Online reviews for your small business are more important than ever thanks to Google’s new review summary in local search results.

 

Online reviews matter a lot. Not only do they boost your reputation with potential customers, they also influence how Google ranks your business in local searches.

Google knows exactly how valuable reviews are to consumers. It’s why reviews are featured prominently in the knowledge panel, and the algorithm is built to reward businesses that have more positive reviews.

If you’re trying to optimize your business listing to rank in Google’s Local Three Pack, start by claiming your Google My Business profile and getting some reviews on Google. But once you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to focus on getting reviews on other sites as well. That’s because Google recently started listing reviews from the web in its local search results.

What does that mean? When customers search for a local business, Google already shows them a “knowledge panel” for each result. The knowledge panel includes photos, address, hours and more. In the past, it only featured reviews left on Google. Now, there’s also a summary of reviews left on other websites like Facebook and Yelp, and industry-specific sites like TripAdvisor, The Knot and others.

To get more reviews, start asking happy customers to write reviews of your business on your preferred websites. You can do this by giving them simple instructions with URL links on a feedback card, in your follow-up emails or on your social media accounts.

 
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