February 27, 2018

We’ve all heard the saying positive word-of-mouth advertising is your best form of advertising. Well, it’s certainly is true and nowadays there are several forms of positive word-of-mouth advertising. From the good old-fashioned word of mouth recommendations, to influencer word-of-mouth ads, and last but not least, your business’ Google and Yelp reviews. Positive word-of-mouth advertising is alive and thriving and it’s important you keep up to date with the new forms of it.


Google Reviews & Yelp’s New Roles

Due to the increasing prominence of smartphones, social media, and more powerful mobile devices, consumers can now search for anything, anytime, and anywhere. This means that when they are on the go and need to find a restaurant in a new area to eat at, they will most likely search for one using the internet or a review app. The process usually takes less than a minute all things considered. Google Reviews and Yelp are now seen as trusted sources for finding consumer feedback on a brand or business. A whopping 93% of consumers have said that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Now you can understand why having these review platforms are so important for your business.


How Consumers Use Online Reviews

Consumers not only use online review platforms and apps, but they use them a lot. More than 50% of consumers are using online reviews to help them with decisions once a month and nearly 20% are using it multiple times a day! Below is a bar graph based on a multi-year survey conducted by Bright Local:





The numbers don’t lie and they certainly are indicating that if you’re not already, you need to make Google Reviews and Yelp a priority for your business. Consumers are using these review platforms consistently; what they do after performing a search is not a mystery though. Consumers are specifically looking to gain more details on each business they’re vetting. Trustworthiness is often at the top of these consumers’ minds and to gauge that, they turn to previous customers who have left reviews.




This graph was also pulled from the same survey by Bright Local. As you can see, the more reviews for your business, the better. If your business has more than four reviews, you have an opportunity to capture the trust of two thirds of consumers seeking a service or product.


The last part of the process is the consumer choosing between businesses that seem trustworthy and that can provide them with the best product or service. After they make the decision of which business seems to be the best fit, consumers will then take action. As you can see below, consumers are now visiting the business or contacting them more frequently compared to 2016. They are also less likely to continue searching for other businesses than they were in 2016. Both of these statistics emphasize that there is a growing culture in the online word-of-mouth space. As mobile smartphones become more and more prominent and businesses continue to go digital, Bloom Social forecasts that these trends will strengthen.



Where Your Business Fits In

Consumers use Google Reviews and Yelp for all sorts of things. More than a third of all searches are shopping and restaurant related. If you are a store, boutique, shop, or your business fits into the shopping category, it is more than imperative to get your business listed on these review platforms. The same goes for you if you are a restaurant or bar. But what if you aren’t a restaurant or shop? How often is your business or industry searched? Here’s a chart directly from Yelp to help you gauge where you might fit in:



To a certain degree, these statistics will have a similar spread to Google Reviews. To gain additional insight on who is searching for your business, go through the entire fact sheet provided by Yelp. You’ll find that consumers are using the internet for all sorts of inquiries; outside of Google Reviews and Yelp are other specific review platforms for industries. A great example of this is Angie’s List. Angie’s List was formed to help provide consumers with as much information as possible on home service businesses and is now the prominent platform for such. There are several similar platforms to Angie’s List, however, Google Reviews has grown rapidly in the last three years in all business realms taking up market space. Google Reviews is a great platform to begin to establish a review presence.


How To Incorporate Google Reviews Into Your Business

So you’re convinced… you need to have a digital presence on a review platform for your business. How should you go about establishing it? Bloom Social has detailed three of the most effective ways below to help capture your customer feedback and get your business in the eyes of others:


  1. Ask your friends and family. Don’t be shy! You’re friends and family will be able to help provide a review for your business and we would be willing to bet that most of them are already loyal customers.

  2. Include a link in your email newsletters. There’s a good chance that your business sends out email updates through a newsletter. Your business can also utilize these customer emails to prompt a customer review. Add a link to your business’ review profile at the top of your newsletter for the best results!

  3. Point of sale prompt. If your business has a physical location, you can implement a way to have consumers write a review upon checkout with ease. Have a spare smartphone, tablet, or computer around? Convert that into a station for your customers to leave a review… often times you can incentivize them to do so with a purchase discount, coupon, or another reward. If your business is purely digital, you can still incorporate this point of sale prompt after your customer completes the purchase on the order confirmation screen.


While these are great ways to spur customers to leave a review for your business, they are not the only ways! Get creative and find ways to make the process of leaving a review seem quick and painless. Keep the process as short as possible and instantly reward the reviewer if that is a part of your strategy.


Managing Your Reviews

This may be the easiest part of your job when it comes to building your business’ review profile. Google Reviews and Yelp both have fairly user friendly business platforms to respond to customer reviews. The more you are able to engage with your reviewers, the higher the platform algorithms will rank your business - dependent on your rating score as well.


In your business manager, you will be able to track detailed data similar to what you saw in the Yelp Fact Sheet. Age, demographics, mobile searches vs. desktop ones, and more will be available in easy to access data sheets. You will also be able to contact support if you need help managing your business’ page or if there is spam on your page. For instance, someone may have a personal vendetta against you and take it out on your business online. These negative, spam reviews often times will violate Google or Yelp’s policies and the respective support teams will help you if you run into this situation.



In today’s digital age, it’s important to make your business searchable to consumer inquiries. More often than not, consumers are searching to get more information and see what others are saying about your business. Utilize these easy to use platforms and put your business in the spotlight for others to see. Prompt your customers to leave honest reviews and tap into your network to help get you going. Take pride in your business’ review profile and engage with the reviews your business receives. The time you invest into this process will definitely be worth it when considering how many new customers you can draw in!


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