More than 70% of searches online are for local products and services. 78% of those searches result in a purchase. If your local business is not showing up in a google search, your business is missing out on an incredible opportunity.
In a survey done by Search Engine Journal, people trusted the Google MAPS listings and their associated reviews more than any other results on the page. In fact, in the same survey, people said that they trusted the reviews on those listings as much as they trusted word of mouth from a friend or neighbor.
If I had to characterize the goal of Google in listing businesses, the top priority is for credibility and trust. We are at the point where not having reviews on our Google business listings is NOT an option. Getting reviews is an absolute necessity but how do you do it without inciting some potential negative reviews?
REVIEW MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND TOOLS
Review management software facilitates the need for businesses to request AND moderate reviews. This is how review management software works:
1. Send request to one or many clients via email or SMS
2. Request is to rate your business 1-5 stars.
3. Software intercepts reviews that are low ratings and sends info to business owner
4. Software forwards reviews that are 4-5 stars to Google for direct review
ALL reviews deserve a response. Bad reviews need to be dealt with directly. Good reviews should at least show a business thank you however you can do much more even with the positive reviews. With every review, you are adding content that reflects your business and reputation. Use the opportunity.
Review Management Software and Services
Using review management software and services will remove the fear that some businesses might have relative to "opening a can of worms" that didn't need to be open. But the truth is, applying reputation management services to your business is not only good for your Google rankings, it's good for your business. If you don't ask, you may not know until the client has posted on Google without your knowledge. If you do ask, you get to do something about it before the customer posts on Google. You may even turn that customer into a positive review.