Business reviews and local SEO

Lesson 6 of 6 of our beginner's guide to local SEO

Good reviews help local SEO

These days, people often rely upon online reviews to determine the quality of a product or service before spending money on it.

Customers leave reviews on a multitude of different websites, including online shops. and though any positive reviews can benefit your business, the most useful ones when it comes to SEO, are those left on your Google My Business profile. Of course, reviews on authoritative sites (including some of the directories mentioned in the previous chapter) are also very useful to have.

You may also get reviews on other websites, including forums, social media platforms and blogs, though these don’t play a significant part in local SEO. However, these reviews are still worth having, as potential customers might base their buying decisions on them.

Example of a review

The only way to get consistently good reviews is to give a consistently good service!

Reviews on Google My Business

The most valuable reviews in terms of local SEO and website ranking are those left on your Google My Business listing. This is largely because people are most likely to see these reviews when they find your listing in Google Maps.

These reviews will also play a particularly important role in normal search results, since people will be able to see how many reviews your business has received alongside your listing in the results.

If you have more than ten reviews, your listing will also be accompanied by an averaged score.

Google My Business example

When people review your business using Google, they will also have to rate their experience between 0 and 5, with 5 being the highest rating.

Obviously, maintaining a high score is absolutely essential, since people will then be far more likely to click the link to your website. Likewise, a company with no reviews is not likely to receive much attention, particularly if a competitor in the listings has an established reputation already.

Star rating

How to get more reviews

There are many strategies for getting more reviews, and when you’re just starting your online marketing efforts you will need to dedicate some time to attracting as many as you can.

Try to encourage both new and existing customers to leave reviews. The best way to do this is to simply ask for them, in your newsletters and on your website.

Try including a link to your Google My Business profile in a thank you / order confirmation email, and politely ask customers to review. This is a good time to ask since your customers would have recently interacted with your business.

You can also ask people to review your business on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Don’t forget physical media either – you can even include a request in notices at your business venue, on business cards, and in printed newsletters.

Remember, as with citations and backlinks, quality over quantity is of the order of the day. You’ll be in a better position than your competitors if you have ten good reviews and they have twenty mixed ones.