How Online Reviews Boost Your Local SEO

Now that we’ve talked about what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is and why reviews are important to your business, let’s dive into how reviews boost your search engine ranking.
 
Search engines like Google love reviews because modern consumers love reviews. Google bases its search algorithm on what matters most to consumers in order to be the most helpful tool possible.
 
Today, most consumers use reviews when choosing which local businesses to call. For instance, when you search for a “roofer in Oakland, CA” you expect to see business reviews on the top of the search results. You don’t want to scroll down multiple pages to see business reviews, and Google knows it. Thus, Google always features well-reviewed businesses on the first page of search results.
 
Also, according to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are very important to search engines like Google when it comes to ranking local businesses. In 2017, Search Engines value reviews 22% more than they did two years ago and this seems to only be increasing.
 
Another study shows that Google Reviews are actually the #1 most important factor when it comes to ranking in Google’s Local Pack rankings. That means Google reviews are uber-important when it comes to your business ranking on Google.
 
What does that mean for your business? You should focus on your businesses reviews and have a strategy in place to collect them! Get in touch with us to learn more.

 

Why Google Reviews are the Most Valuable Online Reviews

All online reviews simply aren’t created equal. Remember the last time you researched online business reviews on the Yellow Pages? Me neither. That’s because certain review platforms hold more value for customers, and for search engines. That being said, let’s talk about the value Google My Business reviews provide your business.

Google Reviews Increase Your Visibility & SEO 

When you’re looking for a new place to eat dinner on Saturday night, you “Google it!” Google My Business reviews are the first thing that show up when you’re searching and comparing local businesses on Google. Google’s local business reviews factor into their own search algorithm, and thus affect how you’re ranked online. Getting consistent, positive reviews is important to ranking high in search results on Google.

Google Reviews are Easy 

The second reason to prioritize Google reviews is the simple fact that the large majority of Americans use – and have accounts for – Google products (like Gmail, Google Maps, etc), and already have a Google account. It’s easy for Google users to leave you a review on Google, since they don’t need to create a profile – they already have one! Google reviews can be left by anyone who has any sort of Google-owned account.

(Almost) Everyone Uses Google

As we’ve mentioned in another post, about 80% of consumers use Google as their primary search engine, and Google displays their own brand of business reviews above all other search results. So, if you want your business to be found, make sure you’re ranking at the top of Google My Business search results & get those Google reviews!

So Go Get Google Reviews!

As a business, you should focus on the review platforms that benefit you the most, which is why you should prioritize reviews on Google. Consumers are massively more inclined to choose your business if it shows up on the first page of Google’s search results because over 91% of people do not go past page one of search results. Only when your business looks amazing on Google and is getting consistent, positive feedback, should you focus on other review platforms.

Do you have a strategy to generate great customer reviews on Google? Let us show you how Broadly can manage the process, to ensure your business looks amazing online!

 

 

Understanding Google (And Search Engines) as a Business Owner

You may or may not know what a search engine is, but you likely use one every day. A search engine is a program that searches the internet for specific keywords and then returns documents where those keywords are found. So, if you search for the keywords “pet food” on a search engine like Google, the search engine will spit back a bunch of sources for you to look through that it thinks are most helpful to you.

The most popular search engines

The most popular search engines include Google, Bing & Yahoo, in that order. You can use any of these search engines to look up specific keywords and get relevant search results. Google is the vast leader in the search engine space, taking a whopping 80% of the market share. What does this mean? That 80% of all searches made on the internet are done on Google’s search engine. This piece of information is incredibly significant to you as a business owners because it first helps you understand where most people are searching for your business – on Google.

How consumers search for businesses

Now let’s talk about how your business can stand out on Google. When someone goes to Google and they type in “Mechanic in San Francisco, CA”, what comes up? Google’s own product, of course, Google My Business listings.

The first results that are shown are typically the three most actively reviewed businesses on Google’s map listings. After Google’s listings, you’ll see everything else – all additional search results based on those logical findings of the keywords you originally searched for.

Google my business

So, why is this important? It’s because this is how new customers are searching for your business. Understanding that the majority of people search for businesses on Google and that Google’s business listings appear first is crucial. To be easily found online, your business must show up in those first search results on Google. What many people don’t realize is that the number one factor in showing up in these first results is being present and active on Google My Business. So, if you don’t already have a Google presence for your business, sign up today, start generating reviews, and start getting easily found all for free!

Chat with one of our Google specialists and learn how Broadly can help you rank locally on Google My Business! 

An illustration of Link Building

Link Building for Local Businesses

There is a lot to know about link building — more than most business owners really need to better their business. Simply put, the internet is a series of pages linking to other pages. Websites link to pages on other websites to take users where they need to go. Search engines like Google use links pointing to pages as indicators of the value of that page. The more links pointing to a particular page, the more search engines like Google will favor that page in search results.

 

Link building is one of the most effective strategies for improving your SEO

 

Google often stresses the importance of link building and quality content as a core component of getting found online. In fact, link building may be the most important factor when it comes to ranking high on search engines.

 

Part of the reason link building is so effective in boosting your SEO is because it’s a difficult goal to achieve. Link building can seem like a job in its own right, but without a strategy to produce relevant content to consumers in your area, you risk becoming invisible to potential customers. Take this challenge as an opportunity to beat out your competition. Odds are your competitors aren’t willing to put in the work it takes to get to the top. With a good strategy and a little persistence you can put your business ahead of the game.

 

The Lower You’re Ranking, the Bigger the Benefits

 

Backlinks improve organic ranking in search engines. Moz says:

 

Generally speaking, the more high-quality websites that link to you, the more likely you are to rank well in search results.

 

It’s all about social proof. Visitors are more likely to stay on your site when they’re referred from an external site that they trust. Consequently, if your site is on the lower end of the search page, a link from a high-ranking site will spike your search results. Having a few good solid links from high-ranking sites will take you far.

 

Strategy is everything

You won’t get very far by sending out emails en masse requesting links from your potential affiliates. Instead, focus on these three steps:

 

Step 1: Care about your content. Have something to share that you yourself would want to share. Link back to specific pages that will provide your visitor with relevant information.

 

Step 2: Reach out. Focus on establishing relationships. Get people you know or work with to link to your site. If you’re aspiring to get a link from someone outside your circle emails tend not to work very well. The best way to do this is in person — reach out to your local resources, such as your church, school, or industry affiliate.

 

Step 3: Don’t be afraid to ask. The best case scenario is asking a friend or acquaintance within the association you’re aiming to link out from.

 

Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Link Building and Backlinko’s Link Building for SEO: The Definitive Guide are both great places to start learning more about how link building can improve your SEO and credibility online.

 

Any questions? Get in touch with us to learn more.

5 Reasons Why Fresh Content is Essential to Your Website

Let’s talk about your website and how much power it has for your business. Your website is your business’s home on the internet, and the only place where you can control your business’s story. Don’t overlook this fact. Sharing fresh content on your website consistently is good for your brand & credibility as well as your web presence and search engine optimization (SEO).

Keeping your website content fresh is essential for several reasons:

Great content means more web traffic

Provide useful, insightful information about your industry and people will engage with your company and share your posts. This will ensure people are talking about your brand and visiting your website.

Shows customers you’re relevant

Providing useful or informative content on your website shows your customers that you’re an authority in your industry. It also shows site visitors that you’re still in business and are able to serve them. 

Google loves updates!

Frequent activity on your website shows search engines (like Google) that you’re active online. When you don’t update your site, Google may write your business off as stale, and de-prioritize your website’s ranking. Trust us, you don’t want that. Your company will thank you for staying on Google’s good side.  

More content = more keywords 

When you publish fresh content on your website, you add more keywords. Include specific keywords, or terms you’d like to rank for online, to show search engines that you’re relevant for those search terms. Every word that you include on your website is an opportunity to get found when someone searches online for that word. 

Builds Domain Authority

The more you update your website, the more “authority” your domain will have. This is a great thing for your website’s SEO!

These are just a few of the ways that your business can benefit from website updates. If you’d like to learn more about how Broadly can help, call us at (800) 693-1098 or request a free consultation online.

What is SEO and Why Your Small Businesses Should Care

When it comes to online marketing, there are infinite options, and a dictionary full of confusing acronyms. SEO, PPC, ROI, CPM… it’s hard to keep track. You’ve likely heard of SEO, but might not know exactly what it is, or why it matters. However, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of SEO as a business owner. The good news: it doesn’t have to be difficult.
 
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, SEO is what helps your business stand out online, and get found on search engines such as Google. Where and how your business is ranked online helps existing and prospective customers find you. There are a wide variety of factors that contribute to local SEO, but as a business owner you only have time for so many things. Therefore, we’ll highlight a few easy ways to get local, organic (un-paid) SEO.
 

Get a website

 
Your website is the cornerstone of your local business’s online presence. Your website is one way that search engines recognize it’s your business. Search engines connect the dots between your business and platforms such as Google and Facebook.
 

Establish your Google presence

 
If you don’t have one already, sign up or claim your Google My Business page. Once that’s done, ensure that your business’ name, address, phone number & website are listed correctly on your page. Your Google listing is another way that Google attributes your business to other internet listings.
 

Get active on Google

 
In order for your website to rank, Google must see that you’re still in business. Make sure to ask your customers for reviews on your Google My Business listing (not just other review platforms).
 

Be consistent

 
Make sure your NAP (Name, Address & Phone Number) is consistent on all your existing pages (Your website, Google, Yelp, Facebook, Yellow Pages etc). There are paid tools, such as Moz Local, that can help you identify and fix your local listing variations.
 

Update your website

 
Write blog posts, share industry articles, post Youtube videos. Whatever it is, make an effort to post fresh content regularly to your website. Search engines wants to see that you are active on their pages, along with your own website.
 

Prioritize Review Platforms

 
Ask for reviews on Google first, then Yelp, then Facebook. Remember, Google is in charge of ranking your business online. Use that knowledge to your advantage, and always prioritize Google when asking for reviews.
 
Don’t get too overwhelmed, these are all things you can do yourself. There are a multitude of ways you can enhance your business’s SEO, but remember to always start with the basics before moving on to expert level! Get in touch with us to learn more.

How To Ask Your Customers for Reviews

Did you know that 7 out of 10 customers will leave a review when asked? The majority of business owners dread asking for them – it can be an awkward experience if done incorrectly. After all, you’re the one who is supposed to be helping your customer, not the other way around, right?

Well, not really. Think of it like tipping: a testimonial is a “thank you” for doing such great work. You provide wonderful service and, in return, customers write reviews to help your business grow. Not every customer knows how to write a review or where to leave one so it’s helpful to be specific. Try the following strategy:

Ask.

Just ask! Again, 7 out of 10 consumers will leave you a testimonial if you ask. This is the hardest part, but make an effort to ask for a review after each customer interaction.

Simplify.

Convenience is key. Find out what review platform your customer already uses and ask them to review your business there. Your customer likely won’t create a Yelp account just to leave you a review.

Prioritize.

All reviews are not created equal, and some review platforms matter more to search engines. If your customer is active on multiple platforms, remember that Google is the most beneficial place to receive a review in terms of SEO value, followed by Yelp and Facebook. Google reviews can be written by anyone who has any type of Google account including Gmail, Youtube, & Google Maps.

Send.

After finding out what review platform your customer uses, send your happy customer a direct link to your Google, Yelp or Facebook page. Again, convenience is the key to generating reviews.

Practice these 4 steps, and you’ll generate more testimonials for your business! This will ensure that your business earns testimonials more frequently, which is beneficial to your online reputation and your SEO. Testimonials are powerful for your business, so do your best work and make it convenient for your customers to share their experiences with you.

If you’d like to learn more about how Broadly can help simplify the process even more, schedule a free consultation with us.

5 Reasons You Should Care About Online Reviews

Online reviews — If you’re not already writing them yourself, you’ve likely used them to make an informed decision. Consumers use reviews for everything nowadays- looking for their next handyman, where to eat dinner tomorrow night, or even to research their next doctor. Although business owners can become frustrated with online reviews, they should never be ignored. In fact, you can and should learn how to use them to your advantage!

Why online reviews are important to your business:

They grow your customer-base

Simply put, when a consumer sees positive reviews on your business pages, they are more likely to work with you. The positive things your customers say about your business are proven to get you even more business. In fact, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That means consumers often trust an online review from a stranger as much as a recommendation from their best friend- that’s huge! 

Reviews engage your customers

Your customers use review platforms to communicate with one another, and with you. Reviews create an opportunity to thank your customers directly and build long-lasting relationships. Every review is an opportunity to reply to feedback (both positive and negative) and learn about your customer’s experience with your business.

Enhance internal business practices

As a great business, you care about your customers and want them to have a positive experience when you work together. Reviews allow you to find out what’s going on, and adjust business practices when common themes emerge.

Aid customer retention and reputation

This is a big one! Unhappy customers are 3x more likely to tell their friends about their experience than happy ones. If you receive a negative review, reach out directly to your customer and address the situation. Sometimes reaching out and addressing the issue helps to turn an unhappy customer into a loyal one.

Online reviews boost your SEO 

Reviews and satisfaction actually affect how you’re ranked on search engines like Google. When your businesses is getting consistent, positive reviews, Google’s search algorithm prioritizes your business’s listing and website. 

As you can see, reviews have a multitude of benefits for your business, and it’s important to create a strategy to ask your customers for them. If you’re confused about where to start asking for reviews, we recommend starting with Google, Yelp & Facebook.

If you have any questions about the importance of online reviews, get in touch with our team of experts!