If you are anything like us, you despise review sites like Yelp and Google, as it gives online bullies one more tool to harass local businesses, owners and their employees. However, we live in a world that requires us to sometimes play by the rules, and one of those is user reviews. Aside from the perception of running a positive business, reviews actually influence your business’ ability to rank on search engines. In a Search Engine Watch article, they mention that MOZ attributes 8.4% to reviews in Google’s overall ranking signals.
The way it works is simple, the higher the ranking – the more clicks you’ll receive and the higher Google (or other search engines) will rank your business. In fact, back in 2014 Google introduced the Pigeon update giving third party directories like Yelp more influence.
Here are some best practices:
- Print business handles on collateral (i.e. business cards, receipts, flyers)
- Ask the customer
- Don’t fake reviews
- Leverage social media
- Don’t focus solely on Google, diversifying helps
- Set-up Google Alerts to manage mentions of your business
In short, make acquiring positive reviews part of your business model and SEO strategy.