Internet Reviews: Growth and Destruction
Updated: Sep 3
Whether you run an asphalt paving company, a local restaurant, or are a waitress serving at a local chamber meeting, you have heard the conversation about gaining customer reviews. Whether it's a customer who clicked on the fifth star or one who wrote about the demise of her/his life because of the pebble found in their yard, customers are important, and so are their opinions on the internet. As a manager or business owner, it is vital that you take control of the conversation that is happening about your business on Google. Even if your website is shallow, understanding a few basics about search engines and customer reviews can boost your reputation.
No matter the depth at which you choose to participate in the internet, your business is listed there, and it is where the overwhelming majority of customers are finding their next purchase or hire. Word of mouth can still be a strong lead generator, and there are plenty of community reference sites like Angie's List or review sites like Yelp. However, Google is the most significant lead generator in the paving industry. I have our own ADC Paving statistics to back up my thoughts and some fundamental steps to digest if you agree with our findings.
ADC Paving has invested a lot of time and energy into developing the look and feel of our website and expanding social media presence. Social media, in particular, has been valuable in developing relationships within the paving and pavement maintenance industry. Our website won "Best of the Web" by Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction Magazine this year (*link below). Though we are thrilled that those communication methods are opening doors, neither may be as important as great reviews from a customer. Even though we started advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn this year, and we place a great amount of emphasis on being genuine within the paving community on Instagram, 47% of our traffic still comes from customers who start with Google.**
That's right. We started advertising on Facebook, and leads from that social giant are up 30% from this time last year. If you've seen our Instagram account, we have begun "swipe up" campaigns where we link to special offers or blog writings like this one. We are in community publications and resources, and attend chamber of commerce and HOA meetings. Not all web visitors used Google. 25% of people who visit our website went direct to "adcpaving.com" for one reason or another.
However, even with all of the advertising (zero of which is Google Ads), 46.7% of potential customers went to Google and typed in something like "asphalt paving" and clicked on our website.
So, what do reviews have to do with Google? The easiest way for a customer to leave a review is to simply visit the resource that they used to find your company, Google. Here are some stats that indicate how essential reviews are***:
82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, including 93% of people aged 35-54
The more reviews, the better (even if some are negative)
48% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written within the past two weeks.
If you want to improve your Google rankings or want to get started with acquiring reviews, here are some action steps:
Go to or search "Google My Business" and claim your company so you can alter your company information and respond to Google reviews.
Respond to reviews, especially the negative ones. If it is negative, calmly and PROFESSIONALLY explain your answer from your business perspective and how you attempted to provide excellent service.
Ask happy customers to leave a review.
Set a reminder to check reviews left for your company, at minimum, every two weeks
Ask friends and family who have used your service to leave you a review.
The statistics are out there that you should take your reviews on Google seriously. If you don't have the capital to hire help or have put off educating yourself on the importance of Google, the steps above are steadfast starting points. They won't let you down. Regardless if you track how potential customers find you, they are currently looking for you on Google.
**Our statistics comparison dates were taken from March 1, 2019 - August 18, 2019 and March 1, 2020 - August 18, 2020