The Importance of Reviews in Local SEO

Online shoppers love reviews. It gives them a sneak-peek into any product or service so they’ll know what to expect. By knowing what other customers think, they can make better buying decisions and be able to spend their money wisely.

Naturally, people would be drawn to businesses with good reviews. This doesn’t just apply online but to local shops as well. Now that brick and mortar stores can be listed online, it’s possible to get reviews for your local business.

However, reviews are more than just references for buyers. They also play a major role in local SEO. But before we tackle its importance in search engine optimization, let’s try to understand why they work.


Why Reviews Are Effective

Ecommerce offers a different experience from a physical store where customers can interact with products before taking them to the counter. Instead, online shoppers only get to see photos and read product descriptions before proceeding to checkout.

Online shopping is a convenient way to shop, albeit risky. Since there’s no way to test products, it’s easier to make bad purchasing decisions. Reviews help fill the gap by providing online consumers the reassurance they need. When they read good reviews, they gain confidence in a business and are more likely to purchase.

It’s a classic case of social proof and the reason why reviews work. People tend to mimic other people’s actions, thinking that following the crowd means they’re making the right decision.


Why Your Business Needs Reviews for Local SEO

According to the latest survey by Bright Local, 86% of consumers read reviews on local businesses and 78% trust reviews just as they would personal recommendations. What this tells us is that consumers value reviews. And like any business that depends on these very same customers for revenue, you need to place as much value in reviews.

Reviews can impact your business in several ways. In their survey, Bright Local found that positive reviews encouraged 68% of consumers to use local businesses. Good customer feedback can further convince more people to visit your shop and get in touch.

Online, reviews can affect your local SEO. Their biggest influence will be on your visibility. When people search locally for a business, Google pulls out listings of the nearest places. Local businesses are shown at the top of the search engine results page or SERP. What dictates their rankings are your ratings. The higher the rating of a business, the higher their placement in the results. This could only mean better visibility than businesses with low ratings.

So how do you get reviews for your business? We’ll tell you in the next section.


Integrating reviews into your local SEO

First, you need to include your shop on Google My Business. It lets Google know it can suggest your store in local searches. Try to get your business in as many online listings as possible. The more citations you have, the easier it is for people to find you. Just make sure you have accurate business information posted online.

Afterward, you can direct shop visitors and customers to your online listings, especially Google My Business. Let them leave feedback about their experience with you. As you get more positive reviews, the chances of your business appearing on the top searches will also improve.