Online reviews and public customer feedback have a major impact on consumers’ purchase decisions. They happen to play an increasingly important role in local search, too.
Looking to leverage reviews and feedback to drive your brand’s local search ranking and performance? Here are key insights and best practices to help you get started.
Local SEO videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=local+seo
Claim Your Business Listing on Google My Business
The first step is to get your brand or organization on Google. This means creating or claiming your business listing using Google My Business.
There will be other sites where your business gets reviewed or rated: Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Citysearch, Foursquare, what-have-you. But if improving your local search ranking is your priority, a Google My Business account is a must.
best restaurant(browser-location) or best restaurant in london
A well-managed listing on Google My Business fosters significant improvements in local search performance, with particular emphasis on the “relevance” factor of local search. Business listings that have been claimed and updated on Google My Business — and which also boasts of strong reviews and ratings — are the ones most likely to rank at the top of local search, or even be featured in Maps-based results and the “local pack.”
Claim Your Business Listing on All Relevant Review Sites
Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zagat, Foursquare, Gayot…
Once you have planted your flag on Google, do the same on online review sites.
Yelp, TripAdvisor, Citysearch, and Facebook are the recommended places to start with, but make sure you also establish your brand presence on industry-specific review sites and feedback channels, like Zomato (for restaurants), Cars.com, DealerRater (for automotive businesses), and Vitals and Healthgrades (for doctors and healthcare providers).
Ensure NAP and Local Data Consistency
Nap: name, address, phone number
- In the US, 37 percent of companies have at least one incorrect or missing name on their listings. 43 percent have at least one incorrect or missing address. And 18 percent are missing their phone numbers.
- The estimated cost of wrong local data is $10.3 billion in potential annual sales.
Add Reviews to Your Website
You can simply use a widget. Some review websites — TripAdvisor and Yelp, among others — offer widgets or badges that enable you to display your latest reviews and ratings from those sources on your website.
You can also install a plugin, which works great if you have a website powered by WordPress. There’s a wide range of plugins that let you build your own review pages, syndicate customer feedback from other sites, collect star ratings and testimonials, and display review content on your pages. Here are a few options:
Try to find a solution that enables rich snippets for those reviews and ratings. That way, your review content can stand out in search results, similar to how these ones from TripAdvisor are displayed after a local search query (“hotel reviews in London”):
Google Microdata Reviews: https://developers.google.com/structured-data/rich-snippets/reviews
Share Reviews on Social Media
Customer reviews happen to play a major role in fostering trust. According to Forrester, reviews are viewed by consumers as more trustworthy than organic search engine results and promotional posts on social media.
Got a new 5-star review on Yelp, Google, or TripAdvisor? Don’t hesitate to share it. Post a link to the review on Facebook or Twitter. Or grab a screenshot and upload it to Instagram.
Mine Reviews for Research
Respond to Reviews and Optimize for Search
Generate Positive Reviews and Hide Negative feedback
Search engines love online reviews for the simple reason that consumers trust, actively look for, and depend on what their fellow consumers think. It’s fair to assume that Google has assigned increasing value on reviews because that’s what its users look for and click on. And while search tactics will continue to evolve and vary, they will always be grounded in a simple notion: speak the language of your customers and it will do wonders for your search performance and bottom line.
CEO at ReviewTrackers