According to Fan & Fuel Digital Marketing Group, 97% of shoppers say reviews influence their buying decision. Further, 92% of people will hesitate to buy something that has no reviews. It makes sense if you think about it: when is the last time you made a purchase or worked with a business without first reading reviews? Google reviews can help your business stand out among your competitors, they can help prove you’re trustworthy, and they can ultimately lead to you getting more new customers.
But let’s talk numbers. At what point should you be satisfied with the number of Google reviews you have? In terms of your average star rating, what score should you be aiming for? The answers to these questions might surprise you.
The number of reviews you need depends on a few factors. Before you can figure out that number for yourself, there are some things you should understand:
Review Quantity – According to an article by MarketWatch, 20-50 is enough reviews to prove a product has been tried by enough people. If you don’t have many reviews now, this is a good starting goal because it will show potential customers that others have tried you. From there, you’ll want to keep gathering reviews—many local businesses have hundreds of reviews, which helps influence new customers. According to findings in Psychological Science, people tend to favor products that are highly reviewed, even if the quality of the reviews isn’t high. The number of reviews you get isn’t always an indicator of your quality, but it is an indicator of popularity, which has tremendous influence over buying decisions.
Average Star Rating – According to an article by MarketWatch, the optimal star rating is right around 4.4 stars. Lower than you’d think, right? You might have thought a perfect 5 stars makes you look great, but in the eyes of potential customers, it might make you look too good to be true. That’s why getting a few reviews with low to mid star-ratings can be a good thing. They’ll help you move your score into the sweet spot, so you look more authentic. Plus, according to Power Reviews, 82% of people will read your bad reviews too. Your ability to manage these bad reviews is a factor in their selection as well.
Review Quality – There’s a difference between someone leaving you a quick 5-star rating vs. someone taking the time to write a thoughtful review. Certainly, more reviews and a better average will help your business, but a detailed review has an incredible amount influence over the people who read them. Your aim shouldn’t just be to get more reviews, but to get more high-quality, thorough reviews. These are often what turn a curious potential customer into one that’s ready to buy.
Review Freshness – So, let’s say you have a decent number of reviews and a good review score. At what point should you stop trying to get more reviews? It’s simple—you shouldn’t. If you stop getting new reviews, people might wonder why. It’s particularly noticeable if you went from a lot of reviews to almost none—people are apt to wonder what changed? It’s easy for them to think something went wrong. Did people stop going to your business? Is it because of a decline in service or product quality? Rather than make them wonder, keep trying to get fresh, quality reviews so folks know that the customer experience you provide is as solid as it’s ever been.
When it comes to the quality vs. quantity conversation, there’s really no need to compromise. Using the right approach, your business can get lots of high-quality reviews from your satisfied customers. It works like this:
Discover – According to BrightLocal 68% of customers will leave you a review if you just ask them. Start finding out what customers really think by soliciting reviews with a tool like Swell Review. Since Swell automatically texts review invites to customers during convenient times, you’ll get tons of great reviews from satisfied customer, and these reviews can help inform you on how to improve your overall customer experience.
Connect – Your responses to reviews matter. It’s important that you respond to positive and negative reviews because people will read them, and they will judge you based on your responses. Swell makes it easy to respond to new Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and more.
Grow – Getting more reviews will help you improve your online reputation, boost your search ranking, and helps you identify ways to provide better service. Take these things together and you have an unstoppable growth machine for your local business.
If you’re looking for a way to make the whole process easy, Swell Review is a great place to start. It helps you get more quality reviews by automatically texting review invites to your happy customers. As for managing reviews, you can see your review scores, and even reply to new reviews across multiple platforms in one convenient dashboard. Not only does it help you look awesome online, it also helps you connect with customers in ways that matter to them.