According to Google, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as word of mouth recommendations. Think about it, when was the last time you didn’t read the reviews about a business before visiting the first time?
Reviews impact the success of local businesses much more than local business owners realize; especially a motorcycle, boat, or car dealership where the customer is likely to return for service, parts, and accessories.
When 97% of consumers say reviews influence their buying decision, review management has to be a top priority for every consumer-facing business.
According to recent studies, reviews account for 16% of how Google ranks a local business listing. This number is up 5% from just a couple of years ago, and that number could grow substantially.
According to Google My Business’s support page, businesses should “interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.” This statement is then followed by “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”
Responding to negative reviews can create positive results too. Statistics show that of the customers who received a response from a company after posting a negative comment, 33% turned around and posted a positive review, while 34% deleted the original negative review.
However, simply responding to reviews isn’t enough. A 2018 consumer loyalty survey found most consumers expect a local business to respond within 24 hours. To do that, you have to have a review response strategy and the ability to carry it out.
Building and maintaining a review response strategy is an excellent way for businesses to improve their local SEO and climb the rankings. Google’s confirmation that responding to reviews improves local SEO means that local businesses have both the tools and strategy in place to do so.
Call us today to learn more about how we build trust and improve your business search ranking through Google Reviews.