The Importance of Online Reviews: How To Get Google Reviews and Build Social Credibility

The importance of online reviews is more critical for your brand than you might realize. Reviews determine your company’s reputation.

When you get more reviews, you will gain higher authority, search engine ranking, leads, and sales. Knowing how to get Google reviews is essential since 56% of consumers read four or more reviews before making a purchase decision. 

Understanding the importance of online reviews for your brand will help you discover how to get Google reviews and build a solid reputation for your company online.

This guide will explain:

  • The importance of online reviews for businesses
  • Ways to get more Google reviews 
  • The best customer review websites to choose from
  • Additional tips for getting reviews

The Importance of Online Reviews

About 88% of people trust consumer reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. This shows that a stream of reviews is essential for your company’s reputation and growth.

Keep reading for reasons why your company needs online business reviews.

  1. Online Consumer Reviews Impact SEO

A Moz survey shows that reviews make up 15% of a small business’s ranking on search engines. 

Here are a few tips to improve search engine optimization (SEO) for your online store:

  • Use recent reviews to build your brand awareness and credibility, as 73% of consumers only read reviews going back to the previous month.
  • Increase the number of online customer reviews you have. Having a lot of reviews tells Google that your business has high relevance and trustworthiness.
  • Include long-form positive reviews on your page.
  • Post both positive and negative online reviews. Genuine reviews should fill your online ratings.
  1. Consumer Reviews Increase Sales

As 74% of customers trust local online stores with positive reviews, having good reviews and genuine online ratings will increase your sales. 

Another importance of online reviews is that they influence purchasing decisions. People are more willing to purchase a product or service if other consumers say it’s a good decision. Online reviews and customer feedback are some of the best kinds of social proof

According to Google, the number of mobile users searching for “product reviews” has increased by 35%. 

  1. Customer Reviews Expand Your Visibility

Users explore search engines and marketplaces such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook before they make a buying decision. The search algorithm recommends businesses with trustworthiness.

A stream of good reviews can empower your website to rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when a potential client does a search related to your company. 

The higher you rank on the SERPs, the higher your brand reach and authority as an expert in your niche.

  1. Online Reviews Build Your Company’s Reputation

Consumers determine a brand’s credibility through the number of quality reviews it gets. You need to increase the number of powerful reviews you receive to boost your online reputation. 

Only 48% of buyers will use a business rated lower than four stars. Understanding the psychology of online marketing will help you work towards getting more reviews. 

  1. Consumer Reviews Are Word-of-Mouth Marketing

To potential customers, reviews and ratings from other consumers are necessary as a form of word-of-mouth marketing. 

The importance of online reviews cannot be overemphasized as 62% of people believe these reviews are essential when choosing to use a local business. 

Consumers trust the reviews and ratings of other customers almost 12 times more than what a company says about its product.

How To Get Google Reviews

  1. Start Conversations Proactively 
  2. Ask Customers for Google Reviews in Person
  3. Use Email To Request Google Customer Reviews
  4. Ask for Reviews at Different Stages 
  5. Collect Reviews Through Your Website 
  6. Request Google Reviews on Social Media 
  7. Ask for Reviews After Buyers Complete Purchases
  8. Use Chatbots
  9. Use Customer Review Websites
  10. Promote Your Positive Reviews
  11. Provide Outstanding Customer Service

1. Start Conversations Proactively 

You don’t always have to ask for ratings simply because you know the importance of online reviews. You can indirectly ask for a Google customer review by starting an open-ended conversation. 

Ask questions such as: 

  • Did you find everything you need?
  • How was your interaction with our support team? 
  • Do you need help with anything else? 
  • Would you make another purchase? 
  • How would you rate your experience in our store?

2. Ask Customers for Google Reviews in Person

Most of your clients will leave reviews and ratings if you ask them to. 

According to Bright Local, 72% of consumers gave reviews when asked. So, don’t be afraid to politely ask your customers in person what their experience was with your business.

3. Use Email To Request Google Customer Reviews 

Email is the most popular consumer review method. You can include a direct link to your review page in your emails to consumers.

A solid marketing strategy is to build positive relationships with your audience and stay top of their mind. As 91% of customers check their email every day, consider using email marketing to get more reviews. 

4. Ask for Reviews at Different Stages

The stage your customers are in will determine when and how you ask for Google customer reviews. 

Despite knowing the importance of online reviews, requesting them at the wrong moment could lead to bad online ratings, which will put off prospective customers.

Ask for reviews when a customer has:

  • Successfully purchased your product 
  • Spent time browsing your website 
  • Made a repeat purchase 
  • Tagged your brand on social media platforms

5. Collect Reviews Through Your Website 

You can use your website as a tool to collect online reviews. Include a call-to-action (CTA) asking customers to leave a review. 

To make things easier, you can use a WordPress customer review plugin to embed Google reviews on websites. 

The majority of brands who know the importance of reviews for businesses create testimonial pages or a slider for their website reviews.

6. Request Google Reviews on Social Media 

Asking for reviews on social media through direct messages or posts is one of the ways to get more Google reviews. 

By requesting online consumer reviews on social media platforms, you’re able to include a direct link to the review page, just like in emails.

7. Ask for Reviews After Buyers Complete Purchases

After a customer orders your product or service, their purchase confirmation is usually an email or thank you page. Ask your buyers for Google reviews through these channels.

If the client is new, consider asking them to rate their experience while they made the purchase. Ask them whether or not the transaction process was smooth and if the support team was helpful.

8. Use Chatbots

Use chatbots to support the buyer’s journey. You can use software to display Google review options.

Including an option for customer reviews such as a rating system, quick surveys, and review boxes are some of the easiest ways to get more Google reviews.

9. Use Customer Review Websites

Eight out of every 10 potential customers read online reviews to learn more about a brand. This is why your consumer reviews should be easy to access online. 

Using customer review websites lets prospective customers discover your business quickly. There are several third-party review sites, and one of the best is:

  • Google My Business: This is the most popular customer review website with almost 60% of consumer searches. Google is suitable for everyone and fits nearly all business types. 

If you are looking for how to get Google reviews for your company and expand your reach on the SERPs, consider using Google My Business.

The following platforms are excellent for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands:

  • Amazon 
  • Salesforce AppExchange
  • Tripadvisor
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Facebook
  • Angie’s List
  • G2
  • Glassdoor
  • Yelp

10. Promote Your Positive Reviews

The importance of online reviews in brand marketing is immense. User-generated content, including online consumer reviews, boosts your sales and company’s reputation. 

Build an online review management system that empowers you to publish and promote positive consumer reviews while managing and improving negative feedback.

11. Provide Outstanding Customer Service

Good customer support is essential for getting credible online business reviews. Deliver excellent and proactive customer service to acquire and retain loyal customers.

Expand your customer base, and increase its lifetime value by addressing negative reviews before they become a problem.

Here are a few things to note when you implement these ways to get more Google reviews:

  • When soliciting online business reviews, let your customers know how long it will take them to give feedback.
  • Always follow up with your Google review requests when you don’t get a response. 
  • Don’t offer payment for positive reviews. 
  • Don’t use fake reviews for your business.
  • Don’t cover up negative Google reviews because 62% of consumers avoid brands that censor online customer reviews.

The importance of online reviews for your business is tremendous. Reviews are endorsements to prove your credibility, can give you more sales, and help you build a solid brand reputation. 

Getting more reviews for your business isn’t difficult if you follow the methods above to build a solid review strategy. Start getting more online reviews today by building a website with a Bluehost hosting package.

Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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