Tip 2: Get That Review Count Up!
Having online reviews is the modern day version of word-of-mouth advertising and it has been proven to persuade new customers to utilize your business, or finalize their decision in not using it. Think about the last time you were searching for a trendy new coffee shop to work from. You may have asked a few friends for recommendations, scavenge through Yelp, only to end up on Google to read more reviews and find directions. Those online reviews are vital in a new potential customer decision to go with your business, or a competitors’.
As a multi-family property investor, whenever I’m looking at hiring a contractor for whatever service I may be needing at the time, whether it is for a roof, fence, flooring, or paint, I start my search on Google by typing in “contractors near me.”
The top 3 results before hitting the “view all” button is what we marketers call the local 3-pack. I’ll start digging into the credentials of those top 3 results, but typically don’t go past them. All other local businesses don’t even come into consideration, even if it may have been a better fit.
Even worse, if a business does not have a Google My Business page built out, they do not even pull up in the search for a new contractor. Unfortunately, this situation plays out daily, regardless of the quality of work or service provided.
To further drive this point home, in a study done by searchenginejournal where they analyzed over 80 million keyword strings and billions of search results, they have found that the first result in Google Search has an average of 28.5% of all clicks. Comparatively, the tenth result pulls in 2.5% of all clicks.
So how do you get into the coveted local 3-pack?
Google heavily factors in reviews for search rankings, especially their own service, Google My Business. Having a ton of reviews on GMB heavily affects your local search ranking and pushes it up (or down if negative). In order to get more Google reviews, you should reach out to your existing customer base and see if they would be willing to leave you a review.
However, make sure you do not explicitly ask for a positive 5-star review because Google makes it clear in their terms of service that they will terminate your listing if you do.