Google Reviews: A Small Business Local SEO Secret

August 18, 2015

It’s no secret, online reviews can transform any business to a relative (i.e., local or industry) powerhouse. Whether it’s Amazon product reviews or Google reviews for local businesses, consumers spreading the good word about a company’s product or service can far outreach a beautiful marketing campaign.


In fact, roughly 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews, such as Google reviews, as much as a personal recommendation. That gives any business the incredible potential to have hundreds, if not thousands, of happy customers share their experience with a seemingly unlimited amount of potential customers, via online reviews.


It’s the perfect scenario – a word of mouth referral gone viral.


However, online reviews aren’t all made equal.


Google reviews are arguably one of the most important types of reviews a business can collect. Google reviews can impact local SEO and increase brand visibility through search engines totaling in increased trust recognition.


As recognition, I’ve seen dental practices experience a spike of over 140 new walk-in patients, automotive dealerships increase their standings in local SEO by 5-10x, and fitness studios see immediate ROI within just a few months of collecting reviews.


It doesn’t stop there, the benefits of Google reviews are seemingly endless. With a few focal points and a concentrated effort, small businesses can start collecting reviews and see an impact within a matter of days.


The Positive Impact on Local SEO Explained

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is the optimization of your business’ web presence within search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. As you optimize various variables, you can increase your standing on any given search engine.


Local SEO works similarly, but with a focus on search results in your area. One key difference in the algorithms used to determine where your website is shown is that with local, small businesses can enter a level playing field with what’s called the Map Pack.

podium-map-pack-review-local-seo


One factor that influences the placement of a business within the Map Pack is online reviews. Specifically, online reviews that have high quality and quantity scores, in addition to a few other variables.


The image above is what you might find with you type “auto dealers in Salt Lake City” into Google. Without much more than directory information and online reviews, these dealerships can rank like you see here.


Conclusion

Businesses have been adopting online reviews as a core marketing tactic at an unprecedented rate. Given the local SEO benefits and increased online exposure, Google reviews should be a focal point for many businesses.


With a concentrated approach, any business can automate the review collection process and start collecting reviews that yield benefits in many different ways.


For more information about online reviews and how they can impact your business, download our free eBook: The Complete Guide to Online Reviews.

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