How To Use Customer Reviews To Improve Your Local Search Rankings – Part 4

Improving Local Search Rankings for Finance Companies: Part 4 – Customer Reviews

As you will have seen in Part 3, being part of Google My Business allows you to show up across multiple Google services. It allows for a ‘richer’ local search result, with information such as a link to your Google+ page and more importantly your customer review information (see the image below). How do you appear in this list? The results in local listings and the order depend on the location of the searcher and what they are typing into the search bar.

If you are an accountant in North Sydney and you search for ‘accountant in North Sydney’, and you are physically in that location when you search, and your company is not appearing, then it is highly recommended you read this whole series and make the suggested improvements.

google-search-results

 

Ok, i’m in the list but not at the top!?

There are several reasons why you might not be showing or showing a little low in the list for local search results. One reason is relevancy to the search phrase typed in, whereby if you are less relevant you will be lower, another is your location whereby competitors who are closer may show above you, and another, is reviews!

Whether a good ‘review profile’ helps increase your position or not, it will still help increase people clicking through to your website. Take the below image, it’s quite likely City Tax Accountants will achieve the highest clicks due to it’s impressive review profile.

local-search-results-reviews

How important are reviews?

It’s important to note that the vast majority of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations – for more information on just how important reviews are read this post by Search Engine Land.

So reviews are a highly influential factor in generating more leads. Showing not just very positive reviews, so 4 or 5 stars, but having a large amount will help entice more people to chose you for their services. It may even increase your positioning in local search results, even if another competitor is more relevant and closer to the searcher’s location – this is because Google understands that positives reviews must mean the business is trustworthy and reputable so ranks you higher.

How do i get reviews?

First of all if you don’t have one, set up a Google My Business account, learn more in the previous post here. Once you are set up to receive reviews the next part, getting your customers to write them, may require a little more creativity. Here are some recommendations:

1. Email your customer after you have worked with them and request a Google Review – most people have Gmail accounts nowadays so it’s quite straight forward. If they don’t have Gmail, get them to email it and you can always use it for a testimonial on your website.

2. Face to face – if you have an Ipad or tablet have it ready for your customer to log in to their Gmail account, have your review page ready to find also, then simply ask them. This added pressure will encourage them to proceed and also mean you will maybe get a nicer review from them.

3. If it is proving really difficult to get customers to review offer incentives, money off their next tax return for example after they review. It’s worth it in the long run.

4. Schema markup! This will be covered in the next article – essentially you can add a review button right into your email title and body, that you send to customers making it much easier.

Are Google reviews the only option?

In local listings yes, however in organic search results and paid search results no. You can pull in review information through Schema markup – again this will be covered in the next article.

You can always build in review functionality into your company website, however beware as most visitors are intrinsically distrustful of reviews on the service provider’s own site. The other option is to use third party review sites such as TrustPilot, however often these third party sites charge you for additional options such as replying to reviews.

WikiMoney do you enable reviews?!

Indeed we do! If you aren’t listed on WikiMoney, simply register, it’s free. Then you can direct your customers to your review page, literally just send them the web address in an email. Once they review you will see your aggregated score appear in organic search results, like in the example below.

review-stars

Part 4 – Schema markup – coming soon..