Yes! A small answer to a big question is that yes Google reviews help local SEO rankings, but this is not as straightforward as it may seem. Ranking on search engine result pages is decided by Google.
But is Google doing this manually? The answer to this is NO, but they use an algorithm. Google algorithm takes into account E-A-T expertise, authority, trust, and reviews especially help in measuring T of E-A-T. Reviews that show the positive response of customers towards your business will show their trust which is an important aspect taken into consideration by Google algorithm.
Having positive reviews will contribute to increasing your SEO rankings. SEO rankings will help a business to increase visibility and more potential customers may visit which leads to an increase in business and hence the revenues.
To take advantage of this aspect, my business starts getting fake reviews to increase their rankings, and to tackle this situation Google removes all reviews which are without a valid profile and overnight many businesses lost their rankings. Now, reviews can only be posted through genuine profiles making it a fair game for all businesses which are seeking high SEO ranking in search engine result pages especially on the first page, which witnesses maximum clicks.
Why Google reviews help in local SEO rankings
Google gave more weightage to what customers have to say about a business, their experience, complaints. Positive reviews show the trust of customers over the business which is an important factor. When a business has trust, Google will give great visibility to business as other people might also be benefited from it.
2. Reviews can bring large traffic
People these days trust what others have to say about that business and according to a survey, around 58% of people admit that their decision is influenced by Google reviews. Having positive reviews will attract lots of traffic to your business which will give a signal to Google bot that your business is trustworthy and deserves better rankings.
3. Reviews can tell missing info
A good SEO practice includes a detailed description of each and every page of your website. These descriptions will help Google to understand your business and show your business to potential search queries. Google reviews can sometimes highlight some special attributes which a business might miss to mention in their description but is potential to serve a lot of queries and can bring lots of traffic, which indeed shows the trust of customers and triggers an action by the algorithm to give better rankings.
How to get more reviews?
People generally don’t give reviews on their own but businesses have to encourage them to leave a review. Businesses are getting creative and serious on this part where some directly ask for reviews and give a call to action to leave a review or review us. But, some influence reviews by giving some special perks. Local businesses sometimes ask their customers to give reviews when they visit their outlets.
How to handle negative reviews?
No business will always get a 5-star rating or positive feedback and one must be ready to deal with negative feedback. Tackle negative feedback with polite replies and try to show empathy with that angry customer that might help you to retain an existing customer or may even build your goodwill in the market that you care about your customers and ready to solve any issue which a customer might face.
How to handle Positive reviews?
Not only responding to negative reviews is important but also responding to positive reviews. A positive response means a customer is happy and this is the chance for a business to add delight and show how valuable a customer is, which can bring back customers which gives repeat orders and it can create loyalty towards your business and can even enjoy the word of mouth which will attract even more customers.
Reviews on 3rd party websites matter?
Google algorithm gave importance to Google reviews but does it gave the same weightage to 3rd party websites? Answer to this is NO, though Google algorithm takes into consideration these 3rd party reviews their weightage is not the same. Google will prefer Google reviews but Google gives some importance to these reviews as well. So it is not a bad idea to seek reviews on 3rd party websites, but priority must be Google reviews.
Seeking professional local SEO services
Google reviews can help to increase the ranking of businesses but can a business owner do all of this without any professional help? Answer to this is yes but that person may fall short on quality which a local SEO provider or a digital marketing expert can deliver. Of course, that will add to your marketing budget but one must see the larger picture and think it as an investment that will give returns much higher than invested money. Local SEO Service will professionally manage business profiles and tackle adverse conditions much better which will create a trust factor among your potential customers and also encourages repeat purchases. This will also make a good impression in the eyes of Google algorithm and your business will get better ranking which again translates into more visibility and hence more revenue.
Google reviews help a business to improve local SEO ranking though it may not be the only factor one of the important factors with the importance of about 15%. The algorithm measures E-A-T Expertise, Authority, Trust, and the trust of E-A-T can be calculated from Google reviews. Positive reviews benefit the most but negative reviews must be tackled with utmost care as it may lead to further damage. Responding to reviews whether positive or negative is always a good idea and connects a business with customers creating loyalty. Seeking professional local SEO services can prove to be a good decision in the future.
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