The SEO Power of Reviews for SMB
It’s been a couple of years since reviews became so important that companies started to buy fake reviews. There are platforms known to have lots of fake reviews (such as Amazon or Alibaba) and other platforms that widely still display real reviews (such as Google). The reviews are used by Google as a ranking factor, enabling even small businesses with lots and good reviews to be visible above other websites. As you probably know, Google shows more and more local results (displaying a map with the first few local hits on the top of the search results), effectively positioning Google Business entries above organic search results. Many SMB don’t use the power of reviews yet, although they can boost their sales significantly.
Why do SMBs often hesitate to gather reviews?
Well, one thing we tend to hear a lot is that business owners don’t like to ask their clients for reviews. We do understand that, but at the same time, it’s the only way to generate authentic reviews. Most of your clients will be very happy with your services, and some might even be very active on Google’s platforms and keen on leaving you a review. If you don’t want to ask them, you can either set up automatic emails (i.e. after a successful booking or after your product was received) and provide them with options to review your business on your desired platforms, or you can build in review buttons on your website.
This brings us to the platforms: Many SMB don’t have a Google Business entry yet. We strongly encourage you to set one up, and it’s honestly taking just a couple of minutes and improving your visibility in Google strongly. You can upload useful information like your address, opening hours, phone number and link to your website. Apart from this, you can add a description about your business, beautiful photos of your products, shop or services to intrigue the people seeing your entry, or even post news on your Google business page (i.e. your special offer just valid on Easter). But even a short and simple Google Business entry is better than none: Now your clients can review you.
What do I do with bad reviews?
This is the biggest fear of SMB: What happens when someone writes bad things about my business? To be honest, most of the time, this doesn’t happen. If you have ten 5-star reviews and one 1-star review, you can give a friendly and neutral response to the bad review, clarifying the situation for people stumbling upon this. Often, it’s only an angry person or someone who doesn’t understand the business, or sometimes you may have actually made a mistake (and with a friendly response, you can show your professionality and your great customer service). In case you receive a bad review from someone who is not your customer, you can report the review to Google to be deleted. However, if you get lots of bad reviews, your clients likely explain what needs to work better and you can react, effectively improving your business. Normally, most SMB do get very positive reviews and even just with a handful, you’ll make a great first impression to people interested in your business.
Google reviews are a fantastic way to let your clients speak for you and improve your ranking position in Google. If you have star ratings, your business is already more eye-catching than the one of competitors who don’t have them. A Google Business entry makes it easier for people to find you, buy from you or let other people know how great you are. As it’s one of the many ranking factors of Google and positioned even above organic search results, reviews are an amazingly simple way to boost your SEO. If you need help setting up your SEO, just get in touch.