Why Online Reviews Are Critical for Your Local SEO

It’s important that your business gets the attention that it deserves. More importantly, you want consumers to feel comfortable reaching out to you. Online reviews can enhance your business and your local SEO. Understanding why you need them will make it easier for you to focus on getting them.

Boost Your Rankings

Your goal is to become more visible in the search engines, and online reviews can help. If a consumer is searching for a product or service that you offer, you want to come up at the top of that search. SEO algorithms are put in place to establish who gets to be at the top. When you have a lot of positive reviews it establishes a positive sentiment.

Additionally, you want to make sure that you’re in all of the local directories. Yelp and others are localized. People may go right into Yelp to find a restaurant or into Angie’s List to find a contractor. As such, you need to make sure that you’re pushing people towards those sites to leave their online reviews for you.

It Establishes Trust

When people do a search for a business, they actively look for online reviews. People love reading reviews before choosing a business because it establishes a level of trust. You want people calling you because they’re already confident in what you have to offer. They’re getting this trust because of what past customers have said in the reviews.

In order for you to establish trust, you need to know how to get reviews. The simple answer is to ask. Don’t hesitate to ask customers to follow a specific link (that you provide) to leave you a review. If they really loved the service or product, they will be happy to leave you a review. If they didn’t, it might be a time to find out what happened so that you can turn it around.

Positive Sentiment is Established

The search engine algorithms are constantly searching for positive sentiment. Essentially, they don’t want to recommend websites at the top of their search engine result pages with negativity because consumers will, then, lose their faith in Google, Bing or another search engine. Where do they get the sentiment from? Reviews.

One of the top questions we’re asked here at Coastline Marketing Group is, “How do I get more positive reviews?” This comes down to the kind of service that you provide. Your goal should be to actively become customer-centric so that the customer feels as though they come first. It will lead to a better experience that they will want to share with others.

If you notice that there are negative reviews about your business, use it as a teaching lesson. Reputation management is critical when you want to manage your reviews. If you don’t know what’s being said about you it’s impossible to change. Read into the reviews so you know what is going on. If there is an employee that needs additional training, train them. If there are constantly poor reviews about a particular way that you do business, look at making some adjustments to the way that you do things.

As you get more positive reviews, it will push the negative ones down to the bottom. When you have more positive sentiment available for the search engine spiders, it will allow you to rank better in local SEO. You may, then, start to see more traffic to your website and more leads pouring in.

You’re Actively Involved

Another way that online reviews can help with your local SEO is to be actively involved. People want to know that you’re active in your business. If they go to your website and see outdated information or can’t find you on Facebook, they may assume that you’re not active. The search engines want up-to-date and relevant information out there to help you rank, too.

When it comes to digital marketing, you want to have plenty of reviews in place. Facebook advertising can get you a significant amount of visibility. However, it’s all for nothing if you don’t have a lot of reviews on Facebook.

Additionally, if you see negative reviews, respond. It’s okay to acknowledge that something negative happened. It shows that you’re active. Simply don’t get into the habit of fighting with customers or constantly defending yourself. Apologize. Others will see that you have at least acknowledged that a person had a bad experience and that you’re willing to do something about it.

It’s easier to reach your marketing goals when you have a digital marketing agency to guide you. If you’re feeling lost with reputation management or local SEO, let us help.

Enhance your online reputation today by starting a conversation with us. You can set an appointment for a consultation so that we can get to know your business a bit better. From there, you can be on your way to building trust with potential customers.

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.