It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t left a review about a service or product online at least once in their life. More often than not, we see the stars being placed, we are happy to receive all five, but it is becoming more and more common practice to accompany the stars with a comment that expresses satisfaction, encouragement, recommendation, criticism, annoyance or disappointment. Every review is valuable and important, which is why we continuously encourage our customers to actively engage with their clients, inviting them to comment, leave a review, rate and express their opinion on a convenient platform.
Why do we need this? What does it do for the brand? How does feedback create value across the entire online toolkit? Let’s take it one step at a time, starting with the Google Business Profile (GBP) platform: what it is, how it works, and how reviews get there.
Google Business Profile – The Business Card in Search
GBP is a free social network that creates a profile of a specific business and shows up when users search for your business on Google or Google Maps. It contains key information about your company, its activities, services or products, contact details, opening hours, location, website link and more. This digital sign virtually presents your company and forms the first impression that potential customers have of your brand.
What Does Google Business Profile Do?
You will be seen and discovered by users in search
Millions of users around the world use Google search. A well-optimised Google Business Profile ensures that your business is easily discoverable when users search for relevant products or services in your area.
Providing credibility and trust
A complete and accurate business profile builds credibility. Users are more likely to trust a company that presents itself in a professional and relevant way online, thus promoting a positive perception of your brand.
Gain a SEO advantage
Google Business Profile has a significant impact on local search engine optimisation (SEO). Optimising your profile with relevant keywords, high quality images and consistent information can increase your search rankings, making your business more visible to customers.
Build rapport with customers
The platform facilitates direct interaction between businesses and customers. From answering queries to responding to reviews, active participation in your Google Business Profile builds a sense of community and encourages customer loyalty.
The Role of Reviews in Driving Brand Relevance and Sales
The reviews left by customers on the Google Business Profile platform are the backbone of any company’s reputation. Positive reviews not only contribute to the credibility of your business, but also influence potential customers’ decision-making. Let’s discuss the main aspects of why reviews are important.
The social aspect
Positive reviews are evidence that assures potential customers that others have had a positive experience with your products or services. This can be a powerful incentive for them to choose your company over your competitors.
Google’s algorithm takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews when determining search rankings. The process is only intensifying. In November 2023, Google announced an algorithm update that gives more weight to reviews. There will never be too many reviews, and they will continue to grow in importance in the future, but they will no longer be reported separately.
The desire to see only positive or at least neutral comments is understandable. Paradoxically, in this case, the quantity and abundance of feedback plays an important role in search engine optimization (SEO) – feel free to invite comments even from those users who have been disappointed or whose expectations have not been met. You will see what needs to be changed in your processes, you will talk about it, and it will be evaluated by the customers and the Google algorithm.
Naturally, companies with more positive reviews are more likely to appear higher in search results.
Handling negative feedback in the right way can provide valuable insights into areas where your business can improve. Responding to negative feedback demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and can turn a negative experience into a positive one. Honest and open conversation is the key to building trust.
Impact on conversion
Consumers are more likely to buy if they perceive a company as trustworthy. Positive feedback contributes to this perception and can turn potential customers into buyers. Proper communication with a disappointed customer is also valuable and can help conversion: people appreciate a frank acknowledgement of a mistake for example and an apology. Credibility is built on authentic engagement with customers, not on artificially glossed over comments. Engage in dialogue with your audience, invite comments and feedback.
Integrate Feedback Into Your Website
It is essential, and what we recommend to our clients, to integrate Google Business Profile (GBP) reviews into your website and Google search results. This is one of the strategic steps to improve your company’s online ‘weight’ and credibility. By including GBP reviews on your website, potential customers will be able to easily access authentic reviews, which builds trust in your products or services. This integration helps to improve SEO as Google recognises that user-generated content is a key ranking factor. You can implement this integration by installing a dynamic review widget on your website, which is automatically updated with the latest GBP reviews.
Finally, by integrating GBP reviews into both your website and Google search results, you will create a seamless and trustworthy experience for your potential customers, helping them to make decisions in favour of your brand. It’s one more step towards business success.
We keep telling our clients that a well-maintained Google Business Profile is an integral part of a company’s online presence, giving potential customers the opportunity to discover, learn about and interact with your company. We reiterate at every meeting that harnessing the power of customer reviews further strengthens this presence, influencing both relevance in search results and the conversion of potential customers into loyal customers. In the digital age, using and optimising your Google Business Profile is a strategic move that can have a significant impact on the success of your business. You can passively wait and hope that a customer will leave a star and a comment on your profile. We say it’s worth taking the time and effort to actively engage with customers and build a diverse list of reviews.