How to Improve Your Local Search Rankings With Reviews

Jun 9, 2022 | Marketing

Users rely heavily on online reviews in order to make their purchasing decisions, and they’re also a key part of SEO. Learn more about how to get (and respond to) reviews.

If you’re looking for a particular product or service, chances are that you’re going to spend at least some time checking out the reviews for companies you’re considering purchasing from. And you certainly wouldn’t be alone in doing this – most consumers trust online reviews just as much as word-of-mouth recommendations from family or friends.

But reviews don’t just help users to make a purchasing decision; they’re also a very important factor for Google’s algorithms. A study from 2018 found that reviews were the 3rd most important ranking signal for local map search results. The more reviews you have, the higher your chances of making the top three results when someone searches for a term related to your business.

How Can You Get More Reviews? It’s Simple: Ask.

While there are plenty of online users who leave reviews without a business having to ask for them, many more forget about them. This is especially true for people who had a positive experience; customers are more likely to leave a review when they are upset or disappointed, which can leave you with lopsided reviews.

So how can you get these happy customers to leave a review? It’s simple: ask them to. Send a follow-up email with links that take them straight to your Google page, and ask them to share their experience. Be sure to also thank them for their time; users are more likely to follow through when they feel like their time and experience is valued.

Reviews Don’t Have to Be Perfect

As a business owner, you probably take it a bit personally when someone leaves you a bad review – and worry that it will have a negative impact on lead generation. You may be surprised to learn that having a few less-than-perfect reviews can actually help you rather than hurt you. Users are more likely to trust a business with 4.2 to 4.7 stars over ones with 5-stars. After all, no business is perfect and not every customer has reasonable expectations. 

Having a few negative reviews mixed in with positive ones tells customers that the reviews are genuine, and that your business hasn’t resorted to paying for fake reviews in order to boost your reputation. 

Always Monitor Your Reviews

While negative reviews are sure to get you down, they present a valuable opportunity for you to reach out and try to make things right. Monitoring your reviews means that you’ll see when a negative review comes in, and be able to reply to it promptly. This sends potential leads the message that you care about what your customers have to say, even when it is a complaint, and that you’re willing to make things right whenever possible. 

You can also choose to take the time to respond to positive reviews as well. A simple message to thank the user for taking the time to post their review can also help you reputation and your SEO rankings. 

Grow Your Online Presence With Reviews

If you’re looking for more advice on how to generate more user reviews, we are here to help. Gulf Coast Web has decades of experience in managing digital marketing and social media for business across all industries. Our staff consists of highly-trained web design and digital marketing professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. And unlike many other design agencies, we have a content writer with over 10 years of experience on-staff to handle everything from website copy to blogs to social media posts. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.