Online reviews provide a channel for local business owners to listen to their clients and identify areas where business can get better. Reviews also help convince potential customers to make purchasing decisions or search for alternatives. According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers read online reviews, and 88% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from people they know.
We can all agree that online reviews are important. In fact, online reviews can also be the difference in placing ahead of a local competitor in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), in other words, the more and better reviews you get, the higher the likelihood for advancing your local search engine rankings.
Additionally, according to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews make up 10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results.
Search engines love online reviews for one principal reason: They want to deliver what people are looking for. Online reviews, serving as social proof and authority, help search engine users find more accurate and helpful information.
It boosts user experience, which is the primary focus of Google search.
The Google Maps features tour even says outright that the “highest-rated” businesses near you will be returned when you search with local intent:
In fact, according to Moz, Google looks at several aspects of your reviews when deciding how to rank your business in Google local search results: review quantity, quality, velocity, and diversity.
Review quantity and quality are straightforward to understand. Review velocity refers to the speed at which reviews accumulate. According to Moz, a steady rate, rather than a flood, indicates to search engines that the reviews are genuine.
In summary, getting online reviews is crucial to local businesses in many ways. Include it as part of your marketing strategy goes a long way toward building a sustainable and fruitful business.