Achieving success in local search on Google and industry-specific review sites can be notoriously challenging for many local retailers. To provide the user with the best results, Google is continually updating ranking factors for local SEO, which can make predicting relevant factors difficult. What we do know is that continuously acquiring customer reviews is an effective marketing tool that not only serves to drive new business, but the actual content of the review is also recognized by search engines as a valuable factor to provide the user with the most direct and valid local search results.
Online Reviews Speak and Google Listens
To best benefit the consumer, Google and other search engines and review sites give top placement in SERPs for listings with reviews containing descriptive keywords. Now you may be thinking, “keywords no longer hold the value they once did”, and you would be right – for traditional SEO, but they’ve found new validity in customer reviews for local SEO. For example, the following Google search results for ‘print shop for specs slc’ awards top placement to CES&R Printing Services over big name printing providers because of the keyword ‘specs’ mentioned in a customer review.
From these exciting results, the influence from this dynamic cannot be overstated for online and local retailers and service providers in any industry, across the board. The keyword ‘specs’ was not optimized on the site, but becomes a match for local results from Google when the customer mentioned it in his review:
In their annual report, 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, Moz shows us that Google attributes 13% for review signals in local search. So it only makes sense to leverage keywords for maximum influence, but there are still strict guidelines you must abide by when approaching your customers for online reviews. Asking for a review on Google, or any industry-specific review site is good; soliciting them is not good.
It’s All in the Ask
Encouraging your customers to leave an online review with your company’s specific keywords will maximize your potential to earn top ranking in Google and other review site’s local listings. Keep in mind that frequency also matters, so the more customer reviews you receive that contain relevant keywords, the better. You probably already ask your satisfied customers for online reviews, now you will just need to ask the favor worded in a way to encourage them to use relevant keywords in their review. Whether in person or immediately following the sale by SMS (text) or email; being intentionally non descriptive will encourage your customer to write out the specific product or service details (i.e. keywords) for example:
- “Will you please take a few minutes to give us your feedback on your experience with our service(s) in an online review? Your feedback not only helps us, it helps other potential customers.”
- “Thank you for your order, when you have a moment will you please provide a review about the product(s) you received? Your opinion will not only help us, it also influences other potential customers.”
Make the most of your local marketing strategy and stay ahead of the competition with targeted local SEO via star ratings and customer reviews. Contact us today to get started and ensure your listing shows up in the top results when a potential customer searches for a business that fits your description.
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