Customer reviews contribute a lot to the success of digital marketing campaigns and Search Marketers are aware of it. Statistics say 90% of consumers read reviews before deciding on a service, 84% percent trust reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family and 93% say reviews influence their purchasing decision.
With Google indicating explicitly that reviews play a role in one of its three primary local search factors, an increasing number of SEO professionals and marketers have been crafting strategic approaches to boosting reviews with the hope of improving their local SEO performance.
13 percent of what gets you in the local pack comes from your reviews
The “local pack” is one of the most prominent and sought-after places in Google’s local search result. It is a set of three highlighted Maps-based results featuring the most highly ranked businesses based on factors determining local ranking.
A report of the Local Search Ranking Factors shows review signals – the frequency, diversity and quantity of your reviews, are among the top 5 factors that determine whether or not your services get listed in the local pack.
Google reviews (13%) on-Page signals (14%) Google link signals (17%) and Google My Business signals outrank personalization, local signals and behavioral signals when it comes to local pack ranking factors.
Reviews are among the top 7 factors determining organic local search rankings.
Online reviews also help with your organic local search ranking. Review signals make-up at least 7% of what gets you listed in organic search results ahead of social signals and behind traditional factors such as link and on-Page signals.
According to Google’s official statement, review score and counts are factored into organic search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings mean improved local ranking for your business.
Marketers looking for ways to improve their SEO performances need to actively manage online reviews and stay highly engaged with customers. Even if a business has not gotten into the local pack, consistent positive reviews and high ratings can still sway users to click and probably convert.
Review signals help build brands
With positive online reviews on the rise, search professionals and marketers get the opportunity to harness massive amount of customer-generated data in order to improve performance and build winning brands. Here a few review metrics you should take into consideration –
- Review quantity
- Review quality
- Rating scores
- Review diversity
- Sentiment data
- Service/product keywords in reviews and responses to reviews
- Freshness of reviews
- Review sentiment data
- Authority of third-party sites on which reviews are present
If you are a getting a significant number of high ratings with excellent reviews and positive sentiment data from multiple high-authority review channels, you stand a very good chance of getting found in local search results.
Building and attracting good reviews is, is thus, an important part of any successful digital marketing campaign. Apart from getting you listed in organic search results, it helps build your brand’s reputation, broadens your social and digital footprints, and helps you stay relevant.