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Google Reviews: Are They the New SEO?

Sometimes, finding ways to market your business can be rather difficult. There are so many different techniques and opinions that they all end up muddled together in a mess we like to call “digital marketing.” What method yields the best results? Does anybody know? In truth, nobody really knows. Well, we usually know for a small amount of time before the trends change again and a new leading technique arises. After that, the process starts all over again.

With that said, the current trend has changed, and we’re beginning to catch wind of it. SEO used to be the top technique used by marketers, but, recently, something else has topped the charts. Are Google Reviews the new SEO? Keep reading to find out.

Google’s Role in Digital Marketing

We all know how Google rules the world of the internet. With their golden scepter, they ultimately decide just how well your website and business will reach out to your audience. They practically own the internet; they’ve become difficult to avoid. We recently covered the topic of Google’s search engine algorithm in a previous post, and today we will be discussing how Google reviews have mostly taken over the role that SEO once held as the leading marketing technique on the internet.


The Importance of Google Reviews

There are many reasons why reviews, in general, are so important. Word of mouth is typically the best way to spread any business. Today, the best way to spread any business via word of mouth has become by way of the Google review. Additionally, although Google reviews are replacing SEO as the leading marketing technique, having positive reviews on Google can even help with your SEO on the respective search engine. Google provides users with the highest quality businesses in their area based on the reviews that business has received through their platform. With that said, if you have good reviews, Google will likely reward you nicely with a higher search result placement.


Why You Should Prompt Users to Leave a Review

The fact of the matter is that users will be leaving a review whether you like it or not. There are so many platforms past just Google that allow users to leave reviews for different businesses. Reviews and critiques have become a part of our culture. Without getting too far into the psychology of things, prompting users for reviews may actually encourage them to leave a better one. Engaging with your customers can be seen as quality customer service. If a customer feels like they have been a part of your business, they may feel more inclined to leave a good review. This obviously benefits you greatly.

With that said, there are some things you should refrain from doing when prompting users to leave a review on Google. The biggest mistake many businesses make is to offer some kind of incentive in exchange for leaving a review. For example, you might give a customer a discount if they show proof of having left a review. Many people will suggest this as a good technique for getting reviews. However, while it may very well work, it is actually against Google policy. If Google somehow finds out, it’ll harm your Google ranking more than reviews would have ever benefited it.


Linking Your Customers Directly to Leave Google Reviews

The best way to get your customers to leave your business Google reviews is to connect them directly. However, Google doesn’t readily supply instructions regarding how to do this. The little information that is available to you is often tedious and confusing. Luckily for you, we have found a great resource that allows you to get your very own business link for free. Google Plus user @TerrySimmonds is a friend of Blue Grey Marketing and provides this service for free.

Once you get your customized direct link, you can start implementing it on your website or across your social media accounts. It is important to note, however, that these links will only open directly to the review box for those who are on a computer. If a user is on mobile, the link will bring them to your Google business page where they will have to manually click in order to leave a review.

If you’re using this link on your website, you won’t have to worry about the length of the URL. However, if you’re providing a link to your social media followers, you’ll want to make sure you provide them with a short URL to save character space (and headaches). After all, these links are rather lengthy in their original form. Bitly and Google URL Shortener are great ways to create a tiny version of your URL.

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