In the full scheme of your digital strategy, consumer reviews may seem like a very small piece of the puzzle, when in fact, they have the potential to greatly influence your SEO ranking. Reviews from the major platforms like Google, Yelp and Facebook and lesser industry-specific sites like HealthGrades or Angie's List have major implications for their ability to both influence potential customers and your Google Map Pack placement.
The quantity and quality of customer reviews and star-ratings are like a beacon on a hill - showing both online retailers and local business owners the well-lit way to boost performance in local rank and organic search results. In a crystal-clear way, Google is telling us that they value local and engagement-based factors and that organic and local search algorithms are, and will always be, intricately interlaced with key feedback and interaction.
Ratings and reviews from your customers should not be left to chance, the power of each and every online review holds immense power. A managed platform provider like YouReview offers automated management to ensure you remain on top of review requests, star-ratings and have the ability to privately address a poor review before it is published for all the world to see.
Ratings + Reviews = Google's Trust
The unmistakable correlation between customer reviews & star ratings with Google Map Pack placement should help SMB's understand that a thorough and consistent review collection and monitoring strategy is imperative to their overall success, both directly and indirectly by influencing SEO and even click-through rates.
A well-curated business listing that includes user-generated content (i.e. uploaded photos and question & answer interactions) along with user reviews and star ratings gives your potential customers all they need to know at-a-glance and Google is happy when the user finds what they're looking for.
Factors such as reviews containing long-tailed keywords, 4 to 5-star ratings (as rich snippets) enhance your local authority and legitimacy and add important diversity to your Google My Business listing. Thus, conveying to Google that you care about providing your customers with a thoughtful customer service experience. Valuable consumer feedback will solidify your relationship with your customers and impress Mr. Google - in a meaningful way.
Why Online Reviews Matter for Local SEO
The main reasons local and industry-specific search engines love consumer reviews is very simply because their users heavily rely on online reviews. The search engines and review sites main function is to provide their users with useful, accurate information to help them make informed purchasing decisions for both in-depth and on-the-go searches. Take a look at the following results from a local Google search for the long-tailed keyword phrase, 'water damage company in West Jordan':
This local small business, Five Point Restoration, beat out other small businesses and even a large national chain for Google Map Pack top placement (under the paid position) as a direct result of wording from this customer review:
Let's Sum it Up
Online reviews and customer interactions after a purchase play an important role in building your reputation in local and online communities. Reviews will also heavily influence placement in local search with continued value for traditional organic SEO. SMB's need to embrace the opportunity to engage with potential and past customers online to increase sales and improve brand awareness to an ever-increasing online collective built on like-minded opinions and recommendations.
Establish Long-Term Value and Online Authority
Utah SEO Pros have the experience to implement review management with your comprehensive online marketing campaign to establish long-term value and online authority for an incredible ROI. Give us a call at (801) 413-7734 today for your FREE Digital Marketing Analysis for proven results with our easy-to-use, personalized digital marketing strategies.