The way people shop and buy has changed dramatically over the last few decades

And it keeps changing, too. So if you’re not keeping up, you’re falling behind. 

Today, 97% of shoppers research Online. 79% compare you to your competition. And then they make a well-informed decision based on what they find.

There’s thousands of people (right now) searching the Internet for what you offer. If they’re not buying from you, they’re buying from someone else. That’s for sure.

So how do you get them to choose you?

Step #1 — Show up where they search.

Since Google controls more than 92% of all search traffic, it would be smart to rank well there. And not just rank well, but really well — in the top three results, since that’s where 75% of all clicks happen. 

If you’re not in the top three, you’re essentially invisible. 

But no worries.

One of the easiest (and fastest) ways to get ranked in the top three — even in hyper competitive markets — is with Google reviews.

Step #2 — Get more 5-star reviews.

Google’s local ranking factors, according to Moz, places heavy significance on reviews. And since 89% of people say reviews influence their buying decisions, putting a Google review strategy in place ASAP is certainly a worthy endeavor. 

It’s arguably one the most important aspects of an SEO plan.

To attract & win more customers, you need to rank high on Google and get a steady stream of 5-star reviews. It’s crucial. The sooner you start, the sooner you can catch up, pass & dominate your competition.

Keep reading. Inside this guide, you’ll find step-by-step instructions to make it happen.

Local businesses benefit in 5 significant ways from Google reviews

Benefit #1 — Increase exposure & local SEO

Adding Google reviews on a consistent basis is one of the fastest ways to climb the rankings. Moz says it accounts for roughly 15% of Google’s algorithm. And although traditional SEO activities work well, they can take months or even years before seeing the kind of results that matter.

Benefit #2 — Increase brand awareness, trust & transparency

People don’t just visit your website to learn more about you, they read your reviews, too. And positive reviews build instant trust. The more, the better. Also, 89% of shoppers read your responses, too. So make sure to respond. It deepens their trust and also shows transparency, which 86% say is more important than ever.

Benefit #3 — Increase website traffic

A steady stream of clicks to your website is incredibly important. It leads to more prospects, customers, and higher Google rankings. One of the best ways to get a click is with a Google review. As people read them (gaining trust), your business listing is right there — making it easy for them to click. More positive reviews = more clicks. And more clicks = higher rankings. 

Benefit #4 — Increase leads & customers

As your exposure, trust, transparency, and website traffic increases (via reviews), your sales will increase, too, as a consequence. The groundwork has be laid. By the time they see your offer, 89% have got to know you, like you & trust you — increasing the likelihood of them making a purchase. Almost nothing has a greater impact on your business (and ROI) than getting more Google reviews.

Benefit #5 — Increase customer feedback & insights

Listening to the voice of the customer is one of the best ways to build a lasting brand. The more you know about what’s working and what’s not, the better you can fix your current offer, or craft your next offer to better align with your customer’s wants, needs, and don’t wants. 

How to get more Google Reviews a simple step-by-step guide

Step #1 — Setup your Google My Business listing

Visit https://www.google.com/business, sign in to your account (or create one), enter your business address (or claim your listing), complete all the basic information, and then submit for *verification. It’s a very simple and intuitive process. Just follow Google’s instructions.

Step #2 — Optimize your Google My Business listing

According to Google, “businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.” 

All you need to do to is fill out everything that’s relevant to your business. Be as complete as possible. Ensure the information you enter is accurate (and kept accurate) — products, services, hours, etc. And then upload high-resolution photos to make your listing stand out, which can (according to Google) help you get 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more clicks through to your website.

Step #3 — Start collecting Google reviews

Now it’s time to start asking for reviews. If asked, 76% will leave a review. That’s a very encouraging number. The biggest deterrent is convenience. If you make it hard for them, the likelihood of them following through will decrease. So make it easy. Write an email or a text message & include the link. 

Step #4 — Tips for increasing the number of Google reviews you receive

Increase your chances of a review by sending an email & a text, because text message open rates hover around 82% compared to 20-30% for email. Test the timing of your requests, too. Send during a lull in the sales process, just after a sale, or maybe a few days later once they’ve had the opportunity to fully enjoy. See what works best. Go with that. 

Once you get a review — respond as fast as possible. Google says this “shows that you value your customers and their feedback and helps ‘build consumer trust.’”  Demonstrating that you’re responsive will make people more willing to leave you a review.

And last, use a reputation management system. Requesting, collecting, analyzing, and responding to reviews can be a time consuming and labor intensive task. But the right system can make it easy.

*To prevent scams, Google requires that all Google My Business listings be verified by the business owner before showing up in search or maps. You can verify via phone, email, or snail mail. This could take a few days to complete, but it’s worth the extra security.

How to dominate your local market

Right now, thousands of people are Online, searching for your business. 

If they don’t find and buy from you, they’ll find and by from your competition.

Catch up, pass, and then dominate your local market by becoming a top-rated & top-ranked business by automatically sending review requests to your customers via text and email, managing reviews efficiently, and providing your customers an easy and convenient experience with Realiiz’s reputation management system.

Realiiz helps you get ranked, found, and then trusted & chosen by your local market, by allowing you to —

  • Request & collect thousands of reviews
  • Read & respond to reviews from a single dashboard
  • Give your customers a simple & convenient experience
  • Customize & add a review widget to your website — to further build trust

See how Realiiz can help you generate more leads & customers by watching this demo.