SEO

How can customer reviews impact your local SEO in 2020?

How can customer reviews impact your local SEO
Written by Raunak Pandey

In SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the sites have become more and more diversified. We then target the different features of Google, to be sure to take advantage of it to increase its visibility online. With results by locality, Google has an increasingly relevant ranking. By taking into account the opinions of customers, the search engine service to Internet users. An establishment acclaimed by its customers is therefore much more likely to appear in the first place. And so much the better.

Read: 10 Must Know Ranking Signals for Local SEO

The importance of customer reviews for local SEO

To classify its index according to a local search (by indicating the place in the request, or by geolocation), Google largely takes into account the opinions published by your customers either on the quantity or quality. Considering that the opinions are sincere and controlled, these are the first indicators of the quality of an establishment.

To ensure that your customer reviews faithfully represent your business, we recommend that you prioritize using platforms that comply with the standards on the control of false online reviews.

Before continuing, read some vocabulary elements.

Google Maps: Google map service available on computers and mobile. Google Maps aggregates a set of functionalities: Street View, Itineraries, Iconic places, Establishment sheets.

Google My Business: Service where each company and institution can register its establishment and enter information.

Google Local Pack: Boxed in natural results. This is an extract from Google Maps, showing you a selection of nearby establishments. Above all, we see some notices published by Internet users and the average rating.

Influence of reviews in Google rankings

Internet users have different ways of giving their opinion. They can assign a grade (from 1 to 5, 5 being the best grade), or write a comment. Users are also invited to vote for the publications, they consider to be the most useful. The most relevant reviews quickly become the most visible. As this process progresses, the face of your business through reviews becomes true to reality.

Keep Learning: Most Significant Google SEO Ranking Factors a Learner Should Know

The qualitative aspect of reviews in Google

For a company that relies on its local SEO to increase the business, the display of Google stars has become even more impactful since the sorting filter “Note”. Thanks to it, a user can directly sort the establishments listed according to which would be the best, according to online reviews. If SEO professionals agree that being on the second page of Google is like not existing at all, then the same could be said for poorly rated establishments.

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Highlighting the top-rated companies is an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses. These structures can often feel aggrieved in terms of visibility on the Web, due to lower marketing budgets than their big competitors. However, local referencing, thanks to Google Maps feature, gives them the keys to overturn the balance. Based on the recommendations, a company with great potential and remarkable service will gain visibility thanks to its own customers.

The quantitative aspect of Google reviews

Having positive opinions is not enough, you have to have a lot. The more comments you have, the more you will be highlighted.

Let’s not forget that all optimization is relative, the important thing is to be better than your competitors. So, to position yourself above a company, you must receive more positive reviews, and in greater numbers. Answer it, and use synonyms and the lexical field of your sector. Because keywords in Google My Business profiles and in reviews are also part of the deal. It is the same for what you have entered in your profile.

Go from visibility to acquisition with stars in Google Local Pack

As we saw earlier, the combination of reviews and ratings has direct consequences on your appearance in the local pack. It is also extremely frequent that an establishment present in Google Local Pack is also in the natural results. This correlation can only confirm the observation that customer reviews represent an index of relevance.

Thanks to good optimizations, a site that receives reviews also become more visible to users. The display of its excellent rating in the form of stars in Google results, and the highlighting of positive reviews, are all elements that promote the click-through rate (CTR).

Because it is not enough to be well classified, it is also necessary that the Internet user chooses to consult your site or your establishment record. More than half of the Internet users will tend to click on the establishment’s page which displays 5 stars, the others are not completely neglected. Even if you don’t have a star at all, the visits don’t drop to zero.

Your ranking in Google Local Pack is interesting for the visibility of your business, and to promote contact. But did you know that optimizations for your Google profiles can also have an impact on natural results?

The impact of Google stars on search results

Does your company have its own website and does it deserve better visibility in the search engines? If the Google Local Pack takes care of promoting your Google My Business business listing, your site may appear in the so-called “natural” or “organic” results. GMB is the first step for an effective local referencing on Google.

Fill in the right information

This free service offers each business manager the possibility of filling in a descriptive sheet. Activity, opening hours, contact details, photographs etc. all of which allow everyone to help Google improve its results. How? ‘Or’ What?

By simply telling Google that you are a traditional restaurant in Ardèche, it can then display your establishment when a person in your area performs a search. But this visibility is also allowed for someone who is simply looking for new restaurant ideas to test during the holidays. To ensure that this information is taken into account:

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● Name
● Address
● Phone number
● Category

To put the odds on your side, all of this data needs to be consistent with what you put on your website. With regard to the category, make sure that it corresponds well to that in which you would seek Internet users. We don’t put a bakery in an “ interim agency ”.

Note that your file may already exist, even if you did not create it yourself. If a user wants to publish his opinion on you, he will not wait and will still use this profile. In this case, claim ownership of your business in Google My Business. You can then use it to your own advantage.

Animate your page

Of course, a good Google My Business page is regularly updated.

If it seems logical to you to animate and publish frequently from your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn profiles, why not do the same with GMB? This task goes further than community animation because each of your actions will also influence local SEO. Indeed, sustained interactivity with Internet users is a positioning criterion. In the same way, the number of occurrences of the name of the locality (city, district…) seems to be very important.

The keywords present in your comments, and in their responses, therefore guide your performance in local SEO. Given the high visibility potential of your brand thanks to Google My Business.

Improve your conversion rate with customer reviews.

Before talking about conversion rates, let’s talk about targets- the number of contacts, increase in requests for quotes, frequency of reservations. it’s up to you (alone or with an expert) to set all performance indicators. The only measurement of these elements requires initial work.

So you are sure to follow the data that interests you. In natural referencing, the first conversion is the click on
the result displayed in Google. The description of your site made up of the “Title” and the “meta description” should be like beacons at night. Thanks to customer reviews, influence Internet users by encouraging them to click.

Reinsurance factor in Google results

More than 82% of consumers trust an online recommendation as much as advice from a loved one. When you have positive reviews and a very good average rating, make it a selling point.

In SEO, use Rich Snippets. These enriched displays make it possible to highlight sites compared to their competitors. To do this, just set up some optimizations on your website using micro-data. These “microdata” are directly inserted into the source code of your pages. The Schema.org library is very complete, but you can also use Google Data Highlighter in addition. Note that it is the search engine that decides whether or not to display additional data in the enriched results. The algorithms define whether this is relevant or not, depending on the context of the research.

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Also according to BrightLocal, you can see that the results which display stars attract the attention of the Net surfer. Don’t forget to highlight your good stars also on your web pages.

3 good practices to encourage the collection of customer reviews

It’s easy to recommend that you display your customer reviews and stars, but what if you don’t have one? Or worse,
if the only few reviews published are too old or too negative?

1. Collect the opinions of your customers, this silent majority satisfied, but who does not speak. Newsletter, emailing, touchpad on your premises, push on your mobile application.

2. Always be courteous and thank your customers for taking the time to publish a review. This will encourage others to imitate them.

3. Identify suspicious and illegal notices to report them in time.

If you cannot remove negative but actual comments, however, you have the option of reporting hateful and suspicious posts. Reporting is a technique for requesting the deletion of illegal content. Always pay attention to these types of comments which directly harm your brand image.

Going from acquisition to transformation

Thanks to your customer reviews, you can take actions that enhance your brand image and increase your sales. These two objectives are complementary. One does not go without the other. Above all, in the long term, measured and intelligent management of its e-reputation will always bear fruit. The image conveyed about you on the Internet is a reflection of the experience that customers really have with you.

Customer reviews and web marketing, a winning duo

The Internet does not forget, and all published customer reviews are archived in one way or another. Even if you don’t grab this channel, people will still post comments. In a web marketing strategy, customer reviews should not be put aside. Above all, thanks to Google, you are putting all the odds on your side to gain visibility. Customer reviews therefore directly impact your natural referencing. They participate in a better ranking in search engines, and above all, they encourage clicks. Positive comments increase your CTR (click-through rate) and reassure the user. Now that you have all the keys in hand, it’s your turn to conquer the 5 stars.

Final Words

To draw even more attention to your Google profiles, consider the virtual visit. By integrating it into Google My Business, it will appear in Maps and be previewed on your files. Photos must be taken by an experienced photographer.

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Raunak Pandey
Raunak is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification & Marketer by passion. He is the co-founder of Maiden Stride, a leading digital marketing agency that provides world-class search engine marketing services, website & application development.
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