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5 Things Google Reviews Can Teach You About Your Business

Google Reviews

It’s no secret that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for small to medium sized businesses to get found online. Lower web marketing budgets can and often do mean lower website traffic, it’s that simple. To compound this problem, recent updates to Google’s search algorithm mean that customer reviews now play almost just as important a part as SEO in how businesses are ranked by Google.  As a Google Trusted Photographer I photograph lots of 360 panorama s of small business’s, not only do I photograph I also give some one on one instruction on setting up their G+ pages, Google customer reviews is one part we discuss.

  So what do we do ?

However, businesses can capitalize on this strategy. In fact, all doing so takes is an understanding about what Google reviews in particular actually say businesses in the first place. Here then, are our definitive top 5 ways businesses can use Google reviews in order to stay abreast of their competition.

1)Firstly, Google+ is the primary place where businesses need to be directing reviewer traffic in order to improve their search rankings. Can’t understand why you have tens, maybe even hundreds of Yelp reviews, but hardly any on Google? Usually this is because you’re not directing your customers to Google. However, if you really are inundated with reviews from other sites, this can be a sign also that your business needs to start thinking about more search engine specific marketing.

2)Secondly, neither Google or your day to day customers appreciate poor service. In this case, it’s important to remember that Google does take into account negative feedback when ranking and promoting your website. However, this isn’t something which businesses need to be afraid of. Rather, by setting up systems whereby businesses are promptly notified about feedback, businesses can reply to this feedback and attempt to reconcile issues with customers as they occur. The best part of better post sales communication? Your business can start to better identify where and when customer service problems are occurring.   

3)Thirdly and perhaps most controversially, are you actually listening to the feedback which you get through reviews? It’s easy in the present communication age, to attribute poor feedback with certain reviewers’ senses of ego and entitlement, but it’s important not not attribute any and all reviews to such sentiments. Receiving consistently derisive reviews? Maybe your business really isn’t delivering as optimally as it could be.

4)Of course, Google reviews aren’t just useful for giving insights into how businesses themselves are performing. Nothing after all, is stopping you from using Google reviews to monitor the failures and successes of your competition.

5)Lastly then, what do Google reviews say about your customer demographics? Where did they review before you? Where did they review afterwards? And is there any identifiable trends between your reviewers’ likes, dislikes and in general buying patterns? Google reviews provide businesses with a unique opportunity to monitor customers in general buying habits, something which can be key to developing successful future business strategies. 

Feeling overwhelmed? Ideally businesses need to monitor any and all online listings and review sites with hawk like diligence. For many businesses though, this simply isn’t possible. If you are going to choose one place to monitor your reviews though, that place should be Google. Nowhere else after all, can reviews play such a crucial part in the online success and initial discovery of your business.

Ian Johnson is owner of Ian Johnson Photo and a Google Trusted Photographer

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