A world that’s dominated by technology, having a digital presence for your business is a necessity. But you already knew that, didn’t you? However, genuine user reviews are also a factor that influences your brand’s presence online. So needless to say, it has a clear impact on your SEO process as well.
Now customer ratings and reviews are integral to the search engine rankings. So let’s explore a bit more about how local reviews can be utilized to boost the local SEO.
1. If you fake it, then you won’t make it
If your business isn’t considerate about offers your customers quality service or product, then it will be difficult for you to generate positive reviews.
Also, you must not use fake reviews. The reason is, even if you ask all your staff and acquaintances to leave a nice review, the truth will be revealed eventually.
If you want to garner positive reviews, always focus on offering the best possible customer experience. That’s the most essential thing you can do for your business.
Most consumers only feel compelled to review when they’ve had either a horrible or great experience. So your business should constantly endeavor to focus on the latter.
2. Make it a point to respond to reviews
Most of the time, you will have the option to respond to the reviews of your consumers which you should never ignore and try to respond to each one of them. People like to see you’re making efforts to rectify the shortcomings. Responding to the positive reviews often influence the conversion rates and can make way for more reviews.
3. Determine which platform to focus on
To offer you local review strategy a proper direction, you must decide the specific platforms you’re going to focus on, based on the needs of your business and your target customers.
For some local businesses, it may be crucial to making their presence felt on multiple review sites at once, while some choose to focus on one or two sites. Obviously, you don’t want to waste your efforts too much. You also have to ensure that it’s easy for people to review your products or services.
So focus on the platforms your consumers are already active on. Those platforms could be any of the following or all of them at once, depending on your business’ requirements.
- Google Reviews
- Third party sites like Trust Pilot, or TripAdvisor
- Distinguished websites on your niche or location
4. Don’t pay for reviews
While it may seem tempting to provide incentives to the customers for reviewing your services or products, but it’s best to avoid such practices. Specifically, since Google isn’t in favor of offering incentives in exchange for reviews. Also, some countries have strict legal rules that clearly defines incentivizing endorsements of any kind is an offense.
5. Opt for the schema markup
If your website includes customer testimonials and reviews, you can assist the search engines to understand it with schema markup. “This basically means that you include some specific codes into the HTML of your web pages to determine what type of content it is”, suggests Ben Hamilton, an expert on assignment help.
Having structured data doesn’t influence your SEO rankings, but it does boost the indexing and can elevate the click-through rates to your site when rich snippets are displayed in your search results. You can check Google’s support page for details on Reviews Rich Snippets.
6. Having a presence in Google My Business
The reviews posted on your Google My Business Page appear on Google Maps and also on the right side of search result page when people search for your product or services. You need a minimum of 5 reviews on Google My Business to get the star ratings to appear.
If you’re targeting Google Maps as the main listing, you should aim for having more reviews than all your competitors. For instance, if you place a search query “Essay typer in UK” you’ll see at least one website with nearly 50+ reviews with a 5-star rating. This alone can make your business as these reviews are often the first thing the consumers would check out.
7. Check where your reviews appear
When people look for the name of your business. This acts as a major boost to your branding. You will only need a Google My Business page, provide sufficient information about your business, then get at least 5 reviews. You’ll notice that these reviews will be visible twice in search results, once on the right side of the search result page and once below your website. If you receive enough reviews on the other review websites, those stars should also be visible in your search results.
When people use local keywords. If Google Maps appear for most of your target keywords, reviews should be an integral part of your local SEO strategy (particularly on Google My Business). This will serve as the initial impression of your business for many people.
When people search on Yelp. It even has a “Most Reviewed” and “Highest Rated” filter that you can utilize for your local SEO.
On Mobile phones. Even on the phone, when it comes to availing a service, reviews are one of the first things people are likely to check out
8. Don’t force the consumers to a single review site
Receiving reviews across different review sites comes across as most natural to the search engines and to the consumers as well. If all of your reviews are presented on only one site, Google is likely to assume that you have fabricated or automated the process. So when requesting for reviews to your consumers, you should make sure that they have several options in terms of the review sites that are popular within your industry.
9. Audit the present online reviews and review process
One crucial step is to carry out a precise audit of all the reviews that you have about your services and all the sites or platforms on which these reviews have been published.
Then you can proceed to define what the most significant sites in your specific niche are. Now you may already have a fair idea about these review platforms, but it’s also vital for you to consider the ones that Google specifically emphasizes on.
If you’re still unsure which ones are the influential review sites for your particular niche, then conducting research on your competitors will be useful. If you find many of your competitors have been reviewed on a particular site that you may have ignored, then the site needs to be included on your list. In this case, you also need to think about your current review system that you have implemented.
10. Establish a connection with the consumers from the beginning
Maintain a simple process for interacting with customers through regular email or social media contact. Make sure to have an active presence on social media, provide timely responses to the customers, and be open to their suggestions, criticisms or grievances. Thus, you can definitely leverage social media when you are looking for user reviews to boost the search engine ranks of your business.
For any business, there can be no greater motivation than a happy customer. So, providing them with an outlet to talk about their experiences with your products or services is only going to serve well for your SEO and earn you prominent presence on the SERPs. That way the reviews are not only helpful for maintaining customer satisfaction, but it also allows you to reach your SEO goals.
This is Ammie Jackson is a content marketing professional, Previously, worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. She graduated with honors with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing and currently associated with online assignment help platform.