When it comes to local SEO, you just cannot ignore the importance of online reviews. If you want your business of local SEO to excel and deliver the desired results, you need to build a strategy to help you manage your reviews, increasing the positive impact of online reviews for your local SEO.
Based on studies, 98% of people read online reviews when they are searching for a local business. And 80% of customers would likely leave a comment or review if their negative experience is turned into a positive one.
Impact of online reviews on local SEO rankings helps your business in multiple ways. Reviews also perform as one of the key metrics to track and measure your local SEO success. Google reviews provide a useful insight into the interaction of customers with your business as well as their experience which will be helpful in creating a strategy that improves local SEO rankings. Winning more positive reviews will drastically boost local SEO rankings for a local business.
You must read the full blog in order to learn the importance of online reviews for local SEO rankings, what local SEO is, how reviews help with SEO, how to deal with bad reviews, tips for getting more positive reviews and much more.
Local SEO is all about driving traffic that is searching for a local business such as a restaurant, or plumber, etc. in Phoenix. It aims at helping a business target or reach customers in a particular region. For example, if you are a plumber serving households in your area, then the people searching for plumbing services in that area will see your business in the search results if your business ranks high. Local SEO helps to get your local business rank in the Google search results for your target keywords.
To put it simply, unlike general Google searches, local search is more specific to a particular space. Local SEO is the process of optimizing a business online visibility so it can appear in those local search results.
Online reviews are one of the best approaches to improving local SEO rankings. In fact, Google reviews help people find your business and contact you when they need services or products that you provide.
Local SEO is crucial because it helps you:
There are many ways you can use to improve your site’s SEO profile in general, but reviews from locals and a better local SEO profile are by the far the best way to increase quality traffic and get business from local people.
Google reviews along with SEO local promotion and social proof form the best way to significantly rock up your website’s online presence. Online reviews if combined with word of mouth and the current state of the world provide a powerful indicator of the health of your business.
Let us have a look at what the data says:
Reviews which show on your Google Business Profile provide a quick snapshot of what your business does and also into how people have interacted with your business so far. This will affect: the position of your business on the Map Pack and your local SERP ranking.
According to Moz’s local search ranking factors survey, reviews have grown in importance as a ranking factor for local searches over the past years. BrightLocal also revealed the same, “business with higher rated reviews ranked higher in the SERP”. Google also confirmed reviews as a ranking signal in a section about managing and responding to reviews.
So, even if we don’t know the full impact of online reviews in determining your local rankings, we do know they influence it somehow.
The reviews of people are among the factors that affect the reputation of your business. As part of Google E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness), online reviews refers to the trustworthiness which is a key ranking signal. So your SEO efforts must focus on maintaining and enhancing your online reputation.
As a key part of online reputation, improving online reviews is an important offering of good SEO services. If you are a dentist and looking for local SEO for dentists, make your SEO partner also offer reviews management in SEO services.
Negative reviews are natural and quite expected so, you cannot avoid it but you can manage it. Negative reviews are detrimental to local SEO rankings and ultimately the traffic on your website. Also, if they are not dealt with properly, bad reviews may wreak havoc on your reputation.
The best way to deal with negative reviews is to respond to them. By engaging with your customers, you will know their pain point and so you can provide them with the right solution to their problem and earn good reviews from them. Not responding will have a reverse impact and customers will lose trust in you.
Online reviews are important as they help improve trust with customers by providing social proof and can also assist in SEO efforts.
Benefits of a healthy review profile abounds, including more good leads, social proof, customer engagement and loyalty, etc. Reviews are the best way to increase brand recognition and reputation, gain SEO benefits and influence purchasing decisions with potential clients. The best thing is that they cost nothing. There are ways to get reviews.
Some good sources of online reviews include:
This is a great way to get reviews as the people you know are more likely to leave a good, genuine review about your business. Google does not allow reviews from non-customers but Facebook does not have any such limitations. You can ask your industry partner, neighbor and even mail service provider to leave a review for you. Make sure they give an honest, true and authentic review. Ask non-customers to speak about your integrity, professionalism, personality, or character in the reviews.
You should care about positive reviews not because this helps your SEO campaign but it can also help boost your sales and conversions to a great extent. According to a Podium survey, 93% of respondents accepted that online reviews influenced their decision to buy, which means out of 10 people, 9 use online reviews to make their buying decision. With that, it seems that proper review management must be a part of your SEO strategy.
Though Google reviews are not a magic wand to boost sales and conversion or enhance brand reputation, they are, of course, a powerful tool that helps immensely in improving rankings of local SEO in Phoenix.