As more businesses begin to take on their online marketing strategy, it is becoming apparent that local SEO is getting harder to implement. Businesses realize that without the help of an SEO professional, they will be at a disadvantage in competing with larger companies around the same region. But what does local SEO have to do with reviews? Does responding to reviews help SEO? And how can reviews help in your regional SEO strategy?
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Once you master SEO, you can help your business’s website show up higher in the search results when people look up your business on Google or another search engine. For example, when you search for an “Oregon SEO company,” your search engine uses an algorithm to scan websites for specific traits like:
- Page relevance
- Page usability
- Searched words
- Source expertise
- Recent updates
When your company is looking to rank higher on Google or any other search engine, you need to understand the methods they use to determine your website’s value. Search engines prioritize recent content that is most relevant to the user’s search, so fill your website with helpful information and keep it up to date.
Why Are Reviews So Important for Local Business Owners?
Reviews are a crucial part of online marketing for local businesses. Reviews help potential customers learn about your business and determine if it’s a good fit. But does responding to reviews help SEO? While Google doesn’t consider reviews when ranking local businesses, it uses them when determining whether or not to show your business in the organic search results.
Your goal should be to keep your company accessible and relevant. One of the most helpful ways to do this involves improving your reviews on sites like Google Business Listing or Yelp. Clients should be able to find the information they need on your website, visit your in-person locations, and purchase high-quality items. Read your reviews and take constructive criticism into account.
Search engines will no longer prioritize your website if you consistently receive poor reviews. However, when you provide excellent services, you are more likely to receive many positive reviews, which demonstrates to search engines that your web pages are relevant and helpful to visitors. Typically, search engines prioritize content with many positive reviews above a company with many negative reviews. You can use reviews as a guideline to help measure some of your SEO results.
Yelp is a popular search engine for businesses that relies on reviews to determine which ones appear first on their site. If you hope to stay competitive, be sure to respond to reviews and provide excellent customer service so your business can rank highly in the search results.
Reviews as a Marketing Tool
Responding to customer reviews is an integral part of marketing your local business. It helps you build trust and reputation and get feedback from your customers. Moreover, it can help attract more new customers through search engines like Google and Bing. That’s because when people search for businesses on Google, they can see the reviews published on sites like Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor. These reviews will often appear in the top results for searches of your business name or similar terms that relate directly to what you do (for example: “Oregon SEO company”).
Reviews are a powerful tool because they give potential customers a clear idea of what they’re getting into before they make an appointment with you by providing details about their experience at your company. Excellent reviews also show potential customers interested in visiting your business that others have had positive experiences there before them!
Google My Business Listing Optimization
You can use reviews as a marketing tool and as a way to help your local business rank higher among local results. However, you may still want to ask, “Does responding to reviews help SEO for business listing optimization?” Truthfully, the results depend on how you respond—writing a thoughtful, detailed response that shows your customers that you care about them and their experience with your business can positively impact your SEO results. A thoughtful response from a business owner tells search engines that your company cares about its customers and wants to provide them with excellent customer service. Many search engines are more likely to direct customers to your business because of this.
However, if you respond with a short message that doesn’t give any information or details about your company, this is far less likely to help your SEO results. These responses may even hurt SEO because they tell search engines that your business doesn’t care about providing good customer service or quality products. Search engines are looking to direct potential customers to places where they can receive the help they are looking for; that’s why they use search engines, and the search engines don’t want people to stop searching for answers online. Be sure to provide valuable information to clients on your web pages and in your replies to reviews.
Why do Google Reviews Help Local SEO Rankings?
Do you want to know why Google Reviews help local SEO rankings? It’s because Google uses them to determine how relevant your local business listing management is on the Internet. The higher your ranking, the higher your website will appear in search results for those looking for similar services or products. With practice, you can easily use local Internet marketing to your advantage.
When potential clients search online for information about your services and products, they’ll see your company name and address (if you’ve entered it into your profile). They’ll also see reviews from other customers—and that’s where things get interesting.
Google uses reviews as part of its search algorithm—so if people are saying positive things about your business, chances are good that search engines will think highly of your business, too.
How To Boost Your Local Ranking With Online Reviews
Online reviews help local businesses in two ways. First, they increase the visibility of your business and its products or services on search engines. When someone searches for things your business can provide, they will see your company as an option. Second, online reviews can help you establish trust with potential customers who might be skeptical of your brand because they’ve never heard of it before.
A review from someone who has used your product or service can help assuage those fears by providing a personal recommendation for what you do and how well you do it.
How Can Thrive Search Help?
By now, you should know much more than you did before about why responding to reviews can help your business’s SEO. However, you may not be sure how to use that information to its full effects. With Thrive Search, we’ll analyze your current rankings and show you what needs to change to improve them. Our team will then work with you to create a plan for how you can achieve those changes, including the necessary adjustments on your end and the strategies we’ll use to get the job done.
We aren’t just another SEO company—we’re a full-service local marketing agency with a focus on results. That means we’ll work with you on everything from your website design and content creation to social media marketing and distribution.
We’ll also set up an ongoing campaign that keeps your rankings high throughout our efforts together. Bad reviews impact your search engine rankings. Fix them with Thrive Search to make small but meaningful improvements to your website over time.
Written By Kristin Digioia