The Role of Reviews in Local SEO

When it comes to shopping online, be it software or a book, reviews matter a lot. You will be surprised to hear that 90% of customers say that their buying decision is influenced by online reviews. Acquiring positive business reviews is extremely important not just for companies selling products online, but offline business owners as well. For example, a plumbing service provider may not have a website, but if he gets positive reviews on Yelp, then his business can boost significantly.

Why reviews matter?

  • They determine your rank on search engines (Google) and local search engines (Yelp, FourSquare)
  • Play a key role in Click through Rate
  • Influence buyers’ decisions

Today, I will discuss how reviews affect purchasing decisions, why it matters for local SEO and how you can acquire reviews to improve SERP ranking.

How reviews affect purchasing decisions?

The first thing you need to understand about consumers is that if they are reading reviews, then they have already decided what they want. They are just doubtful about the company that can meet their requirements properly. According to a survey about 85% of online buyers read reviews and almost 70% of them read six or less reviews to finalize the buying decision. Almost 90% people said that they did not buy a product after seeing multiple negative reviews. Hopefully, this data will help you understand how important is positive reviews.

Why reviews are crucial for local SEO?

Local search engines like Yelp and FourSquare love reviews because buyers prefer to read online reviews. The search engines know that as long as they can provide genuine and helpful review to the potential buyers, people will come back to them. Ask yourself, why do you visit Google Local to know the food quality and ambiance of a restaurant you have never visited before? If you think that only local search engines pay attention to reviews, then you are wrong. According to a survey conducted by Moz, review signals play a vital role in Google’s algorithm to decide a website’s rank on Google Web results.

How do you acquire reviews from customers?

The first thing you need to know is which review sites can bring you maximum traffic. In order to know that simply type reviews+business niche in Google and look at the top results. For example, if you search for “reviews wedding planners”, then you will see lots of results from Yelp on Google SERP. Therefore, in your site, you can request the clients to leave their reviews on Yelp. E Commerce site owners can ask the consumers to write reviews after every successful purchase. Besides asking customers to write reviews on third party sites, you can also ask them to post reviews on your site. The on-site reviews will send strong signal to Google and help your site rank better.

Now that you have a fair idea about reviews and its importance in local SEO, you should try to get as many positive reviews for your business as possible. Let the consumers tell other future consumers how good your company is and Google will love your site.