Guest Blog - The Increasing Importance Of Reviews In The Local SEO Formula

If you are a small to medium sized business owner looking to improve your search ranking in Google, the quality and number of reviews you can collect online is becoming more important. While reviews are critical to maintaining a good business reputation, most business owners are unaware of the powerful effect they have on SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

Taking a look at the Local Search Ranking Factors Formula for 2017, we can see reviews account for 13% of the total formula in Google's Local Finder. (Local Finder is the Local MAP pack that appears at the top of the page in Google search for a local product or service). ​

While the formula makes it clear that reviews are now a major piece of the puzzle, the 2017 Local SEO formula posted by drills down into much further detail about how Google reviews affect your website's ranking power in Google's search engine algorithm.

In addition to getting a lot of good reviews, it is important to respond to negative ones as well. However,most business owners need to understand that the more your clients mention specific products and services in the review wording itself, the better chance you will have for ranking higher in Google search for those product or service keywords.

Where Else Should I Get Reviews?

What Are The Other Major Parts Of The Formula?

While there are several hundred factors in Google's search algorithm, in addition to getting reviews, here are 3 other major parts of the puzzle that can help your website show up higher in search engines: Social Media Social media activity affects ranking as a major source of incoming website traffic, so be sure to remain active on 2 to 3 channels while being sure to feature a link back to your site in your individual social posts. New Website Content As for content, you should be posting a blog or adding a new page to your website on a monthly basis if you are small business, or weekly if you are a medium sized firm, or daily if you are national. Google's number one directive in their search engine optimization guidance is new, relevant content. That's why blogging is so important, as it allows you to elaborate on the ins and outs of your product or service experience. Local Citations Getting your company name, address, phone number and website link published into local online business directories is another major part of the Local SEO formula. The word "citation" just means the repetition of the EXACT Name Address Profile (N.A.P.) should be published exactly the same in popular directories like Merchant Circle, Insider Pages, HotFrog, Manta and others. ​While you need to expand your website's online presence using all of the above ideas, an attractive design that is easy to navigate is also important, if you want website visitors to actually take action when they do land on your site.

​Written by: Mark Collins - SEOphile

TS Consulting helps small businesses grow with easy to execute digital marketing strategies!

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