After reading these words, Google has already processed over 40,000 searches. That’s 40,000 search queries per second with an average of 3.5 billion searches per day. The word “google” or “googling” is even in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It shouldn’t be a surprise that google impacts our everyday life. But how does it impact your small business?
In lieu of Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, a day which honors small business owners, we want to discuss the impact Google has on your local business-specifically the Google reviews associated with your business. As a business in Port Jervis, New York for the past 17 years, we take pride in our local businesses and want to see them succeed!
So how does Google influence your small business?
- Google Influences Decisions
Whether it’s deciding where to go out to dinner or the best place to get your clothes dry cleaned‑Google is often the first point of contact between a customer and a business. According to a study conducted by Search Engine Land, 9 out of 10 consumers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
- Improves Local Search Engine Optimization
Did you know that receiving reviews on google can boost your SEO? 8.4% of Google’s local search ranking factors are based on reviews. That may seem insignificant, however, as discussed above you know that 90% of people use reviews to make purchasing decisions. Not to mention, Google reviews are favored by the search engine so if you want your business to have a good presence on Google start by getting more Google reviews!
- Get Ahead of the Competition
Let’s just say someone is new to the area and they Google “pizza in Port Jervis, NY”. Customer reviews are among the first things they will see. If your pizza shop is open at the time of their search, nearby and has more positive reviews than your competitors, your business comes out as the winner as the top search query in Google! Thus, according to Hootsuite- for a small business competing against similar establishments in the same neighborhood, Google reviews can often be the crucial tiebreaker between businesses.
- Greatest bang for your buck
Positive reviews provided a greater boost to conversion rates than any other local SEO effort. For a small business, these reviews bring the benefit of social proof to the table and help increase or decrease trust in a business. The same study cited earlier by Search Engine Land also found that 88% of consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Not to mention, getting positive reviews are an easy and cost-effective way for a small business to not only increase their trust but more importantly, increase their revenue.
Tips on how to get Reviews on Google
- Step one- if you haven’t done so already, set up a business page on Google and make sure you get your business verified by Google since the search engine favors verified businesses. Make sure your address, phone number and business hours are consistent with what is shown on your website too.
- Don’t be afraid to be straightforward with your customers- ask for a review on Google. As a small business owner, you most likely know many of your customers by name and as happy customers they will be eager to help you grow and be successful.
- Reward efforts- monitor your reviews and make sure you respond to all of them, especially the negative ones. With that in mind, learn how you can respond to negative Google reviews in a way that leaves the reviewer and future customers satisfied.
- Include a Call to Action on your website- for those who are already interacting with your business online, include a call-to-action button in a prominent spot on your homepage and encourage people to share their experience by leaving a review on Google.
- Use signage- a great place to encourage customers to write a Google review is at the point of sale or on a receipt (if you operate a restaurant). You can even go a step further and offer a small discount to customers who can show proof of having reviewed your business on Google.
Review it Forward for Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!
- Have a favorite local spot? Leave a great review on Google!
- If your business receives a good review this week, review it forward and leave a good review for another local business you’ve had a positive experience with.
- And don’t forget to post on social media when you visit your favorite local place, or new local spot by using the hashtag #LoyalToLocalPJ