Online Reviews

Reviews vs. Ads: Why a review generation program should get your marketing-dollars

Online reviews now dominate search results, leaving business owners to wonder how to attract new customers. Consumers used to rely on neighbors, friends and family when searching for a new service. Busy lifestyles, and the availability of information on the internet has moved word of mouth to online reviews.
 
As a result, business owners are now faced with choosing between an online reviews solution vs. advertising. As a business owner, focusing on your review strategy comes first. If you think about it, it’s better to work on your reputation. The better your reputation is, the more conviction you’ll have once you decide to advertise. Below are the benefits of using an online reviews solution for your business:

Free advertising

Each review you receive from your customers advertises the value you deliver to your customers and your community every day. Prospective customers trust real people’s reviews over advertising. Their experience working with you and have seen the amazing service that you provide. Reviews have become trusted recommendations that happen between neighbors.

Improved search results

Local search results influence the number and recency of reviews you have. Once Google recognizes activity on your pages they will count your business rank higher in search results. Google needs to see that you’re still active online, and that your customers are engaging with your business by leaving you feedback. Ads simply can’t provide the same value as reviews.

Peer recommendations

82% of U.S. adults say they read online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing items for the first time. Reviews let new customers know of the quality, attention to detail, service and even the pricing of your services. With reviews, customers know what to expect from you and your team before they work with you.

Constructive business suggestions

While we all strive for positive feedback, negative reviews provide feedback on how to improve your business. Negative feedback can become a mechanism to refine your team’s processes, products, or services offerings. Responding to your customers needs and striving to deliver the best solution to the community you serve can pay off.

Closer relationship with customers

Give your customers a forum to comment on their experience with your business. This indicates to your customers that you care and helps to forge a deeper relationship with them and the community you serve. Replying to reviews shows that you value constructive dialogue with your customers. Being receptive and responsive helps to build loyalty and trust, especially if the customer felt they had a bad experience.

Trust

By investing in your review strategy, you’re investing in your customers. Reviews build trust by validating why customers should work with you. Nowadays, consumers can distinguish user-generated content from advertisements. Modern consumers ignore ads because they attribute paid-content with being untrustworthy. Furthermore, modern customers regard reviews as a trusted information source.
If you’re looking for a review solution, Broadly can help! Broadly helps small businesses generate online reviews across Google, Yelp and Facebook. You’ll look your best online, keep your customers, and optimize your business processes – all with the power of reviews!  Get in touch with us to learn more.
Google My Business

Google Makes Changes to Star Rating System

Google is one of the best places to get a positive review for your business, especially for local search. Not only does it give you that warm and fuzzy feeling, but it also goes a long way in attracting prospective customers to your business.
 
Google frequently changes its approach to its review system to best represent the best businesses in the area. Even though Google’s choices are out of your control, you can still prove to be the best with your business’s products, services, and customer service. Go with the flow, do your best to stay on top of the latest changes, and adjust your strategy.
 
Google recently made some changes to how it displays and calculates star ratings. These changes may affect how your business listing appears in local searches in two important ways.
 

1. Google is now displaying gold stars for business listings that have as few as one review.

 
In the past, the company’s policy was to only display a star rating after earning five reviews. However, the five review minimum is no longer. If your Google listing has a few reviews, make sure that they’re positive. A single, one-star rating now stands out, and can have a significant and adverse effect on your listing.
 

2. Google is taking a new approach to calculating a business’s star average.

 
In the past, Google used the Bayesian average. This means Google took ratings data for all businesses into consideration when calculating an average. Because of this, five-star ratings held more weight than others.
 
Now, Google is relying on the arithmetic average to calculate star ratings. Google calculates the arithmetic average by adding all star ratings together, then dividing the sum by the number of reviews. For example, consider a business with following star ratings:
 
  • Five 5-star ratings,
  • Three 4-star ratings,
  • Two 3-star ratings.
 
By using the arithmetic average, the business’s average star rating is now 4.3 ((5+4+3)/3=4.3).
 
Many agree that Google’s shift from the Bayesian average to the arithmetic average is a good thing. For one, it’s easier to understand and is a more accurate way to calculate star averages. However, the jury is still out on the change to the way star ratings get displayed.
 
As noted, you have no control over what Google does with its star rating system. The best thing you can do is to understand the system, stay current with changes, and do your best to earn great customer feedback on your Google listing.
 
Do you have a strategy to generate great customer reviews on Google? Let us show you how Broadly can manage the process, so that your business stands out and shines.