The latest trends in online Google reviews can help your local business gain leverage from this crucial marketing tool. In 2022, consumers are checking Google online reviews like never before. Google reviews are assisting consumers in making buying decisions on where to eat, show, and what to buy. Reviews on your Google profile are also influencing your potential customers.
Even though there are several online review platforms — Facebook, Trustpilot, TripAdvisor, and Yelp! — Google reviews still reign supreme. And it’s no surprise. Google continues to be the online search engine most consumers turn to for information. Therefore, it makes good business sense to ensure that getting more Google reviews is a crucial part of your marketing strategy.
At Starloop, we understand the importance of Google reviews in local SEO search rankings. That is why we help our members get a steady stream of new reviews. In addition, we have analyzed review data from trusted online sources to uncover the latest review trends that can boost your business’s success and increase revenue.
Please read on to find out the essential Googe review trends for 2022. For each trend, you’ll get vital takeaways on how to leverage the information for your benefit.
Google is the top review site
Google continues to be the top search engine. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Google review platform is the most important for your business. For example, statistics show that the volume of zero-click searches on Google increased to 56 percent. That shows people search for information on Google and stay there.
One of the reasons is that Google shows star ratings and review snippets along with maps in organic search results.
Key trend takeaway: Optimizing your Google Business profile to dominate local search results is crucial.
Online reviews translate into sales
Businesses that use online reviews as a marketing strategy experience increased sales. In addition, some statistics show that over 90 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review. There are several reasons for this, such as:
- Over 90 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend.
- Ninety-three percent of readers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions.
- Publishing reviews for high-priced products boost sales by 380 percent.
- Getting five reviews can increase the likelihood of a sale by 270 percent.
Key trend takeaway: Using review management software is a wise investment to help your business reap rich rewards.
Reviews are getting shorter
In 2022, consumers are leaving shorter online reviews, with the average review being about the length of an expanded tweet — about 200 characters. This trend represents a drop of over 400 characters since 2010.
This trend shows that reviews are increasing, but consumers are now spending less time leaving feedback. In some cases, they are happy to leave a thumbs up or thumbs down review.
Key review takeaway: In 2022, it is vitally important to make the review process as straightforward as possible. This way, you can encourage more customers to share their online feedback.
Consumers expect a faster response to online reviews
One of the critical review trends for 2022 is that customers expect a swift response to reviews. Many consumers leave online feedback to inform other potential customers about their experience. However, many consumers leave online reviews to communicate with businesses.
Here are some revealing statistics about the importance of replying to every review:
- Fifty-three percent of consumers expect a business to respond to a negative review within seven days.
- Thirty percent expect a response within three days.
- Ninety-three percent of people say a bad review convinced them to avoid a business.
- Ninety-seven percent of consumers also read review responses from business owners.
Interestingly, many small business owners can turn negative reviews into positive ones when they respond appropriately. For example, forty-five percent of online shoppers are more likely to do business with a company after reading responses to negative reviews.
Key trend takeaway: Responding to reviews must be part of your review management strategy. Always be in the habit of responding appropriately to negative and positive reviews.
Related reading: How to respond to fake reviews.
Customers expect at least a 4-star rating
Every small business wanting to dominate local search result rankings should be concerned about average star ratings. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, consumers are frequently filtering search results based on star ratings.
What’s the best average start rating to earn consumer trust? According to research, the ideal star rating is 4.5 stars. This is because consumers are looking for authentic, trustworthy feedback. So, a perfect 5-start rating from hundreds of reviews is just too good to be true.
Key trend takeaway: Always aim to get a 5-star review. However, don’t be worried about a few negative reviews as long as you respond to them appropriately. They will give your business transparency and increase trust.
Related reading: Why you don’t always need 5-star reviews.
Consumers want to read more reviews
Your potential customers are not just interested in the quality of reviews. They also take note of the number of reviews. Of course, average star ratings matter to shoppers. But trends show that businesses with more reviews perform better in local search results.
For example, online review statistics show that businesses with at least 200 online reviews generate twice as much business as those with few or no reviews. It’s also good to note that 60 percent of consumers always research products online before making a purchase.
There’s another trend to consider. Consumers no longer trust old reviews. For example, research shows that most online shoppers don’t trust reviews older than three months.
Key trend takeaway: Getting a steady stream of new reviews is crucial for two reasons. First, the more reviews you have, increases trust in the eyes of consumers. Second, you must constantly get new reviews to stay relevant in your industry.
Consumers won’t buy from companies that filter reviews
Have you been tempted to buy fake reviews to boost your profile? Even though buying reviews can produce short-term results, they can damage your business in the long run.
For example, Trustpilot reports that 70 percent of consumers are concerned about businesses that censor reviews. In addition, 62 percent of consumers will avoid companies that remove negative reviews or buy fake reviews.
Should you be worried about negative online reviews? According to statistics, 72 percent of buyers find negative reviews helpful in providing depth and insight before making a purchasing decision.
Key trend takeaway: Never fall into the trap of buying fake reviews. Instead, invest in review management software to get real reviews from genuine customers.
Google reviews affect your local SEO rankings
Google reviews continue to impact your local SEO rankings. There is evidence to suggest that Google’s algorithms take into account review signals in rankings. These signals include review velocity, review quantity, and review diversity. Together with review signals and keywords in your Google business profile, these factors make up 53 percent of local ranking factors.
Interestingly, Google hints on its support pages that getting reviews and responding to them is a way to improve local rankings on Google. For example, Google says, “positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility.” In other words, you are more likely to appear on local search results if you have a good review profile.
Key trend takeaway: Include a review strategy in your marketing efforts to increase the number of visitors to your website or bricks-and-mortar location.
Why Do Starloop Members Get More Reviews?
Starloop is a comprehensive review management platform to help your business get more online Google reviews. As a result, Starloop members see the average number increase almost immediately. This results in higher conversion rates, increased website traffic, and more sales. The beauty of Starloop is that the automated software does much of the work for you.
How can Starloop benefit your business? Our members enjoy automated review generation. After entering your customer’s email address or phone number, Starloop will send a friendly invitation to leave feedback. Then, the customer can share their opinions with a few clicks.
To increase the number of reviews you receive, Starloop plants a tree for every review. This eco-friendly incentive is a win-win solution for you, your customers, and the planet. First, your customers have the satisfaction that they are helping your business and doing their bit for the environment. Additionally, you benefit from getting more reviews.
The result? A steady stream of new and positive online Google reviews.
Sign Up for A Free Trial Today
The online review trends for 2022 demonstrate how crucial it is to have a robust strategy to get more online reviews. To experience the tremendous impact online reviews can have on your business, why not sign up for Starloop today?
You can gain access to all of Starloop’s fantastic features for 14 days for free. If you decide that Starloop is for you, there are no setup fees and no long-term contracts. After enjoying the free trial, you can decide which of the three pricing plans suits your needs.