You might think online reviews are only important for restaurants, hotels, or other hospitality companies, but you would be wrong. Reviews are critical to reputation management in every industry, and Google is the reigning champion in this space going into 2019.
Not convinced Google reviews have a strong supporting role to play in next year’s funeral home marketing script? Consider these facts and stats:
- Consumers expect your company to have reviews. Furthermore, they expect you to respond to and interact with those reviews. More than half of consumers say businesses should respond within a week.
- More than 60 percent of people say they turn to Google to check reviews before contacting a business for goods or services. That compares to just around 20 percent who check reviews on Facebook.
- Four out of five people say they only trust businesses with an overall star rating of 4.0 or higher.
What’s pushing Google so far above the competition when it comes to consumer review use? Quite simply, it’s Google’s massive market dominance (about 90 percent) in search. Internet audiences are already primed to turn to the search engine to find what they need online.
Google also displays star ratings and some reviews for appropriate businesses at any time it determines a user’s search intent is likely local. That means individuals are seeing review results even when they weren’t actively looking for them, keeping Google reviews fresh in their minds.
The big takeaways for 2019 funeral home marketing and reputation management:
- Claim Your Google My Business profile. And once you do, be active on it. Add accurate information and update your posts consistently.
- Be aware of and interact with Google reviews. Responding to all reviews lets online searchers see that you’re an active, caring business. Responding to negative reviews in a positive, proactive way positions you as a professional death care company that is willing to go the extra mile for clientele.
- Ask for reviews. Tactfully incorporate review requests into your processes where possible to boost the number of reviews on your GMB page. In 2019, the funeral home with no reviews may be passed over by growing numbers of preplanners and families in need.
(NOTE: Monitoring your funeral homes online reputation is a requirement for success in the digital age. Try our free Review Scan now for an instant reputation report on your funeral home.)