Why are reviews so important for local SEO (and 5 tips on how to get more)

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When you look up a local business on Google, you will instantly be able to see their basic company information, such as opening hours, contact details and address. Importantly, you will also see a handful of their latest reviews.

For customers, this is an excellent way to get a feel for the business, and an extremely useful one, with 79% saying they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family. 

That’s big news for businesses by itself, but reviews are also vital for another key digital marketing goal – their Google local ranking.

A business’ local ranking is how well they rank on the search engine results page (SERP) when a potential customer searches for products or services nearby. When a business can rank well – especially in the top three ‘Map Pack’ – they have a much higher chance of hearing from or receiving a visit from that customer. That is why businesses work so hard to earn and maintain high rankings.

One of the best local SEO strategies is to increase the quality and quantity of Google reviews. One survey suggested that reviews were responsible for 16% of the decision-making process for the Map Pack positions and a major factor for local organic results.

How to get more Google reviews

Google counts both the quality and the quantity of your reviews when determining your local ranking, so it is important to find ways to encourage both.

In most cases, you will need a direct link to the review section for your business. To get this, go to Google’s Place ID Finder, type in your business name, and copy the ‘Place ID’ that comes up (it is a long string of numbers and digits). Then copy your ID into this code, and you are ready to share it: https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=paste your place ID here

Here are some simple tips:

  1. Create a link on your website

Adding a link with a clear call to action on your website will encourage all customers to leave a review and make it extremely easy for them to do so.

  • Optimise your email signature

Most professional businesses have an email signature that contains key details about a business, so why not add a short call to action with a direct link to the review area of Google? This will help to encourage anyone that you or your staff communicates with directly to leave a review.

  • Send a follow-up email

If you are not already sending follow-up emails to your customers, this can be an opportunity to improve your communications. Whether it is an automated system or a template sent manually, a quick email to your customer can make a big difference.

Thank your customer, perhaps even offer them a discount code or offer for a future purchase and add a sentence kindly asking them for a review with the link.

  • Ask on your social media

Do you have a great social media following you can make the most of? Create a post asking for fans of your business to kindly leave a review.

Of course, some platforms such as Facebook include a review section of their own, but always be sure to add that Google review link for the most powerful local business SEO.

  • Create physical cards

For businesses that interact with customers in person, a physical reminder to leave a review can be a lot more meaningful than an email.

For some businesses, such as dental offices and hairdressers, this could be easy to add to the back of an appointment reminder card, adding very little cost for potentially great return.

Get help from local online marketing services

Local Web is dedicated to helping businesses rank well. From local SEO tips to personalised digital marketing services, we can help your brand rise through the rankings for more exposure, more leads, and ultimately, more sales.

Get in touch today to learn more. 

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