As a local business, reviews are a necessary component of your overall strategy. Customers love reviews. Therefore Google loves customer reviews. Your customers are growing more and more accustomed to relying on reviews when searching for a new business. When customers explore new towns, reviews become an important factor in making decisions. Or identifying two companies that seem to offer a similar product, more often than not, the reviews influence customers decision in one way or another. Not only are reviews important to helping you win new customers, but local SEO factors rely on them too.
Google displays the highest rated business with more prominence when consumers are searching with local intent.
In other words, searching for a roof repair, Google will show you the one with the highest quality reviews first. Google claims they feature unbiased search results, but there’s no doubt that they bias local SEO towards reviews collected on their network. Google is motivated to become the go-to source for local information, but they still need to maintain a healthy balance towards what consumers want to see. So reviews on other authoritative websites do provide value as well.
Yelp and Facebook is an excellent example of a site that is worth securing reviews on. Google prominently displays Yelp and Facebook ratings in local search results. As with most everything in local SEO, quality is more important than quantity. Ten very positive, well-written reviews are more valuable than say 20 mediocre one-sentence reviews. So too is the frequency at which you receive the reviews. Ten reviews in one day will appear suspicious, so earning them over time naturally is key. Let’s take a look at how search results and reviews come together.
What Focus On:
- Focus on quality over quantity
- Earn Reviews naturally over time
When customers conduct a local search or even a search for a particular business, you can see right away how reviews become part of the search experience. Here I did a search for a local contractor, Roof Repair Solutions, and here along the right-hand side, we can see their rating, along with how many reviews they have.
Now if I select right onto the link of reviews, I can read the reviews and see exactly what they’re about, without ever having to leave the search results.
Now another popular search is to look for a brand, followed by the word reviews. Let’s do look at “Roof Repair Solution Reviews.” Google is going to show the most relevant reviews to your customers in the search results. Google brings in Yelp, and now we can see reviews straight from Yelp along with ones further down on the screen from HomeAdvisor. It’s easy to see how reviews not only add visual appeal to search listings, but they help add credibility to your business.
Gaining More Reviews From Your Customers
Reviews are a huge key to your success with local SEO, so don’t be afraid to ask your clients to write an online review about your business. Reviews should be genuine and come in at a natural pace. If they all show up at once, it would be suspect to Google. A customer can leave a review by searching for your business and then selecting Write a Review from your Google search result or your Google Maps listing.
It’s a good idea to recommend that your customers leave you a review through your Google listing.
Another good site to collect reviews is Yelp.com. Yelp reviews automatically aggregate with Google.
Both Google and Yelp are both mobile friendly, so it may be a good idea to place a sign to ask your customers for reviews. A few places to encourage customers to leave a review could be, in your storefront, on service vehicles, on business cards, in your e-mail signature block, and on invoices or receipts.
Build genuine reviews, and Google will reward you for it by displaying your business higher in the search engine rankings and sending more customers to you.
Now, both Yelp and Google Reviews are mobile friendly, so you can often add a sign at your business, and you’ll find that people will leave a review while they’re still there. Build genuine reviews, and Google will aggregate them for you and display them to your users.