Google reviews are becoming an increasingly important part of local SEO. Reviews from customers who have had a positive experience with your business can help you rank higher in local search results.
Google helps improve your local SEO ranking by providing a platform for customers to share their experiences. Reviews are seen as a form of social proof, which can help your business stand out in the local marketplace. Many positive google reviews will positively impact your business.
In this blog post, I will discuss how Google reviews can help your business and some tips for getting more reviews from your customers.
Google Review Filter Update
Google is always making changes to the algorithm it uses to determine local search results. One of those changes was an update to the Google review filter in 2019.
The update to the filter was meant to reduce the number of fake reviews and increase the overall quality of Google reviews. This means that businesses can no longer manipulate their ranking by paying for positive reviews. The filter also takes into account how recent a review is, which can help improve your local SEO rankings.
By doing so, Google is rewarding businesses that have earned positive reviews from their customers and penalizing those that try to manipulate their rankings. This makes it even more important for local businesses to understand and learn SEO while focusing on getting genuine reviews from customers who had a good experience with their business.
Major Ranking Factors
There are 3 major factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking local businesses in its search results. These are relevance, distance and prominence.
Relevance is how well your business matches the search query, whereby numerous SEO tools can help you find the most suitable niche-specific keywords to use on your site. Distance is simply how close you are to the user making the query. Finally, prominence is determined by factors such as reviews, links, and other signals that indicate a business
Benefits of Google Reviews
Here is a detailed discussion of the various benefits of Google reviews when it comes to local SEO:
- Increase Local Visibility
Reviews help increase the visibility of your business online, as customers are more likely to search for businesses with positive reviews. Having a high volume of positive reviews can also lead to an increased ranking in local searches.
This way when anyone googles your business or a similar one, your business will show up higher in the search results. Increased visibility means more potential customers which can result in increased sales and revenue for your business.
- Builds Trust & Credibility
Positive reviews from satisfied customers can help to build trust and credibility with potential clients, as they are more likely to trust businesses that are highly rated.
When customers see that other people have had a positive experience with your business, they will be more likely to do business with you. Building trust and credibility can also help improve customer loyalty, as customers are more likely to return if they know they can trust the quality of your services.
- Improved Website Traffic and Engagement
Reviews can also help to increase website traffic and engagement. Reviews are often shared on social media, which can lead to increased brand awareness and more potential customers visiting your website.
Having a high volume of reviews can also be an effective way to engage with customers, as they will feel more connected to your business when they see other people talking about their experiences.
- Helps You Improve Your Business
With the feedback you receive from customers, you can use it to help improve your business. You can use the feedback to identify areas of improvement and make changes to ensure that all customers have a positive experience with your business.
- Helps Customers in Decision Making
Lastly, reviews can be a great source of information for customers. By reading reviews, customers can get an understanding of the quality of your services and products which will help them make better decisions when selecting you as their service provider.
Reviews give potential customers an idea of what they can expect when dealing with your business and also help them decide if they should do business with you. When someone is looking for a product or service, they often consider the reviews before making their final decision.
How to Get Positive Reviews for Your Local Business
Now that you know how important reviews can be to local SEO, here are some tips for getting more of them from your customers:
Ask Customers Directly
You can either ask customers directly or include a call to action in your emails, receipts, invoices and other customer-facing documents.
You should remember to be polite, as customers are more likely to leave a review if they feel appreciated.
Put Reminders on Your Website
You can also add a reminder on your website, asking customers to leave reviews. This way, when customers visit your website they will be reminded to leave a review.
The downside of this method is it’ll make it easier for customers with negative experiences to leave a review as well.
Engage with Customers
Take the time to engage with customers and make sure that they are getting the best experience possible from dealing with your business. When customers see that
Interact with Customers Who Leave Reviews
It is also important to interact with customers who leave reviews, as this shows that you care about what they have to say and can help to build trust and loyalty.
You should respond promptly to both positive and negative reviews, as this will demonstrate your commitment to providing quality customer service.
Add Links On Your Website
Adding links to review websites on your website can make it easy for people to leave reviews. Add the links prominently so that customers can easily find them and don’t forget to add them to your mobile website.
Boost Your Review Quantity and Quality
Google reviews can help to boost your local SEO, but it is important that you focus on increasing the quantity and quality of your reviews. This will help to ensure that potential customers get a good impression of your business when they look at the reviews.
Create an Online Review Response Team
The best way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your reviews is to create an online review response team. This team should be responsible for responding to customer reviews and monitoring the reviews so that any negative feedback can be addressed quickly.
Why Do Google Reviews Matter for SEO
Google reviews are important for local SEO because of the following reasons:
Google Trusts the Customer More Than You
Google will give more weight to customer reviews than your website as they are seen as being more trustworthy. Google depends on pointers to determine which companies are the best and it will take customer reviews into account when making this decision.
Great Reviews = More Stars = More Clicks
Having a lot of great reviews can lead to more clicks from potential customers. The more stars your business page has, the more likely people are going to click on it and visit your website. If you have bad Google reviews consider responding.
Improves Your Local SEO Rankings
Another reason why Google reviews matter for SEO is that they can help to improve your local SEO search rankings. Google wants to provide the best search results to its users and will take into account factors such as customer reviews when determining which companies should appear higher in the search rankings.
Relevant Local Search Results
Google looks at customer reviews when ranking local search results. If your business has a lot of positive reviews then it is more likely to appear higher on the SERPs for relevant keywords.
Google Reviews Help You Stand Out From the Crowd
Finally, Google reviews can help you to stand out from the competition. If your business page has more stars than other local businesses then customers are more likely to click on your page, which can lead to increased traffic and sales.
Therefore when you are trying to increase your visibility in local searches, it is important to focus on getting more reviews.
Why Does Google Take Down Reviews
Sometimes you may find that Google has taken down one of your reviews for a variety of reasons. These include:
Reviews are Spam or Illegitimate
To maintain the standard of quality for its reviews, Google will take down any reviews that it considers to be spam or illegitimate. Sometimes google algorithms may remove reviews for no obvious reason, so it is important to keep an eye on your reviews and contact Google if necessary.
Reviews Contain Inappropriate Content
Google will also take down any reviews which contain inappropriate content or language. This can include profanity, hateful comments and personal attacks.
Reviews Are a Result of Incentives
Never offer incentives to customers in exchange for reviews as this is against Google’s guidelines and they will take down any reviews which are a result of such incentives.
Advertising or Promotional Content
Google will take down any reviews which contain advertising or promotional content. They want their reviews to be genuine customer feedback, not advertisements for your business.
Reviews That Are Displayed on a Duplicate Listing
Sometimes Google may take down a review if it is displayed on a duplicate listing. This can happen for a variety of reasons, so make sure to keep an eye out for any duplicate listings and contact Google if necessary.
Reviews That Include URLs, Links, or Phone Numbers
Finally, reviews that include URLs, links or phone numbers are not allowed on the platform and may be removed by Google.
How to Avoid Losing Reviews to Google
Here are some tips for avoiding losing reviews to Google:
As mentioned above, never offer incentives in exchange for reviews. While this may seem tempting, it can lead to a lot of problems down the line and is not worth the risk.
Be Careful with Promotional Content
Make sure that your customers are aware that they should not include any promotional content or links in their reviews. This includes URLs, links, phone numbers and other advertising content.
Don’t Let People Leave Reviews from the Office
Google detects the IP address from where a review was left, so if someone leaves a review from their office or workplace then it may be taken down by Google.
Check for Duplicate Listings
Make sure to keep an eye out for any duplicate listings and contact Google if necessary. This can help to avoid confusion and ensure that reviews are displayed correctly.
Don’t Ask Friends and Family
You may be tempered to ask your friends and family to leave reviews for your business, but this is against Google guidelines.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Finally, it is important to encourage customers to leave reviews on your page. This will help to build up a positive reputation for your business and make sure that you have plenty of legitimate reviews to show off.
How do I leave a review on Google?
To leave a review on Google, simply search for the business you want to review and click on the ‘Write a Review button. You will then be required to sign in with your Google account before you can write the review.
Are Google reviews anonymous?
No, all reviews left on Google are attributed to the writer’s name. While you can choose to remain anonymous, this is not recommended as it makes the review less trustworthy.
How do I delete a review on Google?
Unfortunately, there is no way to delete a review from Google once it has been published. If you believe that a review is inappropriate or misleading then you can contact Google and report it.
Can I pay someone to leave a review on Google?
No, this is against Google’s terms of service and any reviews which are found to be a result of payment will be removed from the platform.
Google reviews are an important part of local SEO and can help to boost your business’s visibility in the search engine rankings.
However, it is important to make sure that you abide by Google’s guidelines when leaving or encouraging reviews so that they are not taken down. I hope this article has been useful for understanding how Google reviews help with local SEO.