Why Google Reviews Are Important For Local SEO

google reviews

You’ve probably heard it time and time again. If you want to boost your local SEO, Google reviews are the best place to start.

We know what you’re thinking: convincing customers to leave reviews can be difficult. Is it really necessary?

Now, what if we told you reviews are more important in local search ranking factors than social media followers or clickthrough rates?

Improving your local SEO doesn’t just put your business at the top of search results. It also boosts your leads, sales, and repeat customers, so it’s not something you want to ignore.

Here’s how Google reviews can give your company’s local SEO the boost it needs.

Google reviews affect how your business is ranked among its competitors

When you search for a specific service, have you ever wondered why some companies appear at the top of your results, rather than others? What sets them apart?

The answer: a good number of Google reviews which have sky-rocketed that company’s local search rankings.

But what exactly is a ‘good’ number of reviews?

According to this report, around 67% of consumers will read up to 6 reviews before they form an opinion about that business.

While this is a great statistic to keep in mind, it’s important for a business to focus on collecting as many reviews on Google that they can.

This is because Google favors reviews on their own platform over those on sites such as Yelp and Facebook. No surprises there!

While it might seem like a lot of effort to get your business to this top-ranked position in local search results, it’s worth it.

Time is a limited resource and people no longer want to spend it looking through hundreds of search results.

A good example of this is smartphone technology, which allows consumers to search for products and services on-the-go.

In fact, 76% of people who perform a local search on their mobile device visit an enterprise within 24 hours and 28% of these searches result in a purchase. How good is that?

Another reason why google reviews are important for local SEO is because they add another element to your business’ results on Google Maps – and a very influential one at that.

When someone searches for your particular service within your area, your business will show on the map alongside fellow local competitors.

All of the usual information will come up: the company’s name, location, contact number, and operating hours. But Google now adds another ingredient: summaries of each business’ latest reviews.

Imagine if your business had a higher rating and larger collection of positive reviews than your competitors.

In the consumer’s eyes, your business comes out as the winner. And that’s what you want.

Negative versus positive Google reviews

Did you know tales of bad customer service reach more than double the audience than praise for a good service experience does?

While a negative review would make any business owner break into a sweat, we’re going to tell you why this shouldn’t be the case.

That’s right. Even negative reviews can boost your local SEO.

Five-star ratings will always leave a better impression than negative feedback, but a review that uses keywords such as your business name or location still works to improve your local SEO.

Negative reviews also offer your company a rare opportunity to learn directly from consumer feedback.

How you respond to these reviews can set your business apart, showing your professionalism and dedication to good customer service.

It leaves a positive impression if you respond to the negative Google review in a swift and polite manner. Apologize for the situation and ask the reviewer for other contact details so you can follow-up privately.

Once resolved, you can then ask the reviewer to either delete their negative review or amend it to show how the dilemma was fixed.

Positive reviews, on the other hand, are the aim of the game.

According to an American Express Survey, 70% of participants said they were prepared to spend more with businesses who (according to reviews) provide excellent customer service.

Positive reviews don’t just put your business at the top of search results. They also put extra money into your pocket. It’s a win-win!

Similarly, with negative reviews, a business’ response to a positive review will also influence a consumer’s decisions.

A heartfelt thank you message will do the trick, plus this interaction with customers will work wonders for boosting your company’s reputation.

Remember, the number of positive reviews and ratings you receive can drastically boost your local SEO, placing your business at the top of search results.

That’s why it’s vital to collect as many of these that you can.

How to get Google reviews

In saying that, we’re sure you want to know how your business can start getting more Google reviews.

Luckily, there are many simple actions you can take:

  • Add a banner on your website encouraging customers to leave a Google review. Link the banner to your business’ Google+ page.
  • Regularly remind your customers on social media to visit your Google+ page and share their experience in a review.
  • Think about ways you can drop the hint to customers to leave a Google review. You might include instructions at the back of your menu, on receipts, or even on a leaflet included with the customer’s order.
  • Have you built up an email list for your business? Be sure to include a reminder in your email newsletter for customers to leave Google reviews.
  • You can also place a poster in your shop encouraging customers to help you by leaving a review of your business on Google.
  • Lastly, simply ask. Next time you work with a client or customer, mention to them the importance of Google reviews for growing your business. Let them know you’d be grateful if they took a minute to share feedback.

Want to learn more about how your business can benefit from Google reviews and local SEO services? Get in touch today or visit us for an SEO analysis.