Maximizing Local SEO: The Impact of Online Reviews on Your Business’s Ranking

More reviews lead to better local SEO

At Rising Star Reviews, we’re excited to bring you this article, which was written by special guest author, Jeff Smith, Founder of Hooked Marketing. We recently ranked Hooked Marketing as the #1 best local SEO expert in Clearwater, Florida. We analyzed 18 other SEO firms in Clearwater and Hooked Marketing made the #1 top ranking based on their outstanding client reviews.

Given Jeff’s deep expertise in SEO, we’re excited to bring you his thoughts and perspectives on the role that online customer reviews play in helping your business rank well in local search results.

Do More Reviews Equal Better Local SEO?

Let’s take a closer look at online reviews and the impact they have on the customer.

  • 93% of consumers say online reviews do impact their purchasing decisions
  • 68% of consumers are willing to pay up to 15% more for the same product or service if they are assured they will have a better experience
  • 82% of consumers say the content of a review has convinced them to make a purchase
  • 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision

How Online Reviews Impact Your Local SEO?

In my business, I see how reviews improve search rankings and overall SEO efforts every day for my clients. There are additional factors besides online reviews involved in search rankings. However, online customer reviews can be a strong signal to search engines that communicates trustworthiness and authority.

This is how online reviews are essential to growing your business:

  • Increase your rankings in local search engines
  • Improves click-through rates to your website
  • Consumer purchasing decisions
  • Converts more customers
  • Credibility boost
  • Increasing your online reputation
  • Increases brand trust
  • Increase online exposure
  • Helps both small and large organizations equally
  • Increases feedback to improve your products and the process

Google Ranking Signals

Signals are ways for you and Google to measure your business. Google is very secretive about their algorithm. Here’s a few signals that we know help:

Google My Business Signals

GMB is a powerful FREE tool that allows businesses to create a profile in their local area. Obviously, if you’re a plumber, you should choose plumbing to be your main category. Your category will help boost your SERP ranking.

Link Signals

Businesses with domain authority and linking domain quality often rank higher organically throughout the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). GMB is no exception to this. You’ll rank higher if you’re the authority in your area. A local SEO company will generally help increase your domain authority with link building.

Social Signals

Social signals are engagements that a business uses on Facebook, Twitter and even Google. For example Google has a new feature that allows businesses to post directly to their profile. These posts show up right on the SERP and help your visibility. Often a great place for helpful tips and offers.

NAP Signal

NAP stands for Name, Address & Phone. Your business is likely listed in more than one place. If your NAP is different on each of the pages you will ranked lower because Google cannot trust your businesses information. Having the correct information is key to a successful local SEO push.

Review Signals

Having reviews not only makes potential customers feel good about trusting your business but it also affects your local rank. Having a more diverse group of reviews will also help. The big factor is having a quality review. Gaining reviews can be a challenge but Rising Star Reviews can make it easy and increase your chances of getting more high-quality reviews.

Expanding on Review Signals

One of the signals you can control and expand on is the review signal. Asking for reviews is the key to success. Remember a wide range of diversity is key. You might be thinking diversity in reviews? What Google is looking for is reviews from different platforms simply because it’s easier for their users. More reviews in more places make the user experience more trusted. Therefor the more diversity you have the higher your rank will be. Here’s a few of the trusted review sites.

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo
  • City Search
  • BBB
  • Glassdoor
  • Angie’s List
  • Trip Advisor
  • Zillow

Are you the “best company” in your local search?

If you are one of many looking for the “Best Companies” in your area then you might have noticed that Google will automatically show the companies with a 4.0+ rating or higher.

Image example of a search for “Best SEO Company in Palm Harbor, FL” below. Notice that the amount of reviews is higher than the other companies along with a 5.0 rating. If you look even closer you’ll notice the blue explanation point that reads directly from their social signal.

How do I get new and more reviews?

Rising Star Reviews is an online review management tool that makes it fast and easy to automate getting reviews. Their system is designed for maximum conversion rates and to help raise your star rating. I highly recommend learning more about their approach to getting Google reviews and checking out their free trial to see how it works.

And if you’d like full service help with your search engine rankings, just give us a call at Hooked Marketing at 727-333-5270. We’d love to help you with your local SEO.

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