How to Boost Local SEO Ranking with Google Reviews
When people search for businesses online, reviews are one of the most important factors in determining where to go. Whether it’s a local business or an online retailer, having positive reviews can help boost ranking on Google and attract more customers.
According to a survey by Bright Local, 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. However, they also found that only 46% of people write reviews for a business. It means that many businesses are missing out on the power of online reviews. A study showed that having a high number of reviews increases click-through rates by 14%.
In this article, we’ll look at how to boost local SEO rank with Google reviews. We’ll also discuss why customer reviews are so important for local businesses and how to respond to negative reviews.
What is Local SEO?
The term “local SEO” refers to the practice of optimizing a website for local search results. In other words, it’s the process of ensuring your business shows up when people search for a business in your town or city. For example, if you search for “pizza near me” on Google, the search engine will display a list of pizza places in your area along with their website, phone number, direction, and address.
Local SEO can be split into two categories: Local Pack Results and Local Organic Search Results.
Local Pack Results or Map Results:
Local Pack results appear at the top of the search and are indicated by the map icon. It typically displays three types of results: local businesses, restaurants, and other types of businesses. The businesses that are displayed are chosen based on the user’s location and distance from the user to the business in the search query.
For Example, when you search for “pizza shops near me” and Google realizes that you are in Portland Oregon, it will display several Pizza Shops in the Portland area. Google also uses its algorithm to determine the rankings of the businesses in the pack. It’s important to get a higher ranking in the pack because most users don’t bother scrolling down the page.
Local Organic Search Results
This is the remainder of the search results below the Local Pack results. The results here are displayed according to the relevance and quality of the website rather than geographic location. To improve your chances of showing up in these search results, you must ensure your website is optimized correctly for local search engines.
You should ensure that your website has a page for each of your physical locations and that pages contain the relevant information your customers are looking for. You should also ensure that your contact details are included on your pages so that customers can easily find your location. Finally, you should make sure that your website is mobile-friendly so that it can be viewed on smartphones and tablets.
To improve your ranking in the local pack and organic search results, you need to follow the best local SEO practices.
How Can Reviews Impact Local Search Rank?
People turn to the internet to read reviews before buying a product or visiting a business. According to research from BrightLocal, 85% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. If a searcher sees that a local business has lots of positive reviews, they’ll be more likely to visit that business rather than their competitors. As a result, a good review strategy can help to boost your local search rank and attract new customers.
Reviews as a ranking factor: Research shows that a page with a high average rating ranks higher in search results than similar pages with fewer ratings.
Review as a Ranking Factor
Local SEO ranking depends on 3 major categories: relevance, distance, and prominence. Reviews fall in the prominence category, meaning they influence SERPs. Based on Moz’s survey of over 100 local SEO experts, it was found that 83% of them said that having online reviews would have an impact on their local SEO rankings.
Google gives a lot of weight to review signals when determining how high to rank your website in the search results. A recent study found that 7 of the top 10 results had at least 30 reviews. This is how reviews can have a big impact on your local search rank. If a business doesn’t have many reviews yet, its search engine rankings will suffer as a result.
Reviews are further categorized into 3 different types: star ratings, review count, and review velocity.
This number is based on the average star rating of all the reviews that your business has received so far. For example, if your business has an average rating of 4 stars, this means that it has received a minimum number of 4 stars out of all the reviews that it has received.
Number of Reviews
This is the total number of reviews that your business has received so far.
This means how fast your reviews are coming. According to data from BrightLocal, the average business in the US receives about 1 new review each week. What does this mean for you? Well, you need to get more reviews if you want to improve your search ranking. The more reviews you have, the higher your chances of appearing in the first 3 packs of local search results.
Review components that influence SEO
Now we know, reviews are a ranking factor for local search. If your business has good reviews, it will perform better in search results. The most important review factors that influence local SEO results are review quality, review quantity, keywords, and up-to-date content.
The quality of the reviews you receive will impact your search ranking in a significant way. That’s because Google values reviews from real people over computer-generated ones. That means your ratings should always be above a 4-star rating if you want your local SEO to perform well. Another thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t pay for fake reviews. Instead, focus on encouraging happy customers to leave honest reviews.
The number of reviews that you receive will also affect your search ranking. The higher the number of reviews that you get, the better your chances are of being featured on the first page of local search results. You should get reviews on all popular review sites for your business such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Business Profile to get optimal exposure.
When people post a review about your business on Google Business Profile, they’ll often include keywords that describe your products or services. For example, a customer might leave a five-star review for a local restaurant that describes the delicious “lobster roll” appetizer the restaurant offers. This customer is almost certainly using the phrase “lobster roll” as a keyword when he writes the review. The restaurant owner should then respond to this reviewer by thanking them for leaving a five-star review.
Fresh content is another thing that Google values when determining search rank for local listings. So getting new reviews and responding to your customers regularly will help keep your listing remain up to date and improve your chances of featuring being on the first page of search results.
How to Get More Reviews?
To get more reviews from your customers, you should encourage them to leave a review whenever they are satisfied with your product or service. You can’t expect people to review you just because you asked them to do so. So it’s critical to offer excellent customer service and encourage your customers to review your business. You should also ask current customers for referrals whenever possible so you can grow your customer base and get even more positive reviews for your business.
Use Reviews Management Platforms
Get the most out of your customer reviews by using an online review management platform that allows you to manage your online reviews from a single dashboard. Also, it’s important to monitor and respond to all reviews left for your business so you can get valuable feedback from your customers and increase conversion rates.
Use Gamification to Encourage Reviews
If you want to improve the number of reviews you receive from your customers, you should use gamification techniques to encourage more people to leave positive reviews of your business. Gamification is a proven marketing technique that can be used to get more users to engage with your business online and generate more reviews for your business.
Hire Reviews Marketing Specialists
You can also get help managing your online reviews from an experienced online marketing specialist who can create and manage an effective online marketing campaign for your business. A reviews marketing agency can help you get more positive reviews for your business and help you improve your brand reputation in the online world.
Send Email Reminders to Customers to Leave Reviews
One of the best ways to get more positive reviews for your business is to send reminder emails to your customers asking them to leave a review of your business. These reminders can be sent at regular intervals, such as every quarter or every month, to remind customers about your business and reward them for their positive feedback.
Send SMS Reminders to Customers to Leave Reviews
You can also use SMS to send reminders to your customers asking them for a positive review of your business. Sending timely reminders to your customers can encourage them to leave a positive review of your business and boost your brand credibility in the online space.
Publish Online Reviews on Your Business Website
You can also publish your online reviews on your website so prospective customers can see what other people are saying about your business and make an informed buying decision. The reviews management platform provides a reviews widget that can easily integrate into your website and allows your visitors to leave an online review for your business with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Why Choose Sage Titans to manage your Reviews?
We use in-house tools to manage online reviews of any local business. Our system allows business owners to automate review generation & management effectively. This improves marketing ROI by ensuring the authenticity, frequency, and volume of user reviews to search engines.
We can help you to generate video reviews using our video review system. These videos reviews requests can be sent to your customers directly through text messages or email links with simple and easy-to-use review generation tools.
Business-Focused review templates:
We create custom business-focused review templates for local businesses including pizza shops, bars, clubs, etc. These templates help generate user reviews automatically and without any extra effort from business owners.
Gamification Review Generation Tools
We have developed gamification tools that encourage existing customers to leave online reviews for business and get rewarded with discounts and other rewards for doing so.
Other Local SEO Techniques
We have years of experience helping local businesses get top rankings in local search results. We can implement a wide range of other effective techniques to get positive results for the local SEO of your business.
Do you need help in reviews management for your local business? Get in touch with us today to get a free consultation.