Why should you ask for a Google review?
Why should you ask for a Google review? You should ask for a Google review, because reviews drive return on investment for all of marketing, and Google is the most important review platform.
Reasons why you should ask for a Google review:
Online reviews drive ROI for every marketing program
Almost all consumers (93%) use reviews to find local businesses, with over half (57%) doing so at least once per week.
And 78% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from friends or family.
That means that reviews affect conversion rates for every kind of marketing you do—both online and offline.
Even the most offline marketing like “word of mouth” is affected by online reviews.
When a potential customer hears about your business, the next step they’re likely to take is to look at your online reviews. If your reviews are excellent, they’re far more likely to do business with you than if your reviews are poor.
So your online reviews can either give your marketing programs a “head wind” that makes all marketing more difficult, expensive, and ineffective. Or they can give you a “tail wind” that makes all marketing easier, cheaper, and far more effective at driving new business.
Google reviews are the most important review platform
Google has surpassed Yelp as the most important online review platform. More consumers (28%) now say that Google is their favorite review site rather than Facebook (26%) or Yelp (22%). And that trend is growing as 35% of millenials and 41% of Gen Z favoring Google reviews.
Local businesses also recognize Google as the most important review platform for their own marketing purposes. More businesses now search for how to improve their Google reviews than they search for help with both Yelp and Facebook combined, according to Google Trends data (blue is Google, red Yelp, and yellow Facebook).
Google reviews help local SEO rankings
Notice that the businesses that rank in the 3-pack all have their reviews listed.
And notice that they have a whole lot of reviews.
Reviews are now the #3 most important ranking factor for local SEO.
We expect reviews to become an ever-greater ranking factor, eventually eclipsing backlinks. That’s because a review is essentially a customer’s “vote” for a business, while a backlink is just a website visitor’s vote for a web page. So, as Google gets better at parsing the language inside reviews, Google will become more and more confident about using reviews as a superior ranking signal.
So if you want your business to show up in Google’s 3-pack now and in the future, we highly recommend investing in making sure you have a lot of Google reviews and your Google My Business star rating is as close to 5.0 as you can get. For more info on how to do this, check out the chapter on SEO in our Ultimate Guide to Google Reviews.
Google reviews reduce PPC advertising costs
You can use your Google reviews to lower the cost of your pay-per-click (PPC) Google Ads while getting better ad placement.
When you get at least 100 reviews within a 12 month period within your country, and have at least a 3.5 star rating, then Google you may qualify for Google’s seller ratings extension.
When you qualify for Google’s seller ratings extension, your reviews get added to your Google PPC ads.
Ads that show reviews tend to get more clicks. Google has even said that the seller ratings extension can increase your clicks by as much as 10%.
That’s because the stars attract attention to the ad, and then the good star rating gives searchers the confidence they need to click.
And when an advertisement gets more clicks per impression, Google makes more money. It is called “pay per click” after all.
Then something magical happens.
You can actually bid less for an ad placement and beat your competitor who places a higher bid.
When your ad has a higher click-through rate (CTR) than a competing ad, your ad can actually get impressions at a lower cost than the competing ad.
Here’s why…. If your ad gets a CTR of 2% and your maximum bid for an impression is $1, then Google knows it will be able to charge you $2 for every 100 impressions of your ad. But if your competitor has a CTR of 0.5% and bids $2, then Google will only make $1 for every 100 impressions of the competitor’s ad. So of course Google favors showing your ad over your competitors, even though you’re only willing to pay $1 per click and your competitor is willing to pay $2.
So ultimately, your total cost for acquiring new customers through PPC goes down as your CTR goes up. And the key to boosting your CTR is your online reviews and Google’s seller ratings extension.
Here are a few important details about getting the seller ratings extension:
- You can get your 100 minimum reviews from a variety of websites, not just Google reviews (See Google’s seller ratings page for a list of all the websites Google uses)
- Your website URL must match between Google My Business, any other review sites that Google checks on, and your PPC ad
- You have to meet the minimum review requirements in each country you operate in, since the extension gets activated on a country by country basis
Google’s policies allow you to ask for reviews
Unlike Yelp, Google’s policies expressly state that you can ask your customers for reviews. To stay compliant with Google’s policies, just be sure not to solicit reviews in bulk, pay for reviews, or engage in review gating. For more information on how to ask for Google reviews and stay compliant with Google’s policies, check out our article on answering Google reviews.
It’s easy to get Google reviews
Many local businesses find it far easier to get a Google review than a backlink.
And customers will give your business reviews completely free of charge.
Given the high value and low cost, customer reviews offer the highest-ROI of any marketing program your business can invest in.
The only problem most local businesses face is time. When you’re busy running your business and serving customers, you don’t always have time to chase after customers to ask for reviews.
That’s where we can help. Our web app completely automates your review outreach so you don’t need to spend more than a few minutes each week to reach out to every customer for reviews. Check out our product page for details.