When planning your SEO strategy, you can be tempted to only focus on your overall strategy instead of planning each part individually. One of the most important areas you should target should be your local SEO. Handling how you rank in the local area can work wonders for your business. Do Google reviews help SEO? You might be surprised to learn just how important they actually are. Let’s look at why in more depth.



The Importance of Local Reviews

Reviews form an extremely important part of any business in this modern era. Nearly every site you visit which offers some sort of product will allow you to also write reviews. These can seriously improve the standing of a business and give it the credibility and reputation it needs to grow. It is the truest form of social proof and people will feel certain that they are making a good choice when they choose to come to you. Just as how you would check the reviews for a piece of equipment before you buy, so would you check the reviews of a restaurant before you choose to eat there. It is thought that over 86% of people read reviews of their local businesses before going there. That figure rises to 95% of people in the age bracket 18-34. People love to google local reviews and ratings before they commit to a decision. Therefore, it is clear that google reviews are going to be a key part in improving your SEO on a local level.

How to Set Up Google Reviews

For you to be able to use Google Reviews to its fullest advantage, you are going to need a Google My Business account. It is completely free to do and just having one can improve your rankings quite significantly. The Google My Business guide is very easy to set up and it allows you to give some key information about the business including your business number and address in addition to a section for reviews. You will need at least five reviews before these are displayed on the search engine page and you ideally want to aim for ten or more if possible.



Other Review Sources

Don’t neglect your other review sources as you are going to need them to work in tandem with your Google reviews. Websites like Trip Advisor or Yelp are all brilliant for building up the reputation of your business. With successful reviews on other websites, Google will be able to judge your place on the rankings and might even be able to increase your standing. This, in turn, will also increase your search visibility. Whether you are in a busy metropolitan setting surrounded by competitors or you are the only business of your kind in town, you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to make sure that everyone is talking about your business.

How to Get Positive Reviews on Google

When anticipating reviews, it is important to remember that not everyone is going to have positive things to say. When trying to work out how to improve Google reviews, there are a few key things you are going to need to remember to ensure that you do indeed see an improvement. If there is something wrong with the core of your business practices, you are going to continue to get poor reviews. Even asking friends and family to contribute positive ones is not going to change the tide and might even end up looking a little suspicious on your part. However, if you are able to make a lasting and committed change to your business over time, this will hopefully be reflected in the reviews.

Another thing you should do is respond to negative reviews. While some business owners have gone viral for their witty and snarky comebacks, it is much more agreeable for you to respond in a professional manner. If they have a valid issue with your business, inform them that it will be addressed. You can also encourage reviews through social media and other techniques. Even printing a small reminder at the foot of a receipt can make all the difference in terms of attracting a positive review.


So, Do Google Reviews Help Rankings?

One of the most important things the reviews do, in addition to providing feedback for both you and potential customers, is generate keywords to be used in SEO. You will often find that many of the reviews carry the same words over and over again. For example, if you have a particularly good blend of coffee you use in your store, this might be mentioned by multiple reviews. Google will read these reviews just as it reads the copy on your site. The more reviews you have, the more content Google has to read and it is able to build up a much clearer picture of what your business is about. One could then argue that an example of a good review for a business would be one which goes into detail about various aspects of your business. If you are able to provide a customer with a full and well-rounded experience from the moment they walk in the door, they will have more to talk about in their review. Longer reviews will result in more content for Google and the chance that new keywords will be assigned to your business. You will then have a higher visibility on search engines as you will be coming up in searches with these keywords.


Set Up Your Google Reviews Today

If you haven’t yet set them up, your Google reviews are a key area of local SEO which you are missing out on. They are easy to manage, so even someone who is not an SEO expert could see some improvement in traffic with them. If you know that you have a great customer experience, let it help you move up the Google rankings. With a little work, your Google reviews can help you improve your local SEO.

If you need help with your local SEO strategy, contact our team here at Pedro.