Anyone running a business knows that the most impactful and genuine advocate they have is a happy customer.
Today, technology has made great strides in making the voice of every customer extremely powerful. To show you how important this has become, 93% of consumers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.
What people are saying and sharing online about your business matters a lot. Online reviews are not only important in terms of optimizing your SEO strategy but they do affect local SEO.
Affects Your Google Ranking
Online reviews are estimated to account for up to 10% of how leading search engines like Google and others rank their search results.
The diversity, quantity, and frequency of your online reviews are the top 5 factors used in determining whether your business gets listed or not listed among the local pack.
From a standpoint of local SEO, business reviews could make the difference whether you get placed ahead of your local rivals in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) as well as on searches done on smartphones.
The more reviews your business gets and the better they are, the more the likelihood of your being elevated higher in your local SEO rankings.
Remember that about 7% of what gets your business better organic results come from review signals
What Can You Do?
Online reviews are an important component of your digital marketing strategy.
However, this is one aspect you specifically can’t control although it’s possible to take concrete steps to make a difference in how they impact your local SEO.
Acquire More Online Reviews
Online reviews contribute about 10% of what search engines use to rank which makes getting more of them important.
Getting online reviews need not be a big problem or a scary process. Some business owners may at times feel intimidated at the thought of asking their customers for reviews but in this digital era, that is an accepted business strategy.
Getting Google reviews is even more useful because, for local search, it’s vital to have a solid Google+ listing. Therefore, when asking for reviews, always direct your customers to business Google+ page.
Monitor Your Online Reputation
It is estimated that 72% of consumers will only take action after reading a positive business review.
It’s therefore important to regularly keep an on all reviews and act quickly every time a negative review is posted by responding in an honest and timely manner.
Respond to Reviews
49% of consumers check online reviews and what they find there matters a lot. It is therefore very important that your business notes both negative and positive reviews.
Don’t get into a panic when reviewers post negative opinions. Don’t for a moment consider contacting the review platform asking them to pull down the negative reviews.
Instead, craft your own strategy for not just discovering reviews but on how to respond in a way that promotes your company’s policy and boosts your local SEO efforts.
One study has established that a very strong correlation exists between your Carousel position and reviews.
Over time, reviews can place you a notch higher than the competition in terms of ranking if your business is diligent enough about capturing them.
Equally important though, is to take the time in responding to all those who review in a respectful and timely manner.
This not only helps you rise above your rivals but also helps in building a following that is more loyal thus ensuring the growth of your business into the future.