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June 20, 2023
“Good Google reviews are good!” Thanks, StoragePug, for this invaluable wisdom!
Sure, we all understand that good reviews are good for your business - but do you know exactly how good they are? How much each Google review is worth to your storage facility?
With fresh data in hand, we’ll go in-depth to explain why a single 5-star review can be better than an extra thousand dollars in your marketing budget.
Some of our operators assume that Google reviews will happen naturally - and to an extent they’re right! You can’t force someone to leave you a good review, but you can certainly encourage them.
And, if you leave it up to chance, you may get a lower percentage of good reviews. Upset customers can be more likely to leave a nasty review than happy customers are to leave a good one.
While reviews will come in unprompted, they are too important to leave to chance!
A recent study from SOCi put hard numbers to the value of Google reviews for businesses. Their study covers all sorts of online businesses, including self storage, and can help you put a dollar value on getting reviews. This study analyzed almost 5 million reviews to generate this data.
One headline: Businesses in the top three local results earn 126% more traffic than those ranked further down.
If you’ve ever heard me talk about the local pack, this is why - it’s where the clicks come from!
The top three positions in the local pack are practically the Olympic podium, except all the spots get gold.
Google reviews play a big part in getting your business ranking in the local pack. The more reviews you have, the better you’ll rank - and the better you rank, the more people will see your website!
I can’t give you a specific number of reviews to target because different operators have different customer bases. If you’re in a massive population center, you’ll need hundreds of reviews to compete. If you’re a bit more rural, a couple of dozen may be enough.
The trick I use? Look at how many reviews the top-ranking local pack result has. You need that many or more.
Google reviews do more than get your business seen, though! They also improve your conversion rate.
According to SOCi’s study, every tenth of a star increases your conversion rate by 4.4%
This is huge. Even if this translates to only one or two conversions, that’s several thousand dollars worth of income for a tiny change in your Google rating!
If you’ve only got a few reviews at the start, a brand new 5-star review could increase your average star rating by half a point or more. That means your new 5-star review might bring you five rentals you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
That new 5-star review, by the way? That was free.
You’re making thousands of dollars in new rentals at the marketing cost of just a bit of your time and effort. What other marketing effort offers that sort of return on investment?
Of course, this is a best-case scenario. If your business already has twenty-plus reviews, one additional review isn’t going to increase your star rating by as much. If your business has a 4.8-star rating, you may not see a huge increase in conversion rate by bumping it up to 4.9 stars because you were already converting everyone that visited your site.
For businesses that have less-than-stellar reviews, adding new Google reviews to your profile is the best, most cost-efficient way to drive more rentals.
The number of reviews you have matters too! So even if you have a 5-star rating, every 10 new reviews earned will improve the conversion of your Google profile by 2.8 percent. Of course, if you’re improving your overall rating, you’ll see even bigger benefits.
No matter what your current profile looks like, adding new good reviews will improve your likelihood of converting those customers that find your self storage website.
Good star ratings aren’t the only way Google reviews can improve your business.
Customers are more likely to rent from businesses that respond to reviews. For every 25% of reviews responded to, the conversion rate of that Google profile improves by 4.1%. If you aren’t responding to reviews at all and start responding to each one, you could bump up your conversion rate by 16.4%.
Most people don’t respond to all their reviews - the study found that operators are much more likely to respond to glowing reviews or very negative reviews than they are to respond to middling reviews.
Responding to a review doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. A simple “Thank you for your business!” will suffice in most situations, though if a customer is particularly unhappy (or particularly happy) you could go more in-depth.
Try to vary your responses so they don’t look automated. The point of responding to reviews is to show the reviewer and potential customers that you’re paying attention, so automated responses defeat the purpose.
Getting reviews for your self storage is easier than you’d think! The two keys are:
So, how do Google reviews affect your self storage business?
Once your business profile is in tip-top shape, new reviews start to have diminishing returns. If you’re already at 4.9 stars, getting new good reviews will take a long time to bring you up.
On the other hand, if you haven’t put a lot of effort into building up your reviews, this is the single best way to market your business online!
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