Local Search and Google Reviews
Let’s say I was looking for a local chiropractor around our Oklahoma City office. A quick Google search shows me a list of chiropractors in the area. Right away I can see business ratings and the number of reviews for each practice. If I choose to click on the chiropractor’s pin, I can see brief summaries of the latest reviews shown alongside all the essential contact information.
That’s it! If I was unfamiliar with the area and didn’t have coworkers around to recommend me a practice, this is all I would need to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. Google reviews can often be the tiebreaker for inquiring about business. My example illustrates the first and most obvious benefit of Google reviews – customer reviews are among the first things people see when they search for your business category on Google.
Google My Business Verification
Let’s say your reviews on Google are terrible. Where should you start? The first step is to verify your business on Google. You will do this by claiming ownership of your business on Google or creating a Google+ page. If you already have one, you can claim your business on Google. The search engine favours verified businesses, so take time to confirm the information Google has by postcard or phone.
Once everything is setup, you will want to focus on asking or reviews. For businesses, online reviews are one of the best direct channels for customer feedback. An unfortunate trend has surfaced across the past few years that negative experiences are more likely to inspire reviews than positive ones. This goes to show that reviews are an uphill battle and something you will have to continuously fight against to optimize your conversions.