We’ve known for a while that Google reviews significantly impact where your business lands in the Google search algorithm. This is especially true when people turn to search engines for help when making buying decisions. The good news? Local businesses can now compete with the rest of ‘em when Google Reviews are utilized in the right way.
According to a recent study conducted by Moz, online reviews are among the top five most important ranking factors for businesses ranking online. But what’s more important is that that influence increased over 20 percent since 2015 and is growing.
Along with reviews, Google has a number of factors that determine where businesses land in local search rankings. Some of the top factors include proximity, relevance, engagement, and prominence.
Working within the algorithm, each of these factors targets helping the user find the right business in the shortest amount of time. While proximity to the user isn’t something you can change, your business can optimize its ranking by focusing on your online presence through relevance, engagement, and prominence.
Luckily, Google Reviews play a major role in each of these factors.
The Google algorithm is very aware of the buyer journey. Over the years, we’ve seen a number of changes that have hurt and helped businesses. Although it can be hard to keep up, you can stay ahead of the game by thinking of your customer’s entire search journey. Fortunately, online reviews not only help businesses rank higher, but they are an integral part of the customer experience. These are the top ways reviews play:
Not only do online searchers look for businesses with higher ratings, but they consider the number of reviews, as well. A recent study found that positive reviews have a direct effect on how attractive your business is to consumers.
Ultimately every review is influencing a consumer to buy a product/ service or not. A survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers were influenced by online reviews (for better or for worse) when making a buying decision.
Reviews also have a domino effect. Once a consumer leaves a review they influence another into purchasing your product. Then that customer can leave another review and so on. This not only helps your business rank higher but also gives you a chance to improve based on the feedback they’ve given.
Since Google Reviews have such a significant impact on where your business ranks in local search results, it’s important to incorporate a few key practices to build your Google listing. Here are a few tips on how you can use reviews to improve your local SEO and increase your ranking.
There are two main ways that review invitations are sent digitally— email and text. Today, a significant number of businesses are preferring text based on the astonishing open rate of 99 percent. However, many online businesses opt for email-based invitations since they already collect that information during checkout.
Perhaps the biggest deterrent customers have when leaving an online review is the hassle it presents. By eliminating barriers and simplifying the process, you increase the chance of them leaving a review. Plus, research has proven that the majority of consumers would leave a review if they were asked. This means that businesses that send review invitations and simplify the review process are highly likely to see results.
Finally, the best way to increase your ranking through online reviews is by using an online review management service that streamlines the entire process. Legit Local simplifies the process through a proven system that works for you and your customer. The Legit Local platform collects genuine customer reviews, which improves customer engagement, increases online popularity, and ultimately influences buying decisions for the better.
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