A robust local web presence is necessary if you want your business to influence your locality. Any practical Local SEO approach should include user involvement, such as obtaining ratings and reviews from your engaged consumers and keeping a comprehensive and accurate Google Business Profile.
But do online reviews and ratings affect your local SEO? In that case, how?
The short answer is “Yes.” Reviews have a significant impact on local SEO rankings. They might be among the most crucial variables you can monitor for local SEO improvement! The location of your keywords, local SEO interactions, and Google reviews affect how well your website ranks.
And as your primary query, i.e., ‘Do online reviews and ratings affect your local SEO?’ is answered, let’s dive deeper into its how part. Here, we’ll discuss how reviews impact local SEO and how to optimise them for the most remarkable outcomes best.
What is local SEO, and how do reviews help with it?
Local SEO refers to the SEO outcomes for a specific area around your actual location. If you own a restaurant, for instance, and locals are looking for the kind of food you serve, your company will appear in their search results!
Reviews are undoubtedly one of the primary factors that encourage individuals close to your actual store location to look up your company online and get in touch with you, making your local SEO more effective.
While there are many strategies to enhance the overall SEO profile of your website, gaining local reviews and strengthening your local SEO profile are two of the most effective ways to increase local traffic and business.
Social proof, local SEO promotion, and Google reviews are all practical approaches to enhance your website’s online visibility. Reviews are a potent predictor of your company’s health when combined with word-of-mouth and the state of the world.
87% of customers look for local businesses online for reviews, and a staggering 97% use online media when researching different goods or services in their area. Hence, their interactions with your site are crucial.
Are the local reviews so crucial?
The short answer would be, ‘Yes, Significantly!’
Reviews are taken into account in 16% of search engine decision-making for local SEO, per a poll on Local Search Ranking Factors. A sizable quantity, for sure! There are many more apparent advantages when considering how reviews assist with local SEO, though, including the following:
- A Google review that is four or five stars boosts click-throughs, bringing more visitors to your main page and fostering growth.
- According to Harvard research, increasing one star in one’s Yelp rating can result in a 5-9% boost in sales.
- When you have positive reviews on your website, Google will trust you more, improving your SEO ranks. Local customers will also approve of you more as a result.
- 7 out of 10 customers firmly believe online reviews.
Reviews can be found right away on your Google Business Profile, giving nearby clients a quick overview of your company and how many people have already interacted with it. This profile impacts both where your business appears on the local SERP and your Map Pack.
Search engine results pages, or SERPs, are essential for displaying only the information you are interested in seeing. When you search for “Corner Store,” only local businesses close to you are shown in their profiles.
Although the map pack and SERPs contain similar information, SERPs are the query outcomes and provide the Map Pack with the necessary information to function.
Local Map Pack
Google uses the Local Map Pack to display a synopsis of nearby companies. The names of various businesses, product and service reviews, a concise summary of their offerings, contact details (such as an address, phone number, and website), and driving instructions are typically included in this window.
How to derive reviews?
Creating a fantastic product and providing exceptional customer service are the two most straightforward ways to acquire good reviews. Be the kind of company that offers the products you want to interact with and purchase! Offering the best service attainable in addition to a fantastic product is a specific strategy to increase your rating over time steadily.
Additionally, you may ask for ratings from people. You can significantly change your algorithmic ranking by offering modest incentives (such as a candy jar with a clear sign above). You can also run a social media page and request the same thing; people typically want to support local companies and will frequently give reviews after seeing an appeal on Facebook.
How Can I Handle Negative Reviews?
You can’t always make everyone happy. Negative reviews are common and should be expected, regardless of whether the reviewer is having a terrible day, you make an error, or whatever else occurs to leave a wrong impression.
It would be best if you didn’t dismiss negative reviews because they also impact local SEO. Responding to unfavourable reviews is a straightforward initial step. You will appear more genuine if you interact with your audience, and more people will be prepared to show understanding. This significantly boosts your reputation because it demonstrates that you care about your customers and that actual people run your company.
Local Reviews are crucial.
It’s always complex to get people to leave reviews. There may be as many methods for doing this as companies with web accounts. Of course, the first step is ensuring that as many clients as possible have a good experience.
By giving them links to your Google listing and starter questions, which can make it simpler for reviewers to compose their reviews while subtly encouraging them to use the keywords you want to target, you can aid those satisfied customers in leaving more impactful reviews.