Google Plus Reviews Have More Influence Than You May Think

By August 20, 2013Inbound Marketing, Local

Google+ is beginning to have an even larger impact in the search engine world.

And since reviews are linked to Google+ (which is linked to search), the more positive reviews you collect on your business’ Google+ page the better. This is not simply because positive reviews are great to have for others to view, but also because Google uses your review ratings as one of their many ranking factors.

Google uses the quality and quantity of reviews as a way to mathematically measure a business’ reputation. Google also takes reviews into account that are posted on other well-known websites such as Yelp, MerchantCircle, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc. Naturally, if you mostly have reviews with 5-star quality ratings, then Google will strongly take that into account when they are providing results, whether they appear in the organic section, the Google local carousel, or Google Maps.

Reviews don’t make up the only aspect of Google+ that helps determine search rankings. In fact, all activity on Google+ is taken into account. Just like activity on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, Google sees updates on Google+ as another way to measure whether your business is active and is providing fresh content. (To a search engine, this makes you look like a better resource.) And since Google+ is Google’s own social media network, it gets more influence in Google’s search than all other social media channels according to industry research.

How to approach reviews

Every business claims to be the best. Consumers know this. So are they going to trust you when you say it? Most likely not. They want some type of proof, and a form of proof is others’ experiences with your business. The following infographic from “Marketers Guide to Customer Reviews” by Jon Hall shows us how much consumers trust online reviews:

Google Plus Trust Reviews

As you would expect, great business practices will result in great online reviews. A study done by Cone Communications shows that 4 out of 5 consumers reverse their purchasing decision based on negative online reviews. If you do get a negative review, it is important to comment on the review to try to resolve the issue. In turn, this will show others that you care about your business and want to fix any bad experience that may have occurred. In the same way, it is also important to comment on the positive reviews thanking your customers for their business and the positive review.

What makes a good review?

The more detailed of a description earned from a reviewer the better. When someone goes to search for reviews they want to see a descriptive review to better understand why that review was earned.

For example, lets say I searched for, “best spaghetti in St. Louis” and one restaurant had a couple non-descriptive reviews like this:

“Great spaghetti.”

While another restaurant had a handful of descriptive reviews like this:

“The spaghetti at this restaurant is delicious. Friendly service. Their spaghetti sauce is made fresh daily! This spaghetti has led my taste buds to come back again and again for more.”

I don’t know about you, but I would definitely choose the spaghetti joint with the more descriptive review! Ultimately, your goal is to obtain reviews that show potential customers your product and/or service is a fit for them.

Recommendations

Since Google+ is becoming so important and reviews are so visible and accessible, we highly recommend that if you have a client who loves your service(s) and/or products that you ask them to post a positive review on your Google+ page. You could even send an email to some of your best clients with a link to your business Google+ page to leave a review. (The easier you make it, the more likely a customer will leave a review for you.)

If a customer/client of yours has any questions on how to write a review on Google+, they can follow these simple steps provided by Google.

And if you have any questions about Google+ or other search influencers, feel free to contact us at Clix!

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