Do Reviews Affect Local SEO?

Written By &Marketing

On October 7, 2020

Do reviews help drive traffic to your site and increase local SEO results? A simple and important question. The short answer: Yes, they do.

For a longer explanation how, keep reading…

As a local business, you are always looking for ways to reach customers in their moment of need and win their business (and money).

Whether you place a funny sign outside your shop, offer free events at night, or give away puppies – you are ultimately looking for a way to increase foot traffic in your store – and the internet is no different.
People know reviews help influence customers when they are looking at your listening but that is a very small piece of the overall picture and how they help your business.

According to Moz’s 2020 Local SEO Industry Report, “Across the board, marketers agree that reviews impact Google’s local rankings.” They go on to explain that “reviews shape reputation, impact conversions, and drive both customer service and sales.”

As a business looking to not only survive, but THRIVE in 2020 reviews are “a force that cannot be ignored when crafting a modern local strategy.” Besides the obvious advantages a positive image/reputation provides, there are legitimate and trackable effects that reviews have on your business as well.

1. Reviews increase CTR on your website, which in turn helps increase your SEO rankings

In a study performed by Yotpo they compared a local businesses’ online presence over a controlled period of time.

The first time period the business averaged around 5,500 organic pageviews/month. The second period of time the business averaged around 8,000 organic page views a month!
The only difference they made?

Adding Customer reviews onto the business Google Listing.

2. Customer Reviews Increase Page Rankings through social validation

The internet is saturated and it can be difficult for a small business to stand out and claim space online. One way to dominate your local SEO results though is by growing your customer reviews.

As Leverage Marketing explains, “Online customer reviews can be a strong signal to search engines that communicates trustworthiness and authority. In an era in which competition has gotten tougher for small businesses on the web, managing online reviews is a way to differentiate your business and raise your visibility in the search results”

3. Keywords in your Customer Reviews Drive SEO

We all know to monitor our keywords on our website to help drive traffic, but did you know that the keywords in your customer reviews affect your Local SEO results?

No, you cannot control what your customers write in their reviews – but you can control if you comment and thank them! And when you’re responding to those reviews, you can control the keywords that YOU use.

4. Google rewards for Social Validation

Google places more value in what your customers are saying than what you say. Just as we listen to other people’s opinions, so does Google.

For example, if you have a headline on your main page that reads “Best Roofer in PA” that’s great. But Google probably isn’t going to show you first when someone searches for roofers. But, imagine you have 5 customer reviews that say you are “the best roofer in PA”— now that is influence.

Google scrolls those reviews for keywords and puts more weight on them when determining your ranking for SEO results.

So, do reviews affect local SEO?

What does this all really mean?

Every year Google and other sites place more emphasis on customer reviews. Advertising and marketing is changing and it looks like the new strategy of social validation is here to stay.

Growing your reviews doesn’t have to be hard and does not mean extra work for you. Our team is here to help you with positive reviews that affect your local SEO!

About the Author

Chelsea Craig, founder of Rhino Reviews, works with businesses to protect their online reputation by growing and leveraging their online customer reviews. They offer the only fully managed review generation and reputation management program on the market. Every client receives a unique strategy based on their current reputation, where they wish to go, and headwinds they might encounter. They work to improve both the external (Google, Yelp, FB, etc) as well as internal (Glassdoor, Indeed) reputation and take businesses from a reactive to a proactive position.

Chelsea has worked with over 80 businesses in all industries, including luxury construction, digital, energy, property management, healthcare, retail, hospitality, and education, to help build or repair their online reputation. She is both Google and Reputation Management certified and is a coach for Mike Volkin’s Masterclass, teaching how to leverage testimonials to accelerate your business growth. She has also had the opportunity to be a guest on a variety of shows discussing industry changes, small business strategy, and how to build your reputation in the digital space.

About &Marketing

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.