online reviews, google my business, google reviews, betsy kent, be visible

Let’s face it. You have a lot of other things to do in your business than pay attention to reviews. That is, until you see a negative review posted about your business.

Unfortunately, many companies only start taking online reviews seriously when a customer posts a negative one.

While digging for some stats about how customers react to online reviews, I discovered an excellent study: BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey of 2017. Here’s the takeaway:

  • Reading negative reviews made 40% of consumers not want to use a local business
  • 68% of US consumers said that positive reviews made them more likely to use a business

customer reviews, be visible, betsy kent, brightlocal

So, the bad news is negative reviews can have a detrimental impact on business.

But the good news is that more people respond to positive reviews and are more likely to use a business because of them!

So, you may ask, “what’s the best way to fight back against a negative review?”

The answer: surround it with a ton of positive reviews.

And which review sites should you focus on? Again, let’s turn to BrightLocal’s excellent survey:

20% of consumers trust Yelp
20% of consumers trust Facebook
16% of consumers trust Google

brightlocal survey customer reviews, be visible, betsy kent

(other sites such as, Trip Advisor, Yellow Pages, Citysearch and Foursquare all ranked lower.)

In 2018, However, Google Reviews Are Taking The Lead, Here’s Why

  • Google reviews appear on the first page of results when a business is searched. In other words, there’s no need for a consumer to click on a link to read consumer reviews the way they must with Yelp and Facebook.
  • Google reviews are public. Unlike other review sites, your real name appears with your review. Displaying your real name with your review has more credibility.
  • Google reviews are visible even if someone has never reviewed a businesses. One of the biggest complaints about Yelp is if someone reviews a business, the review will only be displayed if that person reviews a lot of businesses all the time.
  • Google reviews are embedded in your Google My Business listing, which also contains information about your business, photos, and a link for directions to your business. Mobile users can also click to call your business right from the listing without having to do anything else.
  • Google has been heavily investing in Google My Business by adding new features (more in the past three months than during any other period of time). These include more business information and the ability to add multiple images, videos, posts and even events to your listing.

The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. And proof we have – here’s a case study (one of my clients):

Case Study: Law Firm

Tactic: Google listing optimization and management (began Nov. 1, 2017)
Results as of May 30, 2018:
Mobile Phone Calls: 86
Website Visits: 182
Number of times the listing was displayed in Google search: 5,495

Analytics are nice, but here’s what’s really important:

“As the owner of a law firm and a practicing litigator, I’ve experimented with every type of advertising and marketing available, including television, print, professional journals, and social media. None of it really worked until I met Betsy Kent. When she put my marketing plan together, it came alive! – and my client base began growing at a steady pace. Betsy’s talents brought our firm not only visibility but respectability.” (from the owner)

So, if you’re struggling to get more online visibility, credibility, and more new customers for your business it’s time to take advantage of your Google listing. Manage it right and you’ll reap the benefits!