Having an optimised Google My Business profile that includes reviews from customers, positively influences your website's rankings in Google. These reviews are also a determining factor used by clients as to whether they choose your company over your competitors - clearly it is worthwhile for businesses to utilise this. The ultimate goal is to get your business appearing in the local 3 pack (the section of Google’s search results that displays the top three results of local businesses in response to your query), these appear at the top of the first page of search results so getting your business listed here is invaluable in driving more traffic to your site.
Google reviews are public, so every review displays the name of the person who wrote it – which some customers may find more credible. Responding to reviews – whether the customer’s review is positive or negative, has been confirmed by Google as being a positive factor in your local SEO. Your response should always remain professional and sincere - potential customers like to see businesses who are engaged, appreciative of your clients and genuinely care about those who did not have a good experience.
Asking customers to leave you a review is simple - they can simply search for your business on Google and click on “Leave a Review” or you can click this and send them the URL personally.
Every business at some point encounters a negative review. Some are justified, some are not, some may not even be left by previous clients - the unfortunate downside of online reviews is they are open to everyone and anyone. What is reassuring is the fact that Google are very helpful in dealing with reviews that violate their regulations, if this is the case then the review will be removed. If this is not possible then the best plan of action is to respond in a professional manner, addressing the points outlined. The best way to fight a negative review is to 1. respond and 2. surround it with a ton of positive reviews. This will bring your business’s star rating back up.
In summary, Google reviews can play an effective role in the marketing of your business and have a positive impact on your local SEO so make sure you take advantage of this. The first step is setting up and optimising your Google Business profile - if you're not sure where to start then don't worry we can take care of this for you!