How Reviews Affect Local SEO

| Erik J. Olson | ,

Both positive and negative reviews are an important part of building trust, impacting as many as 42% of online shoppers looking for a law firm. Yet many law firms aren’t aware that their review profile also impacts their local SEO ranking.

When you are building a website for your small business, your goal is to have it reach people with your brand message when they are in the process of making a purchase decision. While there are many search engine optimization ranking factors, reviews are an important part of this bigger picture. We can help you understand how your third-party reviews impact your overall success and create a local SEO strategy for your law firm.  Get started today by calling (800) 933-3067 or by using our contact page.

What Are Third-Party Reviews?

Anyone can claim that their small business is a great company to choose from. Only actual customers can give a true look at what doing business with a company would mean. That is why third-party reviews are so valuable as part of a marketing plan.

Third-party reviews are reviews from people who did business with a local business, like yours. These are usually online reviews, shared on online platforms when customers are happy or sad with the service or product they receive from the business.

These reviews are a powerful way to boost your local search ranking as you seek to draw more natural traffic to your website. They are a resource potential customers are more likely to trust, offering valuable insight into what a new customer’s experience with your business might look like.

Both Positive and Negative Reviews Matter

When it comes to online reviews, both positive reviews and negative reviews have an impact on your overall ranking. They tell how your business operates, whether good or bad, and give your business the look of legitimacy in the eyes of people reading the review. In other words, reviews tell people that you are real, you are open, and you are ready for their business.

Reviews are a key component of building trust with your potential customers and clients. They tell people what to expect when they work with you. They also tell the algorithms that your business is a legitimate business to work with, which increases the chance they will give you a high ranking. Overall, this helps you find success in your online marketing.

Unbiased Reviews

What makes reviews so powerful is the fact that they come from an unbiased person who wants to talk about your law firm as a local business. Sometimes, that unbiased party is going to be thrilled with the service they received. Sometimes, they will be frustrated. This combination helps your potential client to know that they’re working with a legitimate company.

These reviews work well because people trust them. Most searchers know that these reviews are usually honest, so they trust them. In fact, third-party reviews are the most important decision-making factor for 42% of Internet users when making a buying decision.

Remember, people who are ready to find a company to buy from or hire are usually searching online, and your online presence is critical to landing them as clients. If you are not using third-party reviews, you are missing potential customers.

How Do Reviews Impact Local SEO?

One of the reasons that online third-party reviews are so important to your SEO strategy and overall digital marketing plan is because they have a direct impact on your local SEO. Google My Business reports that high-quality, positive reviews on your GMB page will increase your business’s visibility. People want to see businesses that are legitimate and proven, and that’s what reviews show.

Review Signals Increase Prominence

Review signals are also listed as one of the top 8 SEO ranking factors Google uses to choose your search engine results rank. Google calls the information it gets from reviews as well as articles and directory listings “prominence,” and it is a ranking of your business’s offline popularity. Reviews, particularly if they are positive, boost your prominence and increase your local SEO rank.

Reviews Broaden Your Social Footprint

Another way reviews impact your local SEO is by broadening your social and digital footprints. The more sites that hold customer reviews for your business, the more impressive you appear to the search engine bots. The larger your online footprint, the more legitimate you appear. You seem like a legitimate business when multiple sites carry your information.

Reviews Build Trust

Ultimately, having a lot of reviews on social media and review websites helps build trust, not only with potential clients but also with the search engines. Google reviews show that you are a true business with actual customers, so people are more likely to do business with you. This type of legitimate website is what Google wants to honor, so your reviews work for your local SEO ranking.

Reviews Improve User Experience

While it may not seem like it at first, having a lot of reviews about your business actually improves your customers’ user experience. When people come to a website and see a large number of reviews, they can better research their options and choose if you are the right business for their needs. Giving them the information they need from actual customers through third-party reviews that you link to on your home page or other pages on your website will improve the chances of making a site visitor a customer.

Review Velocity Improves Your Relevancy

Local search ranking relies heavily on relevancy. Google and the other search engines want to list sites that are relevant to their audiences, and this means current and active sites that relate to the chosen keyword. Review velocity, also known as timing, can make you seem current and legitimate. Business owners know that many fresh reviews will increase their relevancy.

Reviews Increase Your Chances of Landing in the Local Pack

The Local Pack is the little box of links that comes next to the Google Map on a search. This spot is highly coveted among marketers because it has a high click-through rate (CTR), and having a high star level of reviews will increase your chances of landing there. Remember, the competition for those local pack listings is high, and you need to do all you can to make your page stand out.

Reviews May Increase Click-Through Rate

When people search for something online and a website pops up with many positive reviews compared to one with no reviews listed, chances are high they will click through on the one with the high star rating. Again, the best way to get traffic from the search engines is to ensure your link looks appealing, and reviews help.

If you are struggling to use reviews well for your online needs, don’t worry. Array Law is here to help. We can assist with getting your local SEO campaigns set up and running well, and that will include a closer look at how you can leverage your reviews for success.

Where Should I Look for Reviews?

Business reviews are an important part of your content marketing plan, but where can you get those reviews? Some review sites to consider as you seek to increase your overall review profile include:

  • Google Business Profile – Previously called a Google My Business Profile, this is the first place to look while building reviews, as it holds the most sway over your Google ranking.
  • Local Business Directories – These help with your local SEO because they give local signals to the search engines.
  • Industry-Specific Review Sites – Sites like Brightlocal, TripAdvisor, or Yelp offer a review platform for specific types of businesses.
  • Social media pages – Get people talking about you on social media and make it easy for them to review you. Social media marketing is part of the way you will leverage your reviews.
  • Other Review Platforms – The last place to look to add reviews is other review platforms. Find as many as you can that look professional, and start adding your information so you can get more reviews.

There are other options for creating local SEO citations, however, a Google Business Profile is widely considered to be the most impactful.

How Can You Get More Reviews?

So how can you get your happy customers to review your site? Here are some tips that might help.

1. Ask

The easiest way to get reviews is to ask happy customers to leave one. You can use QR codes or business cards to make the review process easier. You could also text the code to your client, so they can leave a review using their phones.

2. Email Campaigns

Another way to add reviews to your site is by launching an email campaign that asks for those reviews. Make the subject line something difficult to ignore to encourage them to open it and click through to your page.

3. Incentivize

If you can do so ethically, offer an incentive for leaving a review. You can’t bribe people for reviews, but you can send a discount or a fun gift if they choose to do so.

4. Respond

If you get a bad review, do not ignore or delete it. Respond to it. This shows people that you’re a legitimate business because fake businesses will not have bad reviews. It also gives you the chance to show your professionalism.

Get Professional Help for Review Management with Array Law

Small businesses face a lot of competition in the online world, and searchers are not going to search much past the first page of the results. You can read every local SEO guide out there, but if you ignore reviews, you will struggle to grow your business.

Building a solid review profile isn’t always easy; yet, it is vital to your business success as you strive to increase your Google search ranking and improve your overall marketing strategy. Array Law can help. We are experts at helping law firms build an online presence and an online reputation that is positive, and we know that reviews are a big part of that.

By leveraging your reviews to increase your local search ranking, you can improve your position in the SERPs and your traffic as a company.

At Array Law, we do not just focus on reviews. We create entire marketing strategies that help you increase all of your local search ranking factors so you can enjoy the best SERP and local pack ranking possible. Those marketing strategies incorporated reviews and testimonials as part of a larger SEO strategy.

Our experience is what sets us apart. We work specifically on SEO for law firms, and we will help you improve your ranking and catch people while they are making purchase decisions. Remember, both good reviews and bad reviews improve the customer experience and your overall search engine optimization, and Array Law is here to show you exactly how that happens.

Reviews Matter! Get a Free Consultation with Array Law to Learn More

If your small business struggles to keep up with the competition, we can help. Array Law works entirely with law firms, and we know what it takes to get you seen online. Reach out today for a free initial consultation to discuss your transformation, and let us show you how easy it is to build an effective SEO strategy that uses reviews effectively. To request a free consultation, call (800) 933-3067 or complete the online contact form to speak with an experienced digital marketing expert at Array Law today.

CONTACT US NOW if you are ready to learn how to get consistent, highly-qualified cases for your firm. We’ll use our decades of experience to create a proven strategy that helps you build your brand and organically expand your business.

Erik J. Olson

Written By Erik J. Olson

Erik J. Olson is the Founder & CEO of Array Law—a marketing agency that enables its clients to achieve their dreams, fulfill their missions, and impact more lives with their services.

Website Design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Online Advertising, Social Media & Digital Marketing.

© Array Law
Website Design, Online Advertising, SEO, Social Media & Digital Marketing.
© Array Law