Everyone loves getting a compliment now and again, but positive online reviews can mean a whole lot more than blushing cheeks. They can actually help your business stand out online for several reasons. Online reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and especially Google can serve as important ranking signals for search engine algorithms. Google My Business page ratings in particular carry a lot of weight. Local businesses with top-rated reviews in their respective category or niche will almost always win out in Google local search results.
Reviews both positive and negative also help your business rank higher by creating a healthy cache of links pointing toward your site. Finally, reviews help potential customers make choices more confidently through the extra tier of information they provide. Altogether, soliciting reviews can become an important part of your local SEO strategy. Read on to learn how local reviews work, how to encourage reviews and why internet marketing for small business is important.
The Weight of Online Reviews by the Numbers
Reviews can do so much more than helping people skim for the best business options in their area. Research published on Moz indicated that sites with a large amount of Google reviews showed the strongest correlation for higher SERPs rankings. They also attribute eight percent of search engine ranking weight to review signals in general and 15 percent of ranking weight to Google My Business signals, which include Google review quantity.
Simply put, having a lot of people reviewing your business can serve as a strong indicator to Google or Bing that it is more relevant and should therefore rank higher. Businesses rated consistently highly also tend to top lists of Google Maps SERPs results. If the same business manages to get in the top ten of sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, a local search for queries like “sushi Vancouver” will reveal that business in a listing of “The Best Sushi in Vancouver” or similar review aggregator landing pages.
People listen to positive reviews, too. A survey published in Search Engine Watch revealed that 88 percent of people read reviews when trying to make a choice among businesses. These numbers have only increased over time, making it more important by the year to consider your online reputation.
How to Get Reviews to Improve Internet Marketing for Small Business
The simplest strategy to boost your review quantity is to ask people for them! A polite request can do wonders for encouraging people to voice their opinion. Train customer-facing personnel to plant the idea of reviewing at the end of every transaction. If you have a physical location, signs mentioning Yelp and Google can get the message across. One of your best options, though, is to make your request digitally. Asking for reviews on your Facebook page or through your email list means fewer steps for the potential reviewer. Once enough reviews start coming in, you can evaluate your customer service strategy to increase the percentage of four and five-star reviews.
If you would like help improving local SEO and search engine visibility through reviews, you can take advantage of our internet marketing for small business services. We can help you climb higher in search results and have a strong online presence at the same time!