How Online Reviews Impact Local SEO

When we speak of online reviews, most people think of them as being only necessary for online retailers. However, they are an absolute essential for local businesses, whether or not they sell online. Just conduct a random search, and you will realize that companies with good reviews take the best organic listings. Reviews are a key ranking factor for local search results, and good reviews help you rise to the top. Why? Because search engines pay close attention to what other people say about you. Here is why online reviews are essential and how you can acquire more reviews:

Why Reviews Are Important

People are continually looking for reaffirmation that their actions are the right ones. Reviews provide this reassurance. Thus, when a person is looking for a local restaurant or a shop, an average 4.5-star rating will provide the push they need. According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a business.

How to Earn Great Customer Reviews

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Now that you know that search engines rank businesses with better reviews higher, here are some strategies that you can use to get more reviews. Most are straightforward, but you can also engage a digital marketing and SEO company. First, be active on social media. Consumers consider businesses that are active on social media to be more trustworthy. This consistency results in authenticity and better customer experience. You also get to create a better relationship with customers who then give you better insights into your business.

You can also ask your customers for reviews. Asking for customer feedback is a great way to empower your customers and provide opportunities for them to express themselves. Provide a few devices ready to receive reviews in your store and QR codes with links to review platforms. Actively ask for reviews on your online profiles, and consider asking for feedback if you have a customer’s email or phone number.

Review Sources Important for Local SEO

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Google reviews are the moe important source of reviews for local visibility. According to Moz, Google reviews contribute 8.4% toward your business rankings. Therefore, make sure that you have a Google My Business listing and that you do not need an SEO expert to get it right. Only ascertain that you have a lengthy description of your business and that you have selected all appropriate categories. Provide essential information at opening and closing times and ensure that your phone number and business address is available. If you have various outlets, you will have to create the listing for each outlet. Finally, display reviews from customers, use lots of imagery, and ensure that it is updated regularly.

When building local SEO through online reviews, do not expect success overnight. A few reviews a month are enough; only ensure that they are overwhelmingly positive. A steady flow of reviews is more realistic than a ton of reviews appearing overnight. The latter can be a signal that something is afoot, leading to search engines blacklisting your business. Finally, remember that the best source of online reviews is excellent customer experience.