The Biggest Changes to Google Reviews

What can you do to stay at the top of the search page?

Over the past two years, Google reviews have become one of the key tools in drawing customers to your business.

Like it or not, Google reviews are now the main driver when it comes to getting potential customers online. More than 85% of people would prefer to read a review of a company or business rather than just hear a recommendation from a friend.

During the pandemic, this process has only intensified. More people are looking for online tools, like reviews, to help them simplify their buying experiences.

While this may seem dauting, there are some simple things you can do to make sure you are getting quality and quantity when it comes to feedback from customers.

Google is looking for three things when it comes to listing your business on a search: relevance, quality, and star rating. Relevance refers to the original search. Is your business — and the reviews it gets — relevant to what a person is searching for? Quality refers to the reviews themselves. Do they meet the search criteria, and do the reviews match what the person is searching for? Finally, star rating. This is what Google mostly uses to determine the order in which it will present search results to the customer.

Google does not care about your business; it cares about what the customer wants to see. If Google sees a bunch of high-star ratings and positive reviews, then it’s likely to put your business near the top of the search list.

So, what can you do?

4 Ways to Stand Out

There are four things you can do to make your business stand out in search ratings:

  1. Improve the quality of your reviews. Make sure you are asking people who had positive experiences with your business. They are more likely to leave you a five-star review.
  2. Increase the quantity of your reviews. As a business, you should have at least 50 Google reviews. This might be difficult for some smaller businesses to get, but try reaching out to past customers. Ask them to leave reviews, which will help you increase the quantity.

Also, make sure the reviews are recent. We found that 73% of clients don’t look at reviews older than 90 days. Make sure you are asking people frequently to leave reviews on your Google page.

How do you get started doing this? Write down a simple plan to get Google reviews at your business. Most companies don’t have this. This process does not need to be complex, but it should start with the following:

  1. Determine an owner. Put someone in charge of the process. The best process in the world doesn’t matter if someone isn’t in charge of it. Also, give that person some sort of a bonus if he or she hits your monthly goal for reviews.
  2. Use texting, not email. Most companies send an email asking for a review, which is largely a waste of time. Around 1% of email review requests work. However, if you ask via text, you’ll get responses between 35% and 45% of the time.

Overall, make sure you stay ahead of the process. Companies that sit back and wait to get good reviews won’t get them. Aggressively seeking new, positive reviews is the only way you’ll succeed on Google.

The goal here is to make you aware of what Google is looking for in reviews so you know how to put your business at the top of the search list.

This process will not change things overnight, but you will start to see a difference if you are consistently asking customer for reviews.

Ben Leighton is a Content Marketing Specialist with Kenect. He previously worked in the journalism industry for over a decade, creating multimedia content on various platforms. You can find Ben on Linkedin and Twitter.

Kenect helps businesses connect with their customers. We build simple texting tools that are elegant and easy-to-use. Thousands of companies across North America use our platform to text their customers, generate online reviews, gather leads from their websites, video chat, and collect payments. Based in the Silicon Slopes of Utah, our team is committed helping businesses improve their customer experience and customer communication.To learn more about Kenect, visit kenect.com or text us at (888) 972-7422.

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