The Importance of Google Reviews for Local Businesses

As a society, we depend greatly on Google. When we need information, we go to Google. When we need to find another website, we go to Google. When we want to make a purchase, we go to Google. It’s sort of the internet’s bread and butter. In fact, every day, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches.

Knowing that, it’s easy to see how a business’s online presence is heavily linked to their success as a whole. Whether it be blog posts, podcasts, social media profiles, or company websites, online exposure can make or break a company. In the past few years, we’ve seen Google business reviews play a bigger and bigger role on whether your site gets more visibility and you get more customers. A company’s Google business ratings and reviews end up influencing the consumers’ decisions to engage with the company and/or purchase their produce.

What Are Google Business Reviews?

Google business reviews are a way for people to write public reviews of businesses they’ve used on the internet, where other people can view them and business can respond to them. The Google ratings and reviews provide both the business and its customer with valuable, measurable information and feedback on the customer’s experience. They are presented as an overall rating (out of 5.0) and the total number of reviews and are found next to your Google Maps listing.

So why are Google business reviews so important? Well, believe it or not, all forms of online reviews have the power to influence the behavior of your consumers. For example, businesses with a rating of 4.0 or higher are, statistically, more likely to convert customers than those with lower ratings. Online reviews are a unique way for consumers to validate and justify their online purchases.

In some instances, companies have noticed that their Google reviews have disappeared. This is mostly due to inactivity, however, there are other factors that influence Google’s decision to remove the reviews. If this the case for you check out our helpful guide on how to keep your Google reviews and how to get them back if you’ve lost them.

Google Reviews For Local Businesses

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free tool that allows a business to create and manage a company profile as well as interact with their customers. Companies provide a variety of information on their business, such as the official website, contact information, products and services offered, operating hours, and the story of the business. This is the tool that companies use to view and respond to customer reviews.

Google My Business makes companies accessible to features such as Search, Maps, and, of course, reviews. Customers also consider companies verified through Google My Business as being more trustworthy and reputable. It is necessary for any company with an online presence.

To create an account, download the Google My Business app for iPhone or Android!

Benefits of Online Reviews

Studies from BrightLocal show that 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So clearly, Google’s ability to provide reviews from actual customers acts as a company’s free credibility boost.

Research shows that an abundance of positive Google reviews, especially for unfamiliar businesses, helps increase brand trust, increase online expose, can convert more customers, and directs more traffic to the company website. Companies with more Google business reviews are ranked higher on the SERP and are prioritized on the map pack, which we will elaborate on below.

Negative Google Reviews

Unfortunately, customers with bad experiences with the company are also more likely to leave reviews than customers with good experiences.

Customer Service Statistics - Google Reviews
Yet, although positives are preferred, negative reviews have their benefits too. When a customer leaves a negative review of a business, the company can see the areas that they need to improve upon and can then put an effort into enhancing customer experience. New Dimension recommends responding to a bad review within days of receiving it. This is an opportunity to resolve any issues mentioned by the customer.

Not only does responding to negative Google reviews offer the opportunity for you to provide your own perspective of the matter, but it also shows the customer that you value their opinion. Furthermore, when you respond to negative reviews, you’re not only speaking to that one particular customer but also other potential customers.

Google Map Reviews

As we mentioned above, one of the benefits of Google business reviews is the ability to rise through the ranks in local SEO. This is because, when your business is pulled up on a local Google search, it will be accompanied by your Google business ratings and reviews. This is often a person’s first impression of a business.

See, there are two sections that show up on the local search engine results page. The first part of the SERP is occupied by the local 3-pack, or the “map pack,” and the second is the organic search results. The map pack shows the top three local results under that category. A map pack would come up on a search such as, “coffee shop Encinitas.”

Google Map Pack Example
In this example, Lofty Coffee, Philz Coffee, and Ironsmith Coffee Roasters are the top-listed local coffee shops in Encinitas, California. A business is placed in Google’s local 3-pack if it has services in that particular territory, has high rankings, tons of Google Map reviews (at least compared to other local businesses), a complete Google My Business page, and has SEO or PPC strategies in place that have it ranked on the first page of Google. However, out of all those factors, a business is most heavily influenced by their Google business reviews.

The map pack is valuable to consumers because it provides immediate options for communication: the name of the business, a link to the website, as well as the address and phone number. Along with that information, Google includes the number of Google Map reviews and the overall rating of the business, for example, a 4.3 out of 5.0.

At the end of the day, Google Business Reviews give local businesses a chance to fairly compete with, and even outshine, bigger corporations in the area without spending a dime. Although traditional SEO practices are certainly important to a company’s success, investing time and effort into collecting and managing customer reviews will only benefit your business. For SEO services, both traditional and non-traditional, call New Dimension Marketing and Research or visit our website!

7 Ways Digital Marketing Can Help Grow Your Business

In an ever-changing digital world, businesses are doing whatever they can to stay on top of the game. That means that traditional marketing is out, and digital marketing is in. It just makes sense, considering that the internet is such an important part of our lives. It’s both our mode of communication and our information. Life without it seems impossible.

Here’s a little something to put digital marketing in perspective: Twitter has 336 million monthly active users, Instagram has a whopping 1 billion, and Facebook takes the cake with 2 billion monthly users. Now imagine if your company made an appearance on the home page or newsfeed of a fraction of all those users. It’s easy to see how that could help your business. For every business that’s wanting to stay relevant, it’s easy to see why digital marketing is important. Still, we should take a look at the benefits of using digital marketing.

1. It’s Cost-Effective and Efficient

One way how digital marketing helps a business, especially one with limited resources, is that it’s way more cost effective and more efficient than traditional marketing. Rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars bombarding the public with ads on television, billboards, or flyers that they could potentially ignore, digital marketing helps businesses target a specific demographic and saves them from wasting money on an audience that won’t buy their product.

In the end, that’s the purpose of digital marketing, to be more efficient and affordable than their outdated counterpart.

2. Reaches A Bigger Audience and Expands The Customer Base

When you’re digitally interacting with your audience, whether it be through social media posts or email newsletters, you’re developing a sense of loyalty and trust. It’s one of the simplest explanations of why digital marketing is important. By engaging with your customers, you can get an idea of what they actually want and then try to bring that to the table. Those good relationships that you develop with your customers are what will keep them coming back.

3. You Can Target A Specific Demographic

As mentioned in the first point, people often ignore the paper ads that surround them throughout their life. Still, people do enjoy a good advertisement that actually applies to them. Ads on Instagram and Facebook are unique, as they are usually targetted to a specific person based on age, geographic location, and other interests. For example, if you follow a lot of beauty accounts on Instagram, you’ll probably see more ads for makeup rather than hunting gear.

But that there is a great example of why digital marketing is important. By knowing your audience, knowing who you’re targeting, you are once again using your, possibly limited, resources to the fullest extent, without having them wasted on a forgetful and uninterested audience.

4. Data-Driven Campaigns

There are a lot of programs like Google Analytics that provide you with data after marketing campaigns that you can use to determine what strategies work for you and which ones don’t. By tracking and monitoring your data from those programs, you can determine what strategies will work towards your overall campaign goals, tweak the tactics that didn’t perform well, and save the rest of the guesswork that comes with traditional marketing.

5.  There Are A Variety Of Mediums To Use

It’s hard to pinpoint one simple answer when people ask, “what are the benefits of digital marketing?” It’s gaining customers, increasing traffic to your website, and raising brand awareness, among many other things. But how do you even do that?

The amount of ways to is almost overwhelming. As far as media, digital marketers utilize a variety of social media platforms like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. They can also drive traffic to their website through publishing content their own blog and create monthly email newsletters that will both hopefully convert that traffic to happy, paying customers.

Pay-per-Click (PPC) ads, the ones that appear on the top of the Search Engine Results Page, account for nearly 65% of clicks on Google searches and they are gaining more ground by the day. As effective as some of these methods may be, a lot of people are still getting creative and thinking of new and innovative ways to market their business online.

6. Gives SMBs An Advantage

If you have a small or medium-sized business or an SMB, you will probably have limited funds and resources. You have as much of a need to market to an online audience as the big corporations do, if not more. So how can digital marketing help your business? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and digital marketing are great ways to level the playing field.

Digital marketing gives those SMBs the much-needed advantage. It’s one of the best ways to ensure the company can, not just survive, but compete with the bigger companies.

7. Builds Brand Recognition

Look at companies like Buzzfeed or Apple. Pretty brands, right? A big part of their brand recognition comes from their online presence. If you follow the accounts on social media or are even generally aware with their business, you’ll have noticed how often they are posting and interacting with their audience. You’ll see raving reviews from their customers and friends telling friends how awesome these companies are.

When your audience wakes up every day and the first thing they see is your new product, or an interesting article published on your company’s blog, or a funny photo of your employees, that sticks in their mind. You become an integral part of their digital and physical lives.


An online cycle begins with your customers where they see your ads, buy your product, and tell their friends. You develop a relationship with your customer that keeps them coming back. When they look at their phone the next day and go, “Oh, that’s where I bought those awesome shoes!” That’s the brand recognition.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is unique in that there’s a new trend to take advantage of every few weeks. In this year alone, we’ve had dozens of marketing trends, ranging from virtual reality and AI, to voice search and influencer marketing. All types of companies, from start-ups to large corporations, are learning about the importance of digital marketing today.

When considering how digital marketing helps businesses, it’s important to acknowledge that you’re meeting your customer halfway. They’re already on the internet, they’re already shopping online, so it’s best to make sure you’re the first website or advertisement they see when they’re checking their phone in the morning. The world is changing, use it to your advantage.

Curious about what type of marketing would work best for your industry? Click here or call (760) 632-7337!