Are You Making The Most Of Your Google Business Profile?
Your Google Business Profile is such an important business asset, but do you make use of its full potential?
In our previous episode, we discussed how the Google Business Profile helps with Visibility & Reach and Local SEO. In this episode, we’ll take a deep dive into discussing reviews and data, wrapping up with some really cool stats!
Can’t Run A Business Without Reviews!
James: Hi everyone! It's James and Noah, and today, we're talking about a really cool topic. It's all about location!
You had a really good point about reviews, and you think they're funny. Let's flip it around - you're not a consumer, you're not the customer, you're the owner. What's your advice for business owners?
For people who don't know, reviews are absolutely critical, and they can't be ignored anymore. The number of reviews, the number of stars you have out of five as an average - people make a decision to do business with you or go to your store or order from you online based on your star rating. Especially if they don't know your business very well yet, they're debating about whether to work with you or not or go to buy from you or not.
Out of five, the stats are something like, if you're not 4.2 out of five on average or above, there's quite a fall off of people that go “the other company's 4. 7 out of five or 4.8, 4.9 out of five or a five out of five”. They're just going to choose the one that has better reviews, and it's almost unfair. Especially for a company that has five reviews, and two of them are one-star ratings, your average all of a sudden sucks. It's like three, and you might actually be an amazing company, but your reviews say you're not.
Comment on that, and what are you supposed to do if you have a three-star rating?
Noah: I mean (for example), there is a truly authentic Italian restaurant in town that I love, and I think is great, and they were getting not great reviews. But their response to those reviews is gold. And so, in reading reviews or in looking at reviews, I tend to look more than or look past the star rating, but I'm not certain that is every consumer. I would say that most people aren't looking deep into the reviews - they're mostly looking at the Star (rating).
James: Stats would say that they kind of judge by the surface or by the cover, unfortunately.
Noah: But I think if you're a business and you know you can respond as quickly as possible to those, it's going to help. I've changed a star review that I gave to somebody once because of the response that they gave me. (It helps in) Understanding their perspective and what was going on at that time. I think there's a lot that can be done to help reverse a negative review, but some people are just hard to please. If you find those people, for example, someone comes to your store and you're having a tough time, you can appeal to a broader audience.
There's another local restaurant that I really like, and they weren't doing very well on their reviews. I deliberately went in and left them a five-star review because I knew that they were good. I've been there, and I've enjoyed it. So you know there's a balance there with your customers. Even requesting a nice review from your regulars helps to boost your review rating.
James: I was about to say that.
So, if you don't have very many reviews, what should you do?
James: Request them! Request them in person if you have a store; request them via email if you're a B2B company, and make it easy. You can create little shortcut links so it's like, “Please leave us a review; click here!” and it jumps straight to the review page. You do need a Google account to leave a Google review. You automatically have one if you have GMail or if you use Google Calendar. It's important just to ask. Keep building those up, and that way, you can overpower the odd negative one (review) that may have dragged your average down if you don't have very many reviews.
It’s also important to respond to reviews just to reiterate what you said.
Respond to both positive and negative ones. When you respond to positive reviews, you're basically just thanking them. It's like, “Hey, great to hear that, really appreciate it!”. When responding to negative reviews, it gets a little tricky here. If it's really simple, you can (try to) debate their point or try to explain it. Honestly, with our agency, when someone has left a scathing review, you don't get into a battle on Google or on the platform. You just won't win. You have to address it though, but don't try to fight them on the spot through Google reviews. We always recommend acknowledging their point. You don't have to agree with them; acknowledge that you've heard them, then take it offline.
Here's an example: You're the customer, and you just said you absolutely despise Twin Creek Media because of this and that, and I'm like, thank you for your feedback; I hear what you're saying; I'd love to have a conversation with you about this, here's my email, or you can call us at this number. It's kind of like a 95% win - handling any negative review that way.
Diving Into Data
James: Our fourth Point on Google Business Profiles is getting into the data and the insights of the business performance. We measure statistics and performance for loads and loads of companies all across the Okanagan, BC and Western Canada, and some of those businesses are doing lots of sales in the US as well.
When it comes to ¾’s of the companies we've ever worked with over the past 10 years, the Google Business Profile is one of their best sales channels/sources of website traffic. It’s not always make it or break it, but a well-optimized Google Business Profile is gold.
Doesn't matter what business they're in: retail, B2B, services, direct to consumer, it doesn't matter. (The Google Business Profile) is absolutely critical in terms of the bottom line. There are cases where I've seen millions of dollars plus in business come in through the Google Business profile, actually a whole bunch of times, and it's a significant representation or proportion of their annual revenue, even for local companies.
Noah: And how hard would you say it is to set up a Google Business Profile?
James: This is part of an SEO package or ongoing services that we do, but the initial setup and optimization is $500 to $600.
Noah: Is it something somebody could do on their own?
James: Yeah, if you're techy. It’s like, can you build a website on your own? Absolutely! Setting up a Google Business Profile is way easier than building a website, but it's still one of those things that once you've understood what optimization is and how it impacts SEO, you do it differently. An expert is always going to help.
For example, I could build a deck on my house. I would be bad and slow (at it). Is it a good use of my time? No. Would it be level? No.
Can you do it? Yes. But should you? Only if you're techie and you have an understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And if it's a good use of your time. If your time is worth $100 an hour, but it takes you two days, or you're doing it over the course of three months, you have to find the time in between to do stuff. Stop! Hire someone that's going to get it done. For $600, why would you do it yourself?
Here are some really interesting quick facts about Google Business Profiles:
What do you think the impact is on reputation?
A business with a Google Business Profile is 2.7 times more likely to be considered reputable by consumers than a business without a Google Business Profile
And that's a hard fact.
Another interesting one:
Did you know that 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps?
Noah: Of course! I didn't know the exact statistic of 86%, but 86% is high. It's almost everybody! It's probably everybody with a phone.
Another neat thing:
Businesses with a star rating of four stars out of five or greater have a much much higher chance of earning someone's business or getting that sale or drawing in that new customer.
James: So yeah, star ratings are important, and reviews are important. Having an optimized full profile to help your local SEO and just the fact that you're getting eyes on your brand on your company on the location. If you don't know how to do this stuff, we can help kickstart your Google Business Profile! Our agency is really good at that; we have lots of people who are super techy and good at SEO good at writing; we can help!
Noah: Have you ever left a three-star rating? No, I think it's weird.
James: It's lots of four stars, and if it's not a four or five, it's actually a one-star.
Noah: I'm in the same boat!
James: Two and three stars are weird no man's land, and it's like your experience was average. You're not really going to leave that. I don't even leave a review unless I feel strongly one way or the other, so that's why there's never a two and a three-star. It's always either a four or five, usually or one because you didn't like them for some reason.
Noah: I think the coolest stat that we have here is this:
76% of people who search for a local business on their smartphone visit within 24 hours!
I love that stat because that means that there is a direct relationship between immediacy (and action). If you're a business and somebody Googles you, there's a 76% chance that they're going there within the next 24 hours.
James: It's interesting because, on the measurement side, we do a lot of reporting. We see where the phone calls are coming from for a business - is it coming from social media or organic rankings or another directory or the Google Business Profile or an ad like a local banner ad or something, so we're kind of tracking where the phone calls are coming from? So many are coming from the Google Business Profile! This goes to your point where they're looking for that company; they hit the click to call right on their phone, and they're visiting them in 24 hours.
That's a neat, neat stat to end on, and that's all we have! Join us next time for more amazing insights from the dazzling and brilliant mind of Noah Barlow!
Check out our previous episode: Location, Location, Location
“Between Two Creeks” is Twin Creek Media’s weekly podcast series. You can find us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify. If you enjoy listening to the latest and wonkiest in marketing every week, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button! If you want us to amp up your marketing, click here to contact us and let’s chat!