Whether your business promises top notch cuisine, the perfect pair of jeans or unique tourist experiences, building a strong brand and a positive reputation online is more important than ever. Now that most customer experiences begin with a search engine like Google, your reputation as a business will almost always precede you. In fact, a whopping 76% of people trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations. While reviews and conversations surrounding your brand may feel out of your control, there are certain tactics that will help you build trust with customers, influence sentiment and stand out from the crowd.
When customers begin their search, discoverability is critical for your business’s credibility. Creating a free Google My Business (GMB) account is an easy way to increase visibility in local search results, gain reviews and provide more context for potential customers. According to Google, businesses with descriptive GMB listing are 2.7x more likely to be considered reputable.
Another indication of a reputable business is a high ranking in search results. According to HubSpot, 75% of users don’t scroll past the first page of results so businesses that appear on that coveted first page have a competitive edge. Fortunately, with a detailed GMB listing, your business will appear more frequently and higher up in relevant search results. Plus, your full listing will appear on the right side of the results or at the very top on mobile devices.
While GMB will most likely be the first touch point for your customers, 70% of consumers look at multiple review sites when choosing a local business. Claim and customize your business pages on review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook and other niche, industry-specific review sites to cover all your bases.
2. There’s strength in numbers
Not only is Google where most customer journeys start, it’s also the fastest growing online review platform out there. In addition to 63% of consumers reading reviews on Google before visiting a business, nearly 58% of all online reviews are left through GMB listings.
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