After outlining local SEO as a whole, we will now focus on 3 different components of client reviews: how Google takes reviews into account, how the reviews can impact customer behavior, and how to handle client reviews.
WHAT IS IT
Client reviews include comments, either positive or negative, as well as ratings that a customer can leave about your company and their customer experience.
HOW GOOGLE TAKES REVIEW INTO ACCOUNT
According to a study by MOZ (English article), client reviews represent one-third of key factors taken into account by Google in local referencing. Google further considers certain parameters for these reviews such as both quantity and quality of reviews, as well as the reliability of the websites in which the reviews were written. For this reason, your Google My Business account is an extremely important platform that must not be neglected. Other important client review sites that should be considered are TripAdvisor and Yelp.
HOW CUSTOMERS TAKE REVIEWS INTO ACCOUNT
With the internet and the presence of numerous competitors, the reviews your customers leave can make a difference in gaining new clients. Many customers use reviews as a reference to make a definitive company choice. A study from Searchengineland says that 91% of consumers are occasionally or regularly reading online reviews for local companies (source searchengineland). This is particularly true for some businesses that offer a service such as catering (restaurants / cafés), accommodation (hotels / B&Bs), medical / health care, clothing stores, beauty/hair salons, grocery stores, and/or auto services.
For this reason, customer reviews are extremely important and must not be neglected.
Positive reviews (often represented by a star rating) will encourage trust in your business before first contact (83% of internet users trust reviews they read online about a business or service - searchengineland source). For this reason, positive reviews play an important role in the reputation and legitimacy of your business (58% of consumers refer directly to the star rankings searchengineland source).
Client ratings (connected to accounts such as your business Facebook page) can be easily viewed on your Google My Business account when potential customers look for information about your company online. Depending on the obtained results, the internet user will continue to inquire about your business or, on the contrary, search for alternative options.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Another key point to remember is the importance of responding to customers’ reviews, particularly if they are negative. Negative reviews are considered more often than positive reviews by customers, so it is extremely important to address the issue outlined by a customer and show that your business cares about their opinions and concerns and will do its best to address them.
Referring to thisarticle, about 59 % of consumers make a decision having read 2/3 reviews about a company.
Advice to encourage your customers to leave reviews about your company:
* Register your business in many online directories about your activity.
* Develop your presence on the social networks and include a survey link to encourage them to leave a review about your business.
* Send emails to your customers, after an order or use of service, for example.
* Reward your customers. For example, offer a discount in exchange for a review. If the customer uses the discount given there is a good chance their experience was good and they will leave your business a positive review.