How Important Are Customer Reviews For Local SEO?

Drive traffic to your website with customer reviews.

In this post, we will show you just how important customer reviews can be in a successful local SEO campaign.

Reviews of products and services have always played a vital part in how people behave when they spend their money.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a review on a pair of trainers or a hotel, if the reviews are bad, you aren’t going to spend your money on that particular product or service, are you?

Now, reviews are a massive part of the web and are absolutely essential for online retailers.

Online reviews are also vital for local businesses, even if they don’t sell online. But, why you ask?

Reviews are one of the first things you see appear in a local listing. Take a look at the screenshot below taken on my smartphone.

customer-reviews-local-seo

After the 3 listings in the local pack, you will then see organic listings for review websites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and so on. If you carry out the search “Restaurants in Mansfield” on your smartphone, only a couple of actual restaurants make it onto the first page of SERPs.

At this moment in time, the local map pack includes 3 different businesses unless you press “More places”. However, news has recently broken that Ads are coming to the local pack.

Pretty much every local search that gets carried out on Google will be treated with the local map pack, making it extremely important for your business to have reviews, and good ones.

Therefore, if you want to rank highly, encourage more people to your website and physical store visits, good reviews are an absolute necessity.

User reviews work

When people are going to spend their hard earned cash, they need reassurance that what they are doing is the right thing to do.

Therefore, if someone is thinking of booking a meal at a restaurant, seeing an average rating 5 stars from 16 different reviews, could persuade them to have a meal there, rather than a restaurant with a 3-star review from the same number of reviewers.

Not long back, BrightLocal carried out a survey regarding online customer reviews and found that 88% of people read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.

88%! That’s a huge number. Meaning only 12% of internet users don’t read reviews. A number that has been decreasing year on year.

online-reviews-to-determine-quality-of-local-business

Therefore, reviews are used a lot by internet users to help determine whether a local business is actually any good.

How do you attract reviews?

First things first, make sure you provide the best service possible to your customers. If you treat them like rubbish and don’t really care what your customers think about you. Well..

You can kiss your positive reviews goodbye.

And, instead you will just get lots of negative reviews, ultimately you’ll lose out on work to your competitors.

If you give your customers an amazing or terrible service, most of them will feel compelled to leaving you a review either good or bad.

Don’t ask, don’t get

Even if you provide the most amazing service, you can often go long periods of time without receiving any feedback.

When it comes to asking for reviews, don’t just walk up to them and say “hey, give us a review”. That can make the whole amazing experience they’re having into quite a bad one.

Ask them politely, tell them where they can leave a review. Even offer an incentive. Many restaurants and stores offer entry into prize draws or money off their next visit for leaving reviews. However, don’t over manipulate this tactic as it is against Google’s and most review websites guidelines.

Reply to negative reviews

Respond to criticism in a reasonable way, seek the customers issue with your company and try to resolve it in a professional manner.

Responding to negative reviews in a professional and positive manner will show future customers you care about their experience.

Doing this tactic may even get the negative reviewer to come back to your business, and leave a positive review next time.

Conclusion

If you’re a local business, aiming to improve your local SEO efforts, reviews can go a long way. Both online and offline.

Ensure you’re providing excellent customer service, and watch the positive customers reviews come rolling in.

Find out more about our Local SEO packages and increase your local rankings and gain positive reviews.

I’d love to hear what steps you take for tackling local customer reviews. Leave a comment below.

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