The Online Review Blog

Attract customers who’ve never heard of your business (without paid ads, blogging, SEO, or social media)

I recently had some car trouble. This left me wondering which company I might call to come to my rescue. No matter your industry, let me quickly explain why this scenario matters to you and your business. How you follow this advance could either attract or repel potential customers.

People use Google to solve immediate needs

So let’s say I’m stuck on the side of the road, and I want to get my car towed to a repair shop as soon as possible. I’m not going to scroll aimlessly through social media hoping to trip across a post about auto repair. I also don’t have a lot of time to research which towing truck company is the best.

I’m just going to do what most people do: I’m going to pull out my phone and search Google for “towing near me.”

Notice this important buyer habit: People who have a casual desire to buy something scroll through social media, while people who need something right now turn to their favorite search engine (Google, Siri, Bing, etc.). Before you can attract new customers, you have to decide if your product/service is a “need” or a “want.”

Before you can attract new customers, you have to decide if your product/service is a “need” or a “want.”

But SEO might not be the top factor that drives customers to your business

In the old days of Google, you only worried about getting your website listed near the top of the Google search results. That way, you could attract the most customers by getting them to click on the link to your website.

But then the “map pack” was added to the top of the local Google results, pushing websites way down on the page. This box features three local businesses to choose from (plus one company that paid Google to advertise at the top of the screen).

So the question is: “Which company will customers call first?”

Close up of a Google map pack featuring 3 businesses with online reviews
Close up of a Google map pack featuring 3 businesses with online reviews

Now there isn’t much information listed for each business in the map pack. All we see is:

  • The business name
  • The average star rating
  • The total number of reviews
  • The business category (which is the same for each)
  • The number of years in business (if the business has properly optimized its Google business profile)
  • The city (which is the same for each)
  • And the hours of operation (and the map pack will generally only show businesses that are open right now)

So the only thing that can really tell me about the quality of a business is the reviews. If I need my car towed now, these reviews are my best way of differentiating between these choices.

Being at the top of Google search results is not the real goal

What’s interesting is, I’m probably not going to call the first business in the map pack. The best reviews are actually on the last one. Henry’s has the best average star rating at 4.8 and they have over 2,000 reviews, which is amazing!

The towing company with the next highest number of reviews has a much lower average. And the other two have an even lower average or a much lower number of reviews.

So in this scenario, I’m definitely going to call Henry’s first. If they can pick me up soon, at a reasonable rate, they’re going to get me as a customer – based entirely on their online reviews.

The bottom line: Attract or repel customers (earn or lose $)

You can now see how reviews can attract customers or repel them. Think of how many customers the other towing companies miss out on because their reviews are not as good as Henry’s. How much money are they losing?

How much revenue are you losing to competitors because of this type of buyer psychology?

As a reputation management specialist, I can take a look at your business and calculate the financial impact reviews could be making on your business.

Simply contact me and request a free report. I’ll analyze your review situation, from several angles, and give you a plan to make your business stand out from the crowd. If you’d like to know more, schedule a free consultation.

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