Google reviews, actually all reviews, help our brain make choices. For example, they help us determine whether a product or company suits us. Is the price/quality ratio okay? Does the company value service highly? In this article, we dive deeper into reviews in general and then more specifically into Google Reviews.
Before we dive into the technical how and what of reviews, it’s good to understand why reviews are important. Our brains have developed in such a way that we no longer take things for granted. We no longer blindly trust product descriptions in online shops or the texts on the website of a local carpentry company. Much of that information we automatically question. Yet we would like to buy something or hire someone for something. So how do we make that choice? We rely on the experience of others with the same product or service. And that’s what we find in reviews, among other things.
In the book Influence: The Six Secrets of Persuasion written by Robert Cialdini, he describes the Social Proof principle (which is also called social proof).
CRO tool explains social proof as follows:
“Imagine you are walking down a street in a city you don’t know well, looking for a restaurant to get something to eat quickly. You come across two restaurants that are across the street from each other. In one restaurant, people are already sitting down to eat and drink. The other restaurant is still completely empty. Which of these two restaurants would you choose? The restaurant with people or the restaurant without people? Most of us will choose the restaurant with people without thinking. This tendency is called “social proof” in human psychology. If a restaurant is pleasantly full, the quality will be fine.”
You may now be wondering aloud if this is also relevant to your visitors. Let’s get into that. Have you ever heard of the MBTI model? This model classifies your visitors into different groups. Below, you can see an image of a simplified version of the MBTI model:
Thus, there are people who are more inclined to base their opinions on facts and people who rely more strongly on their feelings. In addition, there are people who predominantly decide quickly and people who usually need a little more time.
Reviews are especially important for the methodical and humanistic visitors to your website, but also a little for your spontaneous visitors. The spontaneous and humanistic visitors decide based on their feelings. Reviews have a direct impact on that.
The methodical visitors take their time to decide and rely on facts. If many visitors say similar things, this group will take that into consideration. The competitive visitors are less concerned with reviews, there is little chance that they will take the time to read them extensively.
Of course, some websites have a lot more visitors per day than others. But in general, you can assume that all these types of visitors visit your website. And so a substantial part of your visitor’s reviews weighs into the choice to do business with you or not!
There are various platforms that collect reviews/records. Think of Trustpilot, which you often see on the site of webshops, physical stores, and business-to-business services. Or Yelp, which specializes in restaurant reviews. But there are many more.
One well-known and important review platform is Google. Nowadays, this is linked to Google My Business. So you can consciously start collecting reviews. Google My Business ensures that you are easy to find, especially locally. If you are a local bike store, garage, hairdresser, or mortgage broker, this is very important.
The other day I had to take my car to the garage for an MOT and major service. Since my car is pretty important to me, I obviously didn’t want to leave it at a “flop” garage. So I checked the Google reviews of garages in the neighborhood. I paid attention to the average rating (number of stars), how recent the reviews were and whether the company had responded to the review.
With online shops, it is quite easy to send someone an automatic message a few days after buying a product asking what they think of the product. This can be done with a plugin or with an external service like Webwinkelkeurmerk. In this way, you can fill a webshop with reviews fairly quickly. If a product gets only bad reviews, you might consider removing that product from your shop. Ultimately, of course, you want the quality of your shop as high as possible.
With services, it works a little differently. Especially when it comes to physical services and services with which you enter into a longer partnership. Three tips for actively collecting reviews for physical services:
Hopefully, this article has given you the feeling that reviews can be of real value for your company as well. They can boost your reputation and increase your conversions. Of course, with too many negative reviews, the opposite happens. That makes it quite exciting. But it also helps you stay focused on quality. If you do it right, reviews on Google My Business can bring you a pleasant stream of traffic to your website, leads, customers, and sales.
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