Why Should My Business Be Listed on Google?
Let’s start to answer that question from your potential customers’ points of view. What do they do when they want to buy something but don't have anybody that they trust to give them a good recommendation? They turn to a third-party review site to see what past customers had to say about your business. Depending on what reviews your potential customers read online will determine if those potential customers decide to become your customers. Business owners may shy away from setting up business accounts with review sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, because they believe they don’t have any control over the reviews left behind by their customers and possibly fear negative reviews. Even though to an extent this is true, business owners should still set up their businesses to be reviewed for several important reasons. At the very least, a business should create a free Google My Business account.
The first reason why a business should sign up for Google My Business and allow customers to leave behind reviews on Google is that it gives their business a big credibility boost. It makes the business seem more professional and legitimate. This does not mean that your business needs to have a perfect 5-star rating. Actually, it would be suspicious to your potential customers if you had a perfect score as their immediate thought is that the business bought those reviews. So, what is the perfect review rating score? Usually anything above a 3-star rating is considered good. This is because customers realize that not everybody's experience is going to be perfect. They expect there to be a mix of positive and negative reviews. Potential customers have a negativity bias. They will pay special attention to negative reviews to get a sense of what it is that actually went wrong and will distinguish between a bad customer and a business' bad customer service.
The second reason to have a presence on Google, the largest search engine, is to create a competitive advantage in your local area, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar store. What are Google’s search algorithms looking for to boost your local search engine optimization (SEO) search results? The ranking factors that Google looks for are review quantity, velocity, and diversity. Review quantity is how many reviews you have accumulated. Review velocity is the rate in which reviews are accumulated. Review diversity is the range of reviews from one to five stars. If you can find balance with these three factors, then you can gain a competitive advantage within the local SEO against your local competitors. Imagine that your potential customer hops into her car, takes out her phone, and searches for a vegan restaurant. At the top of the page, she will be given a list of the top three vegan restaurants that are closest to her nearest location. Under each restaurant's name, its rating out of five stars and quantities of reviews are given. Your potential customer has all the information that she needs to make a split-second decision from which restaurant to choose. If this was your restaurant, your chances of getting picked depend primarily if you are on that list or not. Secondarily, it comes down to if you have the better reviews with the most reviews.
The third reason reviews are beneficial for your business is the feedback your customers give to your business. When customers leave positive reviews, these highlight your business strengths. This expresses what your customers want more of from your business. On the other hand, negative reviews can also be very beneficial for your business, because they show you which areas your business needs to improve to provide a better customer experience. A negative review is also an opportunity for you to build customer trust. If, on behalf of your business, you can respond in a positive way to this negative review, it can signal to that particular customer and your potential customers that you care about their opinions and have the willingness to rectify the problem. This creates goodwill and trust for your business. Some reviews are malicious and, depending on the situation, can be taken down from Google. However, if the negative review is a constructive criticism, and you responded appropriately, or even not at all, it is still beneficial to have it. Minimally, it gives your business more review diversity.
The fourth reason to list your business on Google is that it is a free resource to attract customers, attain testimonials, and improves your click-through rates to your website. A business is always looking to minimize its costs and to increase its revenue. When a business can do both simultaneously, it is a win-win. It is free do setup your account on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and other review sites. Reviews are also free marketing. Considering the time and effort it takes to manage your reviews, you might want to outsource it. Praiseworthy Consulting has the knowledge and expertise to manage your reviews for you, if that is something that you need.