For those who are interested in local search ranking, there has always been a problem: Google doesn’t tell us what matters in search ranking. As a result, there is a constant stream of guessing and mis-information published on the topic.
Luckily, David Mihm creates and publishes an annual survey of the Local Search Ranking Factors which integrates the opinions from some of the most thoughtful local SEOs.
As another local search luminary (Mike Blumenthal) put it, if you read only one blog post this month, it should be David’s article.
As with the prior surveys, David has pointed to customer reviews as a key ranking factor. To quote David in his most recent blog on this topic:
“Movin’ and shakin’ with Reviews.
Reviews were still weighted #4 as a general signal this year, but three of the top five factors voted most helpful this year vs. last were:
- Velocity of Google Places Reviews
- Quantity of Third-Party Reviews
- Product/Service Keywords in ReviewsAll were ranked in the top third of overall ranking factors. Those are three pretty powerful signals a business can send without having to worry about much more difficult technical on-site work or time-intensive linkbuilding.“
Third-party reviews are a key ranking signal (we have known this for years) and importantly, more is better. That is why we have the most comprehensive solution available to get reviews. Using Customer Lobby, you can get reviews online, through phone-based customer reviews (Customer Calls) and through Handwritten Reviews.
Ratings-only or very short reviews like “Great Job” lack a key search ranking benefit: no keywords. Robust, key-word reviews from actual customers not only drive higher rankings but they also create real user engagement. Most importantly, there is a high correlation between conversion rates (number of new customers) and robust reviews. Our Customer Call service results in robust reviews that can help you get new customers from the good work you did with your prior customers.