3 Ways Online Reviews Improve Your Website’s Google Search Ranking

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Reputation management can seem daunting, especially for a small business owner. You may work in a niche market that makes your business hard to find on search engines, or you may be in competition with much larger chains. Regardless of your unique situation, your business can be front and center for the customer with effective reputation management.


One of the most effective ways to start improving your website’s Google rankings is by managing your online reviews and improving your reputation online.


If you’re unfamiliar with Google rankings, you may be wondering how online reviews can help your business rank. In this post, we’ll focus on three ways online reviews improve your online reputation.




Google reviews work as word-of-mouth recommendations

Most customers today won’t visit a business without some form of recommendation first. In time past, that meant checking with a friend, family member, or another person with a trusted opinion. Today, those recommendations come in the form of online reviews, and visiting your business could mean simply visiting your website. Most people today trust online reviews just as much as they do recommendations from someone they know. In fact, 90% of customers check reviews before visiting a business for the first time. In other words, word of mouth has moved to the keyboard.


Online reviews are an easy–and free–way to establish a trust relationship not just with your existing customers but with potential customers, too. A five star review is just as valuable as a word of recommendation–and reaches more people, too.

If someone is searching for your business online, they may first encounter reviews that other customers have written. This means that many people could be forming opinions about your business before even clicking to your site. If you have a poor online reputation, this means fewer clicks to your site, and your rankings could suffer. 


But what of negative reviews? Well, those are valuable, too.


Google reviews can provide valuable feedback

Some customers just can’t be pleased, even if you bend over backwards to try. Other customers genuinely want to let you know what you can improve about your business. It’s up to you to sift through your reviews and figure out what to do with what your customers are saying.


Most importantly, you can’t learn anything from your reviews unless you’re reading them. Reputation management doesn’t mean setting up a Google My Business account and passively letting reviews come in.


Here’s an important tip: customers expect you to respond to your Google reviews. You should respond (and quickly!) to reviews as you’re able, especially the negative reviews.


Customers are more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews. When you see a negative review, don’t assume it’s bad for business. Learn from it, learn how to respond to it, and pretty soon you’ll see how negative reviews can create a net positive for your business.


Just as positive reviews can drive people to your website, and benefit your website rankings, negative reviews could drive people away. Before this happens, use negative reviews as a chance to turn things around and show potential clients that you care and are willing to put in effort to improve their experiences.


Google reviews drive SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) can seem intimidating, especially if you’re new to the concept. If you’d like some help in that area, let us know–that’s what we do! But improving your Google ranking is an easy way to start improving your SEO.


You are probably very familiar with Google Business listings. When users search for a type of business, especially within a specific location, for example, “pizza near me,” the results are usually listed in a map view or in the “local pack.”. Here, you’ll usually find some basic operating information for that business and, as you might have suspected, the rating based on reviews.


Along with other ranking factors, businesses with more reviews make it to the top of the listing. And with zero-click searches on the rise, many customers are looking exclusively at this listing before visiting a business.


Google reinforces how consumers use reviews by ranking businesses based on what consumers value, namely, quantity and quality of reviews. This method makes Google listings a powerful tool for putting your business at the forefront of potential customers’ searches. With a little understanding of SEO and online reviews, you can improve your Google rankings without spending a penny.


Improve your rankings today

Now that you understand how powerful reviews can be for your Google ranking, it’s time for you to put into practice what you’ve learned. If you’d like to do more research, read another helpful post here. Google also has some basic instructions on how to start collecting reviews. Want some help along the way? We can help. Learn more about our new reputation management service at Hyport Digital!


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