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Using Google Reviews to improve your local SEO

Using Google Reviews to improve your local SEO

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Getting reviews from your customers has always been a worthwhile exercise for any business, but today it is more important than ever.

The power of a positive customer testimonial can’t be underestimated in its influence on other potential customers. You can tell me how good your business is – and I might believe you – but seeing customer reviews firsthand in a search listing can be one of the most powerful influences when thinking of making a purchase.

In its pursuit to deliver the most relevant and beneficial results for local searches, Google doesn’t just want to display information about your business location and what you do – it is adds value to those searching by including details of your reviews and showing how your customers perceive you.

You will find Google also using these review and ratings details prominently in their map search results.

 

The quality and quantity of reviews on Google has therefore become one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. When a person scans the search results for a local product or service in Google, the business listings that include customer reviews present greater credibility and naturally, receive more clicks.

If your search result listing shows a 4.8-star rating with 23 reviews (and your competitor listings show less), that’s strong social proof that your product or service is trustworthy.

How many Google Reviews do I need?

According to a Google Review study by Brightlocal, who analysed 93,000 businesses on Google:-

You may be surprised how few reviews some businesses actually have. Next time you are checking out your competition on Google just make a note of the number of reviews they have. We find that 5 is the magic number when it comes to Google reviews providing an impact on your organic search and 3-pack listing. But the answer to the question “How many Google Reviews do I need?” is quite simple… “it’s more than your competitors”!

A simple approach to gaining Google Reviews

Most of your customers will be willing to leave a Google review when asked. It’s really just a matter of taking the time to ask and make the review process as simple as possible.

Google’s listing has changed significantly over the years, now including only 3 businesses in the first set of local results, which means competition for these spots is high.

Sending a direct email link to leave a review will remind loyal customers to show their support, and makes the review process just one click away.

In order to find your Google Review link try this:-

  1. Use the PlaceID Lookup Tool.
  2. Enter your business name in the ‘Enter a location’ field at the top of the map.
  3. Click your business name in the list that appears.
  4. Copy your Place ID, which you’ll see beneath your business name, it should look something like this:
    ‘ChIJZWk-maJZckgRopMqimo9NYE’
  5. Add your Place ID to the following URL to create your link: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=<place_id>
  6. Head over to https://tinyurl.com and paste in your URL above in. This will create a short URL version which looks a little neater. You should get something like: https://tinyurl.com/y5d5qnna in return.
  7. That’s it! Clicking your short URL should redirect to a review pop up for your customers to use.

Receiving a bad review

One hesitation businesses have in soliciting online reviews is the fear of receiving a bad review. However, receiving the odd bad review is not necessarily a bad thing. With every Google Review you have a right to reply. Actively replying to bad reviews and looking to resolve a situation illustrates to your new potential customers that you care about your clients.

If you want to discuss how you can improve your SEO and Google footprint – just give us a call.

David

Posted on 13th May, 2019 by David. Managing Director

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