The star rating of Google has been impacting businesses ever since the search engine started rating businesses based on collected customer reviews. While great star rating can lure in customers, having poor rating can have the opposite effect. Businesses with low ratings have seen their lead and revenue generation take a significant hit. If you are bothered about what your start rating could be after the launch, and how you would be securing your place for that, you must look at the points discussed below. These influence somewhat directly and indirectly how Google rates a business.
The number of reviews required
Earlier Google used to rate only those businesses that had accumulated at least 5 user reviews. But now this policy has changed, and businesses that have received only 1 review can also get rated by Google. This means at least one review is enough to get the star rating from Google. And this star rating is very important to fetch customer attention to the site name or business name in a listing.
The interesting point is that Google has also changed the mathematical formula, which it used earlier to calculate the rating by averaging all reviews. Bayesian Average was the old formula used by Google. That formula was inclined to rate a business which received 5-star reviews and ratings higher. But now Google uses a much simpler and logical formula, which is the plain averaging of all ratings received from the customers.
How do the ratings matter?
According to a survey, 90 percent of customers read reviews online before purchasing a product, and 88 percent do trust those reviews. Therefore, the impact of reviews is quite high. And with the new Google policy, the star ratings added to a business does matter seriously in turning customer attention towards the business.
The previous system of Google rating was in favor of businesses which received less than 5 reviews or had few or all four negative reviews. Since Google did not publish any rating for businesses with less than 5 reviews, the bad reviews stood hidden till the business received 5 reviews. But this again was bad for businesses with all good reviews and yet without a rating of Google for having an inadequate number of reviews.
With the new rating system and average calculation process, this scenario has changed. Now every single review has a deep impact on the business. Since the rating will be solely good or bad based on the first review, it will not change until the business receives the next review. If the business does not receive the second review for long, the initial single review that generated bad or good rating will be shown globally. Thus, the fate of the business will be determined highly by that single review based rating. This shows how much the impact of reviews are, and how the addition of positive or negative reviews can change the scene for a business, as rating will be calculated on a simple average of reviews.
How to use the current rating system in your favor?
As you can see, the current system of business review and rating by Google can be extremely beneficial for the businesses which have got at least one good review, or a few good reviews or mostly all positive reviews. But the businesses that are suffering for only one negative review can get out of the mess by following some simple steps. These steps have been designed to help you get more reviews from customers so that you may get a better rating by Google.
However, one fundamental of business has to be remembered that you must maintain quality and customer relationship in order to actually impact the consumers’ mind positively, and make them leave positive reviews for you. Every business gets some customers who get dissatisfied for some reasons or the other and may leave a negative review. The best way is to urge your customers to give reviews.
Here are a few tips that you can use:
- You need not be afraid to ask your customer to review you. It’s your right to get a review if you are giving a service. Customers nowadays realize the importance of reviews and generally do not decline.
- It’s good to make a review questionnaire easy so that no customer can give the excuse of the review format being too hard or long for not giving the review.
- Often customers are reminded or poked gently for giving the reviews through follow-up mails. After a purchase, send such a mail to remind the customer gently that the review is due.
- A reward has always been tempting, and many lazy customers who tend to close the review page often would love to complete and submit one if they are rewarded for it. You decide how to do it. You may give a coupon code, or a flat discount or something else as a reward.
Always take a negative review too seriously, and try to communicate with the customer to solve the issue to turn the negative to a positive or neutral review. Following the aforementioned steps collectively will show you results by improvement in your Google business rating.