Business reviews have a big impact on your organic results: Reviews are a major factor in determining how website content gets ranked for local search results.
Target the Right Sites
It is essential for every business to create a Google My Business page. The listing is free and is one of the most important things you can do to improve your local search.
Google My Business listings are usually the first listings searchers look at on a Google SERP before moving down the page to other organic listings. Appearing in this listing not only provides top visibility, it adds credibility, which is paramount for conversions.
Beyond Google My Business, prominent review sites such as Yelp, Glassdoor, Better Business Bureau and industry-specific review sites will help you occupy more real estate in the SERPs, giving you more visibility and more credibility. Last but definitely not least, these other review sites help create links and build the relevance of your business to the search engines.
Credibility Equals Conversions
Reviews are terrific credibility builders for searchers doing research on a particular product/service/company. Searchers study reviews to get a sense of what it is like to work with the company, and to assess strengths and weaknesses of the product or service. The better ratings searchers see, the more likely they are to go with that company.
For many searchers, user reviews carry far more weight than marketing content produced by the companies they are investigating. Study after study has shown that people are strongly influenced by the opinions and experiences of peers. To validate this dynamic, reflect on your own behavior using search engines to vet companies, products and services.
More Is Good
The more reviews you get, the better.
Be proactive in asking customers to review your business on specific sites. Give them instructions for how to process their reviews on the various review sites you’ve targeted.
Be careful not to solicit reviews by promising rewards — this is considered a dubious marketing tactic and is not permitted by many major review sites.
Obtaining reviews takes a lot of time, but never give up. Don’t settle for just a couple reviews; always try to get more. Remember, one or two reviews could be worse than none at all — you don’t want to display a pittance of reviews when competitors display them by the score. In time, you’ll build a respectable library of reviews.
Be sure to repurpose your reviews. These credibility-building powerhouses can be shared with great effectiveness on your website, in sales collateral and as part of your email marketing efforts.
Finally, don’t try to get all your reviews in a short time period. Google may look at this suspiciously, thinking you are trying to game the system. As with all things SEO, sustained, steadily improving efforts are interpreted by Google in a positive light and bring great rewards.