before trusting a business. Customers can also spot fake Google reviews from a mile off.
So when you ask for Google reviews, ask those who are willing to take the time and be honest.
Short, impersonal reviews don’t really say much to potential customers who are evaluating your business. Sometimes they can even seem fake.
As a best practice, try to give your customers guidance or offer a template. This makes it easier for a customer to leave a review and ensures quality (more on this below).
7. Customers read the tone and sentiment of your existing Google reviews
The star rating, number of reviews, review length, and recency all matter. But tone and sentiment are important too.
Google doesn’t necessarily use sentiment to rank you in Local Search and Maps, but customers sure do. This ties back to getting more honest, high-quality reviews.
Potential customers want to see that the people reviewing your business are human. They want to understand how others feel about your business.
Improve your existing Google 5 Star Ratings
When you’re gaining feedback on your business, make sure to listen to it all —both positive and negative—and don’t just respond to the ones that make you look good. No one wants to see many bad reviews on a company with no comments since this suggests that the firm doesn’t care. As a result, try to respond constructively to as much criticism (good or bad) as feasible since this paints a far brighter picture and increases the likelihood of receiving higher ratings.
Also seek out brand evangelists—amongst those who purchase your items, follow your social media platforms. There are sure to be some individuals that would gladly provide you with a favorable review. This might be used in an influencer marketing strategy. Product evaluations, connections with bloggers or social media users, and so on may all be a part of this.
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