How Many Google Reviews Does Your Business Really Need?

Local businesses need Google reviews to help build and maintain a positive online reputation, increase visibility, and give potential new customers the confidence to make a purchase. But the number of Google reviews your business needs can vary according to your specific goals and circumstances. 

Before we talk about what those are, here are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind when you think about Google reviews:

  • The more quality reviews you have, the better. You want real reviews from real customers sharing their real experiences with your business.
  • Positive reviews are preferred, but a negative review here and there can lend more credibility to your business and lessen concerns about fake reviews.
  • Having zero reviews doesn’t help your business at all. You need at least a few reviews to give potential customers an indication that your business is legitimate.
  • Google’s algorithms and rules change often, so it’s helpful to approach reviews, rankings, and other SEO-related strategies with some flexibility.

One more important note: the number of reviews discussed below applies to each business location. This will help inform your review strategy, whether you operate one location of a multi-location business or franchise, or you’re responsible for review strategies for all locations. 

Let’s dive into a few of the main business goals you may have and the number of Google reviews that can help you get there. 

Improve ranking in local search results: 10 reviews

When your business ranks higher in local search results, more people can see you which means potentially more customers and revenue. Google reviews can play a role in how your business ranks.

While there is a correlation between local search ranking and the number of Google reviews you have, there are other factors that affect rankings as well, such as how well your Google Business Profile and website are optimized, along with many others. So it’s important to understand that even if you achieve a certain number of reviews, your local search ranking is still impacted in other ways.

That being said, 10 reviews seems to be the magic number that can bump up your business ranking in local search. Once you have 10 reviews, you should start to see a difference in how you rank, provided you’re optimizing your Google Business Profile and website too. And remember that you don’t need to stop at 10 reviews, since the more you have, the better. 

Need a strategy to get 10 new Google reviews?

Download the eGuide, Managing Google Reviews: How to Get More Reviews (and Remove Them), — for additional information and methods you can use. 

Get a Google star rating in local search: 1 review

Like Google reviews, star ratings also help potential customers understand if your business is legitimate and whether they’re likely to have a good experience. 

Google star ratings, which appear as a scale of 1 to 5 stars, are generated from customer reviews published on Google and sometimes aggregated reviews from other review sites. That means star ratings don’t materialize independently; you need to have reviews first.

According to Google, “review scores” — a.k.a. the star rating that appears on your Google Business Profile in local search — are calculated by averaging all the ratings published for your business. You technically only need one Google review to generate a star rating — although, ideally, you’re taking steps to get more reviews than just one.

Convert more customers: 20-50 reviews

As a business owner, you always want people who find you when doing a local search to take the next step, whether it’s clicking over to the website, calling for more information, booking an appointment, or actually making a purchase. Google reviews are an important component in customer conversion.

In general, customers want to see lots of reviews, whether for individual products or businesses as a whole. The sweet spot for customer conversion seems to be if you have between 20-50 reviews for your business, according to a Northwestern University study. 

If you can get somewhere in that 20-50 range, you’re positioning your business for more customer conversions since they’ll see enough reviews to give them the trust and confidence in your business that inspires them to move forward.

Slow and steady wins the race

Now that you have some concrete numbers to work with, here’s something else to think about: Your aim shouldn’t be to get a big influx of reviews all in one sitting and then relax your efforts.

Instead, you should aim for a continual stream of reviews since it shows Google that your business is functioning and your customers are active. A steady stream vs. a big influx also helps you avoid Google’s spam review filters that can trigger if a bunch of reviews suddenly flood in at one time. 

To keep getting reviews, you have to keep asking customers for them. Each time you have a customer interaction, it’s a perfect opportunity to ask for a review — especially if the interaction was an especially positive one. When you ask, there will always be some customers who are happy to oblige, and that way you can build up and maintain a body of quality reviews over time that not only hits your numbers but signals your business is doing well too. 

Asking for reviews is just one part of an effective Google review management strategy. To make sure you’re getting the number of reviews you need and seeing the fruits of your labor in terms of higher search rankings, a better star rating, and more customer conversions, consider using a review management tool like GatherUp. Contact us today to learn more.



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