Google reviews are a powerful form of social proof. Collecting Google reviews for your business may be more important than you imagine. Not only can they give you valuable feedback, but they can also attract new customers while improving your SEO efforts.
Google is still the consumer’s search engine of choice. A 2022 study by ReviewTrackers reports that 63.6% of consumers say they’re likely to check Google reviews of a business before visiting or making an online purchase.
Simply having Google reviews is helpful, but there are many ways you can make those reviews work harder for your business. Here is what you should know about social proof in general, Google reviews as social proof, and how to maximize their value.
What Is Social Proof?
Essentially, social proof is the concept of people copying the actions of others in an attempt to gain similar outcomes. It applies to more than just business.
People may, for example, take in social cues in unfamiliar situations in order to fit in better. In the context of business, however, social proof has exceptional power.
A staggering 92% of consumers say that online reviews guide ordinary purchasing decisions. Sixty-two percent of young consumers (ages 18-34) trust brands due to good online reviews and ratings. And according to audience analytics giant Nielsen, 70% of consumers trust “recommendations from friends I know.”
How to Use Social Proof on Your Website
Google reviews are just one of several types of social proof. If you have one or more types of social proof about your business, naturally you want to put it to work on your website. Social proof delivers when it comes to turning curious people into customers. Here are several proven ways to leverage social proof on your website.
Case studies are a long-term form of social proof. They are data-driven and follow clients immediately and long after their purchase.
Writing a compelling case study is harder than simply posting a review or social media mention on your site. However, the effort pays off both short and long term.
Testimonials pull their weight when they are more than just an “I love this product!” statement. While these whipped-cream testimonials are nice to have, they won’t go as far as a genuine, problem-solution testimonial.
The best testimonial is
- Counters a genuine objection
It should be specific in that it mentions a specific product or service for a particular need. You can gain credibility with a headshot of the person providing the testimonial plus their name, company, and role if possible.
A testimonial that lists an initial objection and how the person overcame it makes it relatable. For example, “I was worried about cleaning my wool carpet without damaging it” is better than, “I needed a carpet cleaner.”
Positive social media mentions are valuable user-generated content. Making the most of these mentions requires monitoring social media, but it’s well worth your effort.
Acknowledge and amplify your positive social media mentions by replying to them and sharing them. Social media is so entrenched in modern life that seeing a positive tweet or Facebook post on your website puts people at ease instantly.
Have you ever scrolled through a business website and seen a gallery of client logos on the homepage? Those are trust icons. They’re social proof from happy clients. Additionally, trust icons include media mentions such as magazine articles and podcast mentions.
Industry awards often include badges you can post on your website, as do certifications from trusted industry organizations. Accreditation can be particularly powerful for professional services businesses.
Numbers can tell compelling stories in just a few words. A customer base of thousands of clients or impressive revenue numbers only adds to the testimonials, social media mentions, and other social proof.
Google reviews help your business in multiple ways. For one, they provide social proof. For another, they boost your SEO efforts. They are one of the most powerful forms of social proof available.
Google takes the reviews people write for the platform into account when determining how businesses rank on local search results. In other words, a company with hundreds of reviews and an average 4.2-star rating will show up more prominently in search results than a company with a single 5-star review.
Make it easy for your clients to write and post Google reviews and you bolster both social proof and SEO.
How to Turn Google Reviews into Social Proof
In general, the more Google reviews your business has, the more trust people have in it. Your customer base itself is a form of social proof. And more reviews indicate the strength of that customer base.
Google reviews provide real-life information about your business from the customer’s perspective. Frequently, they address real obstacles people overcome with the help of your business.
Reviews that are specific and talk about how a business helped the customer overcome a challenge also make excellent testimonials. You can use these in multiple places on your website.
You can also use widgets specifically designed to showcase Google reviews on your website, such as our Live Reviews tool.
Grow and Monitor Google Reviews
The main way to get more Google reviews is to ask for them. There are several ways to do this, such as:
- Asking in-person customers when their transactions are completed
- Placing a QR code on receipts that customers can scan to go directly to your Google Review page
- Asking for Google reviews in your customer emails
- Asking for them in text messages with clients. Our Review Generation tool helps your business do exactly this.
One of the most important ways to make the most of your Google reviews is to respond to them promptly. This means thanking people for their positive reviews. It also means addressing negative reviews by asking for more information and potentially taking the discussion offline to discuss the problem in more detail. Review monitoring software helps you do this.
Ways to Leverage Google Reviews
If you want to maximize the power of social proof like Google Reviews on your website but don’t want to face a steep learning curve, we can help. Learn how to generate, monitor, and showcase your reviews with powerful add-ons. Schedule a call today and learn how our social proof tools can turn visitors into customers.