Reviews are now an important aspect of the web. They play a key role for all online businesses. Whether they sell online or not, reviews are also very important for local businesses, due to their potential top positions in local search results. This trend has become very clear, with the Google My Business listings dominant on top of the organic results.
Any local business that aims to achieve a prominent position in the local SERPs needs good quality user reviews. Local reviews for SEO can encourage physical visits as well as click troughs.
Why reviews work
Local reviews for SEO work because of the power of social proof. People are looking for confirmation and reassurance that they are making the right decisions. So, when consumers are planning to purchase a certain digital camera, for example, reading positive reviews or seeing an average review rating of 4 stars, may convince them that they are making the right purchasing decision and provide them the extra push they need.
For local searches, if you see a service or product with a score of over 4.5 from hundreds of reviews, then it looks like a safe choice. Statistics show that many customers are checking the reviews before buying and that the reviews are more trusted than other sources.
Since they are relied upon by many web users, it becomes clear why local reviews for SEO significantly matter for a local business.
Review sources important for local SEO
Google uses several review sources. These reviews play a role in local search visibility. Of course, for Google the most important review source is Google reviews. A listing on Google My Business has become an absolute must for local search. It is among the best things you can do in order to improve your local SEO visibility and it is free to set up. When you claim your Google My Business page it is important to pay attention to the following features:
• Choose the right categories.
• A unique and long description of your business.
• A business address and a local phone.
• Key information on opening times.
• Regular updates.
• Lots of imagery.
• Reviews from customers.
According to Google, you will need at least five reviews for Google Reviews to appear publicly. Before you target other sources, some SEO experts even recommend having at least 10 Google reviews. Other review sources can be found on many other specialized sites. They create links and signals that increase your search visibility and show the relevance of your business.
How to attract reviews
You can attract local reviews for SEO by offering a quality service or product and providing the best customer experience. Besides that, you can use some strategies that can work for attracting reviews. Ask customers when they are purchasing your products or services or visit your business.
Make it easy for your customers to review your business. Provide a direct link in your emails. Add a plugin to leave reviews directly onto your site.
If you would like any help with your local listings and additional ideas on how to best capture reviews for your business, drop us a line at [email protected]