For local businesses, getting customers to give you a review on Google should be a top priority. Getting reviews from customers has always been a significant exercise for business, but today more than ever, with Google Business Profile, the importance is greater than ever. In Google’s pursuit to deliver the most relevant results for local searches, they not only look at what your business does, but also how it is perceived. They do this by checking how many reviews you have and what your average customer rating is. Any SEO company will be able to tell you that in working with their clients, they will have seen this play out many times over the past few years.
When a person scans the search results for a local product or service in Google, the business listings that include relevant customer reviews present greater credibility, and naturally receive more clicks. For example, if you have a 4.5 star rating, and 16 reviews and your competitor has less, it is strong social proof that your service or product is trustworthy. This means the quality of the reviews come into play when Google is ranking websites for local SEO.
Google Local Listing
Research shows that a growing percentage of shoppers are no longer visiting websites before making contact. Local consumers are now simply getting the information they need right from the Google Local Listing and calling directly. All of this is done based on the information they found within those local listings on Google.
This concept is so important to understand and embrace as part of your marketing strategy. If your local listing is not optimized and not being managed on a regular basis, you are not taking advantage of one of the most powerful marketing tools available to local businesses. By regularly adding new photos, creating new posts, and responding to reviews, your business will stand out among the rest.
Need another reason to be actively managing your Google Local Listings and focusing on reviews? Your website will no longer rank at the very top of Google even if you are doing an excellent job with your SEO and achieve a top ranking for your local area. This is because Google has positioned its Google Local Listings above organic results, just underneath Google ads.
This means that even if your business is ranked #1 organically, it may not show up until the 8th or 9th position down the page. The top 3 to 4 positions are now reserved for Google ads and the next three go to local listings. This is why keeping your Google Local Listings up to date with relevant reviews is so important.
Paying for Reviews
Never, under any circumstance pay for reviews. Although it may be tempting to offer incentives in exchange for reviews, it goes against Google’s terms of service. So, never advertise a free drink for showing a completed review, or a discounted service for a review. If you are caught offering these incentives, it may greatly harm your Google ranking.
Overall, the quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. Remind customers that they can leave a review on Google and mention that it will help your local business grow. You may be surprised at how many people want to voice their opinion about your business.
Here at Unwired Web Solutions, we are an SEO company that wants to see our customers thrive. Contact us today for information on our services and how we can help your business reach the top of Google search results.