How Can I Use Google Local To
Grow My Business Presence Online
Google Local Search is a powerful tool that helps people find nearby businesses and places. For example, if you’ve ever typed on Google search “find will writers near me” (or any of the other essential things, like restaurants, a hotel or a petrol station), you’ve used the power of Google Local Search. And the chances are that a local business profited because of it. Google Local Search also shows customer reviews, along with the business images. It is a tool that helps people find what they’re looking for and gives more credibility to a business.
Improving Your Business Local Search Ranking
First, you must set up your Google My Business profile to improve your local search ranking, you are required to enter: the name and location of your business; the type of business, contact details and the business website. Once all this is verfied, you can then add your logo and any additional information. You can add images of your team, products and services. Tell your story to engage with potential customers and start building your online presence.
Do Google Reviews Help Ranking & SEO
The short answer is yes, when it comes to whether Google Reviews help improve search rankings and SEO efforts. However, 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.
Even just a few seconds of searching for restaurants in a particular location can quickly reveal that the top positions in organic search are occupied by those with a good number of positive reviews. This is, in part, because search engines recognise the value of online reviews and understand that users want easy and efficient access to the best local businesses.
Lets take a few moments to look at some 2022 statistics
- 99% of consumers have used the internet to find information about a local business in the last year.
- 89% of consumers say they would be ‘fairly’ or ‘highly’ likely to use a business that responds to all reviews, positive and negative.
- More Consumers are reading online reviews then ever before. In 2021, 77% ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read them when browsing for local businesses.
The Importance Of Google Reviews
As the marketplace becomes more competitive, maintaining and optimising your Google My Business listing is becoming more important than ever. As well as ensuring your contact information and opening times are accurate, asking or encouraging your customers to leave Google Reviews will help to boost your organic rankings as well as have a significant impact on click-through rate.
Put yourself in the position of a consumer searching for local businesses within your niche who has found 3 results. The first has an average review rating of 3.5 with 445 reviews, the second has an average rating of 3.1 with 125 reviews, and the third (your business) has an average rating of 4.0 with 462 reviews. Your business immediately looks like the best and most reliable option.
How To Encourage Reviews
Although it may be tempting to sit back and wait for customers to leave reviews, being proactive and managing your online reputation will be much more beneficial. There are three main methods that you can focus your efforts on to encourage more reviews:
- Provide a first-class customer experience:
A customer is more likely to leave a negative review after a bad experience than a good one. However, if you can give them an outstanding experience that goes above and beyond their expectations, they’re more likely to leave a review than if you just give them a satisfactory service. In other words, be the best at what you do and great reviews will follow.
- Ask your customer in person:
Your customers may be more willing to leave a review than you think, especially if you ask politely and explain how important it is for your business. Don’t be afraid to show them how to leave a Google review; not everyone is tech-savvy enough to know how. If you feel it’s inappropriate to ask customers or clients to leave positive reviews verbally, consider printing a small request on receipts, business cards or leaflets. It’s important to never offer compensation in any form in exchange for positive reviews, as this goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in severe penalties for your site. This includes non-monetary offers, such as offering to leave positive reviews in return.
- Utilise your email correspondence and social media channel:
Incorporating review requests into your email and social media strategies can be extremely fruitful; just avoid inundating your audience with this type of communication. If you are conducting email marketing then make sure you put a footer at the bottom of your email asking people for reviews and leaving a link so they can do so. Consumers see online reviews in almost every online search they conduct. Although securing online reviews is a gradual process, it is one of the simplest and most cost-effective methods to rank well in key search results pages, and build trust with your audience.
If you would like to discuss your next digital media venture, press the Contact Us button to get started: