Google+ has gone through a few key changes recently, one of which has really helped local businesses. Customers will no longer be required to have a Google+ account in order to leave a review. However, they will still need to have a regular Google account, which millions of people already have; they just won’t need to be a part of the search engine’s social media account to do so.
Change could lead to a significant increase in reviews
Encouraging customers to leave a review can be hard work, but the trick is to make it as simple as possible. There’s really nothing in it for the customer if they leave a review, so they aren’t going to go out of their way to leave one – especially if the process isn’t straightforward.
While Google+ initially drew a lot of attention, it hasn’t proven overly successful. Very few consumers actually have an account these days, so up until now they have been met with frustration when trying to leave a review of a local company.
Now, rather than having to sign in to Google+, a customer can simply log into their regular Google account, leave a review and log off. This could potentially lead to a significant increase in the amount of reviews left for your company.
Why do Google reviews matter?
So what difference is more Google reviews going to make to your company? Well, online reviews have become extremely important to local businesses since most consumers rely on them to make purchasing decisions.
Since Google is the primary search engine today, it only makes sense that your business has a strong review presence there.
Not only that, but the more Google reviews you get, the better you’ll rank in Google’s search engine results.
So if the looser restrictions Google has introduced onto its review process does encourage more customers to leave one, it’s going to help boost your reputation, make you easier to find and set you apart from the competition.
Getting more Google reviews
While the change is definitely going to make it easier to receive reviews, businesses still need to work on actually getting them. Many customers only feel the need to leave a review if they’ve had a negative experience. If you want them to leave one after a positive experience, you’re going to have to ask.
Sending follow up emails after a purchase is made, or giving business cards to in-store customers with instructions on how to leave a review online will really help boost the amount of reviews you receive.
But the overall good news is… it is now a lot easier for customers to leave you a review. So now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity to make your online reputation soar, which will ultimately boost your bottom line.