Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Respond to Reviews and Get More Business

Online reviews and your responses to them can drive more sales.

Online reviews and your responses can bring more business

Search Engine People recently reported on how the number of online reviews of your business directly impacts your rankings in Google.

The more review sites that feature your company, the more back links your website attracts. Spending time responding to reviews and communicating with customers increases engagement and brand mentions. And that results in a positive impact on your search engine rankings.

Studies show that 92% of consumers now read online reviews and that 68% of these cite positive reviews as a significant trust factor.

Read more about the importance of online reviews.

Your response to online reviews increases your conversions

Search Engine Land recently reported on an experiment on review responses in terms of their impact on “conversions”. Conversions are customer actions on your website: form fills, email inquiries, requests for quotes, etc.

Businesses with an average  rating of  close to five stars get 25% more conversions than businesses averaging three stars. That’s not very surprising. But businesses that respond most often converted 33% more visitors than those that don’t. That’s huge.

Even more, review responses from you might encourage your reviewers to raise their rating, further increasing both your rankings and your conversions. That’s one of the suggestions in this article focused on medical practitioners (but it probably applies to you, as well).

Read more about how to handle bad reviews.

Search Engine Land’s conclusion:

It’s clear that reviews are incredibly important for multiple reasons. The impact local rankings. But, more importantly, they can significantly affect consumer buying behavior, as this and other studies demonstrate.

Consumers come to expect responses to their reviews

Moz recently reported on a Google announcement a couple of weeks ago that consumer expectations of review responses is about to increase dramatically:

Google announced it would be emailing notifications like this to consumers when a business responds to their reviews, prompting them to view the reply.

Google will be sending notifications like this to people who review your business.Surveys indicate that well over 50% of consumers already expect responses within days of reviewing a business. With Google’s rollout, we can assume that this number is about to rise.

Google’s announcement ups the game for all review platforms, because it will make owner responses to consumer sentiment an expected, rather than extra, effort.

Manage any negative reviews properly. When you answer a bad review immediately with a positive tone, you’ll demonstrate that you’re dedicated to customer service. That can cause readers to leave a bad review with a positive impression of you.

Prompt responses are important

RevLocal found that 52% of consumers expected responses within 7 days. Owners of small businesses don’t have the time to monitor all of the websites that could host a new review of them that often. Without help, odds are you won’t know about a new review for weeks or months, if ever.

Fortunately, we can offer some help.

As a Certified Partner with Yext, we can offer and support a subscription to Yext location platformthe . At first glance, Yext looks like a great way to get dozens of citations of your business across the web with a consistent name, address, and phone number. And it is. That’s crucial for good rankings in local search. But a feature of the Yext platform that is often overlooked is the fact that it notifies you of new reviews immediately.

Moz suggests service oriented businesses get great value for reviews at (among other sites) Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo Local Listings, Facebook, and Twitter. Yext will alert you immediately any time someone reviews you on any of those sites. Also on any of the more than five dozen local search engines, directories, maps & apps it supports.

If you really want to kick it into high gear, Yext allows you to request reviews from customers that will appear on your own website. When you do that, those pages will be accompanied by review stars in Google search engine results.

Call us to see if Rank Magic can help you do better here.

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