Like many Australian business owners, your goal is to provide your customers with a great experience. Did you know that receiving this positive feedback can have a dramatic impact on your overall SEO?
In this guide we’re going to cover why you need reviews to increase your local SEO, the best ways to reach out to customers and get positive feedback and other things you need to know when including Google reviews as part of your local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy.
Why You Need Positive Reviews For Local SEO
Google reviews are often overlooked by businesses, but they can have a serious impact on your overall Google rankings in the organic search results and local pack positions.
Google reviews also impact that amount of customers that contact your local business. In fact, 81% of local customers will make a decision to get in touch with a business based on online reviews.
If a local customer sees that a business receives a number of reviews, they know that the business is trusted and active. It is a quick and easy way for them to make a decision, and the more positive reviews they can see, the better.
Customer reviews solve a two fold solution, they provide Google with a trust signal to push your website higher up the organic search results and they also give your business credibility.
Asking Customers For A Google Review
A lot of clients wonder how they can encourage customers to leave a review or wonder how to get quality reviews from consumers. There are a number of different ways that you can go about this. Ultimately, it will depend on your business and the type of company you operate.
For businesses who are just starting to focus on their local SEO and increase their Google My Business profile, it can be worth sending an email to past customers.
A simple email, asking for feedback on the experience they had with your business and an honest review can be a great way to go about this.
Beyond this, sharing a direct link to your Google Business Profile across your social media profiles and asking for customer reviews can really spread the word. Additionally, we recommend having a direct link to your Google business profile in your email signature for more chances of receiving a review.
We also see clients receive a large number of high quality positive reviews by simply sending a follow-up email to their customers once they have provided their product or service to them.
Example email to send to your customers to receive a review:
” Dear Customer,
We value your feedback. The best way to share your experience with us would be to leave a Google review: [Insert Google Review Link Here].
Kind regards, “
This may look like the most simple email you’ve ever seen.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity, we have seen great results with this exact strategy. If a consumer has had a positive experience with a business, they are usually more than happy to leave reviews.
A simple, straightforward strategy can really work to boost your overall online reviews and online reputation.
Responding To Google Reviews
Getting the reviews and spreading the word is the first step, however it doesn’t end there. Once you have received ratings and reviews on your Google profile, it is important to respond to these reviews.
By responding to reviews, you provide a number of different trust signals to Google and potential new customers. Firstly, responding to these reviews serves your customers first and foremost. By responding to reviews from your customers, you are building out a fantastic customer service experience.
Secondly, within your response to the online reviews, you are able to condense further keywords into your overall Google business listing. Here’s an example to illustrate how you can do this.
Let’s presume you are a beauty salon and you have received a positive online review from a customer about a recent haircut.
In your response to this Google review, you can respond with something like this:
“ Hi [Name]! Thank-you so much for your positive review.
We loved having you at our Sydney salon and we’re so thrilled you love your new haircut! If you ever have any needs for a haircut, blow drying or even hair colouring – we’d love to have you back! “
As you can see in this example, your Google review response has included some important keywords for your overall local SEO – such as ‘Sydney salon’, ‘haircut’, ‘blow drying’ and ‘hair colouring’.
This is just one example and you can apply this to almost any industry. By utilising responses to your Google reviews, you can push your website further up on Google Maps and within the overall search engine for your ideal keywords.
It is integral for your SEO strategy to make sure that you respond to reviews on a daily basis.
What Is Local Pack SEO?
You might be wondering what local pack SEO is. Let’s give you an example and show exactly what a feature in the local pack SEO looks like.
When you search for a product or service in Google, you will usually be met with 3 options right at the top of the search results, underneath the Google ad positions.
Take a look at this example of businesses in the local pack positions here:
The outlined businesses are appearing in the local pack section of the organic search results. These businesses are highlighted above every other result and are heavily marketed within the search algorithm.
By having your business feature in this local pack section, you are able to generate thousands of views for people looking for your exact services. Better yet, by appearing in the local pack section you have a direct link to your business phone number, company website and even directions to your business.
The local pack section of the organic search results is a very powerful position and paramount for local SEO. Google reviews impact the local pack section quite heavily.
Generally speaking, the more positive online reviews your business has, the more likely your business is to appear in the local pack section of Google.
Increasing Your Overall Google Rankings With Reviews
As we have alluded to above, positive Google reviews can increase your Google rankings. Not only can positive online reviews increase your position within the local pack and Google Maps, they also have an impact on your SEO rankings in the organic results.
In fact, positive ratings are one of the most important local SEO ranking factors. Good reviews provide your brand with trust and Google rewards you for this.
A good review signals Google to rank you higher and there is no denying that a local business with good Google reviews will rank higher in the search rankings. Since online reviews, good or bad, are such an important signal to Google, you will be rewarded for this in the organic SERP’s. Reviews help your overall digital marketing and website visibility.
Search engines (such as Google) aim to deliver consumers with the best and most relevant results for their local search queries. Online reviews form a very important part of this and they should not be skipped if you are looking to increase your overall Google rankings.
Frequency Of Positive Reviews For Local Pack SEO
If your business is focused on local search, it is important to accumulate a decent number of reviews. Local businesses should aim to get as many online reviews as possible since the number of reviews you have can impact your overall rankings.
This doesn’t mean you need hundreds of Google reviews to rank in the search engines, however there can never be too many reviews. When it comes to online reviews and your overall star rating, the more the merrier.
Something to avoid would be getting a large number of reviews within a short period of time and then simply stopping. Frequency is important here and you want to be getting reviews from consumers on a regular basis.
If a business were to receive a large number of ratings within a short period of time from consumers, this would look very unnatural. On average, we aim for each Google profile to receive between 1 and 5 reviews per week.
To achieve this frequency, be sure to follow the sequence of reaching out to past clients and consumers we have outlined in this article.
What Happens If I Get A Negative Google Review?
From time to time, you may even receive a negative review. Negative reviews happen for all sorts of businesses and they don’t necessarily impact your search rankings in a negative way.
The thing about negative reviews is that they are almost unavoidable, as it is impossible to keep everyone happy, particularly if you are running a thriving business.
We always recommend responding to negative reviews and looking for a way to rectify the customer’s experience if you can. This shows future potential customers that your business aims to help and assist them if something goes wrong.
A negative Google review or rating isn’t necessarily a bad thing for your Google ranking, however you want to ensure you are providing all consumers with a positive experience.
We always recommend going the extra mile when providing a service and asking for feedback, reviews and ratings.
Wrapping Up On Google Reviews For SEO
There’s no denying that reviews impact your SEO rankings and this should be considered when forming your digital marketing strategy.
For a local business looking to increase their position in Google Maps, the overall local pack and the organic results – make sure you are receiving a good number of reviews.
Reviews help your website’s position, increase trust and reviews affect the visibility of your website in a consumer’s online search. When forming your digital marketing strategy to increase your local SEO ranking, be sure to prioritise your reviews and star rating.
Work With A Digital Marketing Company
Since online reviews are so important for a digital marketing strategy and a websites’ visibility, we always place this at the top of any local SEO campaign we are engaged for.
The digital marketing team at Australian Web Experts have a dedicated SEO team that handles the entire local SEO process for all of our clients. Our team of SEO experts are solely focused on the increased visibility of your website in the local search results.
So, if you are looking to increase your Google ratings and overall ranking position, get in touch with us today for a complimentary audit of your site and ranking position.
If you’d like to go one step further, you can review our local SEO costs resource for more information.