If you are looking to attract more customers to your business from the local area, then local SEO is one of the top ways you can approach this. Local SEO has many elements, but your business Google My Business listing is one of the main components. One of the ranking factors for your G.M.B. listing is customer reviews.
In short, customer reviews on your Google My Business profile are a huge ranking factor in your local SEO strategy and can boost your rankings of your G.M.B. listing and your website. If you want to understand why and how to approach this for your business, carry on reading!
Google reviews help with local SEO. How do we know? Besides the fact that Google tells us that they are a ranking factor, in house testing has shown that it can accelerate your ranking locally - and by some margin! In fact, some testing has shown us that your Google My Business listing, if optimised correctly and reviews collected, can outrank all of your competition and appear in the Google Map pack above all organic search results, even if your website is not optimised.
Google has told us within its ranking factors and its recent updates, such as E.A.T., that customer reviews play a significant part in its decision to rank your website and your listings. If a customer takes the time to leave you a review, that carries more weight than any content you can add to your site claiming to be the best at anything, and the algorithm rewards your website with greater visibility.
Besides the SEO benefits of collecting reviews on your G.M.B. listing, there are other benefits too:
Social proof is one of the most significant trust factors between your business and new customers. Customer reviews show new customers that previous customers have had a good or bad experience, increasing the chances of more customers using your service.
Think of it this way, if your website claims you are the "best web designer in Stockport" and your reviews are all negative, what is a potential customer's impression? Probably not a good one. Flip that around, and you have lots of positive reviews on your profile; it creates a trust bridge between what you claim you can do and what your customers say you can do.
Reviews can boost your C.T.A. rate in a few ways, the primary one being that your G.M.B. listing will show up higher in the Google Map Pack, meaning that you are more visible and, therefore, more chances of a click from a potential customer.
Another is that you can also utilise the reviews to create rich snippets using schema.org markup, meaning that links that show in the organic results in Google will also show your rating score and how many reviews you have. These show as gold stars under the listing and can be very eye-catching and improve click-through rates to your website.
Yes, customer reviews on your products that appear on your website can aid with SEO, the same principle as local SEO but just on a product basis. Google continues to place weight on feedback left by customers, so if you have a review system in place on your eCommerce platform, this will aid with your eCommerce SEO .
We have shown you that Google reviews can help with SEO and your overall marketing strategy. You might be thinking about ways to get more of them. There are some strict rules when it comes to collecting Google rules.
The first rule of Google review collecting is - you do not leave fake reviews. The second rule of Google reviews is - YOU DO NOT LEAVE FAKE REVIEWS...
It can be tempting to set up a fake Gmail account and start to leave your business fake 5-star reviews; whatever you do, please do not do this. It may work for a short time or even for many years, but if you are found to be doing it, the penalties from Google can be severe. Google can not only remove your G.M.B. listing but can also deindex your entire online presence from its servers - leaving your SEO and website in tatters.
The simplest way is usually the best way, and the same concept applies to Google Reviews - ask your customers for them! This can be via email, directly, via a social media post or a novel way to do it could be to create a business card with a Q.R. code on them directing them to the review form.
However, you mustn't create opportunities that could be seen to breach Google's guidelines on reviews, so things like prizes for leaving positive reviews or encouraging fake reviews from real accounts, etc. Purchasing reviews is not only against Google guidelines but also illegal in certain countries too!
So now you know the why and the how-to collect Google Reviews, you should start doing so today! The benefits of doing so far outweigh any costs, and you can even automate the process if you are an eCommerce site using systems such as Automate Woo and Klayvio.
If you need any further information about how or why to collect Google Review
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