Being a business owner comes with a lot of responsibilities. One responsibility you should not overlook is your businesses online reviews. Recent studies by BrightLocal.com show that “92% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014).” Couple these findings with the fact that Google now includes your business’ review standings on Google searches and it’s easy to see that online reputation is as important as ever.
With Google’s recent addition of online reputation figures in their search results (see image below), businesses can be immediately judged by prospective customers instantly after being found. This is a significant addition in many ways to organic search results on Google, but the impact it has on first impressions for a business is second to none.
When considering how this update might impact your business, know this; Google reviews are the most important reviews to monitor. This is because Google Search has become the norm when looking up any information. The update puts an emphasis on Google reviews because the Google star rating pops out at the consumer.
Google’s update also added the section at the bottom of the result title “Reviews from the web.” This section includes review standings from various online reputation websites. In the example below, the image on the left looks far more trustworthy because the business’ star ratings for each review site shows a 4.4 rating or better. They are perfect examples of how your business should look online in Google Search.
The example on the right has very good review standing on Google, Facebook, and Yellowpages. However, the review site Zomato has them at 2.7 out of 5. In the same study done by BrightLocal.com, they find that star ratings are much more valued and trusted by consumers than the actual written reviews, as seen in the chart below.
The research shown above, along with the recently added “Reviews from the Web” section on Google, prove that monitoring your business’s online reviews on all reputation sites is more important than ever before. With the various responsibilities of a small business owner, monitoring your online reputation may be easier said than done, however. The best way to do this might be to hire an internet marketing and SEO company like Next! Ad Agency to oversee your online reputation. This would allow you to continue to manage your business without adding even more work to your duties.
I hope this article has helped highlight the importance of Google’s inclusion of online review in search results. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below!