9th October 2015

The importance of gaining local reviews for SEO

Cartoon man pulling an arrow on a reviews scale

“49% of local consumers are more likely to use a local business having read a positive online review”

Google factors reviews into its search algorithm. Reviews also send positive trust signals to customers looking for information about a company. Businesses with reviews stand out from whose who don’t, especially on Google Plus, Facebook, Yell, Scoot and TripAdvisor.

For these reasons, we strongly encourage businesses to create a review strategy. This should consist of the following:

  • Sending out emails which politely request or prompt reviews after purchases/service
  • Requesting reviews on social media platforms
  • Requesting reviews through email newsletters
  • Requesting reviews via postcard or similar personalised method of communication to a customer’s address.

It is best to request reviews soon after communications with a customer so it is fresh in their mind and they are more likely to complete the task successfully.

There are some very interesting results in the Bright Local Consumer Review Survey. These reveal that:

  • 97% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews to judge a local business
  • 40% of customers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews
  • Review star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • 44% say a review must be written within 1 month to be relevant
  • Only 13% of consumers consider using a business that has a 1 or 2 star rating
  • 68% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • Consumers are becoming more concerned about fake reviews

To summarise, local businesses need to move with the times and appreciate the importance of online reviews. A review strategy is a great way to build up regular, genuine reviews that provide value to the consumer reading them. If you receive a negative review (which some of us do) we advise you reply gracefully and continue to request positive reviews from other customers.

Stats from searchengineland.com and brightlocal.com

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