A successful local SEO strategy must take a look at almost every aspect of a business’s online activities. One we would like to go in to depth today is online reviews. Reviews are becoming very important for a few reasons – they can influence people’s buying decisions, they can affect which search results get clicked on and they can affect your ranking in Google’s local search algorithm. This makes reviews just as important as other activities in a local SEO strategy.
Though there are other review sites that are good to receive reviews on, Google + local pages are by far the best place to start requesting reviews from your customers.
Google Map Searches Prominently Feature Reviews
Below you will notice Google’s star rating system stands out and majority of the time business’s with reviews will rank higher than ones without. As well, you can now search for the highest reviewed companies
Want A Better Chance of Showing up in Google’s 7 Pack? Get Reviews!
Google’s 7 Pack is the 7 business listings in Google search results page (SERP) that lists local businesses and allows you to easily find them on Google Maps. You can see an example in the screen grab below. Other things you can do to increase your chances of showing in the 7 Pack can be found on here on a recent post.
Mobile Searches Include reviews and review counts in the results for mobile devices
So What’s The Best Way To Get Reviews & Ratings?
1. First, and I’m sure you know this – Give Great Customer Service. Happy customers are more likely to review. However, un happy customers are way more likely to review. Maybe stay away from local SEO and reviews if your service is awful.
2. Connect with your customers – regular social media or email contact can help.
3. Don’t force customers to just do reviews on Google, let them make that decision, plus it looks more natural.
4. Don’t pay or give incentives for reviews. You want your reviews to come off as natural and sincere as possible.
5. Print out some reviews and post them in your place of business. Let customers see that you value their feedback.
Focus on #1 and the reviews will come along with more business!