If you rely on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or a hundred other review sites to help generate foot traffic, or online traffic, reviews are important. A few bad reviews can be the difference between you getting that business, or someone else.
A quick case study
We’ve been working with one local client for about 10 months now. Here are the results:
We’ve sent out about 10 emails a day (sometimes more) to 1816 different people on their email list since January. (Note: We DO NOT spam them. These are people that have opted in already and receive marketing emails from this company.)
Open rate = 51%
Click rate = 13%
# of new reviews = 100 (This company is not a restaurant or medical practice where an abundance of reviews are the norm. They are smashing their competition when it comes to the amount of reviews and the quality.)
The image above shows last November and December when we weren’t working with them on getting more high-quality reviews versus after we worked with them. Slow and steady wins the race.
These online reputation sites depend on either emails addresses or phone numbers. As you can see above, my client had around 1,800 email addresses. You need past customers for this to work.
Why Online Reviews (Especially Google) Are Important
Google rules the search engine world. We all know that. There are hundreds of factors that play into how well your website ranks locally (that's the keyword here) when people search for things like "dentists near me" or "workout gym in Atlanta, GA."
The top 8 things for ranking in the local 3-pack (that box at the top of the search results with 3 businesses inside and a map) are:
Some of these are harder to control than others. Out of all of them, “review signals” (#5) not only affects the technical side of ranking locally but also how people feel about you when looking for a business. They read those reviews and it can have a huge impact! Getting good reviews
What about organic ranking factors?
You may not appear in the coveted local 3-pack, but you can still rank higher in organic search (not paid) by having higher quality reviews. Organic rankings will show up at the top of the search results, underneath the paid ads, and around the local 3-pack.
The 8 things for ranking organically are (Disclaimer: no one really knows Google secret sauce. This is based on research pulled from thousands of other sites):
While not as high, reviews still play a role! Don’t underestimate the power of reviews. I doubt you do.
97% of people in the last year have searched for a business online. The other 3 people are either newborns or were born in 1850.
Facebook, Yelp, and Google dominate the online review space. There are other specialty review sites for the medical profession, attorneys, etc. But, I’d be willing to argue these 3 sites still trump those specialty review sites.
54% of consumers consider the average star rating to be the most important factor when judging a local business, followed by the quantity of reviews, then recency of reviews. The takeaway here? Get better reviews, more of them, and keep feeding the beast. NEVER ask for all the reviews at one time. Google likes to see you are getting a steady flow of reviews over time without huge gaps.
Does this sound like something that could help you?
If you rely on online reviews to help drive business, this can be a powerful tool to help. As a brand guy, I realize how important online reviews are for my local clients and their overall brand reputation.
Would you like a free analysis of where your business stands? I can produce a report for you that will show you the quantity and quality of your current online reviews and where they are coming from. I’ll also look at the competition and see how you are ranked in relation to them locally.
Interested? Click here.
Multiple is a strategic design firm specializing in brand and digital marketing strategy, consulting, and execution.
Contact us if you'd like to learn a lil bit more about what we do and how we do it.