If building credibility and visibility online for your brand are key priorities then Google Reviews could have a vital role to play in that process. When it comes to reaching people, reviews are increasingly important – as 70% of people trust reviews in a way that they just don’t trust ads. But it’s not just humans who value the opinions of other people, search engines do too. Businesses that have a significant amount of positive reviews are much more likely to achieve higher rankings on local results pages. If you’re not integrating reviews into your SEO strategy then you could be missing a trick.

How does Google Reviews work?

It’s a simple service that allows your business to collect reviews on your website – you’ll need a Google Merchant account to be able to access it. The Google Reviews infrastructure does most of the work when it comes to collecting your reviews, sending the customer an email around the time they’re due to receive a purchase and aggregating the reviews and data. You’ll get a star review for your business out of five and customers can also leave additional comments. The star ratings will appear not just on your own website, but also in organic and paid search results. Once you’ve started collecting reviews you can use them in business listings, on your site, and also on social media.

Why are Google Reviews important for SEO?

Google Reviews are most relevant for local SEO. The motivation for the search engine algorithm is to be able to provide searchers with the most appropriate businesses in local search results. So they will look at what a business does, as well as the first-hand experiences of customers detailed in reviews. A business with better reviews is rewarded with a higher spot on the results page. However, that’s not the only reason to consider incorporating Google Reviews. They can also help you to improve what you offer customers by creating a valuable channel for feedback about your products and services. Plus, they are excellent social proof – i.e. evidence that other people have tried your brand, trusted, and enjoyed it.

Are negative Google Reviews an issue?

Some businesses hesitate when it comes to reviews due to the potential impact of having negative feedback out there online. Some negative feedback is inevitable for every brand and in many ways it provides an opportunity to demonstrate the human side of the business, and also to show how well your team deals with conflict resolution. If you get a negative review then it’s essential to respond to this quickly – if someone is disappointed then being ignored could inflame this. When replying to this type of review, include the name of the reviewer and reference their specific situation, product or service. Avoid open conflict by thanking them for the feedback and then taking the conversation to a customer services email address. If you’re able to then offer a satisfactory solution you could convert a negative review into a loyal ongoing customer.

Google Reviews have many benefits, including being a great form of social proof and a way to get valuable feedback. Plus, if you’re focused on improving your SEO they an effective way to achieve a listings boost.

Whether you’re starting from scratch and want to create a Google review and Google My Business Page, or you want to get your current Google pages performing better for SEO, get in touch with our Search Engine Optimisation Agency London today on 020 7100 0726.