May 27, 2021

Why Google is the Best Consumer Review Platform to Make an Impact for Local Business

90% market share. 158m monthly GMB searches. Why focusing on Google reviews will have the most impact on your local business.

Positive online reviews have the power to establish brand trust with prospective customers and increase exposure. From Facebook and Amazon to Yelp and Tripadvisor, there are numerous platforms that people use to submit and read online reviews.

So how do you decide which review platform to target?

We’ll let you in a little secret before considering the alternatives...get reviews on Google.

That said, depending on the industry you work in, there may be some advantages to target industry-specific review platforms.

For example, solar companies should strongly consider directing customers to leave reviews on SolarReviews, a prominent website for reviews and ratings of residential solar panels and solar panel installation companies. Hotels should consider TripAdvisor, a go-to source for travelers deciding where to explore. If you're looking for a list of the best review platforms, read this guide.

However, you can be certain that no matter what industry you work in or how big your business is, reviews left on Google will by far have the most impact on your business. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of prioritizing Google reviews.

#1: Market Share

Google is the king of search. Processing nearly 3.5 billion searches per day, over 90% of all searches are conducted via Google search platforms, a staggering number that highlights the platform's dominance.

With such a massive market share, it’s no surprise that Google is regarded as the most important platform for online reviews. Having effectively integrated their platform into the most popular internet browsers and apps, Google has made it incredibly easy for users to perform an internet search. 

#2: Online Exposure

Google My Business (local business tools within Google) sees over 158.03 million unique visitors use its platform per month. That’s almost twice the amount of traffic than the 2nd most popular review website (Amazon, 85 million unique visitors per month). Seeing as Google is where most people turn to for online reviews, it makes sense that the strength of those reviews will impact your local search rankings.

Moz's State of Local SEO Industry Report 2020 reported that reviews were the 2nd most important factor in generating local-specific search results, second only to Google My Business elements. So, if your business is getting more reviews on Google and responding to those reviews, Google will reward your review management efforts with a higher local search ranking.

Simply put, the more reviews you have on Google, the more people will discover your business. This, in turn, means more customers coming through your door and increased revenue over time.

Here's a guide to boosting your search rank with reviews.

#3: Web Traffic

Not only do Google reviews help your business show up towards the top of search results, but they can also influence prospective customers to click through to your website to learn more about your business. BrightLocal reports that taking your business from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating results in 25% more clicks on Google.

This uptick in web traffic as a result of more positive reviews emphasizes the importance of not only the quantity of Google reviews for your business but also the quality of those reviews. Seeing as the average consumer spends nearly 14 minutes reading reviews before deciding on a business, it’s no wonder that many businesses are fine-tuning their review management strategies to ensure high-quality reviews are being submitted on a regular basis.

In short, reaching out to existing customers and asking them to leave reviews of your business on Google will result in more customers noticing your business and clicking through to your website to learn more.

#4: Ease of Use

There are 1.8 billion people who have Gmail accounts and actively use them. As you may have guessed, that makes Google the most popular email platform in the world. Google has streamlined the review submission process for users by making it simple and quick to leave a rating or drop a comment on any given business directly within the platform. 

If you have a Google account (which clearly, many people do), submitting a review for a business doesn’t require the user to navigate to a different website or fill out multiple time-consuming forms. Prioritizing the ease with which customers can leave reviews leads to more reviews for your business.

Code Style Club generated 573% more Google reviews in 60 days by making it easy for its customers to leave a review.

Creating a Google review link that allows customers to leave reviews and view your Business Profile is a great way to prioritize the review experience for your customers and ensure they don’t have to spend more than a few minutes sharing their thoughts on your business.

How to generate a link to your Google reviews for customers

google link

How to Get More Google Reviews

At Widewail, we use SMS and a simple workflow to create more reviews. Estimate review volume with the help of Widewail around 20% of your monthly transaction volume. We also have a team in-house that can respond to reviews for you and a "get more reviews service" called Invite.

Go Deeper on Review Strategy

Here's our Reputation Management Playbook for 2021. 34 pages covering everything you need to know as a business owner or marketing manager.

Jake Hughes

I’m Marketing Manager here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. In Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0-100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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