Why Online Reviews Matter For Local SEO

why online reviews matter for local seo

Local search engines love online reviews for one primary reason, consumers love online reviews. They’re number one goal is to provide people on-the-go or at home with the most accurate information that will help them make buying decisions. The faster they can do that, the more consumers will turn to them time and time again. Have a look at a screenshot of results from Yelp for the keywords “mexican restaurants Cedar Rapids, IA”.

online reviews local seo yelp

According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are thought to make up 8.4% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results. Check out this pie chart provided by MOZ for the visual break down of the different ranking variables:

online reviews local seo ranking signals

[thrive_headline_focus title=”So How Are You Going to Get All These Reviews?” orientation=”left”]

Before you embark on creating strategy for acquiring new reviews, it’s a good idea to give some thoughts on which review platforms would work best for your business.

To determine that, simply start by going to Google and doing the following search, “[Industry] + reviews” and see which sites pop-up on the first page. For example, have a look at what shows up for “mexican restaurant reviews”:

online review sites local seo

Before we talk about how to obtain more reviews, it’s important to understand the different review policies each platform has that you will need to abide by. For example, Yelp strictly forbids small businesses from soliciting online reviews and will act swiftly if it detects something fishy. While some other platforms don’t really have any issues with businesses making the ask.

Here are some review guidelines for some of the most critical review platforms that you should read through and understand:

  1. Google+ Local

  2. Yelp

  3. Foursquare

  4. Citysearch

  5. YP.com

Once you’ve had a quick look through those, here are 4 tips to help you get started acquiring great reviews: