A few years ago, lots of people thought of Yelp as the king of review sites. Nowadays, the landscape has shifted. Google is the site that is getting the most customer attention and thus helping businesses with their online reputation management.
Our research shows that in 2018, 57.56% of customer reviews were written on Google, a share much higher than any other platforms. Facebook and Yelp came in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, with 13.71% and 12.83% of the overall review share. As you can see, there’s just no competition. Google has more customer reviews than Facebook and Yelp combined.
Google’s dominance in the review space makes perfect sense. Google is the dominant search engine and the reviews posted on its platform are easily visible to anyone searching for your business. Google reviews are one of the first things that customers see when customers search for businesses near them.
Does This Mean I Should Only Focus on Google?
Right now, there are hundreds of review websites on the Internet. It can be overwhelming for a business to focus on all of them. Some of you might be asking whether it’s even worth the effort to monitor reviews on each one. After all, that takes a lot of valuable time away from running your business.
Still, your business does need to keep up on every review site. It’s silly to just focus on one review site. After all, you never know what site a customer could discover you on. There are customers on big sites like Google and Facebook and more niche sites like ZocDoc and Cars.com.
You don’t have to waste your time by looking at each review site individually. With a review monitoring tool like BirdEye, you can view and respond to reviews from more than 150 sites on a single dashboard.
That being said, since Google reviews are so visible to customers, you do want to make sure your business puts its best foot forward. A great first impression can be the difference between a customer choosing you or going with a competitor instead.
How to Stay Ahead of the Competition on Google
With this information in mind, you might be wondering about the next steps your business can take. Here a couple of things your business can do to make sure that customers looking at Google reviews choose your business.
Claim Your Google My Business Profile
When a potential customer searches for your business on Google, the first thing that they’ll see is your Google My Business profile on the right side of the screen. Though this might seem like an obvious first step, it’s an easy detail to overlook. Studies show that only 44% of businesses have claimed their Google My Business profile.
By claiming your Google My Business profile, you can make a great first impression on your customers. For example, a customer might want to call you before arriving at your store to make sure that you have a certain item they’re looking for. If you don’t have a phone number listed, they might skip over your business and call one of your competitors instead.
Once you claim your Google My Business profile, you’ll be able to add your address, phone number, and high-definition pictures. Doing this can make your business look significantly more appealing to customers.
Most existing businesses already have a Google My Business profile, so all you have to do is find yours and claim it. If you need to create a new Google My Business profile, click here.
Get New Reviews Automatically
There’s an easy way to get more Google reviews and make your business look more trustworthy to customers: just asking. Research shows that 70% of customers will leave a review if asked.
It might sound simple, but you can’t just ask every customer who visits your store to leave a review and expect to wake up the next morning with 200 new reviews. In order to get great results, you need to send review request emails and texts.
Sending review request texts and emails to customers gives your customers a direct link right to your business profile. This makes the process easy for customers: All they have to do is click the link and leave their review.
We’ve found that review requests convert the best when they’re sent the same day as the sale. The longer you wait, the more your customers’ memories fade. If you send a review request a month after the transaction took place, there’s a good chance your customers won’t leave a review because they won’t remember exactly how they felt about your business.
Luckily, you don’t have to take care of this manually. An online reputation management system like BirdEye can help automate the review process for you. With integration to your Customer Relationship Management system, you can send lots of review requests without ever having to lift a finger.
Stay Engaged With Your Customers
It’s important to respond to your Google reviews. It’s an easy way to stay engaged with your customers. According to Bazaarvoice, 7 in 10 survey respondents indicated that a brand’s response to a customer review changed their perception of the brand.
Plus, responding to reviews helps your business with SEO. Quickly responding to customer reviews shows search engines that your business makes an effort to talk to every customer who walks through the door.
BirdEye allows you to respond to reviews on Google and more than 150 other review sites. Just type in your response in the BirdEye dashboard and it will be posted as a response on the site where the review originally appeared.
You can also set up rules for automatic review responses. Maybe you don’t have time to respond to every 5-star review that comes your way. You can set up rules so that you will automatically respond to these reviews with customized templates.
Maybe you want to make sure to craft personalized responses to specific reviews or solve a customer issue before it becomes a full-fledged problem. That can be tough as your employees have a lot of priorities.
Luckily, BirdEye’s ticketing feature allows you to automatically assign certain reviews to certain employees. The BirdEye dashboard also gives businesses the option to track tickets, so you can see right away if reviews are not being responded to. You’ll also be able to see how long it takes for businesses to close tickets.
How BirdEye Can Help
With BirdEye, businesses can stay on top of every aspect of customer feedback. The BirdEye dashboard allows businesses to automatically send review requests, monitor and respond to reviews from over 150+ sites on a single dashboard, and automatically share 5-star reviews on social media.